A Colorado Guide to Buying Patio Shades & Retractable Awnings

Colorado’s elevation and thin air produce intense sunlight and harmful UV rays. Our warm summers mean hot afternoons, especially for those with patios facing west and southwest, and our sunny days mean visual glare throughout the year. Patio shading provides comfortable outdoor living in Colorado, protected from UV year-round. Patio Shades and awnings really can change your quality of life!

Types of Patio Shading Solutions

Different outdoor living spaces call for versatility in shading products. Innovative Openings offers Oasis Patio Shades by Insolroll and KE Outdoor Living (Durasol) Retractable Awnings for solutions to every outdoor shading need.

Patio Roller Shades

Oasis Patio Shades offer outdoor living solutions for patios, pergolas, balconies, gazebos, and more. They provide shade, sun protection, and shielding from golf balls. Some even offer protection from insects.

Oasis® 2900 Retractable Insect Screen

Retractable Insect Screens

Insolroll’s Oasis 2900 Retractable Insect Screens feature a 4-sided seal to keep bugs out of your patio space. This shade protects against glare, heat, and UV and blocks insects, making your outdoor space usable all day.

Oasis 2900 Patio Enclosure Shades

Patio Enclosure Shades

The Oasis 2900 model can also be an enclosure solution for covered patio spaces. Zipper-captured fabric edges keep the fabric taut, enclose the area, and keep the weather at bay. You can choose between several fabrics, including privacy, insect, or solar screen fabric.

Oasis outdoor privacy shade screen for patios, porches, decks, pergolas, balcony, exterior

Outdoor Privacy Screen Shades for Patio Solutions

Do you have close neighbors? Is your patio next to an urban trail, road, or sidewalk? Oasis Privacy Patio Screen Shades can enhance your privacy. Solar screen and insect fabrics significantly decrease the view outside the patio for enhanced daytime privacy. Certain fabrics can block all view-through, inside and out, for privacy day or night. You can even choose which fabrics to use on different sides of your patio, blocking the view on one side and allowing view-through on others.

Retractable Patio Awnings

We’ve got two styles of awning solutions for patio shading without a covered structure. Retractable arm awnings mount to one side of a patio and extend over it. Retract the fabric canopy to protect the fabric when you’ve finished using the space or when the sun is no longer a problem. Pinnacle One retractable structure awnings provide their own structure to support the awning canopy with a free-standing leg and track system. Retractable structure awnings can extend up to 16 feet into the patio space.

Pinnacle Pergola awning over back patio

Retractable Pergola Awnings

If you have a pergola structure over your patio area, you know that the beams don’t always provide enough shade. The Pinnacle Two Pergola Awning by KE Durasol Outdoor Living provides a complete canopy for shade even during the hottest parts of the day.

Block the sun and not the view

Exterior Window Shades

The most effective way to block heat from entering a home through the windows is on the outside. Oasis Exterior Roller Shades stop the sun before it hits the glass, reducing interior heat gain even more than an interior shade can.

How to Add Patio Shading to Your Home

Request a free in-home design appointment with Innovative Openings.

Our consultant will visit your home, learn about your needs and space, and recommend the best solutions.

Choose your product solution, fabric, operator, and hardware. Once a purchase is complete, our expert service team will install your patio shades or awning.

What are the Benefits of Patio Shades & Exterior Window Shades?

Sun Protection

Patio shades and retractable awnings offer protection against harmful UV rays. Reduce the risk of skin conditions caused by prolonged sun exposure and decrease furniture fading and degradation caused by extended sun exposure.

Temperature Regulation

By blocking direct sunlight, patio shades and awnings can help to maintain a cooler temperature on your patio or outdoor space. They prevent excessive heat buildup while allowing airflow, creating a more comfortable environment for relaxation and outdoor activities.

Energy Efficiency

Patio shades and retractable awnings enhance energy efficiency and savings by reducing the amount of heat entering your home through windows adjacent to the patio. Exterior window shades do the same for other windows. They can lower the workload on air conditioning systems, reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills.

Privacy Enhancement

Installing patio shades and retractable awnings provides additional privacy for your outdoor area. Solar fabrics limit the view from the outside but allow you to see outward. Translucent material allows light to flow through the shade while blocking the view, allowing you to enjoy your patio without feeling exposed to neighbors or passersby. Awning fabrics block UV and provide shade to reduce heat and glare.

Glare Reduction

Patio shades effectively reduce glare caused by direct sunlight, making it easier to enjoy your outdoor space without squinting or straining your eyes.

Aesthetics and Style

Patio shades and retractable awnings enhance the visual appeal of your patio from the outside and inside. Fabrics, colors, and hardware can be customized to complement your existing outdoor décor, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to your outdoor living space. In new construction applications, shades can be built-in to stay out of sight when unused.


