Outdoor Shade Awning Installation How-To

Outdoor awnings are a terrific way to lessen the glare of the sun and reduce the amount of ambient heat coming into the home. They are also decorative and provide an aesthetic improvement to a home’s exterior, deck, or, patio. If you are thinking of adding an outdoor awning to your home, you won’t need extensive contracting experience to do so. In fact, the whole project should take no more than a few hours to complete with the aid of a helping hand.

How to Install an Outdoor Awning for Shade

The great thing about an awning is it serves more than one function. These can be decorative, helping to continue an aesthetic theme of your backyard landscape. In addition, awnings are a cost-effective way of reducing energy use in your home.

Shade Awning Function

The shade an awning provides does much to protect the surface of a deck or patio, and, also protects outdoor furniture fabric from fading and becoming frail. It offers protection from falling debris and other objects while cooking outdoors on a grill.

Creative designers and architects can develop useful and intriguing designs for modern awning and canopy systems that incorporate shape, light, color, texture, graphics and structure, at modest cost. Most awning frames are custom made by cutting, bending and welding metal tubing, and fitting the fabric to the frame. With these custom methods, almost any shape and size can be attained and covered with awning fabric. Hence, the same surface can serve at least three necessary functions: weather protection, identification and architecture. —Awnings.com

If you attach an awning to your home’s exterior to extend over a deck or patio, you’ll also be providing the same protection from the sun on your interior flooring and any furniture that’s under the sun’s rays. In addition to these functions, an awning also does much for energy efficiency. Heat transfer is greatest in windows and doors, which are notorious among homeowners for being energy wasters. During the Sarasota summer months, this is especially important, as an awning can reduce heat transfer for southern windows and doors by 55 to 65 percent. For westerly-facing windows and doors, that figure climbs between 72 to 77 percent.

Do it Yourself Awning Installation

Installing an awning to extend over a patio or deck is not complicated. You really don’t need the skills of an experienced contractor, but, it definitely helps to be handy with common household tools. While you won’t need any specialize tools and/or construction skills, you will need a few key things to install an awning yourself:

What You’ll Need:

  • Helper
  • Ladders
  • Tape measure
  • Screw gun and screws
  • Caulking gun
  • Aluminum awning
  • Awning brackets
  • Drill and bits

Once you have all your tools and materials ready-to-go, you can then proceed with the installation.

Outdoor Shade Awning Installation Guide

Be sure to wear eye-protection and gloves; it is also beneficial to wear a dust mask if you are pre-drilling pilot holes to secure it to the exterior.

  1. Measure once, measure twice. Measure the space where the awning will hang. Write down the width and depth of the porch. Go to a home improvement store or shed retailer and purchase an aluminum awning that conforms to your porch’s size. It is far more cost- and time- efficient to purchase a prefabricated awning than attempting to scrounge up the necessary materials from different sources, buying each separately and matching them for uniformity.
  2. Get ready, get set, go. Situate one ladder under the porch eve and the other at the end of the awning. Run a straight-line bead of caulking along the porch eve with a caulking gun. While your helper holds the awning in place, secure it to the eve with screws using a screw gun. While your helper continues to hold the end of the awning up, climb onto the roof overlooking the awning. Spread more caulking between awning and the eve. This is known as the “marriage joint”.
  3. Finish the installation. Fold the awning brackets down, if applicable, and set the bracket cleat against the exterior wall of the house. If the brackets are not attached, affix them to the awning with screws, then caulk the screw holes from both sides to prevent rusting. You may have to drill pilot holes in the exterior wall with a drill and appropriate sized bit.

Depending on the size and type of awning you purchased and installed, it might be able to raise and lower it when desired. Some awnings are designed to retract, while others swing on hinge joints, so you can raise or lower them for maximum shade. If it is retractable or does close, it’s a good idea to secure it in the retracted or down position when a storm is forecast to approach.

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