How To Install An Awning
Installing a temporary awning on your home is not rocket science. It can be accomplished by the average do it yourselfer as a weekend project. If attention is paid to measurements, leveling and secure fastening, this project will go easily. Expect to have a helper for this installation. Here, we will discuss how to install an awning, the tools needed and the process.
Choosing the Design
The first step is choosing the right awning to meet your needs. Every awning manufactured has a minimum mounting height. It wouldn't hurt to also consult local agencies to determine whether they have rules and regulations for awning installation, either. The choice of color and material would be made now. Budget restraints may mean looking for alternatives to what you have in mind. When everything is determined, proceed with installation.
The Tools Needed
Because installation doesn't require specialized tools, everything to attach an awning can be found in almost any home workshop. These are:
- Tape measure
- Suitable ladder
- Drill with appropriate drill bits
- Required sockets and ratchet
- Caulking gun and appropriate caulk for the job
- Eye protection
- A helper
- Mounting hardware
Follow manufacturer's manual to determine appropriate drill bits and caulk to use for the installation.
Making the Measurements
Two measurements that are particularly important are finding the center of the door and center of the awning. The next consideration is making sure that the door will fully open when the awning is installed. This is vital because for one, you don't want to restrict door movement, and you want to avoid possible damage to the awning if the door is slammed open. Follow these steps:
- Find exact center of door, and mark it on the wall.
- Find exact center of awning, and mark appropriately. The best method for this is measuring the wire frame.
- Measure up from floor or ground 74" to 84". This measurement will be for the bottom line of the awning.
- With a helper, hold the awning in place referencing measurement marks. Check to see that the door is not constricted in movement.
Different manufacturers have different installation types. Some use a solid pre-formed mounting bar, others use mounting tabs which the awning forms mount into. We will go with the preformed bar in this installation.
- Put the mounting bar into place, insuring your measurements and mounting points are level. At one end, fasten the mounting bar using appropriate hardware.
- Go to the other end, insure that the mounting bar in level, and fasten this end.
- Fasten other mounting bolts as referenced in the installation manual.
- Caulk the mounting bar around its edges to prevent moisture and insects from getting behind bar.
In this example, the mounting bar and front trim, which the canopy rafters attaches to, are pre-installed to the fabric. This will ease installation significantly. Let's proceed to installing the remaining hardware.
Installing the hardware
This installation will use camel back brackets to attach support arms and outer canopy rafters. Two of the rafters - on edges of canopy - serve as mounting points for the support arms.
- Attach the support arms to the camel back bracket already mounted on the edge canopy rafter at the front of the awning. Be sure to put the head of the bolt on the outside to avoid tearing fabric.
- Repeat on opposite side.
- Attach outer canopy rafters to pre-installed front edge trim. Insure that the canopy supports are oriented on the outside of rafter.
- Attach both outer canopy rafters to top trim.
- Attach center canopy rafter to front trim, and then to top trim.
We're ready to mount the canopy to the house. Follow these steps:
- Attach the 2 remaining camel back brackets to the opposite end of the support arms. These will attach to the house after initial adjustments.
- Mount top trim in channel of the mounting bracket and allow the awning to hang. It will stay locked in the mounting channel.
- Measure accurately down from mounting trim to the point recommended by the manufacturer.
- Mount camel back brackets to the house, insuring that the screws penetrate the sheathing.
- Attach support arms to camel back brackets.
- Using machine screws, lock the back trim to the mounting trim.
If you have followed the instructions correctly, all that will be needed to do after installation is tweaking up level adjustments for uniformity. Quality awnings will have adjustment bolts for this. Simply loosen the lock nut, screw the adjuster in or out to insure the canopy is level, and tighten the lock nut.
An awning offers protection from damaging sun, and adds value to your home. Installation is easy. Consider adding some awning to your home for the spring retrofit.