For several years I have been wanting one of those heavy duty awnings from Sunsetter for the back part of the deck. The hope was that it would provide winter shelter for the pool table, Idiot Dog Teddy's bed, and other things that don't handle rain very well. Finally this summer we ordered it.
Even more finally, after refinishing the deck and doing some painting touchup, we managed to actually install the awning. It was a fair amount of work (the written instructions were OK and the DVD helped a lot too) and still has a few finishing touches left to be done, but it has already survived its first wind test last night and came through very well.
The awning came in five packages, the two coolest by far being the very long cardboard tubes. I don't know how or in what form, but I suspect these tubes will be great fun for the grandkids. Very observant readers will note the awning rail mounted along the wall above the windows. This was the part of the installation that worried me the most, but turned out really strong and not all that hard.
The awning is 15 feet wide and fits underneath the eaves - it should provide fairly complete protection for that whole end of the deck.
The model we got has a manual rolling mechanism (we actually anticipate rolling this thing up very rarely, so the motorized option seemed a bit extravagant). Also, it should be noted that it was very windy and cold while we were putting this up yesterday. I had my normal Saturday morning walk (which turned out to be only 10 miles) in very pleasant, cool weather. By the time we got started on this though, the wind had come up and it was quite chilly.
This is a very sturdy awning. Note the arches on the inside to provide additional support. The support arms are currently angled back to the wall (for some reason that supplies maximum support in windy conditions), but they can be positioned straight up and down if desired (which is what we will probably do in the summer when there is little rain to worry about).
And here is what the deck now looks like with the awning deployed. Note the wagon that was overturned by the fierce winds.
We now need to rehang all the planters and work out how to arrange everything on the deck. Since the wind is already starting up, this may be a next weekend thing though.
That's it - move along...