Retractable awnings

Has anyone had any experience with retractable awnings?
We are enclosing a second-floor balcony which faces south. It gets pretty much constant sun from about 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. We are considering putting a retractable awning over the large bay window.
Can anyone recommend a good brand and a good vendor?
Also, are these things durable? I don't mind paying for quality, but I don't want to put up something that will look like junk in a year or two.
Do they have mechanical problems?
Does the fabric fade and need to be replaced? How often?
Thanks for any help or suggestions.
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I haven't but looked at a house that had one. Evidently a common problem is leaving it down, and then a wind storm comes and rips the thing off the house. Various vendors have counter measures to keep this from happening, I think. A timer that retracts it for instance.
-- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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I'd look for businesses that have them, and get recommendations/comments/warnings from them.
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wrote:

Awnings allow you to get fresh air with a pretty good view and without a lot of sunlight. Retracting them allows a better view. That all seems good to me.
We had them from 1957 to 1965. In Indianapolis. The windows faced east. We (I) took them off when the sun was no longer too hot. (fall). We had casement windows so there was an additional part in each awning, and they were heavy, but not so heavy I couldn't do it myself. They were steel and canvas, and were several years old when we bought the house. They were still good when we sold the house, but the canvas was thick too. I suppose that made them last longer.

That's all day, not just moring like for us. What other option do you have for keeping the heat out?

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