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Retractable Awnings, Good Deal or Big Pain?

I'm always suspicious of products sold by infomercial, and retractable awnings (at least one manufacturer) fall under that category. My neighbor got one, though, and it seems to work well for him. It's nice for a deck but some sort of shade like that is almost a necessity if you're building an outdoor kitchen in a sunny climate (or a rainy one).

Retractable awnings are secured on a light but strong aluminum frame where they are mounted to an exterior wall. Once rolled up, the awning generally occupies a space less than a foot in diameter.

You can get retractable awnings that work either via a hand crank (starts at about $700) or that are motorized (add about $500 for this upgrade). Expect something closer to $1500-$2000 for a larger deck/area you want to cover. With the motorized awnings, you just press a wall switch or a button on a remote control. Most manufacturers offer fabric covers in a number of solid colors and striped patterns. 

If you buy a SunSetter Pro Motorized Awning from the BBQGuys.com they offer free shipping.


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