I previously had a large retractable awning installed over my terrace which was clearly not the appropriate solution for the job.
We generally had the awning open all summer. After five years, the awning was ripped and the engine inoperable. When I spoke with the representative from Carroll Awning, he explained why a retractable awning was not appropriate for our usage, and the limitations of the functions of retractable awnings. That is, retractable awnings are not intended to provide anything other than shelter from the sun, not from the rain, and they should be retracted when not in use. This was something the prior awning company had never explained.
As a result, we had a permanent frame built with an awning that can be put up in the spring and taken down in the fall. They are far sturdier, not as vulnerable to wind, and provide shelter from rain. They can even be left up in the winter if you so choose. It is a more expensive, but far more durable solution.
Carroll Awning was professional, helpful, and the end product was without question worth the additional money. I have recommended them since then to clients of mine, who were also quite satisfied.