Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Full-cassette awnings are very popular as shade providers, but are not universally known. Almost everyone is familiar with the term "conventional awning" as a practical sun protection. However, full-cassette awnings not only reliably protect their owners from UV radiation, but also themselves. Buying such a durable product therefore guarantees use for many years.

With our full cassette awning test 2021 we want to show you the different aspects of this sun protection system. In this article, you will find out whether this high-end version of the awning is suitable for you and which features are possible. We have also compared the best models and compared their advantages and disadvantages.




Summary

  • Full cassette awnings are characterised above all by their durability. When retracted, the awning is completely enclosed by the cassette and thus very well protected.
  • A distinction is made between manual and electric full cassette awnings. The latter can be somewhat more expensive, especially in combination with light strips and sensors.
  • When installing a full cassette awning, work must be carried out very precisely. Beforehand, the dimensions should be calculated exactly and the structure of the wall analysed.

The Best Full Cassette Awning: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for full cassette awnings

It is easy to lose track of the best full-cassette awning on websites or in catalogues. However, if you take the following criteria into account, you are sure to make the right choice:

Now you probably already have a few ideas in mind. You can read more about what these factors mean in the following.

Size

When you want a shaded area with a full cassette awning, the first question that usually comes up is the size.

In principle, the right size can be found for every surface. However, if the size deviates from the norm, it may be necessary to have the full cassette awning custom-made. This may result in a longer delivery time and a higher price.

However, most manufacturers now offer a wide range of prefabricated full-cassette awnings. The dimensions are between three and six metres in width and between two and four metres in depth - or "drop".

Another important point is to measure the area to be shaded thoroughly. Always add 50 cm to this measurement in depth, as the sun rarely shines vertically on the full cassette awning.

Material and colour

Another item on the checklist for the perfect full cassette awning is the material. The frame is usually made of aluminium, which is characterised by a low dead weight.

Especially with a full cassette awning, you should make sure that the aluminium is powder-coated. This makes the cassette extremely weather-resistant and offers optimal protection for the fabric.

The type of fabric varies depending on the model. Polyester or polyacrylic is usually used. The latter is generally more recommended because it is spinneret-dyed and thus very UV-resistant.

Polyester, on the other hand, fades very quickly, but is easier to wind than polyacrylic. That is why work has been done in recent years on a more durable polyester fabric that can now keep up with polyacrylic.

The colour can be chosen as desired. With a full cassette awning, it is a good idea to match the frame colour to the colour of the wall. This way, the cassette is not noticeable when closed and it looks as if the fabric is extending directly out of the wall.

For the fabric, most suppliers offer a choice between grey, beige, black and white. However, bright colours can also be selected and serve as an accent against the usually monotonous house wall.

The classic is the striped awning, with the stripes always running perpendicular to the roll.

Sun and rain protection

However, the full-cassette awning should also fulfil its functional aspect and provide optimum sun protection. If you pay attention to the specification 300 g/m2 for the fabric's weight per unit area, the best shading is guaranteed.

Attention: Wet fabrics should always be dried completely after rain.

A higher weight does not at the same time mean higher sun protection. The heavier the fabric, the greater the load on the articulated arms. This usually has a negative effect on the stability of the overall construction.

In addition, a full cassette awning can also be used as rain protection. It should be noted that conventional awnings are only water-repellent. However, a light to medium rain shower is no problem with impregnated models.

Only waterproof PVC tarpaulin fabric offers optimum rain protection, but this is less translucent and more difficult to roll up. This is why such models are rarely used in private households.

Incidentally, in terms of quality, attention should also be paid to wind resistance. For most full-cassette awnings, this is indicated in the form of a number from one to five, with category five models also withstanding strong winds.

Full-cassette awnings with a wind resistance category of two or higher are recommended.

Type of installation

Another important factor is how the sunshade is to be mounted. Due to the higher weight and complex system of the full cassette awning, it is always better to have the installation carried out by a professional.

However, you should know about the different types of installation before you buy. A distinction must be made between wall and ceiling mounting. Wall mounting is necessary, for example, for a terrace above which there is no ceiling projection.

