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That’s a logical question, but the answer requires an in-depth explanation. Remember, not all retractable awnings are created equally. Just as in any other market, from homes to automobiles, there are different classes of product. It’s the same with retractable awnings, simply put, you get what you pay for. So don’t make the mistake of shopping on price alone. Take a look at these important factors that must be considered when choosing a retractable awning:
To save on costs, many companies outsource their materials from China. While this makes their product initially more affordable, in the long run it can prove costly. These awnings generally can be used for only a few years and then must be replaced by an entirely new unit. Whereas, if the awning is constructed with U.S. or European components, it can last for decades, only requiring standard maintenance.
Lower-end awning manufacturers cut costs by only producing awnings in set widths, this can lead to your new fixture looking more like a cheap add-on, than a custom accent. In addition, because of inferior engineering and structural integrity, budget awnings have a fairly limited projection (how far the awning can extend). This can cut down on how much shade your awning can provide.
For a cheaper alternative, some have decided to install their own awnings that they have purchased online. This presents two problems. First of all, the homeowner will most likely be installing their retractable awning without any prior training or experience. The installation also requires more than one person to lift the awning into place which can present additional challenges. Secondly, if something goes wrong with the awning, down the road, many “Do-It-Yourself” awnings have a restrictive warranty that blames most problems on “improper installation.” That’s why it is crucial to examine the fine print of the warranty before making a purchase.
Again, a retractable awning is supposed to be a custom feature for your home. Chances are, if you decide on a lower-end awning manufacturer, you won’t find a perfect match when you have less than 30 color choices to choose from. Not to mention, only one frame color option. In contrast, higher-end manufacturers like Sunesta offer a vast amount of color choices, as well as a range of metal frame colors to choose from, leaving you with an awning as unique as your home.
Keeping these factors in mind, let’s look at a side by side of Sunesta and SunSetter so that we can find a solution that’s right for you.
Sunesta is based in Jacksonville, FL, but supplies its product to local dealers like us who can personally answer any questions you may have. The aluminum components are produced in St. Augustine, FL, and assembly is done in Jacksonville. All of the fabrics Sunesta uses are manufactured in Austria and carry a 10 year warranty.
Various SunSetter components are outsourced from China and other Asian countries. This allows for a much lower price point, but the savings leads to a compromise in quality, which is why it has a fairly restrictive warranty.
Sunesta awnings are custom built for you up to 40 feet wide! Your home is unique, a “One-Size-Fits-All” approach rarely conveys your personal taste and style. That’s why they’re made to the inch, so you’ll never be stuck between sizes that are either too big or too small.
Most SunSetter awnings come in preset sizes between 8-20 feet. Since they only carry sizes by the foot with one choice of frame color, SunSetter can keep costs down, but they sacrifice the ability to really customize your awning.
Sunesta’s awnings are able to accommodate awnings projections of 6’ 8”, 8’3 ” 10’, 11’6”, 13’, and 14’8, one of the longest in the industry.
SunSetter’s awnings are in set projections of 7, 9, 10’ 2”, and for a substantial up-charge and 11’ 8”. While you can adjust the projection length if you needed it shorter, anything beyond an 11’ 8” projection is not an option.
Not only does Sunesta provide a wide variety of awning fabric choices, but it also gives you the option of choosing your frame color as well. Awning frames are available in white, clay, beige, or brown. When it comes to fabrics, Sunesta gives you the choice of close to 150 different styles all manufactured in Austria and backed by a 10 year warranty.
SunSetter provides one frame color and 28 fabric choices, which are backed by a 5 year warranty (see warranty section below).
Here at All About Awnings, we have our own team of factory-trained, awning installation professionals. We carry full worker’s compensation and general liability so you can be confident and secure throughout the installation process.
A SunSetter can be purchased through a registered dealer or online by the homeowner. If as a homeowner you purchase online, installation must either be completed by you or be hired out. If you decide to hire a local handyman/company, the installer may or may not be licensed and insured, adding unnecessary risk to a simple home improvement project.
Sunesta divides their warranty three ways, by frame, fabric, and motor (if applicable). The frame has a limited lifetime warranty. The fabrics as mentioned above comes with a 10 year warranty. The motor is covered by a 5 year warranty. If anything goes wrong All About Awnings will be there to help, providing free labor to get you up and running again!
All components are covered by a pro-rated 5 year warranty. This covers a small portion of the repair costs, and as your awning ages the warranty will cover less and less. Not to mention, labor and shipping costs will often factor.
By considering these important factors, we’re confident that you will make a decision that’s right for you, as you strive to find the perfect awning solution for your home or business.
As the pioneer in manufacturing customized retractable awnings, Sunesta offers unmatched engineering for perfect performance. Since 1981, they have led the industry in technological advances, and continue this tradition of engineering excellence in all their products. Every component, feature and option is designed with this focus on innovation.
Sunesta’s in-house experts partner with other component specialists and engineers around the world to ensure their awning systems offer best-in-class technology. They invented the process of computer-aided awning manufacturing, and their proprietary equipment and processes ensure precise customization with the industry’s fastest turnaround time.
For you, this means your awning is perfectly crafted by their team of experts with attention to every last detail.
For a their full range of products and fabric choices check out their website!
SunSetter is a registered trademark of SunSetter Products LP, use of the name does not imply any affiliation. Office Block, Fabric Roll, Hammer, Sheild, Arm, Ruler & Pencil, Wrench & Screwdriver, and Color Wheel Icons designed by Freepik from Flaticon.