It’s finally feeling like summer and thankfully we put the awnings up before the hot weather kicked in this year. We installed awnings, that we made ourselves, on our windows about 10-years ago and every summer, I’m so thankful. Awnings keep a house cooler – by about 10 degrees – by blocking the sun from the windows. Awnings keep our house cooler without using resources to cool it.
Our awnings do not retract and the galvanized metal pipes are on the windows all year. The windows face west and south and happen to be at the back of our house so they don’t bother me.
This is what the awnings look like from the inside. The pattern is basically a rectangle with 2-triangle sides. I don’t have the right measurement for how long they should be in relation to how large the window is. I had to wing it for this measurement. There’s probably a mathematical formula but I don’t have it.
The ties were a later addition to keep the awning attached to the galvanized metal pipes so that they don’t blow off.
There is a weight bar in each of the seams to keep the awning from moving around. The weight bar is concrete re-bar that I taped the ends of to make it less sharp.
The first year we had the awnings up, the weight bars came out several times when it was windy. Thank goodness no one got hurt. If you make awnings and use a weight bar, my advice to you is sew or attach the weight bars to the awnings so that the bars don’t come out. This could have been a huge disaster!
You can see my husband using the ties to attach the awnings to the galvanized metal pipes. They are scraps from the awning project and get tied in double knots so that they stay put.
These awnings (below) face south, and while they cause our office to be a bit dark on summer mornings, they keep out so much heat during the day. The room has 4-windows and 2 face south and 2 face west.
The addition to the awnings that I made this year (every single year I proclaim that the awnings are done and yet every year, I tweak them a little bit!) was about 10-inches of fabric added to the bottom of the awnings on the west facing windows.
When the sun sets, these windows get a very hot sliver of sun. The piece of fabric only faces west.
The awnings definitely are a project that saves us by keeping our house cool but they are a total hassle to put up and take down in September. Get an assistant to help you – think honey-do-list here.
I did have one retractable awning made and installed years ago – which is what gave me this crazy idea of making them in the first place. The retractable awning is on the second-story and faces south. It keeps the room much cooler and I’m so glad I spent the money to have it installed. There is no way my honey-do-list husband would be interested in a second-story awning project!
Here’s a short video I filmed while up on a ladder that’s about the awnings.
Making awnings is not easy but it has been worth the effort. Our house has stayed cooler in the summer months and we’ve saved on energy costs – both in dollars and additional resources.
How do you keep your house cool in the summer?
Go Gingham related links:
A tray table with a slipcover – because tables need slipcovers, too
Pretty lanterns – perfect for a backyard or a wedding celebration
Why I use an inside laundry line and not an outside laundry line
The mop cover is a re-purposed t-shirt: how to make a mop cover
A house re-do project with once-a-month garbage collection? Yes – here!
The sweet spot: frugal and green living