Sunsetter Awning Installation – Vinyl Siding
The first thing you need to decide before installing a Sunsetter awning is whether you want it to be mounted permanently or removable. If your roof deck is permanent, then you will not have any problem with mounting the awning permanently since the sun’s rays are going to hit it all day long. However, if your roof deck is temporary like a tent, then you might get some issues with the awning being damaged during inclement weather.
If your roof deck is permanent, then you would just need to secure the awning to the side of the wall where it will stay permanently. You could use metal grommets or other fasteners to attach it permanently.
You could also choose to remove the awning when it gets too hot out. Then you would simply replace it with another one. The downside of this method is that you will have to take down the old one and put up a new one every time you go outside. Also, if there is snow on top of your roof, then you may not be able to see anything through the awning unless it is covered by something else such as tarps or plastic sheeting.
Other than deciding on whether the awning will be permanently or temporarily mounted to your roof, you also need to consider where you want it to face. The ideal way would be to mount the awning so that it faces directly south in the northern hemisphere and directly north in the southern hemisphere. This is going to allow the sun’s rays to hit it for the maximum length of time during the day.
How Do You Mount A Sunsetter Awning – Retractable Model
The retractable model will have a crank on one side and a roller on the other side. The roller is what gets attached to the side of the house so that it won’t slide down. It can retract if needed. Just make sure there is nothing above it or it could get damaged when you crank it back in.
You would want to mount the brackets that hold up the awning on either side of the frame at equal distances from the edge. You will also need to make sure that they are roughly halfway up from the bottom of the frame so that they don’t stick out too far past it.
Once you have the brackets in place, you can start attaching the awning fabric to them.
You need to find the side of your house that gets the most sun. This is usually the south side, but it doesn’t have to be. The manual that came with your retractable awning should tell you which way faces south. You will need to decide on mounting it permanently or temporarily.
If you want to mount it permanently, then you need to take the mounting bracket and screw it into place wherever you want it on the house. Unlike with the manual models, you don’t need to feed it through rollers. Instead, you simply raise up the brackets on one end of the frame and draping the fabric over it so that it hangs down loosely towards the ground. You can secure it temporarily with small pins or tacks until you are ready to crank it into position.
Once both brackets are in place at the same height, you can secure the fabric so that it doesn’t flap around in the wind too much. Make sure it is level, and then mark where the other brackets need to be mounted. If you are a good enough with tools, you can probably do this without a level by just using your eyes.
You should have at least two brackets for each side of the awning. It is possible to get by with only one bracket on each side, but the awning will be more prone to sagging in the middle. Then you can begin cranking it into position. This should raise up the other end of the awning until it is straight.
At this point, you can secure it to the other mounting bracket with small pins or tacks until it is nice and taut.
If you decide you want to make your awning into a sunroom, then all you need to do is tack up some clear plastic sheeting on the inside of the frame and it is acting as a greenhouse!
Assemble the brackets and frame together and then lift it up to the correct height on one side of your house. Take care not to stand in front of anything where the awning could swing towards it when you mount it on the wall or you may get hit.
Crank the awning into position by hand to make sure it is centered and then tighten up the bracket with a wrench.
How Do You Mount A Sunsetter Awning – Permanent Model
If you want to mount the mounting brackets to your house rather than sliding it on and off, then you need to start with a solid mounting surface. You can’t just tack it onto the side of your house. You are going to need to either build a small frame or use an existing one.
You are going to want to build something that is at least as wide as the awning frame. The mounting brackets should be about a foot or so away from the edge of each side. This way, you can secure it to your house, and although the sun will still be able to hit most of the awning, it won’t be touching the side of the house.
The easiest way to do this is to build a small 2×4 frame in the location where you want to mount it. Use some long decking screws to secure it into place. Make sure it is level and then measure the height of the bottom edge so that it lines up with the bottom of your awning frame when it is in the closed position.
How Do You Mount A Sunsetter Awning – Temporary Model
You can make a frame that you can use to slide the awning back and forth on. This would be better if you want it to be moveable or removable because then you can just take it off completely and not have to worry about secure it to your house.
You can build a simple square frame with 2 by 4’s and then mount the mounting brackets directly to this frame.
Use a hefty piece of wood that will act as a base for the mounting brackets. Drill holes in either end so that you can secure it to the house with long decking screws.
It should look something like this when you are done. You can see how the base board runs from the inside wall and then curves out after it reaches the frame.
You can then mount the frame on small wheels and roll it into position under the awning. This is also a good idea if you want to be able to move it from one house to another or even from one side of your house to another throughout the year.
This is a little more work and a little more expensive, but it is doable.
Next, place the mounting brackets on the base board and measure the distance between them so that you can cut two 2 by 4’s to act as spacers. You want all three boards (The base and the two spacers) to act as a straight line when they are all placed side by side.
Cut the two 2 by 4’s at the proper angle so that they will slide into place between the mounting brackets and the base board.
