Are you planning to install a metal awning for your front yard or your bare window? In this post you will learn:
- The advantages and disadvantages of using metal awnings
- What is the average cost of metal awnings and installation
- Enhancement, improvement and DIY considerations
Awnings are not just design accents to spruce up a building or house. Installing an awning can protect a house from excessive heat or sunshine. It protects windows, doors, and the patio from rain and snow. It can also serve as shade for family members during backyard events.
Awnings are generally used as wide overhangs that provide secondary roofing protection to doors, windows, patios and decks. Aside from the practical advantages, it can also improve the aesthetics of a house or establishment.
Types of Awnings
Awnings come in different sizes and forms. The roofing material can be either canvas, solution dyed acrylic, polyester, thin metal sheets, wood, clay, polycarbonate, fiberglass, or vinyl panels. Canvas seems to be the most common material used as evidenced by the number of establishments with canvas awnings. Solution dyed acrylic fabric is the material of choice due to ease of installation and resistance to fading, rotting and mildew.
The frame of the awning can also be made from a variety of materials. Common materials used are aluminum, steel, or wood. It is important to consider environmental conditions when designing the frame of an awning. For example, hot areas like Miami, tend to use light aluminum metal frames that can withstand the occasional gusty wind. In areas like North Dakota, it is wise to use a thick metal awning frame to carry the weight of heavy snow load. Both assume that proper engineering has been completed based on local building code requirements.
Awnings are usually differentiated by the material used for the canopy and the frame
Advantages of Metal Awnings
Metal awning is the strongest and most stable type available. Fabric awnings might sag from carrying snow; however canvas might hold a heavier load than fabric and it has water repelling qualities. Also retractable canvas and fabric awnings are easier to use compared to retractable metal awnings.
Metal awnings provide better protection from the sun and rain. The heat blocked by metal window awnings can help keep down the temperature by not allowing the heat to enter the house. Metal awnings are also stronger and can withstand strong wind gales. Metal awnings can also work with non-metal frames like wood and synthetic materials. Aside from the occasional paint job, metal awnings are almost maintenance free and can last dozens of years.
The main advantage of a metal awning is its STURDINESS and LONGEVITY
Disadvantages of Metal Awnings
Metal awning prices are more expensive than fabric or canvas. The metal of choice for awnings is aluminum because it is lightweight but sturdy and cost less than other metals. Even so, aluminum awning cost is still more expensive than canvas or fabric, it is also slightly more complicated to install. Whereas fabric or canvas can be stretched over the frame then tacked or tied in place, metal awnings need to be welded, screwed or bolted into place. This adds to the total metal awning installation price.
Metal awnings also lack the versatility of fabric or canvas awnings. When a metal awning is constructed, it is usually set in place permanently. So it gives protection from rain or snow but it also blocks healthy morning sunshine that can to liven up a room or patio.
Fabric and canvas awnings are usually used with retractable or folding metal frames. This way, when you want some sunshine, just retract the awning. Most house owners also retract their awnings prior to a heavy storm to protect them from damage.
The main disadvantage of a metal awning is its IMMOBILITY
How Much Does an Aluminum Awning Cost
Let’s list the three major cost components when installing a metal awning. Take note that we will consider a medium sized fixed/permanent awning that will be professionally installed. Fixed aluminum awning prices will differ depending on the size and quality of materials.
Let’s calculate the cost to install a small sized custom metal fixed/permanent awning measuring 4 feet by 4 feet.
- Total canopy area is 16 square feet
- The material to be used is Aluminum.
- Assume that it would take about 3 work hours to complete the project.
|ITEM||PER UNIT COST||TOTAL ITEM COST|
|AwningA lightweight aluminum awning should be enough for common installations.||$6.50 to $9.00 per square foot.||$104 to $144|
|Frame Metal frame. Includes mounting materials like screws, bolts, tape, and wires.||$4.00 to $6.00 per square foot||$64 to $96|
|Labor Typical cost to install aluminum awning. Depends on the experience and workmanship.||$40 to $60 per hour||$120 to $180|
|Total cost||$288 up to $420|
- If materials are bought from a hardware or home improvement store, chances are they are not offering installation services. Separately contact a professional awning, contractor or carpenter.
- You can save on labor cost by doing the installation DIY style.
You can also opt to buy premade and ready to install awnings, These may cost a bit less but are generally more difficult to install due to pre-constructed, standard size frames and lack of good installation instructions. These are available at home improvement stores. Smaller models are fairly inexpensive but expect aluminum patio awning prices to be more expensive.
Let’s calculate the cost to install a medium sized premade metal awning measuring 4 feet by 4 feet.
- Packaged awning includes frames and all other installation materials
- The work hours it would take to complete the project is only 3 hours
|ITEM||PER UNIT COST||TOTAL ITEM COST|
|AwningA small ( 4 ft x 4 ft) window metal awning with frame||$100 to $300||$100 to $300|
|Labor costDue to the pre-constructed frame, this is easier to install||$40 to $60 per hour||If 3 hours = $120 to $180|
|Total cost||$220 up to $480|
Prices of larger premade metal awnings:
- A medium (6 ft x 6 ft) door or wall fixed/permanent metal awning will cost around $200 to $400
- A larger fixed/permanent metal awning for patios and backyards will cost $600 or more
- Check if the area requires local county or state sales tax or permit fees
- A DIY installation might take more than the prescribed 3 hours. Start earlier and factor in daylight when installing.
- Take necessary precaution if this is a DIY project. Wear protective gear when using power tools and ladders or scaffolding.
- Be careful when shopping for premade awnings. Check if included frames are sturdy and made from quality materials. Also check the fabric type, quality and warranty on both the frame and fabric.
- When living in a cold area, check for snow-load capacity. Most fixed/permanent awnings are not snow load rated.
Let’s sum everything up. A metal fixed frame awning is normally stationary but there are retractable aluminum awning installations available too. With a metal fixed/stationary awning you get the strength and decent level of protection; however, fabric or canvas type retractable awnings will still be a better option in terms of versatility and mobility.
If you are planning to install a retractable metal (aluminum) awning choose between a manual or motorized model. You can even customize the awning by putting in sensors and remote control capabilities and timers if a motorized awning is chosen.
And, finally, check with professional installers and request quotations based on approximate measurements and awning location. Be sure to also check user reviews on my website to get only the most professional and experienced companies and awning installers available.