Have it Made in the Shade With the Right Window Awnings

Window awnings not only keep your house cool, they block harmful UV rays and add curb appeal. Find out which type is best for your home.
Related To:
Metal Awnings on Blue House

Modern Window Awning

Chip and Joanna Gaines added a new metal awning supported by natural wood beams to the upper window for an updated look, as seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper.

From: Fixer Upper

If you’re looking to cut energy costs and increase curb appeal, consider window awnings.

Did you know that up to 40 percent of the heat in your home comes in through your windows? Shade can cut the temperature in your home by as much as 20 degrees on a hot summer day.

Typically made of fabric or metal, awnings are attached to the top of the window so that they block – and if they’re light in color – also reflect sunlight.

If the awning is made of a solid material, make sure there’s a small gap between the awning and the house so that heat can escape from under the awning. And if you live in a cold climate, remove awnings for winter, to prevent snow accumulation and take advantage of winter sunlight.

Slatted Awnings

In tropical or seaside climates, window awnings are slatted covers on hinges that shield the entire window during storms. The slats also maximize air flow and create a variety of “open” options for the window and transom – both open, one open or both closed.

How Much to Cover

On the north and south sides of the window, awnings should cover 45 to 60 percent of the window, because the sun’s angle is higher. On the ease or west sides, the window awning should cover as much as 75 percent.

Retractable Awnings

If you’d prefer not to remove and install window awnings each year, consider retractable awnings. Not only do they allow you to “remove” the awning during winter months, you can also open or close the awning during the day based on sun exposure.

Cleaning Window Awnings

Windows awnings are simple to clean. Simply hose them down, give them a squirt of mild cleaning solution or dishwashing liquid (Dawn and Woolite are great) and scrub them with a soft-bristle brush. Allow the solution to penetrate the fabric or work on the metal and then rinse.

Cleaning awnings twice a year, in spring and winter, will not only keep your house looking fresh it will make the window awnings last longer.

Choosing the Style and Material

First, determine whether you want your awnings to be a focal point or blend into the home. Ask your contractor for a portfolio so you can see what works on houses similar in style to yours. If your home is traditional, stick with straight-lined awnings; save the scallops or notches for contemporary or modern homes.

Next Up

How to Know Whether You Should DIY Broken Window Glass

Here are the pros and cons of replacing a broken or fogged windowpane.

All About the Different Types of Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters come in vinyl, composite and wood. Which is best for your home?

Is The Standard Window Size a Myth?

Learn about the most common window sizes and whether there really is such a thing as a standard window dimension.

All About the Different Kinds of Windows

From casement to clerestory, windows come in a variety of designs and styles. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right one for your home.

Find Out What a Picture Window is and How to Decorate It

Picture windows increase the light in the room, but their large size can make them difficult to decorate. Get window treatment tips and more.

Everything You Need to Know About Window Sills and Trim

Get tips for choosing the right window casing, installing it and maintaining it properly.

How to Choose the Best Exterior Window Trim for Your Home

Exterior window trim isn’t just a pretty face. It’s made to cover gaps keep your home sound and free from water, heat and humidity. 

Find Out What a Window Frame Is And Why It's Important

Knowing the window frame’s makeup and materials can help you make a better choice.

Choosing the Best Type of Window Replacement for Your Home

Determine whether a full or partial window replacement will give you the best return on your investment.

Home Window Repair Is Easy When You Know How

Take the mystery out of home window repair with these expert tips.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.