August 1st, 2023

Choosing Your Shade: A Comparative Look at Manual vs. Motorized Awnings

If you’re looking for a new awning or outdoor shade, you may have found yourself comparing manually operated vs. motorized shade. Both options offer their unique advantages, but it can be challenging to decide which one suits your needs best. This blog will explore the manual vs motorized awnings debate by highlighting the convenience, flexibility, cost, and maintenance each will offer you. 

Convenience/Ease of Use

One of the first and most important things you’ll notice when comparing manual vs motorized awnings and shades is the difference in convenience. Motorized awnings and exterior shades offer the comfort of automated control with a simple touch of a switch or remote. This is a significant advantage, especially during harsh weather conditions when you’d rather not step outside to retract or extend your awning or if mobility is of concern. 

On the other hand, manual retractable awnings or drop shades require a bit of elbow grease. They operate using crank handles, which means you’ll need to be outside, come rain or shine, to adjust your awning. Depending on your preference, the extra effort might be a small price to pay, or it might be a significant inconvenience.



Flexibility is another aspect where motorized awnings shine. With the best motorized awnings and shades, you can adjust your shade’s position to your liking without any manual labor. Some of the most advanced models even come with sun and wind sensors. These smart devices automatically control your awning when it gets too hot or windy. This offers the best outdoor shading solution, while protecting from harsh winds, without any input from you.

In contrast, manual awnings lack these advanced features. They offer less flexibility because adjustments require manual operation. Both motorized and manual make excellent patio shades, but you’ll need to be hands-on to enjoy the best sunshades for your patio if you decide to go without a motor.



When it comes to cost, manual awnings and exterior shades generally have the upper hand. They’re often more affordable because they don’t require a motor, control, or electrical installation. All they need is proper mounting, and you’re good to go.

Motorized awnings, while offering great convenience and flexibility, come with a higher price tag. Motorization costs include the need for a power source and electrical hardwiring. However, when working with professionals like those at Accent Awnings, you can expect a seamless installation process with no hazardous wires or plug-ins.



The final consideration in the manual vs motorized awning and shade debate is maintenance. Motorized awnings could potentially require more upkeep due to the motor and controls. Future repairs or replacements could add to the overall cost.

In comparison, manual awnings generally require less maintenance. There’s no worry about future motor repairs or control replacements. However, they aren’t completely free from awning maintenance – the manual mechanism will still require periodic checks to ensure it operates smoothly.

So, whether you should opt for a manual or motorized patio awning, window awning or exterior shade, largely depends on your preferences and needs. If convenience, flexibility, and advanced features are your top priorities, then investing in the best motorized shade may be the way to go. But if cost-effectiveness and simplicity are more your style, a manual awning or outdoor shade might be a better fit.

Remember, choosing the right shading solution involves more than just deciding between manual and motorized. It’s about finding the best awning that suits your needs, budget, and lifestyle. For professional help, reach out to Accent Awnings®. Our experts can guide you to the perfect awning, ensuring you enjoy the best sunshades for your home or outdoor space for years to come.

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