Any retractable ‘knuckle arm’ awning requires at least two brackets to fix it to the wall of a building. Generally awnings are either ‘end fix’ or ‘multi fix’, meaning they either have the fixing points at each end only or with some flexibility in position depending where the main awning arm support points are situated.
As an awning gets larger in width and projection the potential forces placed on the supporting building or structure also get greater. When the awning fabric cover gets some load onto it from wind then these forces can be very great indeed. Think of a 7m x 3m awning having 21 square metres of taught fabric when opened, enough to power a large sailing yacht!!
As the awnings get larger there is generally a need for more brackets, all dependant on the weight and design of the awning in question. Open cassette awnings will usually be the lightest type as they have no housing, but they are not generally used in the UK as the fabric is exposed to the elements. A full cassette awning is the preferred type in the UK to give protection from all weather when closed and keep the fabric nice and clean and dry when not in use. A full cassette or even many semi cassette awnings can be extremely heavy and at 6, 7 or 8 m wide may need up to 5 brackets to support and keep the whole cassette stable and level. Samson Awnings will provide retractable awnings up to 14m wide and these require serious brackets and fixings.
it isn’t just about brackets however as these brackets need to be fixed with sufficient strength from the fixings to prevent the pull out forces the awning will place on the wall having any effect at all. When extended, the awning moving in the wind will effectively be trying to pull itself away for the building structure and if the fixings are not sufficient this could be disastrous.
Houses and Bungalows
On a reasonable standard two storey house the wall height is sufficient to place enough downward force onto the bricks and give sufficient strength for the brackets used. A bungalow however doesn't have the height of bricks in its walls and therefore there is no compression from the weight above and it would not be possible to fit the awning brackets at the height required as the awning would simply pull the bricks away too easily. In the case of a single storey building we nearly always use a vertical spreader plate which spreads the weight and fixings down the lower part of the wall to provide sufficient strength for the main awning brackets.
An adapted version of this brackets can take the awing brackets out and up to give the awning a chance of being installed in front of the rain gutter and give enough height to be effective along with some more projection instead of sitting under the eaves.
These same spreader plates are used on any building where the general strength may not be sufficient such as old limestone, blockwork, old rendered walls and buildings with timber cladding or similar. Samson Awnings have a massive range of standard brackets but can also design and manufacture any brackets required to enable a safe and usable awning system.
In some circumstances it may not be possible to either fix to the building structure at all or there may not be sufficient height anywhere. In these instances a goalpost framework of box section steel can be considered which can either be supported in weight boxes on the ground or concreted or bolted to the ground. This enables great flexibility in creating shading and the butterfly awning is based on this same principle where you can have 2 awnings either side of a goalpost frame for large shading cover.
A lot of standard brackets will make the awning sit away from the building structure so be aware of the varying gap size behind the awning which can be covered and sealed with various profile sections. Some designer style awnings will have brackets and profile sections all incorporated into the cassette design to make them invisible when fitted.
Specialist brackets are also readily available to fit awnings underneath balconies and also to fit to extended roof beams and the like. it is also possible to fit an awning on top of a roof with these roof truss brackets in reverse as long as a specialist can reseal the resulting gap in the roof tiles.
Whatever your requirements rest assured Samson Awnings have a solution available with the right brackets and a range of over 40 awnings all made to order for the perfect fit and solution.