One possibility is to mount the construction directly on the wall with sturdy dowels. However, there are also models with wall brackets. This means that the awning is clamped into a previously attached bracket system.

There are also special ceiling brackets for ceiling mounting. The advantage is that not all the weight has to be held when mounting.

With a little skill and the help of another person, this installation can also be carried out by non-professionals. If you want to install your full cassette awning yourself, you can read more tips below.

Practical extras

However, full cassette awnings not only provide shade, they can also do much more. Depending on the design, practical extras provide more comfort on your terrace.

For example, there are models with built-in sensors that provide your full-cassette awning with information about the current sun and wind intensity. When the sun is shining, the awning extends itself. If a thunderstorm is threatening and the wind is too strong, it automatically retracts again.

An automatically operated full cassette awning is also advantageous when you are on holiday, for example. It not only simulates a presence, but also protects plants and the interior from the sun and heat.

Built-in Led strips provide additional cosiness. Even mild summer evenings can be spent outside without having to switch on additional lamps.

There is also the option of solar panels on the full-cassette awning, which supply power to the designated sensors and lights.

Another practical feature is the adjustability of the tilt angle. When the sun is very low, some full-cassette awnings can be lowered slightly so that the shaded area does not lose size.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a full-cassette awning

As we have already seen, the purchase of a full cassette awning brings with it many difficulties. The following overview will answer all further questions in detail.

What is special about a full cassette awning and what advantages does it offer?

First of all, the special features of a full cassette awning should be emphasised. In contrast to a normal awning, it is more durable. When retracted, the fabric as well as the folding arms and the drive technology of a full cassette awning are completely protected.

This is what distinguishes it from a semi-cassette awning. The frame of a semi-cassette awning is open at the back so that moisture and dirt can penetrate. A full cassette, on the other hand, is closed on all sides and is therefore more weather-resistant.

Visually, too, it is the clear winner in competition with other awnings. With the right choice of colour, the fully enclosed cassette blends unobtrusively into the overall appearance. Unattractive screws or drive motors are completely hidden.

What types of full cassette awnings are there?

A distinction is made between manually controlled and electrically operated models. Since there is usually a big difference in price between the two, we would like to list their advantages and disadvantages.

Manual full cassette awning

Manual models usually have a crank handle that has to be operated by hand. The overall construction is therefore without electronics.

Advantages
  • Independence from electricity
  • Low price
  • Low weight
Disadvantages
  • No automatic operation
  • Physical effort (especially with larger awnings)

As mentioned, manual versions are usually somewhat cheaper. However, they are not very common. This is probably because full cassette awnings are more likely to be considered for larger areas and manual operation can be very laborious here.

Electric full cassette awning

If the awning is electrically operated, it will extend by itself. Most models can be operated by remote control. If you want even more comfort, there are also automatically operated full-cassette awnings.

Advantages
  • Convenient operation at the touch of a button
  • possibility of automatic operation
Disadvantages
  • Complex technology is susceptible to repair
  • Higher price
  • Higher weight

To combine the advantages and disadvantages of both types, there are also combination models. These are electrically operated and can be cranked by hand in the event of a power failure. Which type you choose ultimately depends on your wishes and circumstances.

Who are full cassette awnings suitable for?

The decision for a full cassette awning is a decision for sustainability and quality. Since the closed cassette offers optimum protection for all components of the awning, it will provide many years of sun protection.

Sonne strahlt durch ein großes Fenster in einen Raum.

Interiors can also be protected from heat and blinding sun rays by a full cassette awning. The view is preserved. (Image source: pixabay / Muntzir)

So if you're looking for a long-lasting shading option for your home, full cassette awnings are probably the best choice. They also offer stability that makes even large constructions possible. With a wide range of extras to choose from, there's also something for every budget.

What alternatives are there to a full cassette awning?

Besides full cassette awnings, there are also other ways to shade an area. If you are still in doubt about buying a full cassette awning, you can read the following overview of sun protection systems.

