Awnings FAQ

Answering Your Awning Questions

1.  What are the color choices with an aluminum awning?

The color choices can be many or just a few.  The panels are the cover material itself and you will usually get a few color options.  They are mostly white, neutral or sometimes tan or brown.  Sometimes a stared pattern is an option or you may be able to get an embossed look.

aluminum awning trim colors
The frame work for the awning will be either roll form or extruded.  Roll form awnings will usually come in a few standard colors like Ivory, tan or dark brown.  A few of the roll form frame kits allow for some type of color band in which case you may have an additional 30 to 40 color choices.  Extruded framework will have either 2 or 3 grooves for installing 2' color bands.  Most manufacturers keep the color selections up to date and modern so the awning will match the latest home color schemes.  Gone are the days when all the awnings were either autumn brown or avocado.  Color trim is also easy to change and is not that expensive, so every now and then your awning could get a whole new look.  The extruded framework itself has a few color options.  Most companies now sell extruded aluminum in mill finish, white or bronze.

The posts that hold the awning up are usually white or neutral color.  Sometimes you may find wood grain posts.

2.  How can I make my awning stronger?

aluminum awning with shed
There are many factors involved with the strength of an awning.  Panel gauge is the biggest factor.  Panels are manufactured in different gauges or thicknesses.  Thickness will vary from .018 to .040. with many options in between.  The thicker the panel the higher the price but it is money well spent when it comes to aluminum awnings.  Using extra screws to attach the panels at the hanger and gutter will help hold the panels down in high winds.  Adding a few screws into the locks of each panel will also increase stability.  Adding a hat section or two to the top of the panels adds a lot of stability and strength to an awning, as well as using extra screws when attaching the side fascias to the panels.

Extruded framework is heavier and stronger than roll form.  Using bolts instead of screws to attach the post brackets to the gutter and the posts to the brackets is always preferred.  Steel posts could be used instead of aluminum and the post brackets could be changed to steel also.  Four concrete anchors per post could be used instead of the usual two.  If the awning is to be anchored into the ground using a larger safety stake and extra concrete is helpful.

Adding screen rooms, sheds and other structures under the awning will allow the awning to be screwed down in many more places.  If you use neoprene washers with the screws, the screws will seal themselves automatically  and the washers will add a lot of hold down strength to the panels.

I-beams are a great way to make an awning stronger.  Beams come in different sizes.  The size of the beam determines the distance the posts under it need to be spaced apart.  A 4" beam should not have more than 10' between posts where an 8" beam could easily go 20' between posts.  The addition of a beam to an awning gives the awning strength in two ways.  Attaching the panels to the beam with screws and neoprene washers gains a lot of hold down strength against wind damage.  The extra support under the panels provides more support for heavy rain and snow.

3.  What types of panels are available for aluminum awnings?

aluminum W panel
Not only does the thickness of awning panels vary, so does the shape and size.  One of the most common types of panel is the 6" flat pan.  These panels make a nice flat surface on the underside that is ideal to build under.  All of the other panel designs have raised areas that need to be filled in with filler plugs when building structures under the awning.  W pans are also very common.  These pans vary in height from 2 1/4" to 3 1/2".  The width is usually 12".  Another panel type is the tri - v design.  This panel is 2' wide and will usually be a little less expensive.

Most awning manufacturing companies will produce these pans in either a white or a neutral color.  Sometimes stars are an option.

Awning panels are made in stock lengths such as 8', 9' and on up to about 20'.  These panels can either be cut on the jobsite for an exact fit or custom lengths can  be ordered.

4.  Do I need  a concrete slab to mount the posts on?

awning safety stake
No.  If the awning is to be mounted into dirt a safety stake can be put into a hole and concrete poured around it.  The column or post feet are then bolted to the safety stake.  If you are using steel posts it is OK to dig a hole about 2' deep and concrete the post into the ground without using safety stakes.  If your gutter height is to be 8' high then your posts should be ordered at least 10' long so you can bury 2' in the ground.  It is also helpful to drill holes near the bottom of the post and insert about 12" lengths of rebar before the concrete is poured for some additional support.

5.  What type of hanger do I need for attaching to a house?

If the awning is to be attached to a fascia board that is set at a pitch or angle then the hanger should be the type that slides into an a-rail and pivots at that point.  That lets the hanger easily follow whatever pitch the awning has.  The standard hangers are meant for flat walls and the angle of the part where the panel attaches is already set.  It is important for a strong awning that the panels fit into the hanger correctly and are securely fastened. 

Aluminum Awning FAQ page 2

Do you have an awning question? Please Contact me. I would be happy to help.

In the Mesa Arizona area give me a call for a free awning estimate.

CR Shades - Dennis Gourley - Sales - 480-935-2848


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