Sonya Awning April 06th, 2018 - 11:49:03
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.
How much shade coverage is required. What the width of the awning should be, based on the shade area. Add at least 12 inches to maximize coverage for sun and rain protection. How far out the awning extends (the projection), based on the shade area. There is a natural slope to an awning, so the actual shade is several inches shorter than the full projection. How high to mount the awning. Because of the awnings slope, the front of the awning is lower than the mounting position; this difference is the drop. The recommended drop is 3 inches per foot of projection. So, if the awning has a 12-foot projection, the drop is about 36 inches. To get a 7-foot clearance under the front bar, the awning has to be mounted at least 10 feet high. Scout out a mounting place that is free of obstructions (no lights, gutters, wiring, or ornamentation) and has adequate clearance around any doors or windows. For screens, make sure that any doors swing away from the screen. For retractable awnings, make sure the awning can extend its full projection without running into a tree, patio, roofline, or fence.
Longevity. Fixed awnings have a fabric lifetime of five years or less because of constant exposure to the sun, snow, rain, and wind, all of which can fade or tear the fabric. Retractable awnings have a huge advantage in being able to retract - the fabric can be protected in adverse weather conditions. Combined with options like a motor and sensors (for light, wind, rain, and motion), the awning can be closed automatically in conditions which would normally damage the fabric or frame. Retracting the awning when its not in use, like on shady or cold days, cuts down on sun damage to the fabric from UV exposure. With a retractable awning, the average lifetime for the fabric is 15 years - three times better than a fixed awning. Since retractable awning frames have warranties of up to 25 years and motors have warranties up to 5 years, motorized retractable awnings offer a really excellent cost investment.
Installation in a Few Easy Steps The general installation process for both traditional retractable awnings and drop screens is pretty simple: attach the correct number of mounting brackets using the appropriate fixing and insert the torsion (square) bar. The simplicity of installing awnings is what makes them ideal for do-it-yourself weekend projects. The exact installation steps, naturally, vary depending on the awning being installed (so always read the manufacturers specific instructions!), but these are the general processes. For a drop screen:1. Assemble the screen itself, putting together the roller (called the headerbox), similar to an old-fashioned shade.2. Install the mounting brackets at the top and around the door frame or the beam of the gazebo or porch.3. Snap in the headerbox, making sure that the bottom rail of the screen is toward the inside of the room.4. If there are vertical side guides, measure and cut them according to the height of the opening, and then screw them in place and snap them in position with the headerbox. If there are guide wires, screw the bottom brackets into place, and attach the wires to the cassette. Be sure everything is level and plumb.