How to Install Window Awnings

A window awning over any window can provide not only shade during sunny days and cooling properties to the inside of the home, they can also add to the exterior of a home. A window awning can also help in the energy savings cost of the home But how would you go about installing a window awning? And what type of window awning would you want, metal or fabric?

For the DIY crowd, this isn’t much of a project at all. For the rest of us not seasoned in DIY, or Do It Yourself, installing a window awning isn’t all that difficult as long as you follow directions. Most of the time window awnings can be purchased in kits. This means that all the needed hardware and material is already there, along with any required directions to help the DIY pro or amateur along. Installation of a window awning involves a few brackets, four valance screws, a few cotter pins, a few window awning pans and arms to hold the window awning in place when open.

Both types of awning, metal and fabric, involve attaching the arms that hold the window awning open to the house alongside the outside of the window frame. These arms, called “swingers”, attach directly to the studs beneath the siding of the home. There should be studs on either side of the window you are working with. The arms are put into place by brackets inserted into the studs.

The brackets being used should be secured to the studs, or a joist if available, with a 3/8 diameter lag which needs to drill into the frame to near 3″. The placement of the bracket should be as close to center in the stud as possible, and also high enough for the top of the window awning to clear the window casing. After placing the brackets you can then place the retracting arm. Make sure the arm is in the upright position as this is the easiest position to attach the arm to the house. This also allows any adjustment by way of the provided holes in the stringer arm. This will later allow the arm to easily slide out when opened.

Depending on if you use the metal or fabric window awning, the next steps for this DIY project are a little different. Again, most window awning kits come with directions so that this DIY project is made rather simple. It is advisable to read the directions over as many times as you need in order to understand them completely. Fabric window awnings have a roller tube which is used to store the fabric when the awning is in the closed, or upright, position. Metal window awnings simply use a pin setup to clip the window awning to the arm. When the arm closes the metal window awning will move down to cover the window.

Both types of window awning usually come with a locking mechanism which is at the top or middle of the arm where it connects to the awning itself. This locking device is used for when the window awning is in the open position and helps to keep the awning from slamming shut during heavy winds or excess weight from snow or debris. Some awnings, more likely the fabric window awning, have a locking mechanism that is placed where the swinger arm comes together. This formation allows the arm to slide in and out, thereby opening and closing the window awning.

In order to determine the proper height to mount the arms, take the projection of the window awning and subtract 3″. The dimension measured is the arm mounting height from the bottom of the mounting bracket to the bottom of the wall bracket. After you attain this measurement you need to place the arms along the wall of the house and mark the position. Then you may attach the arms to the brackets and the house. It is a good idea here to make use of a level if one is available. If either arm is lower than the other, your window awning may not open or close properly.

Installing a window awning is a simple DIY project that should not take more than a couple of hours during an afternoon. If you are really not comfortable with doing DIY work, you can call various service contractors who are familiar with window awning installation.

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