Difference Between Metal Awnings vs. Aluminum Awnings

Storefront Metal Awning Shade System

The choice between metal and aluminum awnings depends on several factors, including budget, strength, and aesthetic preferences. Metal awnings offer superior strength and durability but come at a higher price point. Aluminum awnings, on the other hand, are more affordable and lightweight, making them easier to install. Understanding these distinctions will help you make an informed decision that meets your shading solution requirements and needs. .

Given the myriad of benefits they offer, awnings – whether metal or aluminum – are an essential investment for a significant number of businesses aiming to enhance their premises’ appeal and functionality.

Awnings provide structural protection against weather elements, significantly reducing maintenance costs. Aluminum awnings, with their corrosion-resistant properties, are particularly beneficial in humid climates. Metal awnings, on the other hand, are robust and durable, offering long-term value.

A Quick Look at Different Awning Structure Options

When it comes to awning structures, there are two main options to consider: metal awnings and aluminum awnings. Both types have their own unique characteristics and benefits, but it is important to understand these differences in order to choose the right option for your specific needs.

CharacteristicsAluminum AwningsMetal Awnings
WeightLighter, easier to installHeavier, requires more support
DurabilityCorrosion-resistant, less durableMore durable, susceptible to rust
MaintenanceRequires routine careLess maintenance, may need occasional treatment
AppearanceModern, wide range of designsTraditional, limited design options
CostGenerally more affordableTypically more expensive, longer lifespan

What are Metal Awnings?

Metal awnings are a type of awning made from steel or other metals. They are known for their superior strength and durability, making them an ideal choice for commercial applications and areas prone to strong winds. Metal awnings require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan, often lasting up to 30 years. They are commonly used in commercial applications, such as shopping center car parks and sporting fields, due to their sturdiness and ability to support heavy commercial-grade PVC fabrics.

Metal awnings are generally more expensive than aluminum awnings and may require occasional treatment to maintain their original finish.
Storefront Metal Awning Shade System

Key Features of Metal Awnings:

With their sturdy construction and long-lasting durability, metal awnings are a popular choice for providing protection and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of buildings. Here are some key features of metal awnings:

  • Durability: Metal awnings are built to last, with some models able to withstand harsh weather conditions, including sleet, snow, and hail.

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Metal awnings can develop an attractive patina over time, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your property.

  • Minimal Maintenance: Unlike other materials, metal awnings require little to no maintenance, making them an ideal choice for those seeking convenience and longevity.

Pros & Cons of Metal Awning Structure

Durable and long-lastingExpensive upfront cost
Resistant to weather conditionsLimited design options
Low maintenanceCan be noisy during heavy rain or wind
Provides excellent shade and protectionDifficult to install on certain structures
Energy efficient, reduces cooling costsCan be prone to rust if not properly maintained
Adds value to the propertyDifficult to customize or modify after installation
Fire resistantMay require professional installation

With their strength, durability, and low maintenance requirements, metal awnings are an excellent choice for those seeking a long-lasting and reliable option for their outdoor space. However, it is important to consider the higher cost and occasional treatment required.

What are Aluminum Awnings?

Aluminum awnings are a popular choice for both residential and commercial applications due to their light weight, ease of installation, and corrosion resistance. They accept finishes well, enabling a range of aesthetic options, and can be mounted to various exterior materials.

They are commonly used in residential settings and offer a range of styles and types to choose from, making them suitable for various applications such as patios, doors, and windows. Despite these advantages, they may lack the durability and longevity of their metal counterparts, necessitating careful consideration when selecting for specific use cases.

Key Features of Aluminum Awnings

Characterized by their lightweight nature and affordability, aluminum awnings are versatile structures, typically used for outdoor shade and protection against weather elements. They are easy to install due to their light weight and can be attached to various exterior surfaces.

Key features of aluminum awnings include:

  • Durability: Despite being lightweight, aluminum awnings are fairly durable and resistant to corrosion. They also require less maintenance compared to other types of awnings.

  • Versatility: Aluminum awnings come in various styles, sizes, and finishes, allowing for customization to suit different architectural styles.

  • Eco-Friendly: Aluminum is a recyclable material, making aluminum awnings a more environmentally friendly option compared to other awning materials.

Despite the many benefits, aluminum awnings may be prone to denting and may require waterproofing to prevent rusting.

Pros & Cons of Aluminum Awning Structure

AffordableRequire more maintenance due to susceptibility to rust and denting
Readily availableShorter lifespan compared to metal awnings
Environmentally friendlyRigid design might not complement all architectural styles
Easy to install

Overall, aluminum awnings are affordable, readily available, environmentally friendly, easy to install, and versatile. However, they require more maintenance due to their susceptibility to rust and denting, and have a shorter lifespan compared to metal awnings. They also have a rigid design that might not complement all architectural styles. Despite these shortcomings, aluminum awnings remain a viable option for those seeking a cost-effective, eco-friendly solution for their shading needs.
metal awning nyc

Understanding the Difference Between Metal vs Aluminum Awning Structure

When comparing metal and aluminum awnings, several key factors should be considered: weight, durability, finishes, style, and affordability.

Metal awnings, often constructed from steel, are heavier and potentially more durable, but may require additional maintenance to prevent rust.

Conversely, aluminum awnings are lighter and more corrosion-resistant, offering a broad range of finishes and styles, making it a more cost-effective solution for many homeowners.


