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General Questions

Why do I need an awning or canopy?
An awning or canopy can be an excellent form of compliment to any kind of electrical cooling appliance (air conditioning). Awnings restrict the amount of heat entering a building through glass windows and doors thus reducing interior temperatures and reducing energy costs by up to 20 percent!

What more do awnings do in addition to reducing energy costs?
Our awnings are designed to complement the architecture of any building using various types, fabrics, colors, patterns and styles thus adding decor to the building.

Awnings provide a sense of hospitality and extend your living space beautifully. Covering your patio or deck in the summer with a canvas awning is like adding an additional room to your house.

Awnings & canopies provide protection from the sun and rain and combine functional elegance with decorative appeal to enhance the appearance of any home or business. Awnings also protect curtains, furnishings & carpets from fading from direct UV light.

Note: This mostly applies to stationary awnings & canopies. Retractable awnings should be retracted when there is inclement weather or high winds.

How long can an awning or canopy last?
Awning frames made of aluminum or galvanized steel last a life-time. Today’s fabrics are made to last 7 – 10 years. Today’s most popular fabric, Sunbrella® comes with a 10 year warranty. However, with proper maintenance and care, they can last even longer. We suggest taking your awnings and in particular, canopies down for the winter months. If you are unable to do this task yourself, we offer such a service including installation, take down and/or storage.

What kind of fabrics are used in awnings and is there a large color selection?
We offer a large selection of fabric options. More popular fabrics include Sunbrella®, PARA Tempotest®, Weblon®, Ferrari Preconstaint 502® and much more. These fabrics are available in a variety of colors in both solids and stripes. We’re sure to have a fabric available to suit your needs and tastes.

Retractable vs. Stationary

If there are no poles, what supports a retractable awning?
Retractable awnings are designed to be self supporting. They cantilever off the building wall and work in conjunction with a torsion bar and spring loaded arms. The arm tension is created with internal springs and large radius elbows keep the fabric tight by applying outward force.

What kind of wind loads can a retractable awning handle?
Retractable awnings are primarily intended for sun protection and should not be left out in windy conditions. Wind is a very unpredictable force with a tendency to change direction and speed very quickly. The general rule of thumb is: If you are comfortable sitting outdoors dining or reading a newspaper, then it is probably safe to operate your awning. The concern with wind is the up-lifting effect on the awning rather than the downward force; therefore the greater the pitch, the more wind resistant the unit is. A stationary awning or canopy is designed to withstand fairly high winds and certainly can be used in the rain. If you would like to have your patio or deck be used as an ‘extra room’ in the summer months, a stationary canopy would be a much better choice for you.

Why would I want my retractable awning to be motorized?
Nothing can be more convenient than simply flipping a switch and watching your awning roll out on its own. Once fully extended or retracted, the unit will stop automatically. You may also stop the awning in any position . Research has shown that a motorized awning is used four times as much as a manual unit!

Do I need a protective hood for my retractable awning or canopy?
A protective hood, available at an additional cost and is designed to provide adequate protection for your unit when structural protection is not available. Hoods are often purchased when the retractable awning is being fascia mounted and when not located directly under a ledge or overhang. Hoods are mandatory on motorized awning that are exposed to the elements.

Who? What? When?

What should I look for in an awning professional?
You should look for someone with experience and a reputation for quality work and service. At House of Canvas, we’ve been designing and installing awnings, canopies, for over 35 years! We use only the finest materials and design to exacting specifications. And besides the warranty provided by the fabric manufacturer, we guarantee our work to be free from defects in workmanship for 5 years! Our repeat business is our testament to skill and quality workmanship. We have been servicing some of our customers for decades!

What is the process of getting a new awning or canopy?
If you are interested to have a new awning or canopy installed just give us a call or send us an e-mail. We’ll make arrangement to come visit your house or business and take the necessary measurements. In many cases, you do not even need to be home for us to do this. Once we have the measurements, we call to discuss with you what type of awning or canopy you are interested in and get a general idea of what you are looking for. We’ll then provide you with a quote based on your selected style of awning or canopy and your measurements. At any time during this process you are welcome to visit our showroom and select the type and color of fabric you would like for your awning. We can also provide you with a sample book from which you can select to color or pattern. Once you have our quote and you decide you would like for us to build you a custom awning or canopy, simply send us a 50% deposit and a copy of the signed agreement and we’ll start the process.

How long does it take to make an awning once I place an order?
As with any custom manufactured product, there is a lead time for quality work to be accomplished. For fabric awnings or canopies, this can mean as little as two weeks or as long as two months. This varies depending on the time of the year (spring, summer & fall are typically our busiest time of the year) and it is not unusual for this lead time to run longer during these seasons. The best time for ordering a new awning or canopy is during the fall or winter months when we have more time to devote to your project and ensuring the product being available when you want it in the spring. However, we make every effort to delivery your awning or canopy as soon as we can.

How much does a new awning or canopy cost?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. The actual cost for your awning or canopy will depend on the size, the structure it is attaching to, the fabric you select, whether it is stationary or retractable and a host of other factors. However, if you have a rough idea of the size of awning or canopy you are looking for, we might be able to provide you with a rough cost estimate. If this falls within your budget or planning, let us come out and measure and provide you with a more accurate quotation. There is no cost to you for our free quote!

What sizes are your awnings or canopies available in?
Since our awnings & canopies are custom made, we can cover almost any area you are looking to cover. Our awnings are available in a variety of styles and fabrics and we can design a canopy to cover almost any shaped space.

More Technical Stuff

How do the awnings attach to the building?
Awnings and canopies are usually attached to the face (side) of the building. We can mount your awning or canopy onto brick, aluminum or vinyl siding, around chimneys and even on roofs.

What is pitch and why is it so important?
Pitch is the amount of ‘drop’ from the top of the awning or canopy in the back to the front. Pitch is important to allow the rain to run off quickly. If you do not have enough pitch, the rain may tend to pool in places. This can cause the fabric to stretch and increase the likelihood of more pooling. If you ever find rain water collecting in your canopy, use the soft end of a broom to push the water out from underneath and let us know immediately of the problem.


Can I hose down my awning/canopy?
Yes. It is good to hose off your fabrics off on a monthly basis with clear water. Do this while they are extended on their frames on a sunny day. This practice will help prevent dirt from becoming deeply imbedded in the fabric and eliminate the need for more frequent vigorous cleanings. Just make sure to allow the fabric to air dry when finished.

How often does it need to be cleaned?
This depends on your environment but in general a thorough cleaning will most likely be needed every three to five years. But as mentioned above, hosing off the fabric on a monthly basis will help to keep it clean longer.

What about spot cleaning?
For woven acrylic fabric, you can do this yourself by first brushing off loose dirt. Hose down the area. Prepare a cleaning mixture of lukewarm water and mild natural soap such as Woolite, Zero, Ivory or Dawn – no detergents. Use a soft bristle brush to clean, allowing soap to soak – rinse thoroughly and air dry.

If stains are stubborn, (mildew or roof run-off etc.), prepare a special cleaning mixture of half cup chlorine bleach, quarter cup natural soap and one gallon of lukewarm water and follow above procedure.

Do I need to re-treat the fabric?
It’s best to re-treat the area afterwards with 303 High Tech Fabric Guard to restore the original finish. Apply two very thin even coats to the dry, clean fabric, allowing drying time between coats. One 15 oz. spray bottle provides coverage of approximately 50 square feet of fabric.

Quick Links

House of Canvas

3 Cleopatra Dr.
Ottawa, ON, K2G 3M9
Tel: 613.723.0056
Fax: 613.723.0665

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