"Let's Cover You in Style"
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
10:00a.m. – 4:00p.m., November – March
Saturdays: 9:00a.m – 3:00p.m., April – Mid-July
Closed Holiday Weekends
In Business since 1926
Woonsocket Awning, located at 68 South Main St. Bldg 2 (Island Place), has served Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and surrounding areas for over 90 years. The business specializes in stylish and durable residential custom-made fabric awnings for assorted windows, and various sized decks, and more. Owner, David G. Dansereau, is the fourth generation proprietor of the business, first founded by his wife Janice’s great grandfather, Albert Joseph Durand, in 1926.
In order to understand the level of care and dedication with which Dansereau applies to his craft, it is important to first have insight into the rich historical family background of this long-time family business.
Albert Durand, his wife Antonia, and their ten children lived on a farm in Canada, where they raised foxes. In 1924, the family moved to the United States where their eleventh child, a daughter Helen, was born.
Mr. Durand was employed at Rhode Island Awning, where he worked for about three months. He learned the trade quickly, discovering a passion for the craft, and eventually deciding to try his hand at making and selling his own awnings. The original name of the business was Woonsocket Awning Rhode Island, but was later established as Woonsocket Awning Co.
The family first resided in Bellingham for a short time, later moving to Social St. in Woonsocket where Durand established the business in 1926. He worked during the spring and summer months, and during the winter he sold oil to supplement the income.
In 1955, Mr. Durand’s daughter, Lucille and her husband, Robert Pelliter, took over the business, which then was relocated to Diamond Hill Road in Woonsocket. The family business was later passed onto Pelliter’s nephew, Charles Lepage,in 1983, who later relocated to Manville Road in Woonsocket.
Mr. Dansereau, who took over in 1996, working from the Manville Road location, later moving to his present location in 1999. He says it was Charles Lepage , who taught him everything associated with the trade, from sales, sewing, pipe construction, and more.
He goes on to explain how quickly he learned the craft, though at first doubting his odds of success.”When I first came here I thought, being a seam tress, yeah that’s going to happen. I never dreamed I would be using a sewing machine. Charlie, who showed me how to sew, was impressed by how quickly I learned, within two to three months only.
Dansereau learned all aspects of the business and discovered it was his true calling. “It’s been history ever since, he adds proudly. “I’ve done this since October 1996 and I love it. How many people can say they love their job”?
He describes the selection of awnings available to customers. Styles vary according to size and what type of windows you may have,(double hung or bay windows, etc.) There is also a variety of deck awnings based on size and heights that can be custom made.( Only stationary types made, no retractable types, though will refabricate any size retractable awning.)
Woonsocket Awning primarily does residential work, although it also services businesses on occasion based on size. All awnings are custom made and serviced by me, no subcontracting of any type, says Dansereau.
He states he offers free estimates to all customers with-in a 40 mile radius. He also installs awnings in spring and removes in fall for customers who prefer not to do themselves. “I do not recommend leaving up all year long, “ he says, explaining that constant exposure to the harsh winter weather and constantly changing climate will take its toll on them. He also says your awnings will last much longer doing this.
He says with proper care, an awning can last 10 to 15 years, although he has seen some last as long as 20 years. An awning will be useless if constructed improperly. He has seen many awnings improperly made, and assures all customers he always takes the utmost care in his construction. “I’m very meticulous in my work, “he says.” I measure everything and make sure it lines up properly. I don’t rush my work. I make it as if I was making for my own home.
If you have an awning frame made by Woonsocket Awning or even by another company we can recover it with new fabric. Your best time for this would be late fall or early spring. Becoming very busy after April 1st and on through summer. Having them done early will guarantee being ready for springtime.
Danserau, explains that the fabric is constructed of a highly durable material. The fabric has an 8-year manufacturer’s warranty, which protects against normal fading or discoloration due to exposure to the elements. It is also water and mildew resistant, and may be cleaned with a mild soap, also can be brushed (soft bristle), or vacuumed. Never power wash or use harsh detergents to clean fabric.
As far as colors go, you have a wide variety, ranging in solids and stripes. You can choose from these different book selections ( Sunbrella, Recacril, Sattler, Tempotest, and Dickson Fabrics) which are available upon request. The most popular seem to be stripes over solids. He believes a nice stripe choice will really spruce up any home, though there are also some rich looking solids. Its really the preference of the home owner and what they like. Other embellishments, which may add to your awnings, include white or colored braid trim with a nice scallop or straight edge to complete the look of your awnings.
Exceptional service, dedication, and quality craftsmanship has been a long family tradition at Woonsocket Awning. He hopes one day his son or daughter, who on occasion do help, will take ownership of the business someday, continuing this family tradition long into the future.”