Awnings and shutters can enhance the curb appeal of your home. Awnings installed above your windows shade your home while also protecting your interior furnishings from fading by reducing sunlight and glare. Shutters, on the other hand, control light and provide privacy as well as protection from the elements.
Both stationary and retractable awnings improve energy efficiency without blocking your view. The type of awning you choose to install will depend on whether you want the flexibility of basking in the sun on demand. If you prefer to have this flexibility, you’ll want a retractable awning, which is available in manual and motorized versions.
Before installing your awning, check with your local municipality to determine whether permits are required for installation. Then:
1. Decide where you’re going to install the awning. Tip: Ideal placement of awnings is on south-facing windows since southern exposure gets the most sun.
2. Verify you have all of the parts and tools necessary to install the awning. These parts and tools include, but may not be limited to the awning frame and cover, as well as mounting brackets and a drill with the appropriate drill bits.
3. Determine the correct installation height for the mounting brackets. Tip: Check to make sure the height is high enough so the fully retracted awning is not visible through the window.
4. Mark drill hole locations for the mounting brackets. Tip: Center the awning above the window.
5. Drill holes for the mounting brackets and secure them in place.
6. Secure the awning in place. Tip: Caulk between the back of the awning and the exterior wall to prevent moisture from seeping through.
Shutters are also available in stationary and functional versions. Stationary shutters are simply mounted on the wall beside a window, while functional shutters are typically hinged to either side of a window and swing open and shut. Storm shutters provide protection from high winds, rain, and flying objects during a hurricane.
Before installing shutters, check with your local municipality or design review board to determine whether shutters align with the design guidelines for your neighborhood. Since they add depth and character to the exterior of your home, you’ll want to ensure they’re adding the right touch your municipality wants to see. When installing functional shutters:
1. Correctly size the shutter to your window. Tip: Measure the window on the inside edge of the casing. Divide this measurement in half to determine the approximate width of one shutter panel.
2. Measure the full height of the window opening. This will be the height of your shutters.
3. Install the frame. Tip: Three-sided frames are ideal because there is no frame piece along the windowsill.
4. Fabricate or purchase your shutter panels. Tip: Trim shutters to ensure proper clearance so functional shutters close easily.
5. Install shutter hinges. Tip: Position them so the shutters swing straight and close smoothly.
6. Hang the shutters in place and test whether they in fact swing straight and swing with ease. If not, adjust the hinges until they do.
Whether you install awnings or shutters around your windows, you’ll definitely see the boost in your home’s curb appeal.
Photo credits: Getty Images