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Is it Worth it to Buy Motorized Patio Shades?

Retractable patio screens or shades offer an ideal way to enjoy your outdoor space in a way that lets you have some control over your environment. Lift them up or pull them down to accommodate your comfort.

But is it worth it to buy motorized retractable shades rather than manually operated ones? What are the pros and cons of both manual and motorized shades?

Manually-Operated Patio Shades

Manually-operated patio shades cost less than motorized ones and are a good option if you don’t have a power source near your outdoor space. Depending on the material used for the shade itself, manually-operated patio shades offer the same or similar protection from the hot, bright sun. You don’t have to remember where you put the remote, so you’re able to better control the operation of the shades. 

But with the exception of some brands that operate on a track, most manually-operated patio shades do not offer bug or wind protection. The ones that are moved up and down on a cable or rod system must be put away if there’s any threat of a storm, and because they don’t use a track glide, there are gaps between the shades that let bugs and wet rain infiltrate your space.

Additionally, because manual shades require arm strength and reach to be able to lift and lower them, it may prove difficult for some people to operate them. And because the shades are heavier and more difficult to operate in larger sizes, you may not be able to find them in the size you require. 

Then, there’s the issue of safety. If the shades have pull cords, they could pose a safety hazard for small children or pets. And shades that can be operated without a remote control could come crashing down unexpectedly, so you must be careful to keep your most vulnerable household inhabitants away from the shades

If you’re on a strict budget, don’t have access to electricity, need the shades only for sun and privacy protection, and have the means to keep your kids and pets away, then manually-operated patio shades may be right for you.

Motorized Patio Screens

While motorized patio shades do cost more than manually-operated ones and you’re at the mercy of a properly functioning remote-control system to operate them, quality motorized patio shades have many advantages over their manual counterparts.

Better Environmental Control Over Your Outdoor Space

Motorized patio screens run on a track outfitted by two walls or borders. That means there’s no gaps or spaces where bugs can enter. And although screens can’t completely block out moisture and wind, the elimination of those gaps make it much more comfortable to sit outdoors while the weather is inclement. In fact, some high-quality patio screens allow you to retain heat in your outdoor space during cooler outside conditions.

High-quality motorized patio screens offer superior wind protection and can withstand winds up to 85 miles per hour. You’ll be able to enjoy your outside space more often with the best brands of motorized patio shades.

Better Safety Features

There’s no worry of a heavy weight bar crashing to the ground when retractable shades are operated by remote control. And superior motorized patio screens have motion detectors installed to prevent the screen lowering if it senses an obstruction in its path.

More Size Options

If you have an unusually wide space to cover, it will be difficult to find a manually-operated retractable patio shade to accommodate it because very large screens are too heavy to lift and lower. If you want to provide shade and weather protection for a large deck or patio, motorized screens will offer a bigger selection from which to choose.

Greater Convenience

You’re able to convert your outdoor space into an “indoor” room much more quickly and easily with motorized patio screens, and if a physical condition prevents you from operating a crank or pull system, you’ll want to choose retractable porch screens that go up or down at the push of a button.

High-Quality Motorized Patio Screens in Austin

Shade Outdoor Living Solutions is proud to offer the MagnaTrack line of retractable, motorized patio screens. These remote-controlled shades are sturdier and safer than other motorized brands due to a rope tension system that is almost impervious to force from high wind gusts to a rowdy game of football in your yard. The MagnaTrack system also has a motion-detector built in to prevent the shade from crushing people or objects in its view.


MagnaTrack patio shades are easy to use and even easier to enjoy. Contact us to speak with one of our expert technicians who can find the outdoor solution that will work best for you.

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