How to Make a Cafe Awning

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Many people have decided to wait out the real estate crunch before attempting to sell their homes. Consequently, they are looking for creative ways to expand their existing living space and better enjoy the home that they are in. An outdoor cafe awning can bring much needed shade to a bright window and can add a bit of European charm to an outdoor space.

Things You'll Need

  • PVC pipe Awning fabric Grommeting tool Grommets Nylon rope Pre-set cast iron rails or outdoor columns Power drill Mason bits Level Tape measure Chalk line Pencil Power screwdriver Stud finder 2x10 piece of lumber Flashing Caulk

Attaching The Brace and Frame

  • To begin, mark the roof area where the awning will attach on both sides with a chalk line. Check with a level to be sure that the awning will hang evenly. Use the stud finder to locate the studs in the wall and mark their locations. Measure and cut the 2x10 lumber and fix it to the wall with lag bolts and washers. Attach the flashing to the house with galvanized screws, and then caulk between the house and the flashing. Measure and cut PVC to create an awning frame and attach it to the lumber with 4" wood screws.

  • Measure and cut the awning fabric for the top of the frame and sew a 5/8" seam all around the outside edges. Measure and sew a valance for the front of the frame as well. Use a grommeting tool to make holes and attach grommets on both pieces for hanging. Feed the awning fabric through the channels at the top of the awning frame. Secure the fabric into place by stretching it and securing it at each corner with self tapping screws. After the awning fabric has been secured, lift the awning up onto the pre-set cast-iron rails or columns.

  • Attach the awning frame to the cast iron rails or columns with 2" self-tapping screws, being sure that the awning frame lines up correctly with the pre-drilled holes on the rails or columns. Thread the nylon rope through all of the grommet holes while wrapping it around the frame. Attach the valance part of the awning on the front of the frame in the same fashion. If you wish, you can add fringe to the front of the valance with a glue gun to give it a more finished look. Add a cold glass of iced tea and a hammock and you are all set for summer!

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