How to Self-Install Awning Fabric

Weather, wind and sun can cause the fabric on an awning to break down or tear.

Remove the Awning

Replace the awning fabric to extend the life of your awning.Replace the awning fabric to extend the life of your awning.
Replacing the entire awning can be expensive. If the rest of the awning assembly is still in good working order, it is more cost-effective to replace the awning fabric. You can save even more by installing the new fabric yourself.

Extend the awning. Open the awning far enough to place the ends of the roller at a height that you can reach comfortably. Switch the lever to the lock position to lock the awning.

Insert a cotter pin into the hole on the end cap. This hole is located directly behind the locking mechanism. Place a cotter pin in the hole to lock the tension on the spring. You may need to rotate the inner shaft to align the holes. Bend the end of the cotter pin to hold it in place. Repeat on the other end cap.

Remove the rafters and the rails. Unscrew the lag bolts at the ends of the rafters. Unscrew the bolts that secure the awning fabric to the rail.

Remove the awning and lay the fabric across two sawhorses. Do not flatten or crimp the awning rail. Remove the arm from the footing. Extend the awning until all fabric is unrolled from the rail. Place the awning tube on a sawhorse and place the arms on the ground.

Release the Spring Tension and Remove Torsion Assembly

Clamp a large pair of locking pliers on the top portion of the awning arm. Maintain a tight grip while a second person removes the 7/16-inch bolt that secures the piece to the awning arm.

Remove the cotter pin and allow the spring to unwind to remove all the tension. Repeat to remove the bolt and cotter pin from the other end.

Mark the cam handle position on the awning tube. Drill the rivets with an electric drill and a 1/8-inch drill bit. Remove the torsion assembly.

Remove and Replace Awning Fabric

Mark the position on the awning tube where the old fabric is removed. This is where the new fabric will be inserted. Slide the fabric to remove it from the awning tube.

Thread the new fabric into the awning tube at the mark. Take care not to rip or damage the fabric during insertion.

Center the fabric on the tube and tuck the cords into the tube.

Reinstall the Torsion Assembly and Re-tension the Spring

Align the torsion assembly with the cam handle mark. Secure with a rivet.

Grasp the top casting with a pair of locking pliers and maintain a tight grip. Have a second person reinsert the cotter pin.

Wind the spring. Turn the spring 14 turns for a standard spring and eight times for a heavy duty spring. Insert the cotter pin to maintain the spring tension.

Place the end piece on the awning arm and replace the 7/16-inch bolt.

Reinstall the Awning

Place the awning arms into the footings. Insert the awning cords into the rail.

Replace the rafters and rails and secure with the lag bolts.

Replace the bolts that secure the awning fabric to the rail. Remove the cotter pin.

Things You Will Need

  • Two cotter pins
  • Screwdriver
  • Sawhorses
  • Locking pliers
  • Drill
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Awning fabric
  • Rivet

About the Author

Amy Kingston has been a professional writer since 2001. She has written articles for various publications, including "Health" magazine, "Jackson Parenting" magazine, the "Bolivar Bulletin" newspaper and "A Musician's Pursuit." Kingston was also published in "Voices of Bipolar Disorder."