It's a, Holy Cow, an Awning!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I know I've mentioned, the electric retractable awning from our previous address.  We enjoyed it; Mike thought it cooler than sliced bread and has wanted one of his own ever since.  It was such a hit, his brother got one!

During the last spate of warm weather, lolling about out on the deck, Mike mentioned the awning* again.  Who can blame him as it can get pretty toasty sitting up there in the unabated sun.  Plus he's got that delicate ginger skin.  :)

So then ah, the dangers of smart phones and their apps....I pulled up the Menards app and lo, there was a manually powered retractable awning on sale.  "Get it!" he proclaimed.

A couple days later I did so though quickly discovered that the twelve foot long cardboard tube was sadly not going to come home in my lil' Rabbit.  I mean, it could have but it would not have been ideal nor easy nor manageable trying to maneuver the thing around by myself.  It came home in Mike's car a few days later.

new awning in packaging
Awning in a tube.  
Then finally, over the weekend, it went up.  Yay!

We did well again together though Mike said I got a wee snippy once or twice.  And one time when he was holding up the twelve foot 2x6 on the garage while I ran in to get the correct size nut driver due to my error, he was plotting my demise.  Other than that, unscathed!

Well, ok unscathed but at one juncture we were mighty downtrodden.

Before installation, I read the instructions.  Important, yes.

When Mike and I went to pick up the awning, we grabbed that twelve foot pressure treated 2x6 to use as a ledger along with some lag bolts and fender washers.  The guy I spoke to when buying the awning said a ledger would be a good idea against siding, hence, so purchased.

The sales guy and I were standing around looking at the tube when I asked him about a ledger, good idea or can we skip it.  He looked at me all scrunched brow, wide-eyed, mouth agape, confused, unable to answer.  Yes, chicks know things, sheesh!  So tired of that.

Our first task was installing the ledger.  We unpacked the awning, took a gander, then set to work.

I tried to find the studs with my little stud finder* but fyi, it doesn't find studs through siding.  Siding and OSB.
stud finder on garage wall
Hello?  Anybody there?  Helloooo?
No worries as the construction is exposed inside the garage; with my handy tape measure I located stud centers then marked them on the exterior side.

studs inside garage
Thank you garage people for making my life easier.
outside of garage
Studs all located and marked.  We opted for the full length actual framed construction studs.
Mike held the board up, I drilled through and then oops oh crap, I grabbed the wrong size lag bolt nut driver and aw man...I don't run but this time I did.

Mike had said, "bring the whole box of bits."  I said, "nah, this'll be fine."  I had to tell him he was right.  Yes he was quite excited about that.

installing ledger
Aaaand the ledger is up, round one.
Once the ledger board was up, we snapped a level line* and put the awning brackets on.  Even though an outside company installed our garage, we have learned to not trust anything on this plot o' land.

attaching awning hardware to ledger
Cruising right along, putting those awning brackets on.  Go my befreckled ginger man!
Ok!  Yay!  Almost done!

So we lifted the awning up, slid it onto the brackets and hey, why is this metal nubby thing, ....huh?  After pacing and pondering I picked up the directions and hey guess what, we were trying to hang the thing the wrong way.

There wasn't any real clear indication of which end was up, frustrating, so we calculated and installed the ledger based on, well, everything incorrectness.  Just a simple sticker with an arrow would've made a world of difference.

Finn on the deck
At least we were well guarded by Finn on active yard patrol.
Talk about sighing.  We stood there, stared, stared at each other, tried to concoct a way around having to move the ledger down but eventually resigned ourselves that we had no choice.  Talk about more sighing.

Because too, moving the ledger down meant two things:  siding holes and removing the fantastic light fixture.  Yeah.  Now let's talk about sad.

crack in ledger
Siding holes.  Boo.  Ugh.  Not happy.
So grumpily (and it was so far the warmest day of the year with a fervent sun that wasn't helping either) we put it in reverse:  took the awning down, loosened the brackets as they had poked through, loosened the ledger, shut the power off, I took down the light while tearing up, then we placed the ledger to above the door.

ledger with awning hardware
The new ledger location, above the door header.  Sniffle, my light fixture....
And then it was time to put it in forward again, repeat.  The end of our ledger board split (see above this last photo) so that was a bit aggravating and it turns out it's a hair bowed as Mike had trouble getting one end of the awning pinned in.

But hey hey, it was up!  Yay!

awning installed
Hey!  It's on!
Mike did the inaugural unrolling and it went straight out, parallel to the deck.  Disappointment was in the air though unspoken as we sat below it.  We also discovered something we didn't anticipate:  we'll have to keep moving our chairs to the east as the sun moves across.  That's ok, so it is.

We discussed adding removable curtains on the west end to cut down on chair moving, so I'll give that some thought.  Mike had a brilliant idea to use magnets to hold the curtains on.  Thumbs up babe!

view of deck with retractable awning
Opened, and straight out.
Eventually we figured out the pitch adjustment and got the awning to tilt down which lessened our initial disappointment and we were feeling better about it all.

retractable awning on garage
Actually I think it's still straight out here.  Guess I don't have a pitched shot for you, sorry.
I mean, it's not the most attractive thing in the world, in my eyes, but it makes Mike happy, and Finn happy, and well, me happy as well.

closed retractable awning on garage
Wild clouds, huh?!  Here's the awning closed up.  I worried we'd both tweak about it being off-center but, whew, we're ok.
Wow, we have come a long way so far.  Wow.  Wow.

We spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the deck in the shade.  Yay!  Skooching our chairs around but in the shade!  Mike's a happy awning guy now.

Next docket item out there?  I have to put up a gutter to protect the awning, and yeah, the deck too.  I realized I can now make use of the stupid rain barrel by dumping the garage roof rainwater into it.  I'm only putting a gutter across the yard side though.

Oh, heh, a steel weld epoxy update?  Heh, yeah, nope.  We had a fire last weekend, I shifted in the chair -- plink.  Epoxy broke.  Oh so sad, heh.  Dammit!  Ah well.  So much for that.  I really should take a welding class or something huh?

All righty, lots to do.  Mike is on me about the first floor bathroom so that's ramping up.  We finally came up with an idea to finish it so, time to work.  Plus I'm trying to sneak in more of my outdoor list in between.  Stay tuned!

But omg, sniffle, nooooo.  Not my purple one.  It is a sad, sad, sad day.

*The awning, stud finder, and snap line are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. Yeah those ashy white elbows....? Damn!
    What about the light fixture, I'm on the edge of my seat.........

    1. Ashy white elbows....heh, you're a weirdo. You'll just have to wait on that light fixture there my friend! xo

  2. FYI???
    Regarding your ledger board, assuming it is pressure treated, I would still fill the cracks with filler and treat the end grain with something. Just sayin'

    1. It is pressure treated and good ideas, thank you. Will do!

  3. How much did the awning cost you?

  4. Wow, what a fascinating read! It's amazing how traditions and beliefs shape even the smallest aspects of our lives. It's fascinating to learn about its symbolism and how it's honored. Thanks for sharing this insightful piece!

  5. What a delightful surprise! This blog truly captures the joy and excitement of discovering the perfect awning for your outdoor space. Can't wait to read more!


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