Adding an Awning

Awnings are a great way to add interest and utility to your house. They can perk up a plain façade as well as provide great utility by blocking sun and providing a rain cover at doors. To help us figure out the right approach to adding an awning, we asked Cedar Baldridge of Houston-based Baldridge Landscape to discuss the key considerations. Here are her recommendations:

  1. If you’re considering adding an awning and want to get a sense of what it might look like you can photograph your house and then take some colored pencils and either draw directly on the photo or use trace paper to see how awnings of different shapes and sizes would look on your home. (For examples on how to do this, peruse the sketchbook on the Baldridge Landscape website here.)
  2. There are many options when it comes to designing an awning. Spear heads, which are metal poles with spear finials on the tips, are pretty. We created a Chippendale design awning bracket (which is featured in TSG Houston, Vol. 1) that is lovely, though if an awning is small enough it does not require a brace (see the ones in TSG Houston, Vol. 2). One of my trademarks is a double valance, which adds interest and definition to the valance, and the cording used makes the under valance pop. Work with an expert who will help you explore your options and execute what you’re envisioning.
  3. Be mindful to paint the frame on the underside of your awning, otherwise you will find yourself looking at ugly metal. Another great idea is to line the underside of the awing, which will cover the not-so-pretty mechanics.
  4. Only use awning-quality fabric (your fabricator will provide you with samples), and note that awnings can last a long time, but it is crucial that you have them professionally washed once a year (your fabricator will usually provide this service). During cleaning the awning is untied, the laces are untied, and the whole fabric piece is then washed on the ground, typically with a power washer.

Expert tip from Cedar Baldridge of Baldridge Landscape in Houston, TX. Image by TSG Houston Vol. 2 photographer Jill Hunter.