When you receive visitors at the front door, a door canopy can make chatting on the doorstep much more pleasant. In case of rain and wind, a door canopy provides the necessary shelter and, moreover, you give the exterior of your house a completely different look. You can make your own front door canopy with plastic sheets: you have complete freedom of design, and with the help of our tips and tricks, you can quickly create a solid and unique door canopy.
Colourful, solid or quirky: anything is possible
Which material do you want to use? Most plastic sheets are suitable for a front door canopy, for example, polycarbonate is extremely strong and virtually unbreakable. You can also choose coloured acrylic, this is available in various tints with which you can match your awning to the colours of the exterior or of your front door. Do you want to prevent the awning from making the entrance too dark? Then you can opt for crystal clear acrylic. Cast acrylic is 30 times stronger than glass. A combination of materials and colours is of course also possible.
Setting up the construction: take into account wind load
Although plastic sheets are relatively light, it is necessary that the load-bearing construction and the fastening to the wall of the house are strong. The elements against which a canopy protects, such as wind, rain or snow, can place a heavy burden on the structure. It is important that the awning does not lie flat, as rainwater should be able to run off easily. A canopy must always be braced.
You should always make a door canopy 20 centimetres wider than the door frame, so you can be sure that the awning can be attached to the outer corners. The construction of a canopy starts with the installation of the supporting beam above the door frame. This bearing beam is attached to the wall with wall plugs. The underside of the supporting beam is 10 centimetres above the door frame.
It is advisable to saw the top of the beam with a mitre so that the frame of the canopy is supported over as large a surface as possible. You can have this done to order at every hardware store.
Assembling the canopy frame
You can then construct the frame of the canopy. We make the frame of a strong and sustainable type of wood, preferably hardwood with FSC quality mark. The frame does not have to be excessively strong, the plastic sheet that you mount on the frame gives the construction most of its strength. Take square bars of at least 35 by 35 mm and saw the three parts that make up the door canopies: the wall bars, the supports and the struts:
Make sure that the top of the wall beams is sawn under the same mitre as the wall plate. An important tip: make sure that the holes for fixing to the wall are pre-drilled in the wall beams. The wall beams are attached to the wall with wall plugs, it can be difficult to drill the mounting holes when the carriers are assembled.
Using furniture corners and connecting strips (available at every DIY store) you construct the frame as shown in the photo below:
Mount the canopy on the wall
Now the front door canopy frame can be mounted on the wall. Mark the drill holes for the wall plugs on the wall and drill the holes. The canopy frame can then be mounted against the façade using the plugs. With a view to the weather and wind load, we advise using hammer plugs of at least 80 millimetres.
Pre-drill the plastic sheet
When the frame is ready, the acrylic sheet can be mounted. This starts with pre-drilling the mounting holes in the acrylic. Place the sheet on a flat surface and stick masking tape around the edge, even if the protective film is still on the sheet. Now you can mark the drill holes, make sure that the minimum distance to the edge is at least twice the sheet thickness. If you have a 4-millimetre plate, the edge of the borehole may be at least 8 millimetres from the sheet edge. If you drill a 4-millimetre hole, you draw a line 10 millimetres from the edge:
Now you can mark the holes on the masking tape. The distance between the holes is 10 centimetres. Then drill all the holes in the acrylic sheet. Place the sheet on a wooden surface in which the drill can run. Leave the masking tape and the protective foil after drilling!
Install the acrylic sheet on the canopy frame
Now the plastic plate can be screwed onto the canopy frame. That starts with pre-drilling the holes in the frame. Place the acrylic sheet on the frame and fix the frame and plate with a few glue clamps. Place a slightly smaller bit in the drill and drill all the holes in the frame. For this, choose a drill that is 1 millimetre smaller than the drill holes in the acrylic sheet.
Now you can screw the acrylic sheet onto the canopy frame. To prevent rattling, you could apply foam tape between the sheet and the frame. To fasten the sheet, use screws with a flat head and washers. When using countersunk screw heads, the sheet may crack when tightened. Start by screwing the top edge onto the wall plate. Then screw the acrylic sheet onto the left wall bracket and then the right wall bracket.
Preserving acrylic sheet
We advise you to preserve the acrylic sheet so that it stays clean longer and is easier to clean. The best thing to use for this is Burnus anti-static cleaner. This agent cleans the surface and makes the acrylic anti-static, so your front door canopy repels dirt for longer and is easier to clean.