A foldable awning is a shade that is used in houses and shops to cover a patio or a deck. It is mostly controlled with a remote and installed either on the outside windows or doors of shops and houses. Since it’s a protruding coverage outside the window or door, it helps in controlling the house’s temperature during summers, by controlling the sun rays. Carpets and curtains are also protected from the direct sun rays.
In hotels and restaurants, these serve as a good open are area joints. By placing chairs under the awnings, you can give the guests an open air restaurant experience while keeping them safe from the heat.
Installing a retractable awning is mostly a simple task and doesn’t require any expertise. But, it is vital to arrange the perfect tools before getting started. So, let’s start with the tools required for the installation.
- Measurement tape. It is very important in the entire process but instead of buying it, you can make use of the one that you might already have.
- Marker including chalk and pencil. Chalks will be required to draw lines which you can wipe off after the installation process is over. Pencil is required for making the marks.
- Screwdriver or wrench will be required to tighten the bolts.
- Board is necessary to create the base of your awning. So its measurement should match the awning’s size.
- Drilling machine also might be either bought or borrowed, if you don’t possess one.
- Lag bolts depending on your awning.
- Ladders. It must be sturdy enough to take the weight of the person mounting on it.
It is always advisable to buy the installation kit while purchasing the retractable awning. This is mostly crucial for the lag bolts and the board. Though you might be tempted to use the extra lag bolts in your house, avoid doing it. If the lag bolts do not match the size of the mounting bracket exactly then the installation will not be reliable. Same applies for the header board. It should exactly counterpart your awning.
Once you have purchased or arranged all the required tools, installing the retractable awning is a day’s job.
Follow the 6 simple steps to install it on vinyl siding:
Step 1: Location.
First determine the location of the awning and take an accurate measurement of the same with the measurement tape. Once the location is determined, mark the ends (with E for ends) with the pencil.
The awning should be at least 7 to 8 feet above the ground or the patio. Also, you need to keep enough open space (approximately 3-4 inches) above the top of the mounting bracket and ledger board. So make a mark above 7 to 8 inches and keep a minimum gap of 2 inches at one of the ends.
Even before purchasing the awning, decide on the location and take a measurement of the same. Accordingly make the purchases of the awning and the installation kit.
Step 2. Studs:
Locate all the studs on the exterior wall in the area where the awning will be affixed. Mark the studs between the two “E” with a pencil as “S” for the sidings. Use a chalk to join each “S”. The gap between each “S” should be at least 1½ inches.
Step 3. Header board:
Now place the board along the chalk mark. This is used as the header board.
Use the drilling machine to drill holes on the header board at the locations marked as “S”. Insert the lag bolts in the pre-drilled holes and use a screw driver to tighten these.
Step 4. The mounting brackets:
Make a note of the location of each of the mounting brackets supporting the awning. Take the measurement of the gap between mounting bracket. Now, use the pencil and measurement tape to make marks “M” at equal length on the header board. For proper installation, these measurement should be absolutely accurate, without a miniscule diversion.
Step 5. Fix the mounting brackets:
Again use the drilling machine to make holes on the “M”s. Place the mounting brackets on the header board at the angel of the “S” marks and over the “M”s. Insert the lag bolts through the mounting brackets in the holes marked as “M”. Tighten them properly with the wrench. Make sure that all the lag bolts are attached to the studs.
Step 6. The shade:
The final step is to set the retractable awning in the mounting brackets. From the bottom of the awning, insert the bolts into the holes. Make sure to tighten the bolts.
Though it is easy to install retractable wings, it is also important to know that improper installation and usage can cause severe injury. So, it is utmost important to tighten all the bolts. To avoid any leakage in future, it is always cautious to use a good sealant to seal the areas around the bolts.
It is critical that all brackets are aligned or mounted evenly on the wall surface. Or else, the awning will not function properly.
Some Imperative Do’s and Don’ts While Using a Retractable Awning.
- Do not expose the awning to inclement weather like snow or storm. It will not only cause damage to the awning but it might also hurt a person in the area. As imminent weather like these might blow off the awning.
- Since it is mostly easy to fold a retractable awning, you are advised to never keep it unattended. If you are using it for commercial purpose in your restaurant, retract it while closing the restaurant. For homes, try to retract it at nights before going to bed or when you are going on any holiday.
- Don’t hang anything heavy like plant pots or fans from the unit.
- Don’t expose the unit to fire or heaters. Confirm with your purchaser on the intensity of heat it can bear. Moreover, excessive heat also drains of the color from the fabric.
- Don’t forget to do a routine clean-up and a yearly servicing. This way your awning will not only look good but the danger of rust formation will also be evaded.
Now that you know how to install and maintain your awning for optimum utilization, let’s look at some of the interesting dos.
- Use it near your swimming pool areas for a relaxing drink.
- Use it for your kids’ playing areas during the summers.
- It will provide a cool and comfortable shade on your deck or courtyard, so use it either to relax or entertain your guests.
- While purchasing the retractable awning, make sure to get more than one remote. In case you misplace one, you will have another at your disposal.
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