Friday, January 4, 2013

DIY awnings for the Reno Cottage.

  Hmmm, seems I forgot to publish this post that has been sitting around for a week. I guess I should say Happy New Year and all that, despite being five days late. Still wondering where December went!
 The holidays are a flurry of activity as usual and we're getting up to more mischief, have already bought a piece of old furniture, hung out at the demo yard and started another two biggish renovating/constructing jobs. Mr CH is as much to blame as I am, and he called me "disgraceful" (with the biggest grin on his face)  when he noticed that I'd come home and parked the little car to one side of the driveway. He said "What do we have to pick-up?"

So here is the boring post full of not-so-technical jargon, that will tide me over while I go and wander around our house full of sanding dust. There is even dust on the kettle jug and we can't have that - caffeine, fuel of renovators.

Before we re-install the timber veranda windows, we needed to re-build the awnings over them. After spending months and months on/off painstakingly repairing and painting the windows, we want to make sure they are protected from the weather. These windows were probably added in the 1930's to close in the front veranda. There is a house in my Nanna's old street that has these windows but with 3 panes instead of 4, which was built in the 20's.

The side bay of veranda windows spans 2.4 metres which is about the maximum span we would use timber battens on. Any longer and the awnings would probably sag under the weight of the tin. For the front awning which has a greater span, we decided to use one timber batten close to the fascia and one steel batten on the outer edge for strength. Instead of using the ugly pre-fabricated steel battens which are normally hidden in the roof cavity, we decided to make our own from RHS (rolled hollow steel) 35x35x2mm. This allows us the advantage of extra strength for the long span while giving the illusion of a piece of timber therefore fitting in with the look of the rest of the awnings. We chose to do this as this is the main entrance and the battens are visible and we wanted it to look "nice" or is that "noice".
Homemade decorative brackets made back here.

Sample pic of the typical steel battens - (image from Stratco)

The "barefoot renovator"used his trusty angle grinder to cut the bottom half of the RHS leaving one flat side to fix to the topside of our decorative brackets. Which are treated pine studs cut in half ,which are 35mm, perfect match. Can't remember if I mentioned that we used some plywood from the sides of the old half pipe that has been retired.

The four decorative brackets have been attached to the front uprights. 
  And while I have this pic here, the front inside wall of the veranda has been getting a few hand painted coats of white ( a work in progress as well)
Ok, Mr CH says I don't explain things well, (that's cos it's so boring!) so this is a slightly blurred super-zoomed-in pic so I don't need to draw a diagram. The blue parts are the top unpainted side of the steel. Mr CH used steel for above the front door at the top only because he ran out of timber. Steel was used for the two outer spans and a small piece of pine stud used for the bit between the door. You can see how the flat tab of steel sits on top of the decorative bracket. The timber pieces of batten were nail-gunned in first and the steel was screwed in from the topside.

The gutters are the only thing on this house that does not need fixing, so Mr CH has had to work around them. The roofing has been screwed down using roofing screws. Mr CH used the metal screws for the whole awning, the metal screws were harder to use in the wood battens because they don't have the sharp tip.
 Don't get him started about looking for the driver bit for the drill though!

Left-roofing screws for timber roofing battens.           Right-roofing screws for metal roofing battens.

Keep the plastic film on your flashing until the holes have been drilled to prevent any scratching from the swarf (metal shavings) Wow, sounds like we know what we're talking about!

Having fun attaching the flashing to the fascia with self drilling screws.

We are using the flashing as bracing (strengthening) so you would not normally need to attach the flashing to the roofing iron. But we are, and because the gutter is in the way the rivet  (those things you used in grade 8 metalwork) holes have been drilled from underneath.

Pop riveting the flashing to the roofing iron from underneath.

Can you see the lazy dog through the door.

The remaining palm has been pruned and is awaiting the final chop.

Now you can go out and install some awnings, yay!


  1. Goodness that was a very techie post wasn't it? Tell the Mr that a simple- attaching steel thingy to roofing iron would probably suffice. Good to hear you are multitasking the reno projects and making a mess, just what holidays are for. mel x

  2. Wow, what a great idea. Just what I need on my place over the bedroom windows. I May have to give it a go!

  3. Happy New Year I hope it is an amazing one for all of us! You guys are just wonderful. Love to read what you get up to, I have missed them for sure. Thanks for you lovely comments. Take Care. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

  4. I bet you're glad that job is ticked off the list! Our gutters are pretty much rust and holes..hehe! That is one of the first jobs that need doing 'round here.

  5. It is always so amazing how many steps, long tedious steps, are involved for projects that when they are all done appear to be a simple "little job".
    Nice work.
    The barefoot pics always crack me up.
    Crazy Australians!

  6. You did a great job in making your own awnings! It looks really good. I think that using steel battens instead of wooden ones is a good decision because it does last longer as it’s sturdier. Just be sure that you installed it well and that you fabricated and painted it for it not to rust easily.

    Salvatore Aguilar

  7. Installing some awnings sounds like a good idea to me, particularly since the heat seems to be picking up. If nothing else, it’ll provide more shade when I’m at the porch and just knitting or reading a book while passing the time, and maybe divert some of the rain off the woodwork come rainy season. I’ll get the husband right on it! :)


  8. The blue parts are the top unpainted side of the steel. Mr CH used steel for above the front door at the top only because he ran out of timber.

  9. I can’t blame the dog. It looks like it’s hot out there. Heh.

    Those brackets look nice, and the brown battens does give the illusion of wood at first glace. Though I must say, being barefoot while sawing away like that, with possible chips and slivers flying away, is not a good idea. Good luck with the remaining parts of the awning! Cheers!

  10. DIY awnings are surely interesting and ingeniously made. I've encountered lots of DIY articles—but this one stands out. It's simple and very doable. Regardless, three thumbs up for this. Please keep sharing your thoughts—especially DIYs. You have a great day ahead.

  11. Though I must say, being barefoot while sawing away like that, with possible chips and slivers flying away, is not a good idea. Good luck with the remaining parts of the awning! Cheers!

  12. Wow! Amazing! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing it. If you are looking for professional Awnings Brisbane you can contact us.

  13. Looking good - but of note please, please, people wear boots (and safety glasses) whenever you pick up a power tool with a powerful rotary action - a small cheap angle grinder can easily cut your foot in half if you slipped/ lost your balance. The rotary disc will spin at high revolution for minutes after you let go of trigger if dropped, easily long enough to do serious damage to flesh and bone. It was drilled into us at design college to never pick up a power tool until we were completely ready to do the job with full knowledge of what action was required with tool, and to act with caution and full concentration until the tool was put down in safe area. It may sound pedantic, but those college teachers had seen their share of lost fingers and worse, and their mantra was always treat a rotary disc power tool no matter what size with great respect and never use one without prior thought as to how approach ask before picking it up. Yes, lecture over, but boots and glasses people...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...