Patio shades and retractable awnings are available in different configurations to provide solutions for covered and uncovered patios, with wood construction, stucco, masonry, columns, posts, railings, and other architectural features. All provide shade on-demand and full retraction, allowing you to adjust the shade or sunlight as desired. This adaptability will enable you to create the ideal ambiance for various occasions and times of day.

Patio Shades Can Lengthen Your Patio Day and Season

Patio shades allow you to extend the usability of your outdoor space throughout the year. Whether it’s a hot summer day or a mild winter afternoon, patio shades enable you to enjoy your patio more frequently and for extended periods.

Exterior-grade Durability

High-quality patio shading is durable, fade-resistant, and can withstand the elements. Innovative Openings’ products offer long-lasting performance and value.

Easy Installation and Maintenance

Our patio shades and retractable awnings are customized to fit your patio and professionally installed. Maintenance is simple, with occasional inspections and regular cleaning ensuring smooth operation of any retractable parts.

Patio Shade Gallery

Patio Shade & Awning FAQ

What is an outdoor shade?

Outdoor shades include Patio Shades and Exterior Window Shades. Both are installed on a home’s exterior, mounted to a patio structure or above the exterior window frame.

What is a patio awning?

Awnings are overhead shades, retractable from the side attached to an existing structure or one that is part of the awning itself. Awnings can be supported by lateral ‘arms’ underneath the canopy or with a track system on the top of a pergola or freestanding structure.

What type of outdoor shading is best for patios in Colorado?

The best outdoor shading choice first depends on whether or not you have a covered structure, and whether you need shade from the top, sides, or both. Patio shades provide cover and shade on the sides of a space and require some kind of structure for mounting. Fabrics make a significant difference in heat and glare protection as well as view-through or privacy. Models with head boxes and built-in shades provide the best protection from Colorado’s intense solar UV for fabrics when not in use.

Awnings provide overhead shading, and can be used with existing structure or without.

Does rain go through patio shades?

While lowered patio shades do decrease or even block rain from passing through (depending on fabric choice), shades should not be left down during weather events involving wind or potential wind. Sitting on your patio in light rain without windy conditions, you will experience less rain inside the space. It is recommended to retract shades when not in use, and in any windy conditions to prevent damage and maintain intact warranty.

Can awnings be used in the rain?

During light rain, awnings will provide some rain protection depending on the angle of the rain and your position under the canopy. However, awnings should not be left down during weather events involving wind or potential wind to prevent damage.

How do you clean patio shades and awnings?

For loose dust and dirt, most outdoor shades can be gently hosed off. Exterior fabrics can be wiped with a soft damp cloth to remove dust and dirt, but solvents should not be used. Do not spray operation mechanisms with water.

How do you install outdoor shading?

Patio shades and Insect Shades are installed mounted on existing patio structures. Insect Shades require more technical precision, and all Innovative Openings patio shades and awnings are professionally installed by our trained service team.

Awnings are also professionally installed on the side of a home or building or on top of a pergola to extend over a patio space. Multiple installers are required.

How do I keep my patio shades from blowing in the wind?

“Light breezes” and “wind” are 2 different things. Patio shades or awnings should not be lowered or left deployed/lowered in wind events. Oasis Patio Shades are designed to be held in place in light to moderate breezes by one of 4 fabric retention systems: cable guide, track guide, zipper track, and bungee hold-downs. Use discretion and err on the side of caution to protect your shades and warranty.

How much wind can a patio shade or awning withstand?

Patio shades and awnings are not designed to provide wind protection. Gentle to moderate breezes are fine for regular operation, but damage from wind is not covered by exterior product warranties.

What is the best material for outdoor patio shades?

Outdoor-grade fabrics for shades and awnings resist mold, mildew, fading, and tearing. The most durable outdoor fabrics are made of vinyl, acrylic, and fiberglass.

Should I lower my patio shades or extend my awning at night?

No. Awnings and shades should be retracted/rolled up when not in use. They should also be retracted or rolled up during any weather events. Motorized shades and awnings can be retracted via app-based control from anywhere Wi-Fi or mobile service is available. If you forget to raise or retract them, you can take care of it from work or another country with a simple screen tap.

Can you see through patio shades at night?

Privacy during the day or night is dependent on fabric choice. Solar screen fabrics enhance daytime privacy but the interior space can be viewed through the shade at night. Translucent fabrics cannot be seen through day or night, although shadows may be cast on the fabric if the interior is lit. Awnings do not provide privacy, day or night.

Have another question?

Contact us and we’ll get you the answer.