Fixed awnings are typically manufactured from Sch.40 galvanized steel, Gatorshield steel or Sch.40 aluminum. These framing materials are cut to size and welded together to form a rigid skeleton to which a fabric cover is manufactured for. A quality structure will be fully welded with each weld primed with a rust inhibitor (for steel frames only) and then fully painted. Although most paints can be hand applied, the most durable finish comes in the form of powder coating or electrostatic paint, which must be applied on site after the frame has been installed. When properly designed, manufactured and with a little TLC, the framework can last thirty years or more. Keep in mind that in areas with high salt corrosion, like near the ocean, a frame built from aluminum is usually your best bet.
Once the framework is fabricated, a cover is also custom made to fit the frame. These processes usually happen at the same time, allowing a very short interim (if any) between the frame installation and project completion. Don’t be discouraged if the cover does not fit the first time as this is not uncommon and the fabricator will simply need to tighten up a few areas for the perfect fit!
When designed properly, fixed awnings can become an extension of your home adding outdoor living, a shady area for your pool, or entertaining space at a fraction of the cost when compared to bricks and mortar. With the addition of fabric curtains, awnings can provide shade from a nasty western exposure or a bug free environment so you can enjoy your landscaping.