Installing an Aluminum Awning

Many awning companies sell do-it-yourself awning kits. If you use the tips you learn here along with the instructions provided with your kit it should be a fairly easy project.

You will start by placing the gutter and hanger on a few saw horses. Place a tape measure on the gutter and make a pencil mark at every foot. Do the same with the hanger. These marks will be used later to keep the panels running square.

Next you should install the hanger on your home using 1 1/2 "hex head screws. is just added insurance against leaks.

Preparing the gutter is the next step. Start by coming in 18 "from each end of the gutter and place a mark for your end brackets. You will need to do a little math to evenly space the rest of your brackets. near an inside corner. This makes it easier to go back and drill the holes to insert the nuts and bolts.

Before you attach the posts to the post brackets it is best to cut them down to size. This step again involves a little math. Place the gutter as close to it's permanent location as you can. Measure out from the home and eyeball it square. This is as exact as you need to be at this time. Using your level and some wood barriers as shims level the gutter on the saw horses. Most of the time one end of the gutter will be closer to the ground than the other. Start at that end and go to the hanger. Measure the distance to the ground. You are going to want at least a half inch per foot of slope to your awning. If your hanger is 9 'off the ground and the projection of your awning is 12' your first post should be 8 '6 "This will give your awning a 6" slope. Measure from the ground to the gutter where your first post will be. Go to the second post and measure, the difference in measurements will be added to the 8 '6 "when you cut your second post.

When the posts are cut they can be attached to the post brackets on the gutter. You can do this the same way as the brackets to gutter. Hold the posts in place with a self tapping screw while you drill holes and insert the bolts.

That is the end of the ground work, it is time to get the ladders. You will need a panel and two ladders set up at one end of the awning. Two people will carry the panel up the ladders and attach it to the hanger. The person on the outside ladder will just be holding the panel. When the panel is attached to the hanger that person hands one end of the gutter up to the person holding the panel. He will then work his way down the gutter lifting it into the air. When the gutter is standing up the panel can be attached. One person is still holding the gutter up by the post at the opposite end.

The person on the gutter ladder will now move the ladder to the opposite end of the awning, climb up and hold the gutter. The hanger person will move his ladder and attach his end of the second panel. The gutter person will do the same and the awning will now stand by itself.

Depending on the length of the awning you will need at least one panel in the center to keep the gutter in line. Longer awnings will need several single panels. You can now start at either end and lock multiple panels together. Making sure they stay on the foot marks attach each end with one screw only. When you have about 5 panels up make sure the awning is square. The gutter can be shifted back a forth until the ends of all of the panels are straight. You can now insert the second screw into each one and finish installing the panels.

At some point you will need to anchor the awning. If it is a breezy day you may want to do this when half the panels are in place. On a calm day you can install all of the panels and then anchor it. Awnings can be anchored to concrete or into the dirt. A safety stake, or ground anchor is used when mounting into the dirt. Concrete should also be used around the ground anchor.

When the panels are installed and the awning anchored it is time to custom fit the side fascias. The side fascias will typically be several inches longer than necessary so that the ends can both be custom cut at a miter. You should try to make the fascia fit tight at the back of the gutter and flush with the home.

By now you should have used up all of your parts except the flashing and a handy of screws. The flashing goes on top of the awning and gets sealed to the home. You should use plenty of screws and attach the flashing to the home first. You will then insert a screw through the flashing into the top of each panel lock. Silicone should be used to seal the flashing to the home.