Tag along with carpenter Nathan Gilbert as he helps a homeowner install an awning over their main entry door. First, the two get to work cutting custom mounting blocks for the homeowner’s vinyl siding. Then, Nathan creates a custom mounting frame that will allow the awning to sit correctly over the siding.
How to Install an Awning
- Lay the awning template flat on a work surface. Place the awning over the top of the template to ensure that it fits correctly and that you’re using the correct template. Cut and remove an excess template to prevent confusion or mistakes.
- Using the template for reference, cut two boards to length for each side of the awning. These boards will serve as mounting blocks for the awning, but they must be customized to work. Once cut to length, cut both boards to width on the table saw.
- To allow the awning to sit flat on the siding, the blocks need to be custom-cut. Lay the block flat on a work surface and place two interlocked scrap sections of siding along their sides. Trace the shape of the siding onto the side of the block and remove these sections with the band saw. Sand the saw marks away for a smooth finish.
- Using the template for reference again, cut another vinyl board to width, landing between the two customized side blocks. If necessary, rip this board to width using the table saw.
- Pre-drill and screw the side blocks to the longer board to create the mounting frame that will sit on the house’s exterior wall. Use stainless steel screws to attach them and prevent rust.
- Place the awning on top of the mounting frame and mark the location of any lag bolts. Pre-drill these locations to allow for an easier installation.
- Place the mounting frame on the exterior wall. Take note of any overlapping siding sections, as they’ll prevent the frame from sitting level. If necessary, mark the frame where the two sections overlap and cut a small relief or notch in the frame to allow it to sit properly. Once satisfied, attach the frame to the house using stainless steel screws.
- Place a bead of silicone caulk along the top edge of the mounting frame to prevent water from traveling down the siding and behind the awning. Also, squeeze two beads of silicone along the face of the mounting frame to allow the awning to create a water-tight seal once installed.
- With help, hoist the awning into place. Attach the awning to the home using lag bolts and washers. Be sure to have all of the lag bolts driven before letting go of the awning. Cap the lag bolts with threaded caps to blend them in.
Nathan installed an Icon awning base kit with a matte black frame and a clear finish, which is manufactured by Feeney, Inc.
Nathan creates the proper-sized PVC mounting blocks by following the template of the vinyl mounting block to measure and trace where the French cleat will be cut. Then Nathan uses a miter saw to square the edges of the board and cut the boards to length for the mounting bracket. After, Nathan uses a portable bandsaw to cut out the cleat for each piece of PVC. Nathan uses an electric drill to securely mount the blocks to the exterior siding using exterior grade screws.
To mount the awning, Nathan first applies a silicone sealant along the backside of the bracket to keep it watertight. Nathan then uses an electric drill to make pilot holes on the mounting blocks. Nathan then uses exterior-grade heavy-duty structural screws to secure the awning to the siding. Finally, Nathan applies silicone sealant around the edges of the awning to ensure no water can penetrate the siding.
Expert assistance is provided by Feeney, Inc. All other products can be found at home centers.