Electric Awnings Vs. Manual Awnings

Manual and electric awnings provide shade where there otherwise would be none. You can install both styles nearly anywhere, and the cost for either can vary greatly. Read on to learn what other things to consider when trying to decide between an electric or a manual awning.

Differences Between Manual and Electric Awnings

The obvious difference between these two awnings is the fact that one has to be raised and lowered by hand and the other uses a motor. Both types use a winch and pulley system to raise and lower the awning. The same fabrics are even used regardless of which awning type you choose. These fabrics will either be a strong duct fabric or vinyl. The frames of manual and electric awnings are also identical consisting or very rigid vinyl, plastic or metal.

The only real difference between the two awning types is how they are lowered and raised. Manual awnings use a crank that you place on a bolt or latch. Once the crank is in place, you can use it to raise and lower the moving parts. The electric model uses a button, switch or remote control to lower and to raise the awning.

Awning Cost

The cost of an awning can hinge on several factors. Electric awnings tend to cost more than a manual awning. This can change, however, by the size and style of the awning that you wish to purchase. Manual awnings that are twice the size of electrical awnings will cost more than smaller electrical awnings.

The fabric choice also changes the cost of the awning. You can choose from duct fabric or vinyl to cover the frames. You can add weather protection to the fabric as well at an added cost. Vinyl awnings are easy to clean; tougher material but at a more expensive cost. Duct fabric, though very tough and sturdy, is torn more easily than the vinyl. It can be stained and wears out faster as well.

Ability to Upgrade

You may not have enough money right away to get an expensive awning. This may make electric awnings out of your budget range. There will most likely be a manual awning that does fit your needs. Enjoy what you can get and upgrade it at a later point in time. This is more possible with a manual awning than it is possible with electric awnings. You can remove the power system from electric awnings but that does not mean you will be able to manually open or close the awning. A manual awning, however, allows you to purchase kits that are relatively easy to install that can transform manual awnings into electrical awning.


When you have an awning you want it to last for a long time. Manual and electrical awnings are both made from similar materials such as metal or rigid vinyl frames, metal gears and either vinyl or fabric awning material. Manual awnings surpass electrical awnings in durability because they have no wires to rust or pulleys to fail.