As climate change makes heat waves fiercer, keeping cool at home needs preparation. The main ways of staying cool are to:
- Keep heat out: shade windows and close them in the day
- Ventilate at night to cool your home down
- Keep yourself cool
DIY awnings shade sunny windows, stopping the sun streaming in during heatwaves. We find these really keep these rooms a lot cooler and can be removed and stored easily when not in use or if it gets too windy.
You can adapt these designs for your own situation. Fabric that’s reflective on the upper side is best, like P6-BLACK/SILVER4oz reflective PU nylon, from Point North. Canvas would probably work well. We don’t recommend thin nylon, or other synthetics, which can be nearly transparent to the sun’s thermal radiation and will degrade in the UV.
This describes 2 types of DIY awning:
- For an upstairs window
An awning which is put up by leaning out of the window and attaching it to 6 fittings, screwed onto the wall – take care.
Work out the sizes for your window: A hemmed fabric rectangle forms the awning to shade the window, without coming too low.
Screw the 6 fittings to the wall, using wall-plugs if needed:
Two upper hooks, just above the window, hold the awning’s top corners via loops of elastic.
The bottom corners are each permanently tied to an end of two horizontal tubes of a length to hold out the awning at a suitable angle.
Two tube holders screwed to the wall hold the other ends of the tubes in place against the wall. Wardrobe rail fittings may be suitable. Or the ‘tubes’, might be strong wooden dowels or broom sticks
Two lower hooks are screwed to the wall, as wide apart as you can safely reach. They hold strings, like tent guys, from the bottom corners, tensioned to hold everything in place.
- For a ground floor window
Ours is much larger to shade a single-story extension, Its top edge is attached to several large hooks on the fascia board, just below the gutter, while the bottom corners have elasticated guy ropes that are attached to hooks on our garden fence posts. If you don’t have a fence post or trees in the right place, this may need a post installed or a vertical pole, steadied by other guys.
See our 43 sec YouTube video of Anne showing the awnings.
Hoping this helps you stay cool in the next heatwave!
Tom & Anne Bragg, 2021 firstname.lastname@example.org