Type Description
Semi-cassette awning As already mentioned, this variant is similar to a full-cassette awning. The difference is that the cassette is open to one side, so the awning does not get the best protection.
Articulated arm awning With this model, the awning fabric is completely unprotected when retracted. However, the technology is the same as for cassette awnings. Manual or electrically operated versions are also available here.
Clamping awning This manually extendable sun protection has no folding arms. The clamp awning is characterised by its simple installation. However, it is more suitable for shading smaller areas.
Pergola This variant is a fixed patio cover. A pergola is particularly suitable for large areas and does not usually need to be extended. However, there are also models with a glass roof and extendable sunshade.
Sunshade The classic sunshade is an umbrella. It can be used anywhere, but must be moved depending on the position of the sun.

Among the types of sun protection systems listed, the full-cassette awning is probably one of the most popular. You must decide for yourself whether its countless functions pay off for you.

What does a full cassette awning cost?

The purchase of an awning should be planned well in advance. If you don't happen to find a suitable second-hand model, the purchase can be very expensive.

In the following, we will give you a financial framework so that you can guess the price advantage or disadvantage of a full cassette awning compared to other awnings.

Type Price range
Manual full cassette awning Approx. 800 - 2,000 euros
Electric full cassette awning Circa 1,000 - 3,000 euros

In general, the price range for awnings is very wide. High-quality models start at a price of €800. However, if you want a very large, electric full-cassette awning with many extras, the price can rise to over € 3,000.

Compared to half-cassette awnings, there is not much difference. The cheapest model is available from 500 €. However, with increasing size and the number of additional options, the prices also rise into the thousands.

However, a folding arm awning can bring a price advantage. Depending on the design, this costs between €300 and €1,000. As already described, however, the awning fabric is not protected by a cassette and will probably have to be replaced more quickly.

How do I install a full cassette awning and how do I adjust it correctly?

A number of things need to be taken into account when installing the awning. Therefore, it is recommended to have this done by a professional.

If you want to install your full cassette awning yourself for cost reasons, it is best to get help from one or two other people and follow our upcoming tips.

Before using glue, clean the drill holes with a hoover.

Before applying the adhesive, take a closer look at the wall. If it is an insulated wall, the installation is a little more complicated.

However, with a so-called insulation plaster mounting system, a stable attachment can be achieved here as well. Plastic spacers create a secure connection between the insulation, the supporting wall and the awning fastening.

Most full-cassette awnings are mounted using three fastening brackets. First, you should transfer their distance exactly to the wall and align the points horizontally with a spirit level.

Then centre the fixing brackets on the points and mark the holes for drilling. If spacers have to be used, a crown drill should also be available.

When drilling, the respective holes should always be checked with the spirit level. It may also be necessary to fix the fixing brackets additionally with a two-component adhesive.

This is the case, for example, with a brick wall. With a concrete wall, suitable dowels and screws are sufficient. An electric full cassette awning must also be connected to the mains.

Especially if the power cable first has to be laid from the inside to the outside, an electrician should be consulted. When everything has been professionally installed, the height and inclination of some awnings must be adjusted by hand.

How do I clean a full cassette awning?

With prolonged use, your awning will be exposed to some dirt. To keep the fabric clean, you should regularly wipe it with a damp cloth.

You can remove coarse dirt with a mild soap solution and a soft brush. Chemical cleaning agents and high-pressure cleaners should be avoided as they can discolour or damage the fabric.

Bunte Mikrofaser-Tücher

If you attach such damp microfibre cloths to a long handle of a conventional squeegee, you will have the perfect cleaning utensil for a full-cassette awning. (Image source: pixabay / annacapictures)

With a full cassette awning, the folding arms should also be maintained with silicone oil once or twice a year. This guarantees smooth extension for a long time.

Conclusion

Full cassette awnings are a somewhat more expensive investment, but it pays off. If you pay attention to the quality of the material, the weather resistance and some tips for installation, you will finally have the optimal sun protection. These are also available in various designs, so that a suitable full cassette awning can be found for every terrace.

With the option of various features such as Led elements or an automatic gear controlled by sensors, the full cassette awning ensures convenient handling. Your garden becomes an oasis of well-being.

Image source: Sukpaiboonwat / 123rf

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