How to Make an Inexpensive Porch Awning
During the spring and summer, there is nothing quite so satisfying as spending a relaxing afternoon or evening on the porch. If your porch or patio area gets a lot of sun, however, you may not find this experience quite so pleasant. All you need to turn your hot, sunny porch into a comfortable outdoor living space is an awning. Rather that purchasing an expensive awning kit, consider building your own for a fraction of the cost. An inexpensive porch awning is fairly easy to construct, and it will greatly add to your enjoyment of your porch.
Measure your porch to determine the dimensions for your awning. Record the length and width of the porch and add 3 inches to all four sides of the measurement -- this will give you the dimensions for your awning. For example, if your porch measures 60-by-40 inches, you will cut your awning fabric to 66-by-46 inches.
Cut a piece of canvas dropcloth to your measurements. If you have a large porch, you may need to sew together two or three pieces of canvas. Sew a one-half inch hem on all four sides of the awning cover.
Divide the length measurement of your porch into 24- to 30-inch sections and, using PVC cutters, cut pieces of 1-inch PVC to size for both the front and back of the awning frame. For example, if your porch is 60 inches wide, you might divide it into two 30-inch sections. This means you would need four pieces of 30-inch PVC -- two for the front and two for the back of the awning frame.
Cut pieces of 1-inch PVC to the width measurement of your awning. You will need two pieces for the left and right sides and additional pieces to use as dividers between the sections of the awning frame. If you divided your awning into two sections, for example, you will need one piece for each side and an additional piece for the divider between the two sections.
Lay out the sections of PVC for the front and back of the awning frame next to each other. Insert a 1-inch tee to the outside end of the pipes on the far left and right, and connect the pipes in between using the horizontal connections on additional 1-inch tees.
Connect the front and back of the awning frame by inserting the remaining pieces of PVC, those cut to the width of the porch, between the tee connectors on the front and back of the awning frame. When finished you should have a square or rectangular PVC frame divided into sections.
Cut four 4-inch pieces of 1-inch PVC and insert one into the tee at each of the four corners of the awning frame. Attach a 1-inch PVC elbow to the pieces attached to either end at the bottom of the awning frame. You will use these connectors to attach the support poles for the front of the awning.
Lay the awning frame flat on the ground and spread the awning cover out over top of it. Use PVC snap clamps to secure the canvas to the awning frame, using one snap clamp in the center of each section of the PVC frame.
Ask a friend or two to help lift the awning frame into the desired position over the porch so the back of the frame is flush with the wall. Slide a 1-inch conduit clamp over the 4-inch piece of PVC attached at each side of the awning frame and screw the clamp in place. Install additional conduit clamps halfway between each of the tee connectors.
Hold up the front end of the awning frame at the desired angle, and measure the distance between the front of the frame and the floor of the porch. Cut two pieces of 1-inch PVC to the measured length and insert them into the elbow connectors at either end of the awning frame. Insert the vertical opening of a five-way PVC connector onto the bottom of each piece of PVC to act as a foot for the awning support poles.