Awning Installation

Building An Aluminum Awning

On this page you will see photos, along with instructions, to help you with your next awning installation.  These kits are not that difficult to install with just a little installation photo help. Doing it yourself can be a big money saver, but then again, maybe not.  Only you know your capabilities.

awning gutter
The first thing I do when I start an awning installation project is to make a pencil mark every foot along the top of the gutter and the hanger.  When you start installing the panels, keeping them square is very important.  These marks at each end will help you do that.  The person attaching the hanger end of the panel will know where the gutter person is every foot of the way if you stay on your marks.


aluminum post brackets
This picture shows the column brackets installed.  Inset the end posts by 1' or 1 1/2' and equally space the rest.  My formula for spacing is this:  If your awning is 34' and you have 5 posts inset 18" at each end, convert 34' to 408" and subtract 36" for the ends, you now have 372" to divide by the 4 openings left between the 5 posts, 372 divided by 4 = 93".  Starting at one end of the gutter come in 18" for your first mark and then 93" from the first mark to the second, and 93" from your second mark to your third, and so on until you reach the other end with exactly 18" left over.  Using these marks as the center of each post will give you equal post spacing.  The post brackets should always be held in place with nuts and bolts.  I use a self tapping sheet metal screw to hold the brackets in place before drilling the holes for the bolts.

When marking for your posts take into account any areas you absolutely do not want a post.  I have, on more than one occasion, stood the awning up to find a post in a walkway, planter or some other place where it should not be.  You may need to shift a post by a foot or so.


level gutter
This is one way to determine the lengths the posts should be cut in order for the gutter to be level.  Your posts will all start out either 8', 9' or 10' long.  In almost every case some cutting will be needed.  Most of the time each post will be a different length.  I use a 7 1/4" skill saw with a plywood blade for most of my cuts, a chop saw works good also.  Make sure the gutter is in the proper position, measure the distance from the home and eyeball it side to side.  Now measure from the gutter to the ground where each post will go.  Now, starting at either end, measure the distance from the hanger to the ground at the home.  Decide the amount of slope you want, at least a half inch per foot, and subtract that from your hanger measurement. If your hanger to ground measurement is 108"  and you wanted 6" of slope on your 12' awning, your first post would be 102".  This is assuming the ground between the gutter and hanger is level.  Use a carpenters level to check this if needed.  Now you know the height of the first post it is easy to add or subtract to this measurement to determine the length of the remaining posts.  It is much easier to level the gutter in this way, so you can cut the posts before you attach them to the gutter, than to do it later when the gutter has been stood up and you wind up having to trim the bottom of the posts at an awkward angle.


awning pans
When I cut the posts, if I am using the square ones, I cut the end that does not have holes drilled in them. With my posts all cut and numbered for their position on the gutter, I attach the bottom brackets to the cut ends.  Use one of the brackets for a template and pre drill your holes into each side of the post.  Install the brackets with the long bolts and nuts.  Do not tighten them yet.  Now attach each post to the gutter in the same way.  This awning did not have the color trim yet, but this is usually the time I insert the trim into the trim grooves and the gutter is ready to stand up.  When the awning installation is complete, except for the trim, it can be installed from the tops of ladders.  It's much faster to do it on the ground.


gutter, posts and panels
Now it's time to prepare and install the hanger.  I drill small holes every 6" before taking it to the house and attaching it with 1 1/2" screws.  After it is attached, run a bead of caulking down the top edge where the hanger meets the home.  You are now ready to stand the awning up.  Lay a pan against the house at both ends of the awning.  With two people standing on ladders, the hanger person attaches the panel to the hanger and then gets down and hands one end of the gutter to the person on the ladder holding the other end of the panel.  Now slide down the gutter lifting as you go until it is stood up.  Now the gutter man should attach his end and move to the other end, climb the ladder and hold the gutter.  Now the hanger person moves his ladder to the other end and attaches the second panel, once the gutter person does the same the gutter is secure.  A panel at each end will hold the gutter up.  Adding one or two more panels to the center of the awning will hold the gutter straighter and make it easier to square the awning once the first few panels have been installed.  At this point all the panels should be attached with only one screw each at each end.  This will allow the awning to pivot back and forth as you attempt to make it square.


installing awning panels
With about four panels installed you can finish squaring the awning.  I use a combination of three methods.  Use a large square at the gutter running up the lock of one of the panels.  They should be square at this point.  Make sure the pans are all flush and tight inside the hanger and then stand back and look at it from several angles.  If it looks good in all ways put the second screws into each panel and add of few more.  With about ten panels in place I want to get the awning anchored so a gust of wind does not blow it away.  If the awning is being slab mounted, plumb the posts and drill 1/4" holes into the concrete with a hammer drill, using the bottom bracket as a template.  We left the bottom bolts loose so you could move the bolt out of your way when hammering in the rawl plugs.  Now you can tighten all the nuts and bolts at top and bottom.  If you are using ground anchors it's time to dig the holes.  I bolt the brackets to the ground anchors first and when the hole is finished I bolt the assembly to the post.  When the posts are plumb, pour a bag of post hole concrete around each one and add water.  Now it is time to finish installing the rest of the panels.  If you remember to stay on your foot marks you will end in the right spot at the hanger and the gutter.


gutter, post and w-pan
Now it's time to measure and cut the side fascias for each end.  I cut the end that meets the home and leave the gutter end a square cut.  A slight miter makes the fascia fit tight against the home.  Before putting the fascia up it is a good idea to install the 2" color trim and dam the ends of the gutter.  I use caulking and a small piece of color trim to dam the gutter ends.  Attach the fascia to the hanger and the gutter at the ends and them go down the top and screw down thru the fascia and into the panel every 6" - 12".  You can now attach the tops of your downspout assemblies to the gutter on the outsides of your end posts.  With the tops installed I use a spade bit or a hole saw to put a 1 1/2" hole into the gutter.  Then you can finish installing the downspouts.


awning panel sealed
This picture shows the top of the awning installation before the flashing is installed.  I have done two things  here to add strength to the awning.  I used two screws in each panel valley instead of the usual one.  I also ran a bead of caulking along the bottom of the panel against the hanger.  This helps seal the awning and reduces the possibility of movement or vibration during a strong wind. Feel free to contact us if you have any further awning installation questions.  Use this form if you would like a free awning installation quote.  We can install aluminum awnings, aluminum window awnings, alumawood awnings and shade screens in the Mesa Arizona area.  We can also build decks and sheds.  CR Shades - Dennis Gourley - Sales - 480-935-2848


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