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How To Build A Wood Awning Frame

A shading or awning frame is usually used for windows and doorways to provide shade during sunny days and to protect the house from rain and snow. We've researched wood awning frames, and here's how to build them:

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Once you prepare all your materials, start building your wood awning frame by following these six steps to secure the firmness of your awning roof:

  1. Find a wall stud
  2. Measure the awning width
  3. Cut the rafters and make a layout
  4. Create diagonal braces 
  5. Attach the A-Frame
  6. Cut and attach the roof panel

After following these steps, start applying some finishing touches to make your awning board blend with the overall design of your house.

An awning frame is a great choice for your house if you want to live in a safe and comfortable space. This post will guide you if you're planning to build an awning frame for your home. So, keep reading as we give you more tips and information about wood awning frames.

A work of a craftsman carpenter, How To Build A Wood Awning Frame

Building a Wood Awning Frame

Follow these steps when constructing a wooden awning frame for your doorway and window.

1. Find the Exterior Wall Stud

The awning should have two diagonal bracings running from the wall to the front of the awning, and one ribbon board fastened to the wall. You must attach all three parts to wall studs for adequate structural support.

Generally, studs are 16 inches apart. Although the distance may vary in older homes, it rarely exceeds 24 inches.

To locate a wall stud, look for holes or dimples on the framing members that surround and support doors, windows, and walls; the framing members are nailed to the studs. You can then locate the studs on either side of the nail hole by measuring in a 16-inch increment.

Alternatively, you can use exterior plugs like electrical boxes as a measurement point since they are mounted to the side of a stud. To determine the starting point of the 16-inch interval, measure about 3/4 inches away from the exterior plug on the stud's side.

It is also plausible to measure 16 or 24 inches from the corner because builders utilize an exterior corner as a reference point for framing walls. Please note that not all rooms have measurements that are divisible by 16. Therefore, some studs may have a spacing of less than 16 inches.

If your home has a crawl space or an unfinished basement, try to identify the corner used as a reference point by looking at the joist layout from below.

2. Measure the Awning Width

Measure the length of the space you want the awning to cover to determine its width. Since you will fasten the awning to the studs, ensure that your measurements align with the distance between each stud.

Extend the length by three inches to accommodate the rafters' extremities since you must fasten the diagonal braces on the interior side of an end rafter on one end and a stud on the other. Otherwise, each diagonal brace will be 1 1/2 inches, or the width of the rafter, away from the wall stud.

After that, measure from the wall to the outermost point your awning should cover.

You can rely on the studs neighboring your windows to guide your measurements. You will find a stud on both sides of the wall of your window glass. So, measure the distance to the stud nearest to the window glass edge.

Because trim proportions are often different on the interior and exterior, it is incorrect to measure from door or window trim. However, the distance from the studs to the edge of the glass is similar in both the interior and exterior.

3. Cut the Rafters and Make a Layout

Your awning should have uniformly spaced rafters, preferably similar to the stud's spacing. To account for the outside rafters, reduce 1 ½ inches from the length of your ribbon board.

Divide the resulting figure (in inches) by the spacing to get the number of interior rafters you will use. Round up decimals to the nearest whole number.

Use a marker to mark the distance between the rafters by setting the tape measure's end on one end of the ribbon board.

Draw a straight line across this mark with a speed square, then mark an X over the edge of the line on the side from where you draw the tape measure; you will place your rafters' ends there.

It would be best if you placed the ribbon board and roofline edge to edge. Using a framing square, replicate the ledger board's marks on the roofline board. Lastly, center the ledger board on your wall stud dimensions.

4. Create Diagonal Braces

One rafter board's end should be level with the ribbon board's exterior surface. Incorporate two structural screws measuring 3 inches long into the end of the rafter through the ribbon board's back. The same goes on the opposite end of the ribbon board.

Once you install all the rafters, place the opposite end of the rafters onto the corresponding marks on the roofline board. Install two 3-inch structural screws into the rafter terminals through the roofline.

5. Install the A-Frame

Brown awning over shop window

Match the ribbon board stud markings to the exterior wall stud markings. Beginning at one side of the awning, bore a 4-inch-deep hole into the wall on the spot you marked as the stud location. Then insert a 4-inch lag bolt into the hole using an impact driver.

Mount your A-frames against the wall on either side of your entrance or window. Use deck screws and wood glue to secure all of your horizontal joists to your A-frames.

See this impact driver on Amazon.

6. Cut and Attach the Roof Panel

Dark brown transparent polycarbonate canopy from rain and sun over the store

Cut the covering material in proportion to your awning's measurements, and fasten its top. Keep in mind that the material you use may affect installation.

What are the Different Kinds of Awning Roofs?

Awnings come in different varieties, depending on your preferences. The top three awnings are retractable, fixed, and portable:

Retractable Awning

Outdoor high quality automatic sliding canopy retractable roof system

Retractable awnings expand or fold manually with a push button. But, you can also activate the awning using a remote control or an automatic sensor.

A retractable awning allows you to expand or close it based on your preference, opening it for a shade or closing it to sunbathe.

Fixed Awning (Wall-Mounted)

Row of glass windows with steel awning structure on white cement wall of incomplete modern house in construction site

The wall-mounted awning is right for you if you want to shade a section of your patio or deck permanently.

Some fixed awnings contain additional support poles at the end of the extension for enhanced durability.

Portable (Freestanding)

RV caravan camper on a campsite in the bush forest nature

Although portable awnings allow you to move them around your deck, they usually don't offer the same level of protection as a wall-mounted awning.

However, they are the least expensive option for deck covering. So, if you are on a tight budget, you can invest in one or two umbrellas.

What are the Advantages of Installing an Awning Roof?

Installing an awning roof helps protect your surfaces from damage by the elements. Exposing your house to natural phenomena increases the maintenance and repair costs. 

These are the practical benefits of installing an awning roof on your property:

Protection From Fading

An awning roof hinders the sun's heat and harmful UV rays from entering your home, thus offering protection against fading.

If your furniture, flooring, or curtains come into contact with the UV rays, they can fade since these rays break down chemical compounds resulting in color loss.

Protection From the Rain

Awning roofs do more than just protect your home from the sun. A suitable awning cloth or wood structure can also prevent the rain from getting to your windows and doors.

Reduce Your Electricity Bills

Installing an awning roof can help lower your energy expenses because it absorbs the heat and bars it from entering your home during summer. Therefore, it eliminates the need to run your air conditioner throughout the day to keep home cool.

How to Maintain Your Awning Roof

To maintain your awning roof and keep it stable, you should regularly clean it. Therefore, proceed as follows:

  1. Clean off existing dirt from your awning using a water hose and a mild detergent.
  2. Use a soft microfiber or gentle brush to scrub the awning surfaces.
  3. Let your awning air dry after giving it a thorough rinse.

Examine your awnings carefully when you clean them to check for problems, such as small worn patches where the fabric may be pushing against the frame or scratches that might develop into little tears.

In Closing

Protect your home from any damage elements may cause by inserting an awning roof to your window and door.

You can consult your local awning installation services to guide you in the process. They can offer professional advice on whether an awning is appropriate for your house and the best way to install it.

Read these helpful posts to know more:

How To Add Shade To A Porch? [15 Solutions]

11 Ideas For A Deck With A Roof