How to Build Your Own Awning

During the hot and hazy days of summer, relaxing on a deck without an awning can result in you sweating bullets and being burned to a crisp. And while you would love to lounge in the shade of an awning, you just aren’t ready to shell out a few thousand dollars to have one professionally installed. Here, you can satisfy both of these concerns as we explain how to build your own awning.


• Measuring tape
• Electric drill
• 4 grommets
• 4 stakes
• 4 sections of rope
• 2 key rings
• 2 screw hooks
• 2 support poles
• Sewing machine with a large needle
• Large piece of canvas

Making an Awning

Step 1: Use the tape measure to figure out the dimensions of the piece of canvas you will need for your awning. Purchase the material slightly larger than your measurements to allow for a hem.

Step 2: Use the sewing machine to sew the hems around the material to help prevent fraying. Be sure to use nylon thread as it lasts longer in exterior conditions. Then install one grommet on each of the awning’s four corners.

Step 3: Measure one side of the awning from grommet to grommet. Then, following that measurement, drill two pilot holes in your wood siding where the awning will be branching out from.

Step 4: Screw the two hooks in the pilot holes. Don’t attempt to screw the hooks into place without first drilling the pilot holes. The pilot holes make it a much easier task!

Step 5: On the side of the awning that’s going to go against the house, install one key ring on each grommet. Then hook one key ring on one of the hooks and then do the same for the second key ring with the other hook. This completes one side of your awning installation.

Step 6: Stretch the awning out so you can determine where to install the support poles. The support poles should either be driven into the dirt or feature a flat base on which to stand. Insert the top of the pole through the grommet on the awning.

Step 7: Tie two sections of rope to each of the two grommets where the poles are located. Then, stake one length of rope straight away from each of the awning poles. Take the other rope and stake it 90 degrees to the side of the first stake. So, both poles will have tethered lines to the front and to the sides.

That’s all it takes to build your own makeshift awning. It only takes a couple of hours (sewing included) and before long; you’ll have it made in the shade.

Dave Donovan is a freelance copywriter living in Atco, NJ. An electrician for 15 years, an injury forced him to pursue his true passion - writing.