Shading windows and doorways from the sun and protecting them from rain and snow is as simple as installing a small awning. These miniature roofs not only block the elements, but they can add an aesthetic charm that boosts your home’s curb appeal. Follow this guide for how to build a simple, affordable DIY wooden awning with a stylish metal roof.
Renting and Using Saws
If you don’t already own a miter saw or circular saw, you can rent them instead of purchasing to save money and avoid having to store them once you’ve finished the project.
Miter saws can cost $230 or more to purchase new but can be rented for $50 per day at your local home improvement store or rental center. Circular saws cost $130 or more but can be rented for $25 per day.
Your circular will need a serrated metal-cutting blade—ideally with steel teeth—if you plan to use metal roofing or siding materials. Check the blade’s label to ensure it’s right for your project. The rental store should be able to assist you.
How to Build a Wood Awning Frame in 6 Steps
Photo: thieury/ Adobe Stock
Follow these simple steps to create a custom exterior door awning or window awning.
Your awning will consist of two triangular A-frame brackets, one on either side, spanned by horizontal joists to support the roofing.
Measure the width of the door or window over which you want to install your awning.
Measure your awning to be slightly wider than that width from the inside edge of each A-frame bracket.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to fasten your awning to your home’s structure. If your home has a wooden frame, you’ll fasten the awning directly to that frame. If you have a concrete block home, you’ll need to use concrete screws and anchors to bore directly into the walls.
If you want the roof of your awning to be angled exactly the same as the roof of your home, you’ll need to determine your roof’s pitch. Follow our guide on how to measure a roof pitch to do so. This is optional, however, and you can ultimately choose whatever angle you want for your awning roof, as long as there is some slope to allow rainwater to slide off.
Cut Your Lumber and Assemble Your A-Frames
For each A-frame, you’ll need two pieces of two-by-four lumber cut to the same length. One piece will rest vertically against your home, and the other will extend from the top of the vertical piece at a downward angle away from your home.
The top of each vertical piece should be cut with a bevel that will be angled away from your home to match your desired roof pitch. Use a miter saw to cut the angle you need.
The second piece for each A-frame will act as a rafter connecting to your horizontal joists. Cut each to have two beveled ends, each cut at the same desired roof pitch angle. Both cuts should run parallel to one another.
One angled end of the second piece will lay flush against the side of your home atop the vertical piece, angling the entire piece down toward the ground to form the pitch of your awning roof. Keep that positioning in mind as you attach the two pieces with wood glue and a decking screw to form the top of the A-frame. Repeat this for the other A-frame.
The third piece of each A-frame will be shorter, running from the center of the vertical piece to the center of the rafter piece. Both ends need to be cut to the same angle as before, this time with the cuts running perpendicular, so you have a short side and a long side. Attach this piece with wood glue and a screw through both of the other pieces. Repeat this for the other A-frame.
Cut Your Rafters
Now that your A-frames are complete, cut three horizontal joists with square ends to span the width between them. One joist will rest against the side of your home between the A-frame rafters. Space the other two joists evenly along the length of the A-frame rafters.
If you have enough lumber, you can cut a few beveled ends to look like rafter tails and have them stick out in line with the ends of your A-frame rafters. These won’t serve any structural purpose – they’re just decorative, and it’s up to your personal preference whether to include them.
Paint Awning Frame
Before you attach the awning frame to your home, you have the option of painting the frame using exterior wood paint. Choose a color that matches or complements your home’s siding or trim. Let the paint dry completely before proceeding.
Install Awning Frame
Install your A-frames against the wall of your house on either side of your door or window according to your measurements. Fasten all of your horizontal joists to your A-frames with wood glue and decking screws. If you opted to cut fake rafter tails, fasten them to your frontmost joist in line with the A-frame rafters.
Cut and Attach Roofing
Once your frame is up, you just need to attach your roofing. Once your frame is up, you just need to attach your roofing. You can purchase metal roofing or siding panels—prefinished and cut to size—from a local roofing company or home improvement store.
Otherwise, you’ll need to cut them yourself. One way to do this is with a circular saw equipped with a metal cutting blade wheel. Be sure to wear protective gloves and eyewear when cutting metal.
Your panel will need to be large enough to span the entire wooden frame of your awning with a few inches of overhang on the front and sides. Use a pencil to mark your measurements with a straight guideline on the underside of the panel, then slowly cut along your guideline with a gentle amount of pressure.
With your roof panel cut, mount the panel atop your awning frame and use metal roofing screws to fasten it securely. With that, your DIY awning is complete.
DIY Awning Frame-Building vs. Hiring a Pro
According to HomeAdvisor, you can expect to pay $450 to $700 for a door or window awning. If you don’t own any of your own tools, the cost to rent them and pay for your materials is still less expensive than the low-end of a professional awning installation.
Additional Awning Questions
Do awnings add value to your home?
Awnings can add value by boosting your home’s curb appeal. An awning with a metal roof may attract potential buyers seeking trendy design materials.
What are the benefits of an awning?
Awnings offer a number of benefits, including:
Reduced summer home cooling costs with lower solar heat gains
Protection from sun, rain, and snow damage
Increased curb appeal for your home
Keep in mind that awnings also have drawbacks, including the potential to reduce your view, block natural light, and create new occasional home maintenance needs.