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Retractable Pergola or Retractable Awning? – key considerations

Entertaining and using outdoor space has never been more popular. With summer now upon us, this is the perfect time to increase your outdoor living and entertaining space. This can be achieved by investing in either an awning or a pergola.

In creating outdoor living areas, there are many options available, each of which offers several benefits in enabling you to work, relax and dine outdoors. However, before committing, it is always worth doing your research and understanding the differences between an awning and a pergola, so that you can ensure you get the right product for your needs.


The first thing to think about is whether your want the structure to be temporary, for example during the summer months or permanent as this will be a major factor in your choice. Pergolas are usually permanent and so tend to be made of hardwearing materials such as aluminium or wood, whereas awnings tend to be used seasonally, and can be made from durable fabrics, with a hardwearing frame.

Sun Protection

In addition to offering more space, an awning or pergola can also offer protection from the sun. A pergola can create a welcoming area and create a cosy atmosphere, but you are limited as to the sun protection it can give you. An awning can, in contrast, cover a large area and offer extensive shade with selectable control.

The Look

Both an awning and a pergola can enhance the look of any outdoor space and there are many different styles and designs to choose from, as well as options to add lighting and other accessories. A pergola will use less space than an awning and as it is a permanent feature, can be fitted with outdoor lighting and have plants growing up and around it, turning it into a lovely space for outdoor entertaining.

Modern solutions weinor-plaza-viva-retractable-veranda-6

It is possible to install a range of modern solutions such as the Pergotex retractable roof or the Weinor Plaza Viva retractable veranda, each of which offers a unique range of features and additional flexibility. These solutions allow you to accommodate the size of the space, the ever-changing weather and the occasion.


The positioning of a pergola or awning is entirely up to you. Pergolas tend to be free-standing and so can be erected near a specific feature for example a pond or pool. On the other hand, Awnings tend to be attached to an existing wall, offering an extension to a room within the home.


An awning is the more open option and therefore ideal for entertaining large groups. A pergola can be erected at the back of a garden, away from the house, offering a more private area for quiet and relaxation.

Weather weinor-retractable-veranda-technical-2

While both an awning and pergola are ideal for summertime, only a pergola has the option to be completely enclosed and therefore suitable for year-round use. An awning can offer shade, but leaves the sides exposed.


The final thing to consider is the cost. This of course depends on the size and quality and if you are opting for a basic design or one with more sophisticated operating capabilities such as a retractable roof.

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