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Sonya Awning April 29th, 2018 - 12:05:11
The urge to create something new and eye-catching on the blank slate of a home is powerful. As is the urge to save some money and maximize ones efforts. Whether its a change to landscaping, a roof garden, or a casual seating area for customers, retractable awnings or drop screens are an ideal project for do-it-yourselfers because they make a very dramatic difference with relatively little effort. The Planning Stage A major part of installing a retractable awning is finding the perfect place to install it. Retractable awnings are much easier to install than fixed awnings or canopies because they are only mounted on a wall - no need to dig post holes or put in a foundation or grounding - so they can be installed over existing pavements, patios, decks, hot tubs, and gazebos, as well as doors and windows. Retractable awnings are suited to any location where sun, glare, UV rays, or light rain protection is required.
There are also dozens of different accessories for retractable awnings which make them easier to operate. A couple of common ones: Anemometer - a device which monitors wind speed; this is used with wind sensors. Sensors - devices which monitor different atmospheric conditions and trigger the motor to retract or extend the awning accordingly; there are four major kinds of sensors, including sun (light) sensors, wind sensors, rain sensors, and motion sensors (which monitor movements, such as wind gusts) Motor - a device which automatically moves the awning; motors are enclosed in the roller tube.Terms: Materials The retractable awning materials are the true indicator of quality - because the kind of materials used translates into quality, not the expense of the materials. For the fabric, there are two major categories of fabrics:
PVC - a hard polymer also used to make plumbing pipes; this tends to be brittle. Kevlar® - the polymer used to make bulletproof vests; Kevlar® straps in the arms instead of cables are extremely strong and durable and cant rust. Cables - braided metal strands which are used in the arms; these are usually steel, which rusts, leading the cables to discolor the fabric and eventually break. Cables cannot be replaced because they are internal to the arm and inaccessible. Terms: Installation Understanding a few terms about the positioning and installation of the awning can help determine the appropriate size and installation location for your awning: o Mount - what way or location the awning is affixed to the home or building, such as a wall mount, eave mount, soffit, or roof mount. Pitch - the angle that the awning comes down from the mount point to the front bar. Some lateral arm retractable awnings have an adjustable pitch. Projection - how far out from the wall the awning can extend. Load - the stress put on the awning, from wind, snow, even the weight of the awning itself (dead load). Good quality retractable awnings can sustain wind speeds up to approximately 35mph Pooling - water buildup on the canopy which can cause the fabric to sag and stretch.
One important note for drop screens: not every manufacturer has a do-it-yourself style, so make sure you dont need a contractor before ordering the screen. A retractable awning installation is slightly more complicated than a screen installation, so follow the manufacturers instructions:1. Locate the bricks, rafters, studs, or joists to which to mount the awning.2. Install a pressure-treated board at the install location if mounting onto siding. It is extremely important that the awning be mounted on a flat, level surface, which isnt always possible with siding, shingles, and brick. 3. Install the mounting brackets, with the end brackets about three inches inside the edge of the awning and the other brackets evenly spaced between them. The number of mounting brackets depends on the width and projection of the specific retractable awning. 4. Install and attach the optional hood about 1 inch above awning location. 5. Lift the retractable awning, and insert it in the mounting brackets.6. Tighten the retaining bolts.