How to take measurements for your folding-arm awning
So, you have decided to install a folding-arm awning on your terrace so that you can make the most of the good weather and expand your home outdoors. So that you have an idea of your budget, you will need to start by taking the measurements for your future awning. Here are some tips for making sure you get the right dimensions for your folding-arm awning.
Measurements to take into account for your folding-arm awning
Determine the width of your folding-arm awning
To ensure an attractive finish, the folding-arm awning should be centred in the middle of the façade or over the window or doors. In addition, it should cover more than just the space you want to be in the shade.
Awning widths generally vary between 3 and 7 metres, but a professional awning manufacturer can offer a custom-made awning that is perfect for your terrace.
- On your terrace, measure the width of your window or door frame or of the space you want to be in the shade.
- Next, add 20 cm to each end (or 50 cm if you want a larger shaded area and sun protection for inside the home, too).
- Make sure you calculate the overall width with everything (frame, cassette, etc.) included, in order to check that you have enough space for the awning on your façade.
The width is the first measurement you need to consider, as it will determine how robust the frame needs to be, how many articulated arms you will need, and the type of motor you will install.
Define the projection of your folding-arm awning and how much shade it provides
The projection is the dimension of the awning from the roller tube against the wall to the end of the bottom rail.
The size of the shaded area depends on the length of the fabric and your terrace's orientation. That is why you should carry out tests at several times throughout the day to visualise the shade the awning will provide.
The projection is generally between 2 and 4 metres.
- A 2.5 m projection will provide a shaded terrace area of around 1 m.
- A 3.5 m projection at an angle of 5–10° will provide a shaded terrace area of between 2 m and 2.5 m.
- A 4 m projection will provide a shaded terrace area of around 3 m, which is enough to cover a table with 6–8 chairs and keep everyone in the shade at lunch time.
The sun is only directly overhead at lunch time, so the shade the awning provides changes constantly throughout the day. This is an essential variable to take into account when taking the measurements for your folding-arm awning.
Plan the ideal height of your folding-arm awning
Make sure you have enough space up high to install your awning! To do this, you need to:
- Measure the space between the eaves and the lintel
- Measure the space needed to open and close the shutters
- Check the space between the windows or doors and the roof
The height will also depend on the projection: the longer the awning, the higher it will be installed, in order to leave enough space under it, given that an angle of between 5° and 15° (the latter for awnings measuring 4 m or more) must be ensured between the top and bottom of the awning.
It is also important to remember that the bottom rail must be high enough so that you do not knock your head on it (around 2 m is a suitable height).
The height also depends on which way your façade is facing. If it is west-facing, you are advised to install the awning higher up to create a steep gradient. This will protect you against horizontal rays at the end of the day. Another option is to install a roll-up valance.
So, how do I take the measurements of my folding-arm awning fabric?
You might need to measure your current folding-arm awning fabric if you want to change the fabric.
This is easy, and there is no need to dismantle the awning. Use a stiff tape measure, rather than a sewing tape measure, which is too flimsy and unreliable for large dimensions.
Measure the width of your folding-arm awning fabric
At the valance or just below the bottom rail, measure the width of the fabric, including seams, keeping the tape measure level and extending it to the other end of the awning.
Please note: it is important to measure the width accurately, as an awning that is too wide will not fit in the roller tube. The length is less important, as the fabric will be rolled up on the roller tube.
Measure the length of your folding-arm awning fabric
To work out the length (or projection) of your awning fabric, hook the end of the tape measure on the bottom rail and pull it up to the wall, parallel to the fabric. Add 30 cm for the fabric that will stay on the roller tube to mask it, for a more attractive finish.
Do not add too much length for a full-cassette or semi-cassette awning, as if the fabric is too long, it could rub against the edge of the cassette and prevent the awning from rolling up properly, or the fabric could get damaged.
Then, check the fabric attachment on your current awning if you want to keep the same style:
- Cord = a rubber cord inserted into the hem of the fabric
- Tubing = a steel tube inserted into the hem of the fabric
- Raw finish = just a hem, with nothing inserted
In any case, custom-made awning fabric is always delivered with the cord inside it, ready to be installed.
If you have any queries, contact an awning manufacturer. Professional awning manufacturers will offer advice in accordance with your technical constraints and preferences in terms of appearance.
How do you create shade on a patio?
There are plenty of ideas and installation solutions for landscaping your garden and providing welcoming shade on your terrace while enjoying the benefits of the sun.
How do you choose an awning fabric?
An awning fabric is never chosen at random. Whatever your lifestyle and habits, Dickson can help you choose your fabric by offering you high-performance acrylic fabrics.