Chill Out in Style: The Ultimate Guide to Back Porch Awnings

Summertime is here, and you know what that means – backyard BBQs, pool parties, and endless hours spent enjoying the great outdoors. But when the sun gets too hot or a sudden rain shower threatens your fun, it’s time to take cover under your trusty back porch awning. If you don’t have one yet or are looking to upgrade your current setup, then this blog post is for you! We’ll delve into everything from selecting the perfect awning style and material to installation tips and maintenance advice. So grab an iced tea (or a cold beer) and let’s dive into the wonderful world of back porch awnings.

Why You Need a Back Porch Awning

First things first: why exactly do you need a back porch awning? The answer is simple – comfort and protection! Here are some key reasons why investing in an awning is totally worth it:

  1. Weather protection: Whether it’s beating down sun rays or pouring rain, an awning provides much-needed shelter so you can enjoy your outdoor space no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.
  2. Temperature control: Awnings help keep your porch cooler by providing shade from direct sunlight. In turn, this reduces heat absorption inside your home which could lead to lower energy bills!
  3. UV protection: Exposure to harmful UV rays can damage both our skin and our belongings. A quality awning with UV-resistant fabric ensures that you’re protected while lounging outside.
  4. Extended living space: With an awning covering your back porch, you create additional usable square footage where friends and family can gather comfortably.
  5. Aesthetic appeal: Available in various colors, patterns, and styles, an attractive awning adds visual interest to your home exterior.

Now that we’ve established why back porch awnings are a must-have, let’s explore the different types and styles available.

Types of Back Porch Awnings

When it comes to back porch awnings, there are several options to choose from. Here are some popular choices for residential applications:

  1. Retractable awning: The most versatile option, retractable awnings can be extended or retracted as needed with either manual or motorized operation. This type of awning is perfect if you want both sun and shade at different times of day.
  2. Fixed/stationary awning: As the name suggests, these awnings remain in place and provide constant coverage over your porch area. They’re often made with a metal frame and durable fabric that can withstand year-round weather conditions.
  3. Pergola-style awning: Combining the beauty of a pergola with the functionality of an awning, this stylish option features a slatted roof which offers partial shade while still allowing sunlight to filter through.
  4. Canopy-style awning: Usually supported by freestanding poles, canopy-style awnings offer temporary shelter ideal for special events or when you need occasional shade on your back porch.

Each type has its pros and cons depending on factors like your budget, desired aesthetic, and specific needs. Take time to research each option before making your final decision.

Awning Materials: Fabric vs Metal

A critical aspect of selecting an awning is choosing the right material – typically fabric or metal:

Fabric Awnings

Most commonly used for retractable and fixed/stationary styles,
fabric can be made from various materials including vinyl,
acrylic, polyester blends, or even natural fibers like
cotton canvas.


  • Wide range of colors and patterns to match any décor
  • More affordable than metal options
  • Quieter during rainstorms (no loud pinging noises!)


  • May require more maintenance and cleaning to prevent mold, mildew, or fading
  • Not as durable as metal (though high-quality fabrics can still last a long time)

Metal Awnings

Often used for fixed/stationary awnings or pergola-style roofs,
metal options include aluminum, steel, and copper. Each material
offers unique advantages in terms of durability, appearance,
and cost.


  • Extremely durable and long-lasting
  • Low-maintenance compared to fabric options
  • Can be painted any color or left with a natural finish


  • Limited design flexibility (often restricted to straight lines and angles)
  • More expensive than fabric materials

Ultimately, the right choice will depend on your preferences,
budget, and desired level of maintenance.

Measuring Your Porch for an Awning

Before purchasing an awning, you’ll need accurate measurements of your porch area. Here’s how:

  1. Width: Measure the width of your porch where you want the awning to be installed – this is usually from one corner post to another.
  2. Projection/depth: Determine how far out you want the awning to extend from your home. Keep in mind that a larger projection provides more shade but may also require additional support structures.
  3. Height: Consider the height at which you’d like to mount the awning – ideally high enough for people to walk under without bumping their heads!

Note that some manufacturers may use slightly different measurement methods; always consult their guidelines before placing an order.

Installing Your Back Porch Awning

Once you’ve chosen your ideal type, material, and size of back porch awning, it’s time for installation! While hiring a professional is recommended for most homeowners – especially if dealing with electrical components for motorized retractable models – some handy DIYers might feel comfortable tackling the project themselves. Here’s a general outline of the process:

  1. Gather tools and materials: You’ll need items like a ladder, drill, level, measuring tape, and fasteners appropriate for your awning type and material.
  2. Prepare the mounting area: Ensure that the area where you plan to install your awning is clean and structurally sound (i.e., no loose or damaged siding).
  3. Assemble the awning frame: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble your awning frame (if applicable).
  4. Mount brackets/supports: Install any necessary brackets or supports on your home according to guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
  5. Attach awning fabric/canopy: Depending on your chosen style, you may need to attach fabric or canopy material at this stage.
  6. Secure awning to supports: Finally, secure your completed awning assembly to its supports using appropriate fasteners.

Always follow safety precautions during installation,
and don’t hesitate to consult a professional if in doubt.

Maintaining Your Back Porch Awning

To keep your back porch awning looking great and functioning properly,
routine maintenance is essential:

  • For fabric options, regularly clean with mild soap and water
    using a soft brush – be sure it dries thoroughly before retracting
    (if applicable) to prevent mold/mildew growth.
  • Inspect hardware components like bolts/fasteners for signs of wear
    or corrosion; replace as needed.
  • Lubricate moving parts like hinges and rollers on retractable models;
    check motorized components for proper function (consult manufacturer’s
    guidelines for specifics).
  • Remove debris like leaves or twigs that may accumulate on top of the
    awning – use caution when accessing high areas!
  • If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, remove excess snow from
    fixed/stationary metal awnings; they’re designed to handle some weight,
    but too much can cause damage.

By following these basic maintenance tips, you’ll prolong the life
of your awning and enjoy many years of stylish outdoor comfort!

Time to Enjoy Your New Back Porch Awning

Now that you’ve got all the info on back porch awnings, it’s time to make your selection and start enjoying your new shaded oasis. Whether you opt for a sleek retractable model or a charming pergola-style structure, an awning is an investment that pays off in comfort, protection, and curb appeal. So go ahead – kick back with a good book or gather friends for a cookout under your beautiful new back porch awning!