Roll-Up Awnings vs. Free Standing Awnings For Patios: What’s The Best Choice?

Awnings are a great option for any Long Island, NY, homeowner looking for additional shelter or shade from the elements. However, having an awning attached to the house is only ideal for some people due to space constraints or personal preference. Awnings, both roll-up and freestanding, are the best options for people who want to enjoy the outdoors without being exposed to the hot sun.

These two types of awnings provide temporary shelter and are only used when it is necessary. While they serve the same purpose, roll-up, and free-standing awnings operate in different ways and can be used in different ways. Let’s take a look at each type of awning and when it’s best to use them.

Roll-up Awning

Roll-up awnings, as the name implies, can be easily rolled down and locked into place. When a homeowner is finished with them, they are rolled up. This type of awning, also known as retractable awnings, is ideal for enclosing a patio, veranda, or between posts to shelter and shade the outdoor living area. Awnings come in two varieties: motorized and manual. A motorized roll-up awning can support a strong aluminum frame and is opened and closed by an attached electric motor. Manual roll-up awnings, on the other hand, are operated by a hand crank mechanism.

Features and Benefits of Roll-up Awnings

  1. Easy to use: They can incorporate side channels so they can easily be pulled down and stopped at any position along the channel.
  2. Energy efficient: Roll-up awnings are made from thick fabric, which effectively helps to block in and circulate air within a space, helping to save on energy bills. They are ideal for Long Island homeowners with outdoor fan systems.
  3. Weather protection: You can enjoy your patio during all seasons. This type of awning’s thick fabric will protect you from rain, sunshine, and hail. Your outdoor furniture will be protected from sun rays and raindrops, allowing it to last longer.

The cons of roll-up patio awnings include the following:

  • Expensive to install, especially the mechanical-operated ones
  • They require cleaning and maintenance
  • Repairing sensors on motorized awnings can be costly
  • They are not suited for heavy weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, and intense storms

Free Standing Awning

Awnings that stand alone can be moved and positioned exactly where you want them. They are ideal for homeowners who have a large backyard or a structure with a low roof height. If you don’t have enough mounting space or your walls aren’t strong enough, you can use freestanding awnings. The primary benefit of freestanding awnings is that they are the best option if you have a patio that is not directly adjacent to your home.

Other benefits of freestanding awnings include:

  • You can choose from a variety of fabrics and colors or order a customized awning to suit your style
  • They are waterproof and wind resistant
  • You can move to different locations as you wish
  • They cover a large area- ideal for holding outdoor events, lunches, or dinners
  • They provide shade and protection from the elements
  • They protect your patio furniture from the elements
  • They are appropriate for people with an outdoor pool, or hot tub

How to Find a Good Awning Company


Find a company that has many years of experience in the awning industry. Such a company will provide reliable information on available materials and products to help you make an informed choice on what you need for your home.

Company’s History

The longer an awning company has been in business, the more likely it will provide support over the lifetime of your awning.

Customer Service

A good awning company is well-versed in communication. The company will explain the installation process and how long it will take. Furthermore, they will stick to their turnaround time and involve the client at every step of the way. You also want a company that is easy to contact in the event of a repair.


When choosing the best awning company in Long Island, ensure you go through online reviews to get a feel of how other clients rate their work. A good company will have plenty of positive feedback.


If you are looking for a unique awning, look for a company that provides customized awnings that coordinate with your home.

Do you want to hire the best awning company in Long Island, New York? Don’t look any further. M & M Sign & Awning provides a diverse range of awning products for residential use at reasonable prices. We have over 43 years of combined awning fabrication, installation, and upholstery experience. Visit us at 180 Oval Drive, Islandia, NY 11749, to learn more about our products and services. You can also get an estimate for your awning project by calling 631-424-5370.