How Do You Install an Awning?

Repair an AwningIf your patio receives too much sun or it rains quite frequently in your area, a project to install an awning will likely be well received by your family. Awnings are an excellent way to provide an outdoor room-like atmosphere that allows you to enjoy your yard more days of the year than you currently do. Awnings can also be used to cover individual windows.

Choosing the Right Awning

There are several types of awning available for backyards. The simplest type is fabric stretched over a frame. The most complex is probably a metal awning that is retractable and motorized to retract automatically.

When looking at the type of awning that will be best for you, cost, convenience, maintenance, and longevity will all probably play a part. Metal awnings tend to cost more than fabric ones, but they last longer and require less maintenance. Automated, retractable awnings are more expensive also, but they make it easy to convert your patio back to its natural state when you are not using the awning.

Preparing to Install an Awning

The key to getting your planning right when installing an awning is to know where and at what height you plan to install it. The best location is typically near a patio or sliding glass door where there is heavy traffic. The height of the awning will also make a difference in what the outdoor aesthetic is when you entertain. Most people will install an awning between the heights of 9 feet and 12 feet.

The other part of preparing for an installation of larger awnings is to ensure that the footings for awning supports are going to have a solid foundation to rest on that will not sink over time. If you have a concrete patio that you can rest supports on, you will not likely have to spend any time with preparation.

After you have decided the specific location of your awning, your siding will also play a factor in how you prepare to install an awning. If you have brick siding, you may need to make more modifications before you start building.


It is a good idea to use a plumb or chalk line that is completely level along the wall where you will place your mounting bar or brackets. By measuring and ensuring that it is level to begin with, you should be able to proceed rapidly.

Once you have a level line, you can start looking for the studs behind your exterior wall. Many types of stud finder are available to do this. The idea is to find the center of each stud and mark it or pre-drill a small hole into it to verify that you are in the right location. In some older homes, the studs were not placed according to current code, making it better for homeowners to use a stud finder technology that can truly sense the studs through the walls.

After you have marked the space for each bracket, you can mount the brackets and/or the mounting bar by screwing it into the studs. You should frequently continue to check that your frame is level as you do so. If you do have a mounting bar, it will likely need to be weatherproofed by ensuring that there is no gap remaining between it and the house after it has been screwed in. You can do this with sealant.

Finally, you can bring the awning over and attach it to your home via the brackets. If the awning does not have posts for support then you may have to create a temporary structure that will hold it up while you screw it in to the first couple sets of brackets.

Installation Considerations

If you are working with an awning that has a motor, you will need to plan to connect that motor to an electric power source after mounting it somewhere that is waterproof and not too visible. Some awnings with motors are able to use temperature and weather condition information to automatically open and close without your intervention, according to the New York Times. If you purchased that type of awning, determining where to place the sensors is also important.

Retractable and metal awnings can place a lot of stress on your home during windstorms when there are downdrafts. Always ask about support poles if your awning is going to be room sized.

Related Resource: Repair a Basement Window

Overall, awnings help enhance the value of your home. Most homeowners who install an awning are able to enjoy many more outdoor days and nights in the comfort of their own backyard than they would without one.