Slide-on wire refers to a retractable canopy that operates on a cable system, which opens and closes the canopy. Many homeowners install them to provide sun shields for their patios. Awning and canopy dealers sell and install slide-on wire kits. Some homeowners elect to make their own slide-on or cable canopy system. A common installation method installs from the exterior wall of the house to a fence.
Things You'll Need
- Wood bit
- Carpenter's square
- Screw eyes
- Screw bolts
- Ratchet wrench
- Aviation wire
- Canopy material
- Crimping tool
- Grommet Kit
Drill pilot holes into the framing studs for the screw eyes. The wire or cable attaches to these components. This ensures a good strong attachment. Use a drill with a wood bit with a diameter slightly smaller than the screw eye.
Insert the screw eyes into the opening. Tighten the fastener by hand. Insert a screwdriver in the eye to use as leverage. Finish tightening the fastener. Install the remaining screw eyes.
Establish the exact corresponding points for the eyebolts on the other end of the wire connection. Tie a length of twine to the first screw eye. Have an assistant walk to the other end and place the twine on the fence at the approximate location.
Place a heel of a carpenter’s square perpendicular to the house against the screw eye. The heel is where the two blades of the square meet. Instruct the assistant to move the twine from side to side until the twine becomes parallel along the edge of the square. Mark the spot for the eyehook. Repeat the step for the other screw eyes.
Drill clearance holes through each mark in the fence. Insert the eyebolt through the opening. Secure the bolt on the other side of the fence with the washer and nut. Tighten the nut with a ratchet.
Rig the wires for the canopy. Use aircraft cable, which is weather and rust resistant. Slip a ferrule over the end of the cable. This metal component has two holes and helps join the cable at the eye termination.
Slip the snap over the end of the cable. This hooks the cable in place on the screw eyes and eyebolts. Loop the cable back over the outside of the snap and into the second hole in the ferrule. Fasten the cable together to form the eye termination with a ferrule crimp tool.
Attach the cable to the screw eyes and run them across the patio. Connect the cables to the eyebolts on the fence. Install a turnbuckle on the other end of the cables. This allows for tightening to pull the cable taunt.
Install the shade cloth. This mesh material allows water to drain and filters much of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Purchase the material in a garden supply center or fabric vender. Consult the vendor on the proper tools for sewing a hem in the material.
Prepare the edges of the fabric by sewing 1 ½- to 2-inch hems. Make the reinforced holes along the edges for the grommets. Grommets consist of round metals rings, which allow you to attach the canopy to the wires without damaging the material.
Follow the grommet kit instructions. Punch a hole in the cloth with the punch. Insert half the grommet through the hole on the underside and the other on top. Secure as per instructions.
Insert key rings in the grommets. Disconnect one end of the cable and pass it through the key rings. Attach a grommet in the center of the shade cloth, along the edge, and attach a key ring. Attach two wires – one to pull the canopy closed and the other to pull it open.