Naturally, the awning fabrication process varies somewhat in the details, depending on the type of awning being constructed. Nonetheless, there is a standard path the process takes as your awning moves from concept to installation.
It all starts on the drawing board.
Fabrication can’t take place without a plan. So whether you’re starting with a sketch on a napkin or a beautifully rendered architect’s design, the physical details of awning fabrication will be translated into engineering drawings and specifications.
If your awning is to be retrofitted onto an existing building, your commercial awning fabrication professional will do a site visit to inspect the building’s exterior and check for any potential impediments. The façade must be structurally able to carry the weight of your awning, and that might affect the style or materials you choose.
Awning fabrication typically uses aluminum for framing, because it’s far lighter than steel of equal strength and aluminum doesn’t rust, so maintenance is easier. It can also accommodate a liner system called “eggcrate.” Under some circumstances, galvanized steel framing may be the better choice for you, though it will require periodic repainting to prevent rust that can occur at the cuts and welds over time.
If your awning will have to withstand particularly heavy loads, you may choose all-metal for awning fabrication. Standing seam and Mapes awnings are both constructed entirely of aluminum. Both come in standard size sections that can be configured to fit your needs, and both can also be custom-fabricated.
Awning Fabric Covering.
There are myriad fabrics available today that have been specifically engineered for use in awning fabrication. These fabrics are dramatically different than the types of vinyl used to produce signs, banners or billboards, because your awning needs to last for many years. Aside from cosmetic differences in color and pattern options, coverings for awning fabrication can be highly resistant to mold and mildew, rot, fading, stretching, fire and ultraviolet light.
The best product for your awning fabrication will depend on your aesthetic preferences, your physical location and how you plan to use the awning. During the awning fabrication process, fabric coverings can be affixed onto framing using staples, tec-screws, ties or a heat-sealing process that essentially welds the fabric edges together.
Seemingly insignificant details in awning fabrication can make a tremendous difference in performance. For instance, if your seams will be sewn, a top-quality awning manufacturer will use only Gore-Tex® or Gore® Tenera thread, because other products simply won’t hold up. Because longevity is so important, you should also insist on fabrics that come from reputable manufacturers rather than a potentially unreliable source.
Because awnings are often used to advertise businesses as well as provide shade or winter protection, they can be designed to carry custom graphics. Depending on local building codes, awnings may display your name and logo and street number, or your field of options may be considerably wider. By choosing the right product, your awning fabrication can include an all-over design digitally printed onto your awning’s fabric. You can literally create your own fabric print or add a larger-than-life photo or other image.
Though technically installation takes place after awning fabrication is complete, it’s an integral part of the process and crucial to assure your awning delivers the strength and lifespan you expect. There is more than one way to install awnings, dictated in part on how your awning is constructed and in part by requirements of the building itself.
Only well-trained, experienced professionals can reliably do the work properly, which is why your awning fabrication company considers installation the last step in awning manufacturing.
See the awning fabrication process for yourself. Ask your awning company for a tour of their production facilities and showroom. It’s a great way to start thinking about awning design, and you’ll know the company you’ve chosen will be able to produce exactly what you want, beautifully.