Window awning options

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Window awning options

Postby Betsy » Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:13 pm

I was looking for ideas about window awnings for my mobile home. They need to be affordable but also removable or retractable so they don't get ripped off in case of hurricane. So far all the mobile home awnings I've seen do not adjust flat or come off easily. Then I was looking at RV window awnings that roll up and they actually look very nice although they are pretty expensive. All I want is something that will protect my windows and give me some shade in the summer. I was even thinking about using a shutter, one that matches the existing shutters but mounted horizontally across the top of the window and supported by decent looking brackets, like plant hanger brackets maybe. Anyone have any suggestions?
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RE: Window awning options

Postby Yanita » Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:44 pm

Hi,

I do not have any real cost saving tips on actual shutters/awnings. About anything worth anything is going to be a bit spendy. Hurricane shutters are costly and to be honest I am not sure they are decorative or used for shade. Never researched them. Guess I should as I live in a hurricane prone area.

I do not care for awnings, maybe because most MH ones I have seen are tacky looking to me. You might want to consider a window tint that you can do yourself.

Although I do your home made version idea.

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RE: Window awning options

Postby Teatime » Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:03 am

I've been thinking about awnings, too, for my front windows. Our summers are brutally hot and my front rooms get the strong afternoon sun, grrrr. (It wouldn't be a problem if they just placed the home with the front of the house facing the street instead of the side. The lot is wide enough so I don't know why they didn't.) But, I digress... :oops:

I don't like the metal mobile home awnings. They look flimsy to me. (Did I say it gets wildly windy here, too?! And it hails a lot?!) I DO like the canvas awnings, though. The metal frames look easy to install and you slip the canvas over the frame, which means you can also remove them when you want. I think I'm going to go that route but it will mean saving up.

Heh, I may have to decide which is more important to me -- new vinyl flooring or awnings. :) Awnings will definitely help block the sun and heat from my two-front facing bedrooms and my living room. I installed the tinted film over the front windows and it helps some, but not enough.

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RE: Window awning options

Postby Betsy » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:16 pm

I had the tint put on all my windows too (3M Shatterguard) but still there is a lot of heat and glare from the west. I have cotton shades up and they stop the glare but not the heat. Also though I was thinking since I have the el-cheapo mobile home windows they might fare better under the protection awnings would provide. I too like the look of the fabric awnings but as you say it will take a lot of saving up. The RV awnings are fabric and supported by a metal frame but then roll up into a roller thing, this way they can roll them up into a cassette against the RV when it's time to hit the road. On the Internet they look pretty nice too. Still expensive though, couple hundred dollars each window at least!!! Another cool thing about awnings would be leaving the windows open, at least a bit, when it rains, so long as it isn't a strong driving rain.
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Postby flcruising » Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:52 pm

Are you against window shades?

Even cheap roller shades would help out with the heat gain through your windows.

http://www.jcpenney.com/jcp/X3.aspx?Dep ... atID=60194
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Postby Teatime » Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:38 pm

flcruising wrote:Are you against window shades?

Even cheap roller shades would help out with the heat gain through your windows.

http://www.jcpenney.com/jcp/X3.aspx?Dep ... atID=60194


Um, no. I have both shades and drapes on my windows. They don't help much. What I need is shade over the windows. When the Southwest sun is beating down on the house and it's an arid 105 degrees, the windows really heat up. The house has an overhang but it's not enough.

As I wrote previously, I think a lot of it has to do with the way my home is positioned. If the front was facing the street, the brutal afternoon sun wouldn't be heating up any windows. The way it is now, at the hottest time of day, the sun is hitting these windows directly. If I could do it, I'd have the house turned around, LOL.

A mobile home contractor who did some work for me said he's pretty sure a single-wide used to occupy my property. That makes sense, because there are poured concrete sections under my home that extend beyond my house in some sections. I guess when the property was sold and the double-wide was moved in, they utilized that in installing the foundation and kept the same position, with the side of the home facing the street.

I've planted some trees which will provide shade several years down the road. But awnings would be a big help now. Plus, I could open my windows during rainstorms.
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Postby flcruising » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:41 pm

Since awnings don't seem to be economically feasible, then another suggestion is solar screen. This is essentially heavy bug screen mounted to a frame, and clipped or screw-attached to the outside of the window. They come in differing percentages that block all but a small amount of the light (70%, 80%, 90% or more). The only downside is that they diminish the view out of the window, but if you're not too concerned with that, they are probably the cheapest alternative.
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Postby flcruising » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:15 pm

Betsy wrote:I had the tint put on all my windows too (3M Shatterguard) but still there is a lot of heat and glare from the west. I have cotton shades up and they stop the glare but not the heat. Also though I was thinking since I have the el-cheapo mobile home windows they might fare better under the protection awnings would provide...


