Awnings vs. Umbrellas: Which Should You Choose?


Summer is coming up, and that means you’ll want to take a dip in your pool, hang out in the patio, or even enjoy a backyard barbecue party with your family. As you do this, you’ll need proper shade from the sun’s rays, and the most common choices are awnings and umbrellas. Consider your needs and the pros and cons of each to arrive at an informed decision.

Shade for Patio Areas

Since your deck or patio will be connected to the house, it’s best to hire local awning firms to install retractable awnings and shade. Awnings work best for patios or decks that are directly adjacent to your home. With awnings, you can cover most of the deck and create more living space. If your living or dining room opens up to the patio, covering the patio with awnings creates an extension of either type of room.

Umbrellas can likewise create living spaces on your patio, but they may not be as comfortable. The shade they provide will be on a limited area, and you’ll have to reposition them to block the sun’s rays as it moves throughout the day. Also, umbrellas don’t provide adequate protection should it suddenly rain.

Shading the Backyard

Your lawn or backyard will be a great place to have outdoor barbecues or other fun summer gatherings. Awnings may not be suitable for your backyard unless you have a deck or patio, and part of the yard is directly adjacent to your house. Umbrellas will be a more practical solution for keeping the glare and heat of the sun as you place dining tables and chairs in your backyard for summer gatherings.

What About the Pool?

swimming pool

Unless your swimming pool is right next to your house, awnings may not be a practical shading solution compared to using poolside umbrellas. Even if your pool is designed to be right outside, it’s unlikely that awnings can be installed to provide enough shade. Besides, poolside tables are better shaded by umbrellas since they are portable. And when it gets too hot, that’s when you jump into the pool anyway.

The Value-Adding Choice

Given the comparisons, it’s safe to say that umbrellas offer a portable, cost-efficient, temporary yet not-too-stable shading solution. Awnings, on the other hand, give a more stable, permanent, but less flexible way of keeping the sun’s rays from beating down on you as you enjoy hanging out on your deck or patio.

While large umbrellas can give shade, it’s only for small spots at the poolside, patio, or backyard. Awnings, while less flexible, provide more permanent shade and offer what umbrellas can’t — increasing your home’s value by adding living space.

Deciding between awnings or umbrellas boils down to a couple of things: your needs and the upfront cost you’re willing to pay. Umbrellas are much cheaper to retractable awnings, and they are portable and easily stowed away, but they don’t offer the same level of durability of awnings. Umbrellas are fine if you don’t plan to add value to your home or make use of the patio or deck that often. Awnings are expensive but can be beneficial to you in the long term. They can add significant value to your home and add square footage in terms of living space.

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