Cheap Fast DIY Deck or Patio Awning Canopy




if you have a 12ft wide 3 panel deck door that faces west like me, and your house needs other improvments more then a $500+? awning right now, heres a cheap way to block some sun, because the a/c unit has a real fight on its hands any sunny spring/summer/fall day.

cost?  ~$50 give or take

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Step 1: What You Need...

my deck is crappy, and its 10x12ft, and it has a big glass door as wide as the whole deck.  i already tinted the doors myself with a mirrored tint, which helped, but not enough, i was reminded this when my upstairs started to climb near 77 degrees this recent warm spring day (48 degrees and sunny here) my thermostat is set at 69.

so i had an idea, i went to harbor freight and found a 10x12 mesh tarp for about $25. they sell these other places too just check by the normal tarps. it claims to block around %70 of the suns rays...

Step 2:

i used 1" EMT conduit, it was the longest sturdy cheap poles i could find at under $6 for each 10ft piece. and its already galvinized or somthing so it shouldnt rust anytime soon.

i drilled a hole near the end of all 4 of them at one end, and put an eye bolt in it for anchoring points.

parts i used
snap on straps for 1" emt conduit - buck or two a bag of 4
medium sized turnbuckles for tensioning the tarp tight - dollar somthin each
carabeaners - $1? each
4 eye bolts - dollar somthin each
some extra 5/16 nuts and washers for the eyebolts - $2
container of spax 1 1/4 screws - $5?  i like these because they require no predrill and have nice deep threads for grabbing crappy wood like my deck is made of.

Step 3:

so im going to mount these poles right to the boards on each side of my deck at each end, i took a hole saw a little bigger then the conduit and shoved it straight up at the overhanging top rail so the poles would lay flat against the side all the way up.

Step 4:

here is one mounted, only took a few minutes to mount each one with no help (i dont have many friends lol)

i made marks every 6 inches from the bottom of the poles for about 3 feet up on each one so i could use them to set the pole height using the deck floor as my line up point. for now, the ones closed to the house are 8.5ft high from the deck surface, the other two are 8ft so slopped away from the house slightly.

Step 5:

here it is,  obviously i need to make some adjustments, i figured the tarp would be a little short each way but it was pretty exact..  so it was sagging. i might get some conduit elbows and put one on the top of each pointing to the corners and re drilling/installing the eye bolts in the ends of those so i can tension it tighter.

i purposly did not cut the conduit to exact length so i could raise or lower them if i want to adjust the height of it, i might trim the bottoms off later though.  4x4 wood beams are not to expensive and could also be used and paint/stained to match your deck if your concerned about looks

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    8 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Can you get the sun shade nice and tight? Does it hold up to wind?


    2 years ago

    How do i make the canopy over my front porch! I already have the poles up. There use to be an awning there. I wonder if i purchased the canopy material can i hook it to each pole with velcro?


    2 years ago

    i would raise the poles closest to the house and lower the ones further away. hopefully that would take the slack out and make the tarp tight


    3 years ago

    Good grief....I meant poles.....not polls.


    3 years ago

    If I wanted to make this on the ground floor what would I need to do to the polls exactly? And I'm a single woman with no friends LOL

    Thanks for the ideas! We recently moved into a house with a small deck out back. The sun isn't too terribly hot, but I'm considering putting up an awning canopy using a solid tarp that could provide shade and shelter from rain.

    Your finished product looks great!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Like you I have looked for affordable ways to put some shade on my deck. Because of the wind, I haven't gone the route you chose (and because it is hard to keep the fly taut). But you've come up with some good ideas for the poles, that might help me out. Thanks for posting!

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    i dont THINK i will have problems with wind, my deck will probably fall apart if anything. unlike me if you get a tarp that is slightly smaller then your deck and not the exact size, should be easier to rig it tight