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simple over-door awnings ...

newbuilder's picture

Are there any sort of standard approaches to some sort of  simple over-the-door awnings or something like that for some sort of protection from the downpour while your standing there holding groceries while awkwardly fishing in your pockets for keys?  The addition that I'm building doesn't have big overhanging porches and suchlike, but a little rain protection (since I live here in 'rain city') might be nice.    Any suggestions?

 

thanks -

nb

(post #107077, reply #1 of 13)

These gabled awnings are modeled after porticos commonly seen over entry doors on rural homes in the North East.  The roof pitch matches the house. 


I've built about a half dozen of these, over both doors and windows.  Pretty simple but fairly time consuming with all the details.


 



Edited 9/15/2008 7:49 pm by Hudson Valley Carpenter

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(post #107077, reply #2 of 13)

Thanks HVC,


Out West here I don't believe that I've EVER seen anything like that .. a complete little solid awning built on like that and devoted solely to one window each.  Most windows got nuthin over them so as not to diminish the light to them ... but doors .. entry ways .. always.   Very simple, very nice.


Thanks again -


nb

(post #107077, reply #3 of 13)

The house is in SoCal and I haven't seen any awnings like these out west either.  Nonetheless, they perform admirably, eliminating heat gain while not obstructing the view. 


 


 


 

(post #107077, reply #4 of 13)

"eliminating heat gain "   ... assuming they don't face west ...   :)

There ain't NO free lunch. Not no how, not no where!

(post #107077, reply #5 of 13)

They do face west.  That was the reason for building them over those windows.  The sun only hits the glass during the last hour of the day, and then with little effect.


 

(post #107077, reply #6 of 13)

I am actually building some "Shed roof style" awnings/roofs over my back door and patio door.  I am mimicking the one that was over the back door originally.  I have some pics to include.  I am a pretty new DIY'er so others may have better ideas.  But here's what I have done so far.  Two of the pics are before I started on the back of the house but it gives a rough idea of what I am copying.

(post #107077, reply #7 of 13)

I'm on a dial-up connection which is too slow for those big files.  General message board courtesy for photos is to resize them to 640X800 or thereabouts, the same as the file attached to my first post.  You can do that with any photo software on your computer. 

(post #107077, reply #8 of 13)

Hey .. thanks for those pics!


I see that Home Depot is offering these little lightweight awnings ... similar in outline to yours .. but, again, quite ligthweight ... not too bad looking:


http://www.homedepot.com


 


 


n

(post #107077, reply #9 of 13)

While much better than nothing ... hitting the west window ... assuming no shading from other surroundings ... from 4-7pm can be very significant ... it can shoot the interior temp way up and fast or cause the A/C to load in a big way for those few hours. Hottest part of the day and almost perpendicular sund = maximum gain.


If it has "little effect" then you definately have some shading from trees, the neighbor, a hill, etc.

There ain't NO free lunch. Not no how, not no where!

(post #107077, reply #10 of 13)

If it has "little effect" then you definately have some shading from trees, the neighbor, a hill, etc.


Have you looked carefully at the photos, figured out the angles, done any calculations...or are you just speculating? 


The windows in the photos are double pane low E replacement units.  During the summer months, there is a period of about one hour near the end of each day when the sun hits, at most, the bottom third of that glass.   It does increase the interior temperature of the house slightly but it's not significant.


There are other structures to west which eliminate direct sunlight during the last half hour or more at the end of each day. 

(post #107077, reply #11 of 13)

I'm just making a general statement about window orientation. I know very little about your specifics, whether your window is due west facing, what the profile of the horizon looks like to the west (including nearby trees, buildings, hills, etc.). People often make incorrect assumptions about the ability of eaves/overhangs to shade west and east facing windows.


The shading you apparently get later on makes a huge difference. Unprotected windows ... even CLEAR low-e, while being better than single/double pane, that receive FULL sun in the late afternoon until sunset can cause substantial heat gain.


A narrow eave that would shade a south facing window during the 4-5 midday hours would do very little on the west. Even large overhangs will do little in the last3-4 hours of the day ... but it sounds like you do have some substantial shading after 5 pm. I've seen people alter their west side landscaping (e.g. removing trees or bushes) and then wonder what happened when their house overheats.

There ain't NO free lunch. Not no how, not no where!

(post #107077, reply #12 of 13)

Unprotected windows ... even CLEAR low-e, while being better than single/double pane, that receive FULL sun in the late afternoon until sunset can cause substantial heat gain.


And that's why I built the gabled awnings.  After I installed the replacement windows with the double low E glass, I discovered that low E wasn't all that I heard it was. The full sunlight coming through those two windows was bringing a lot of heat with it. 


So I did some simple experiments to see how much overhang would be required to keep the sun off the glass, with the exception already noted. 


Edit: I admit to taking some pride in how I've carefully modified this fifty-five year old San Fernando house to work with the elements. 


Compared to the next door neighbor's, this house and it's one 10K BTU AC unit, plus a few ceiling fans, uses less than 10% of the KWHs that their central air system does.  An extra $50/mo in July and August versus $700/mo. 


Their temperature is constant while this house varies from about 68 degrees to about seventy-five, on the hottest days.  They do nothing to keep their house at 70 degrees while we need to open and close a few windows and doors each day. 


I don't mind taking a walk around the house, twice a day.  And I'm almost as comfortable with the variations in our temperatures as they are with none.


It's becoming a national disgrace, how much energy is wasted in the U.S.  While I didn't start this project as an idealist, I'm glad to discover that my efforts at conservation are appropriate to these times.  




Edited 9/17/2008 10:30 am by Hudson Valley Carpenter

(post #107077, reply #13 of 13)

All right ... you did do some homework! Way to go! I totally agree with you! It sounds like you tuned into your house in some good ways to minimize the impact energy has on your on-going expenses. Hope you didn't think I was beating up on you ... just expressing some concepts for the benefit of others. What works in one situation doesn't always work in another ... so we each need to tune into what we have and take the other tools we learn from each other and apply them in an informed manner.

There ain't NO free lunch. Not no how, not no where!