This is a common question home & business owners ask themselves. Here are some pros and cons for consideration.
Can be a low cost, quick option. Need replacing often, provide limited shade and blow over in light to moderate winds creating a dangerous situation.
Some high end umbrellas are high cost and have titling mechanisms so they can be adjusted as the sun moves through the sky. This allows you to still get shade at certain times of the day.
Umbrellas can be closed when you want the sun.
Umbrellas must be closed in rain and high winds.
Small umbrellas are easy to remove and store for the winter.
Investment professional a grade awning is more than an entry level umbrella but can be comparable to high end umbrellas.
Certain models can address sun exposure from several directions so you don't have to 'chase' the shade.
Retractable Awnings open or close at the press of a button.
Many Retractable Awnings can't be used in the rain or high winds.
A few models can be used in the wind and rain
These awnings 'self store' when not in use.
Stationary & Pergola Awnings with Roll Up Enclosures:
Can be higher cost but offer more weather protection & shade
These awnings have sturdy frames.
Can be designed for 3 season or year round use.
Maximum shade and weather protection by adding roll up side panels made from clear vinyl or solar mesh fabric
Designed for rain and wind.
May need permits and/or footings
Some products are designed for very strong inclement weather and perfect for businesses and restaurants.