While aluminum awnings are generally lighter and easier to handle due to the inherent properties of aluminum, metal awnings, particularly those made from steel, tend to be heavier, potentially necessitating additional support during installation. The weight of the awning material is a critical consideration in terms of installation, structural support, safe handling, and durability.


The durability of an awning, whether constructed from metal or aluminum, plays a crucial role in its performance, lifespan, and overall value to the homeowner.

Aluminum awnings, due to their corrosion-resistant properties and protective layer formed from mild corrosion, require less maintenance and offer years of service. However, steel awnings, while heavier and providing a historic aesthetic, can rust in humid climates, even with protective treatments.


Both materials can have various finishes, with aluminum accepting finishes well, leading to a wider range of options. The finish on both aluminum and metal awnings can provide protection against rust, corrosion, or discoloration, adding not only to their visual appeal but also their longevity.

  • Aluminum finishes: Known for their flexibility in design, offering a modern flair.
  • Metal finishes: Often provide a more traditional, sometimes historic, look.


In considering the stylistic differences between metal and aluminum awnings, one must take into account not only the visual appeal of each material but also how they blend into the overall architecture of the building. Both materials can be styled to match various building aesthetics. However, aluminum awnings are more versatile and can be configured into modern or traditional styles, while metal awnings often provide a historic feel.

MaterialStyle Considerations
AluminumOffers a range of styles, from modern to traditional, and accepts finishes well, allowing for a range of color options
MetalUsually provides a more historic feel, can be finished to protect from rust and discoloration

Each style has its own merits and should be chosen based on the building’s architecture and the owner’s preferences.


Balancing cost-effectiveness and quality, both aluminum and metal awnings present unique advantages in terms of affordability, but their overall value is contingent upon factors such as durability, maintenance, and lifespan.

  • Aluminum awnings, being lighter and easier to install, are often more affordable upfront. Their maintenance needs, however, could potentially increase their long-term cost.

  • Steel metal awnings, while typically more expensive initially, offer a robust durability that may extend their lifespan, potentially making them a cost-effective solution in the long run.

Which One is Right for You?

Determining the right choice between metal and aluminum awnings hinges on several factors such as your home’s architectural style, your weather protection needs, your budget, and your preference for durability versus ease of installation.

metal awning vs aluminum awning

Here is a comparison table for your consideration:

Metal AwningsAluminum Awnings
CostGenerally more expensive, but offers greater durabilityMore affordable, with easy installation but may require more maintenance
DurabilityCan last up to 30 years with minimal maintenanceNot as durable, may be prone to rust and denting
AppearanceOffers a traditional aesthetic, ideal for matching with any home exteriorProvides a modern flair, best for contemporary home designs

Carefully evaluate these factors, ensuring the chosen awning meets your safety requirements, fits your budget, and complements your home’s architecture.

Reach Out to Signs New York for Commercial Awnings

For comprehensive awning solutions, consider reaching out to our experienced team at Signs New York, a trusted provider of commercial awnings. We offer tailored solutions for retail stores, restaurants, and office buildings, enhancing curb appeal while providing energy savings and weather protection.

Signs New York’s services include:

  • Customized design and fabrication of awnings, ensuring a perfect fit for your commercial property.
  • Removal and installation of awnings, performed by a skilled and insured team.
  • Repair and refacing of old awnings, extending the lifespan and maintaining the look of your investment.

With knowledge of industry standards and materials, we provide safe and reliable awning solutions.

Reach out to Signs New York today for your commercial awning needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Environmental Impacts of Using Aluminum vs. Metal Awnings?

Aluminum awnings are more environmentally friendly than metal ones, as they are lighter, easier to produce, and recyclable. Metal awnings, while durable, require more resources to manufacture and are not as easily recyclable.

How Often Should Maintenance Be Done on Aluminum and Metal Awnings?

Aluminum awnings typically require annual maintenance, while metal awnings need less frequent servicing due to their superior durability. However, both types should be inspected regularly for any signs of damage or wear.

Can Either Aluminum or Metal Awnings Be Painted or Customized for Aesthetic Purposes?

Yes, both aluminum and metal awnings can be painted for aesthetic customization. However, proper preparation and suitable paint are necessary to ensure adherence and durability of the finish in outdoor conditions.

Are There Specific Climates or Locations Where One Type of Awning Is More Beneficial Than the Other?

In climates with high humidity or salinity, aluminum awnings are more beneficial due to their corrosion-resistance. Conversely, metal awnings may be preferable in areas with extreme weather conditions for their superior strength and durability.

How Does the Installation Process Differ Between Aluminum and Metal Awnings?

Aluminum awnings, due to their lightweight nature, are simpler and quicker to install. Conversely, metal awnings are heavier, necessitating more structural support and a potentially more complex installation process. Both require professional installation for safety and durability.


In conclusion, the choice between metal and aluminum awnings depends on the specific needs and preferences of each consumer.

While aluminum awnings offer affordability and lightweight structure, metal awnings provide superior durability, longevity, and lower maintenance requirements, making them ideal for commercial applications.

A well-informed decision, taking into account these key differences, can lead to a cost-effective, durable, and aesthetically pleasing outdoor solution.

For example, a café in a harsh weather region would benefit more from a metal awning due to its resilience and longevity.

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