Hurricane Ike hit us in 2008 and knocked out power for a few days. My residence was not designed with energy efficiency in mind and so relied 100% on AC to keep it cool. I made this awning in attempt to keep it cooler inside by blocking the radiant sun energy. Indeed, it was about 3 degrees cooler inside with the awning than without the awning. After the power was restored this awning served to lower the energy bill. I did not measure that, however I'm sure it did.
In all the whole thing cost about $20. Here's how I made it and what I would do differently next time...
Step 1: Frame
Start by making the frame. You'll need 1/2" PVC pipe, the T's and elbows shown here, PVC cutters, and primer/cement. Visit your local Home Depot or Lowes.
The amount of pipe depends on the width of your window. Mine window was about 5' wide, so a 6' wide frame was selected. A main reason 6' was chosen -- I'll say this now -- is that the awning material (canvas drop cloth) is available in a 6' width.
I would not make the awning much bigger than this without more frame support structures. A 3' gap (like mine) is about the maximum I would recommend. I base this on having watched how it handled windy days.
Don't use solvent/cement yet. You can dry-fit parts for now.