Once you have everything lined up, secure all three pieces together by placing screws through the mounting brackets and into the 2 by 4’s. You can also place a few screws into the base board if you feel that it needs to be more secure.
You can then slide your awning frame into place and mount the brackets to it in the same way as described above.
Once you have done this, place the mounting brackets on the base board and then place the awning frame on top of them. You should now be able to mark where the holes in the mounting brackets go.
Drill your holes in the mounting brackets and then secure them to your house with long decking screws or whatever method you prefer.
You are now finished with this portion of the project.
You can use this same procedure to move your awning from one place to another. Just slide it out, secure the base board with the mounting brackets attached to it, and then slide the whole thing into the new position. Then you can remove the mounting brackets and store them somewhere safe until you need them again.
This looks like a lot of work, but if you are careful and take your time, it really isn’t all that hard.
ADDING THE CANVAS
You are going to have a small problem here and that is going to be getting the fabric onto the frame. I will give you a few ideas on how to do this, but it really is up to you to come up with something that will work for you.
I would personally just place the awning frame up against the wall and then slowly lower the frame into place. You will have to secure it somehow while you are doing this though. I am in a bit of a rush right now, but I will get some pictures to you soon. I would probably use ropes tied to sturdy plants growing close to the house and then run through holes in the legs of the mounting brackets as well as stakes hammered into the ground.
You can also purchase those large metal frames that they use to erect tents and such with. You just place the metal frame over the top of everything, anchor it down with stakes and rope pulling from the bottom side of the mounting brackets and your awning will be tight against the wall.
Another idea is to go to a fabric store and see if they have anything suitable. You can always tell them that you are making a costume for drama class or something and need a material that isn’t going to stretch. This may or may not work, but it is worth a try.
When you get the material for the side that faces the inside of the house, make sure that it is thick enough to be opaque when light shines through it or this will not work at all! You want to be able to stand in your doorway and only be able to see darkness on the other side of your wall.
Once you get a way to hang the fabric up, get it up there. Try to get it as tight against the wall as you can. This will keep the light from coming through and making your neighbors curious about what is going on over there!
Have fun and be as creepy as you’d like!
Tip: You can also mount the awning frame so that it is at a slant. This way, it will serve as a window ledge making it look like lights are on in the house when there aren’t! You can also place flower pots and such on the ledge to add to the realism.
House Paint Ideas:
If you are going to do this, I recommend that you only do it on one side of your house. Painting both would be asking for trouble or suspicion, but then if you are going for maximum creepiness, then you probably won’t care what people think!
One thing you might want to keep in mind is that if the house being haunted is supposed to be in a rural area, people are going to be more likely to believe it (at least that is what some researches have said). The reason for this is simple: People are creatures of habit and have certain expectations of what something is going to look like. When something is out of place, it catches their attention. If it catches their attention and it is out of place, then that means that it is going to be noticed.
This is why many deer hunters dress the same way every time they go out even though they know the deer can see them long before they themselves can see the deer.
This holds true for any area that people inhabit. Well, at least if there is some sort of pattern to what they are used to seeing. If there are houses all around yours, and you start painting yours pink with purple shutters, someone is going to notice and someone is going to complain.
However, if you live out in the middle of nowhere, people are going to be less likely to notice and if they do, they may just think that your house got a fresh coat of paint. The trick is going to be in how fast you can get this done and whether or not you can pull it off based on your surroundings.
If you live in a more urban area, this is going to be a little trickier. If there are houses surrounding you, then skip this idea and go with one of the others I have given you. However, if you do happen to live where there aren’t any, well…
Take an old sheet and tie it over the side of your house that no one can see. Then get some of that latex wall paint and a paint roller. Make sure that the paint is a little darker than your sheet, this way it won’t be able to be seen from the ground.
Now comes the fun part! Get some of that quick drying cement and pour it into a bucket with water. Stir it until it has the consistency of peanut butter. Now get a long rope and tie one end to the top of your house and the other end to a stake that you pound into the ground on the side of your house.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Arched support assembly for fabric awning systems (TA McCoy – US Patent 6,378,591, 2002 – Google Patents)
- Solar battery powered awning (I Eilam, TA McCoy – US Patent App. 14/988,006, 2017 – Google Patents)
- Awning assembly (EJ Atchison – US Patent 4,862,940, 1989 – Google Patents)
- Awning support for mounting to a curved wall (DG Malott – US Patent 6,006,810, 1999 – Google Patents)
- Awning rafter device (SM Levin – US Patent 6,131,638, 2000 – Google Patents)
- Awning support for recreational vehicles (RW Pelletier – US Patent 4,801,119, 1989 – Google Patents)
- Awning assemblies (G Popa, E Ornelas – US Patent 8,316,910, 2012 – Google Patents)
- Retractable awning assembly (RC Clark – US Patent 4,171,013, 1979 – Google Patents)
- Awning support assembly (JD Turner – US Patent 4,640,332, 1987 – Google Patents)