Getting to Know Door Awnings A Bit More
The addition of door awnings to your home or your business will make your architectural gems stand out from others to look aesthetically pleasing, plus it will give you many benefits in the process.
Is It Smart to Install Door Awnings?
The answer to this question is an emphatic YES. Door awnings have many benefits and are available in many sizes, shapes and colors to match the outside of any home or business you may have. There are many different brands of door awnings on the market today. You can find fabric door awnings in many different colors and fixed door awnings that remain in only one position. There are also retractable awnings in many different brands as well. So, how do you choose which to add to your home or business? Read on to find out all the facts and benefits of the different types to make an informed decision as to which is the best fit for your particular situation.
Benefits of Door Awnings
Just as the larger versions of awnings, such as patio awnings for homes or for outdoor dining areas at businesses, door awnings have the same basic benefits on a smaller basis.
- Door and window awnings are installed at an angle for excess rain and snow to slide off them. The angle shades your doors and windows to keep the hot sunlight in the summer out of your spaces. This in turn helps to save you a considerable amount of money on your cooling bills in the dog days of summer. Another great benefit to this, is that when your air conditioner doesn’t’ have to work as hard or as long to cool a space, it helps it to last longer before needing replacement parts or even an entirely new system–which is very expensive indeed.
- Door awnings can also protect you at your home. If it’s pouring down raining and you are trying to unlock your front door to get inside with packages or groceries, a door awning will keep you dry while you maneuver the door to open it. For businesses, passersby may take cover under your door awning when it’s raining as well. As they do, they may actually peer inside and decide to go in and look around or get a bite to eat in your restaurant until the rain shower passes. So, commercially, you can actually benefit financially from the installation of a door awning. Additionally, for businesses, door awnings can have a logo or the name of your business printed on them so prospective customers can find your location easily. Most everyone uses GPS for directions these days, but it makes it much simpler to find a place for the first time when a person can see the business name displayed prominently over the front door.
- On your home, you can actually use a larger door awning than the size of your door. For example, you can create much more useable space all year long if you have a large door awning over your back door that extends to cover your patio or deck partially. This works exceptionally well if you have sliding glass patio doors with a lot of glass in them. This will give you a cool area without UV rays in the summer to entertain and just sit back and relax with friends and families.
- Many modern homes, as well as businesses, have mostly glass panels called lites or entire doors of glass on the front. These are beautiful and can be made in many different styles and sizes. Commercial spaces often have one solid glass pane on them and homes have many variations, such as an outer storm door with a pane of glass at the top and another pane of glass at the bottom. This allows you to open half of the window and let fresh air inside through the screen when the weather is nice. You may also have highly ornamental front doors that are double doors with large panes of glass and ornamental metal designs on the inside of the glass panes. In any case, a lot of glass translates into a lot of hot summer sunshine too. Using a door awning over your front doors no matter what size or style will keep the sun from pouring into your spaces and heating it up drastically while lowering your energy efficiency.
- You may not realize it but awnings of all types protect your home and business furnishings from the harmful effects of UV rays. When the sun shines on your flooring wall art or furniture through a door or window, it will diminish the appearance of your textiles as well as make them brittle and dry and you will likely replace them much sooner than if they were protected from the sun with a door awning.
How Do I Install a Door Awning?
The easiest door awning to install is a stationery metallic awning, which is usually a dome or elongated dome shape when you purchase them ready-made. You will need some basic tools, such as a tape measure, a level, a carpenters pencil and a drill with drill bits.
Your first step is to order your door awning. You must first measure your door and get a ready-made awning that is 6 inches wider on each side than your door with a 12 inch of projection or overhang. When you get your pre-made awning, mark the center of the awning and the exact center of your doorway as well with a carpenter’s pencil.
Next, you need to enlist the help of a friend. Line up the center of the awning mark and the center of the door mark. Level the awning and install the top screws on each side. Then install the rest of the screws from the top down in the pre-drilled holes.
The types of screws you need will be determined by the building material you are attaching your door awning to. It can be a Hardie board that requires finding the studs and using lag bolts to install it, however if there is no backing board you will need to install a board to mount to. Wood and vinyl siding products use this same technique for attachment. For block, brick or masonry products and cut stone, you will need masonry anchors screws in bored out holes in the material to hang your awning.
DIY Door Awnings vs Professional Installer
DIY Door Awnings
Whether you love to embrace your creative side and make things from recycling products into something new and useful or if you simply want to save money, you can DIY door awnings.
Wood Frame Door Awning
You can make a door awning from some 2 x 4’s and a 4-foot sheet of corrugated plastic. Attach your 2 x 4’s with screws to the 4-foot square sheet of corrugated plastic on all four sides. You then need to attach a 2 x 4 to each side of your door on your home or business with a downward angle as it projects out from the door. Lastly, attached your framed plastic to the downward sloping boards. It may not be the most attractive item in the world, but this simple door awning is doable by most people.
You can use this same idea and enlist other material besides the corrugated plastic that may be a bit more attractive. You can use the same exterior siding that is on your home or business.
PVC Frame Door Awning
You will need PVC pipe, T fittings, and elbow fittings as well as primer and cement for PVC and PVC cutters. Measure your door and select a size of sturdy drop cloth that is wider than the door. For example, for a 5-foot wide door use a 6-foot frame in this manner. Attach two 3 feet pieces of PVC together with a T fitting for the front and back of the frame with one 3-foot PVC pipe on both sides that are attached with elbows for the front of the frame and T fittings for the rear of the frame. It will look like a rectangle.
Drape the drop cloth over the frame by folding it in half and placing the fold on the rear. Mark the extra material and hand stitch the two layers so that it fits tightly over the frame. Place carpet tacks to attach the drop cloth to the frame.
Screw a conduit clamp to one side of the door and slide the excess part sticking out from the T fittings at the top of the frame in one side. Hold the DIY door awning level against the house or building, with it slanting downward in the front put a second conduit clamp on top and secure it with screws.
Get an Expert
Even if an awning lists instructions for homeowners or business owners to install as a DIY project, they can be very tricky. Drilling holes in your home or building can be very difficult and trying to follow the directions and use the correct fittings for the frames, screws and brackets to attach correctly can be even harder.
When you choose to have custom awnings installed for you by a professional, you are ensured that your door awnings will look great and perform as they should. DIY awnings don’t really take into account the load it will bear from ice and snow in the winter or the projection or angle on it to help excess rain and ice slide off instead of stretching out the fabric on the fabric type awnings. Some DIY door awnings have also been reported as falling on people and causing injuries because they were not anchored securely or properly to a home or business. Professional installation will also include a quick turnaround time and courteous employees to make certain your awning is installed as it should be.
You should contact professional installation by someone who carries certified dealers and has decades of experience in the field. As always, buying local will help your local economy and cut down on any travel costs as well as supply you with friendly technicians that will be with you every step of the way.