Commercial Fixed Awnings

Awnings are elegant and functional home accessory that will enhance a beautiful home, help to reduce energy cooling costs, redirect rain and provide protection from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Our professional weld staff proudly manufactures custom awning frames in our shop to order which means that you can have an awning made to almost any size or shape you need.  Please review the awning style PDF in the downloads section to learn more.

Awnings are usually considered building decorations by the building department and typically do not project more than 6′ off of a building.  At that point we usually need a post, and an “awning with at least one post” is the Honolulu building departments definition of a canopy.  If you need a canopy please goto our canopy page.

If you are looking for an awning that can go in and out, then please goto our retractable awning page.

Product Info

We make our awning frames using galvanized steel or aluminum tubing and manufactured without open tubes for salt air to get inside.  We digitally design all our frames and fabrics and we manufacture to tight tolerances, usually with lifesize prints.  We own an OMAX 60120 CNC Waterjet  which also allows to manufacture all sorts of custom plates and gives us tons of freedom to solve problems.  Once welded and cleaned, the frames are painted in house using Pitt-guard as a base, a marine grade epoxy paint designed for boats.  Then we  top-coat with Pitthane,  a two part urethane designed for handrails and pipes in commercial applications.  The top coat is available in a high gloss of semi gloss finish, with the gloss being a much harder and more scratch resistant finish.  We stock black and white and can order custom colors for a small up-charge.  Please see the Pitthane card in the downloads section for more info.

Awnings can come in any shape and almost any size.  The diagram below illustrates the more common styles.  These styles can mix together, go around corner, change size, etc.


Fabrics:  Awning  covers are made from two types of fabrics, Solution dyed acrylic weaves which we refer to as Acrylics like Sunbrella, and coated or laminated polyesters which we refer to as Vinyls .   Acrylics have a woven look similar to canvas and vinyls tend to be much smoother and shinier (although there are some exceptions).


Acrylics:  For residential applications, we do not have to use fire retardant fabrics.  This allows us to offer Sunbrellas complete Awning and Marine Grade fabric collection.  The woven construction of the material gives it a furniture grade finish which most customers relate to “residential”.  Sunbrella’s yarns are solution dyed, which means that the yarn is dyed before it is woven.  This gives each yarn better UV protection and much longer color steadfastness.  Sunbrella has the best “residential” feel and their fabric has a proven track record and lots options.  Sunbrella is not waterproof however and is more difficult to clean than a vinyl so in areas with lots of rain and debris from above they may not look the best in the long run.

Vinyls:  There are many options when it comes to vinyls.  Vinyls are composed of an inner weave, called a scrim, that is then coated with a manufacturer’s unique composition.  The thickness of the coating usually yields greater warranties and also increases the cost per yard.  The composition of the coating determines the sheen, and each manufacturer offers their lines of fabrics in unique color pallets.  Your salesman will help determine which vinyl will fit your needs.

There are two types of valances, hard and soft.   An awning can have one, the other, both, or neither.    Both types of valances can give the awning a unique look and also can serve as a background for graphics.

Hard Valance:  Hard refers to the valance as being part of the frame.  This valance can be any custom height and can be used as a place to put graphics/addresses on.  Hard valances are usually anywhere from 6″-8″ but they can be any size specified.

Soft Valance:  Soft Valances are a decorative fabric that hangs from the perimeter of the awning.  They are available for an up charge.  Valances are made from the same fabric as the main cover and are available in many styles as illustrated in the chart To the right.  They are finished with an accent fabric called “binding” which is available in many color options.  In the picture on the right, the light blue represents the fabric and the dark blue represents the binding.  Downloads of the valance styles and binding color options are available here or at the top of the page.

Specifiying Size

Awnings don’t normally project more than 6 ft, and can be almost any width or height specified.  Each awning is specified according to specs, plans, or on site measurements.  Frames from 25′ to 100’+ get assembled in multiple sections and then one cover is usually stretched across the entire frame.  Awning sizes are communicated by the following specs:

  • Height
  • Projection
  • Width
  • Hard Valance
  • Soft Valance

Below are examples of a traditional awning and a barrel awning.

If an awning is to have a hard valance, the height of the hard valance must be specified.  This is rigid welded vertical portion of the frame.  Heights usually range from 6 inches to one foot, but can be any size.

If an awning is to have a soft valance, the type of soft valance must be selected and it’s height must be specified.  Normal drops are 6 to 8 inches, but we can manufacture to any size.

An awning can have a soft and a hard valance.

Fabric Attachment

When you put fabric over a frame, you have to tension it in order to get the wrinkles out and promote water drainage.  There are three different types of attachment for fabric to frame, and these 3 style can be mixed in match depending on the awning.


Lace:  Lacing is the most common type of fabric attachment.  This is when the cover has a line of grommets sewn into it and a rope is laced throughout the grommets to the frame.  Cutouts for the frame are reinforced using colored braid. The rope is a double braided nylon rope which does not rot, mold or mildew.  White rope is standard, black rope is available for an up charge.


Steel Stitch: Steel stitch is a fabric attachment system where the fabric is stretched across the frame and actually stapled to an inner bar in the awning frame.  A decorative strip is then placed into the slot to protect the hardware, and provide a clean finish.  The closure strip or zip strip is available in 26 colors and is available here, or at the top of the page in the downloads section.




Screws:  In this mode of fabric attachment, a pocket is sewn into the perimeter of the cover, and steel flatcars are cut to fit inside.  These lengths are used to tension the fabric and held in place with clips, so that they can then be locked in place with stainless steel self drilling screws.  These screws pierce the flatbar, and then tap into the frame essentially bolting the cover to the frame.



Our salesman will collect the information that our professional installation team will use to install your products.   Most installations usually take 1 day.  We install into structural elements in your building using Hillman stainless steel fasteners.  Our most common fastener attachments types are expansion anchors, self drilling/tapping screws, toggle bolts, and epoxy set all-thread.  Each installation is unique in it’s attachment but there are some common elements to consider so our salesman may price out installation accordingly.

Insurance:  Tropical J’s is a licensed, bonded and insured company, but if you need additional insurance there may be an up charge for that.

Vehicle Access:  Our work fleet consists of vans and flatbed with vehicle heights of 6′ 8″.  If they do not have access to on site contractor parking,  please work with our salesman to determine the nearest parking.

Hours of Operation:  Jobs are quoted out during our regular scheduled working hours which are 7:00-3:30.  If you require installation outside these hours, there may be overtime charges.

Power:  Most installations require the use of one electrical outlet during the course of installation.  Please help our salesman establish the nearest one.

Bathrooms:  In the event that there is a restroom available please inform our salesman.


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