Drop Arm Awning in Red and White Stripe Design

Selecting a Drop-Arm Awning

The modern drop arm awning was first seen at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1889. Created by the Fabre company, it was designed for employees to protect themselves from the sun's harsh rays and help keep their working conditions indoors cool. 

Gradually, the drop-arm awning became popular throughout the City of Lights until almost every store, factory, or commercial business had one. 

Their popularity gained momentum and spread across Europe and into the United States. Almost a century-and-a-half later, the appeal and stylishness of the drop-arm awning remains steady. 

Here at Rollac, the drop arm awning remains one of our most popular and reliable selections among all our retractable awning products.

What Is a Drop-Arm Awning?

A drop-arm awning is an outdoor retractable blind with two vertical metal arms that pivot to 90 degrees or more, allowing the awning fabric to extend outward, creating shade at different angles.  

Made of canvas or mesh, the cover is fixed and stretched over the awning's metal frame. This type of window shading is highly adjustable and provides superior sun protection while ensuring good airflow.

This type of awning is offered in various sizes and styles to fit any budget. 

Where Can I Install a Drop-Arm Awning?

A drop-arm awning is designed for exterior windows and outdoor seating layouts in homes, restaurants, and businesses. You’ll also see them shading everything from balconies to porches and patios to storefronts.

Drop-arm awnings have many applications, which is one of the reasons they’re such a popular choice. 

How Does a Drop-Arm Awning Differ from a Folding-Arm Awning?

The two most common retractable coverings in the shading industry are the drop-down and the folding arm awning. 

Like the former, the folding-arm awning is also retractable and has horizontal arms that extend or retract. Folding-arm awnings are designed to shade larger spaces. They offer tremendous versatility for enjoying many different outdoor activities and can shade large groups of people.

What Are The Benefits of a Drop-Arm Awning?

If you’re convinced you need a motorized awning but aren’t entirely sure if you’ll purchase a drop-arm awning, read on to learn its benefits. 

1. Temperature Control

Our Rollac customers primarily invest in a drop-arm awning to shade their home or business windows. These automatic arm awnings prevent indoor spaces from getting too hot by effectively reducing glare and the sun’s heat. The more effective the shade, the cooler the room will be, reducing your energy bills simultaneously.

The shade produced by this motorized awning can prevent the sun from fading your carpet, furniture, art, and other household items.

2. Versatility

Drop-arm window awnings allow you to control your exposure to the sunlight, the exterior views, and privacy. When extended or open, your drop-arm retractable awnings will provide shade and seclusion for you and your guests to enjoy your home. Retracted, they allow you to maximize the day’s sunlight and enjoy an unobstructed view.

3. Ease of Use

One of the most attractive features of retractable drop-arm awnings is their ease of use. Whether you’re in the market to purchase a drop-arm manual retractable awning or a motorized one, they’re both straightforward. 

The manual one can be controlled using a crank handle, and the automatic one can be extended with the flick of a switch or press of a button.    

These types of retractable awnings are effortless to keep clean. You can remove dust from your drop arm awning using a broom, duster, or vacuum. For more extensive cleaning, use a bucket of tepid water and mild soap, give it a good scrub using a bristle brush, and rinse it clean with the garden hose. It’s as easy as that. 

4. Affordability 

Their price tag has made drop arm retractable window awnings appealing for many home and business owners. According to recent market research, the drop arm awning cost continues to decrease, partly due to technological advancements and increased competition. These factors have made this shading solution one of the least expensive options on the market.

5. Durability

Drop arm awnings can withstand strong winds, heavy rain, and summer's unrelenting heat. Usually, retractable drop arm awnings are made of a weather-resistant fabric that is then covered with PVC-coated glass fibers. 

6. Aesthetic Appeal

Our Rollac customers would agree that drop-arm awnings have a tremendous aesthetic appeal for the exterior of your home or commercial building.

There is plenty of choice from a wide range of fabrics, including PVC mesh and acrylic, to hundreds of colors, from bold stripes to subtle earthy tones and valance designs for your drop arm awnings.

Choosing the Right Drop Arm Awning

There are several factors to consider to choose the right awning for your home or business. Yes, you want something functional and practical, but you won’t sacrifice aesthetic appeal and affordability in your shading solution selection.  


Simply put, what do you need your awning for? Do you want to add a distinctive look to the exterior of your business? Or are you looking to create that perfectly shaded spot in your backyard?

Most of our drop arm awning customers at Rollac are looking to create some shade. From shop-front shade to protection from the harsh summer sun in their gardens, these coverings can fulfill that need. 

Yet sometimes, our customers are looking for an added feature besides the shade, including a covering with a business logo. This can easily be accomplished with a drop arm awning.

Weather & Climate 

Regardless of where you live, extreme weather, from heavy rains one day to searing heat the next, your drop arm awning will have to function and endure.

A good quality covering will be able to withstand these kinds of situations with ease. Make sure you take the time to research the type of awning you’re purchasing to know if it is designed for the climate you’re living in.  


How much space are your drop arm awnings going to occupy? Consider the awning size you'll need for your property. Smaller awnings are primarily used for decorative purposes, while larger ones are geared toward offering maximum shade protection.


Investing in a drop arm awning or any window covering can be expensive. But when you consider how much you’ll save on your home’s cooling bills, will this investment be cost-effective? That answer is something only you can determine.


The material of your drop arm awning is vital to consider. The fabric you choose will determine the level of maintenance your awning will require. Outdoor fabrics usually require the most maintenance since dirt and grime can accumulate on them over time.

If you live in the desert, you may choose an exceptionally durable material against the sun’s harsh rays. Or one that is highly water-repellant if you live in a rainy climate. 


Finally, do you want a drop arm awning that can only be operated manually, or would you prefer a retractable awning that can be operated remotely? If you wish for a motorized awning that you can use at your convenience, you may opt for a Rollac retractable awning featuring an app that can be downloaded to your smartphone. Once downloaded, you can open or close your awning with a simple tap of your phone.

Drop-Arm Cost

The cost of owning a drop-arm awning can vary greatly, from the fabric choice to whether it's motorized, its size, and the complexities around its installation.

On average, a 20x20 motorized retractable awning will cost nearly $10,000 to purchase and install. A manually operated awning of a similar size may cost only about $4,000.  

Then, there’s the task of the drop arm awning installation. At Rollac, we never recommend that homeowners or business owners install their drop arm awnings. 

Often, manufacturers require that professionals install their window coverings for proper warranty coverage and the user's safety. 

Rollac, Your Drop-Arm Awning Experts

Not all awning businesses are the same. Unfortunately, many enterprises claim they’re trustworthy and offer a high-quality product, but when push comes to shove, and you need your awning serviced, or there’s a problem, they’re nowhere to be found. 

Rollac is different. We have over 30 years of experience in the awning industry. Our loyal customer base knows that we produce a high-quality product tailored to your needs with customer service to support you should there be a problem or you have a question. Our company prides itself on our trustworthiness and knowledge of our products, including our drop arm awnings.

Get in touch for more information on how we can help you with your next awning purchase!