How to Build an Awning Frame
An awning frame supports awning curtains and can provide shade and privacy. Whether you want to build a complex or simple frame, the following steps can guide you in the process.
Step 1 - Location of Frame
Decide whether you want to provide over-head shade by locating the awning against a building or whether you want the awning to be free-standing.
Step 2 – Free-Standing Awning
A free-standing awning frame must be able to support the weight of the awning curtain and be resistant to wind.
Step 3 – Awning Size
The size of the awning will be governed by the available space and the size of the awning curtain. For example, an awning curtain that is 10-feet square will require a frame a maximum of 10-feet square in size.
Step 4 – Choice of Material
Thin plastic tubing can not support a lot of weight unless the tubing is used in large quantities. Aluminum tubing that is 1 to 2 inches is usually a good choice for tubing.
Step 5 – Fasteners
For most tubing it is easiest to use the purpose-built clamping system that is designed to hold each size of tube securely. You can also use the system of collars designed to unite the tubing to create corners. Probably, a mixture of both systems will be best.
Step 6 – Design a Simple Square Frame
A basic square frame will effectively form a box. A 10-feet square frame can be built using 2-inch diameter aluminum tube. Each corner support will need 1 tube length. Each lateral support for the awning curtain will be 10 feet in length. The corners will need corner tube junctions. These have 3 orifices for the tubes, each at a 90-degree angle to the others.
Step 6 – Build the Frame
The awning frame is formed simply by joining the 4 tubes 10 feet in length to form a rectangle 10-feet square. At each corner of the rectangle will be 1 empty orifice at a 90- degree angle to the rectangle, and they should all be on the same side, pointing to the ground.
Step 7 – Attach the Awning Curtain
It is much easier to attach the awning curtain to the frame while the frame is on the ground. Make sure the curtain is under tension so that it will sag as little as possible. The tension in the curtain will also help to hold the frame together.
Step 8 – Attach the Support Poles
The support poles are inserted into the spare orifices. It is best if 2 people do this so the frame and curtain are lifted evenly from 2 corners rather than from 1.
With the supports in place, the awning will now stand quite firmly. Some bracing might be needed at each corner to give lateral strength. This can be achieved by clamping a piece of tubing at a 45-degree angle to the support and upper frame in each corner and on each face.