Sorry Betsy, I guess I wasn't paying complete attention to what you said. Now it seems that you were saying you have cheap uninsulated windows?

Window tint/film essentially only helps to block some of the radiant (infrared) heat that comes from the sunlight. But heat also travels via conductive and convection. This is where a good thermally insulated window would help, or some heavy thermal curtains or shades. Awnings, on the otherhand, only help to block radiant heat from the direct sunlight, but they don't do anything for conduction or convection. So, unless you address each of these issues, you probably won't be completely satisfied with the results.

Now, if you only have a problem with the direct sunlight radiating heat through the window and heating up the room, then yes, it would be beneficial to either block the sun altogether with an awning, or greatly reduce it with some relatively inexpensive solar screen like I mentioned.
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RE: Window awning options

Postby Betsy » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:45 pm

I do have the secondary "storm windows" installed so there's that air space in between the two panes of glass and it helps insulate. I think my main reasons for wanting awnings is to protect the windows from the elements and, just in case there are leaks, to protect the framing of the house, and also to be able to leave the windows open when it rains. And I think awnings look nice too. At the very least I need to order some decorative shutters for the side of my house that does not have them since it is totally visible from the street - it looks very plain and bare on that side.
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Postby flcruising » Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:11 am

Depending on the size of your windows, you may be able to find a way to use inexpensive vinyl shutters as 'bahama shutters'. Maybe you could attach 2 together to get the width needed. (Hey, now I'm giving myself some ideas. :)) All they use is a hinge point at the top, which could be as simple as hooks that holes drilled at the top of the shutters just slip onto, and a stand-off prop rod toward the bottom. Usually the prop-rods are telescopic tubes with a finger bolt that allows you to set the angle, but you don't even need that much.
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RE: Window awning options

Postby Betsy » Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:09 pm

Yes! I like it!! I had thought of using one shutter mounted horizontally above the window as an awning. The shutters are so lightweight that the supports would only need be screwed into the shutters that flank each side of the window and then if there were a big wind that tore the awning shutter off it would only take the shutter it was screwed into with it. I have not yet thought of supports that could hold it at a sloping down angle though, so that rain water would run off and not sit for mosquitoes to hatch in. But your idea of using more than one shutter to create a bahama awning is very good. I'll be thinking about that for sure. If you come up with an idea for support arms I hope you will post it as part of this topic/thread.
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Postby flcruising » Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:05 pm

I was picturing setting two shutters side-by-side and placing some aluminum bars behind them horizontally to attach them together. Since most vinyl shutters are 'open' in the back, this would provide a place for a hidden frame that you could use as attachment points for the hinge above and the rods below.

The hinge part, I was thinking, could be a couple of open eye screws like the top one in this picture, that holes in the shutter/frame just hook onto.

Image






Here's a simple prop rod setup I found, though it doesn't look very secure when extended, it'll give you an idea as to how simple it can be. The thumb screw at the other end of the window allows the shutter to be secured shut.

Image
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RE: Window awning options

Postby Betsy » Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:27 pm

I have two shutters in my shed that I ordered and when I went to put them up I realized I ordered the wrong size, they are an inch or so too short. Anyway I'm going to lay them on the deck together and get an idea of how the finished "awning" would look. I was looking online at mobile home shutters and see they can be had in short lengths like 24" so maybe that would be a good size - it would protect but not totally block all light. I would use more than two since I'd want the awning to span the width of my windows and shutters, this would look nice and keep out rain that comes slanting from the sides. About fastening the shutters together - since wood lath is available to me and easy to cut and drill that might be my best bet there. As far as attaching to the window or house and propping open I'm still not convinced for how to proceed there. The hooks would hold them and allow them to be angled but might create a big enough gap where awning meets house to still allow rain in as it runs down.
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Postby flcruising » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:48 pm

So you're looking at using these as an short awning? Not a full window-length bahama shutter right? I think before you get into how long you want them, you might want to temporarily attach a template there to make sure the sunlight still gets blocked like you want as it goes down to the time day you want this to help until. IOW, track the sun for a day or so [especially depending on the month], and make sure it shades the window satisfactorily.

The hooks were just an idea as to keeping it simple, yet still allow you to drop it down as like a storm shutter, or be able to easily remove them altogether. If you don't need to remove them, and have some outside window casing for something to screw into, any hinge would do.

If I have some time, I might model something later since it could be an idea to throw at my wife too.
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RE: Window awning options

Postby flcruising » Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:49 am

Here's a quick rendering I came up with. The back side simply shows an aluminum angle that the shutters attach to top, middle and bottom. Then you'd simply drill holes at the top angle to hook the shutter into place. And since the shutters aren't solid, the angles would be hidden completely from the front.


Image

Image
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