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What Is The Difference Between a Canopy and an Awning?

Posted on July 28, 2021

What is the difference between an awning and a canopy?

Blurring the line between indoors and outdoors is the newest trend in construction and interior design. By bringing the outside in and by adding a homely touch to your outdoor living areas, you can make the most of the space you have and create inviting outdoor spaces you just don’t want to leave.

At Shade Zone we hear every term used to describe the same thing: awning, canopy, veranda, retractable canopy, pergola, gazebo, enquiries come in with them all, but they all simply want the same thing, a covering for their outdoor space. It is our job to use our expertise to navigate the best option for the client’s needs, as every key word used to describe an outdoor covering, is also a potential product, all with distinct differences.

What is an awning?

An awning is a product that is fixed to the external wall of a house, usually over French doors or a designated seating area on your patio. They retract and return into a cassette fixed to the wall and do not have any legs. They are not all weather shading solutions, as being left out in strong winds can damage the mechanisms that allow the fabric to retract, and also damage the fabric itself. Modern technology has allowed for developments to reduce this risk, with the implementation of wind sensors that are installed. These devices automatically retract the awning if it detects winds stronger than the awning should be out in, so that you don’t have to worry about it and can quickly save the buffet you had laid out.

Awning fabric comes in many colours and designs, and is also water resistant, but over a long period of time, can become prone to sun bleaching if left exposed to the elements. Awnings do require some maintenance, particularly in the UK. Should your awning get wet, you will need to retract your awning out fully on a warm day to allow the fabric to fully dry. Leaving an awning rolled up in its cassette whilst wet can promote the growth of algae and mould.

Why get an awning?

An awning is a great solution for covering a seating area on a patio or decked area. They are perfect for hot and sunny days, but are not an all weather solution like the below range of canopies. They do have their weather and size limitations, so be sure to plan accordingly.

How much is an awning?

You can expect the cost of an awning to range from £2500 to £8000. Many factors determine the cost of an awning, but most importantly it is size. You should also consider the brand and product system you are going with, as naturally the newer released products will have more state of the art technology and higher quality materials. When discussing your needs with your shading expert, supply as much information as possible, such as photographs of the area you wish to cover a long with measurements and any future plans for the space. You may even find that based on your future plans, an awning is not the right system for you. It is also worth remembering that an awning classes as a permanent addition to your home, and is likely to add value to your property.

What is a canopy?

A canopy is a permanent fixture and adds value to your home. They come in a variety of styles and types such as louvered and retractable, but ultimately can be seen as the modern alternative to the wooden pergola canopy many of us grew up around. They usually have four legs, but can also be fixed to the wall and only have two legs. Some advanced systems will even allow for a floating roof attached to the wall. Made from aluminium, they do not require any maintenance from rust, and as these canopies are a modern development, much of the technology around their design takes into consideration the minimising of work for the client. Which means more time to enjoy your outdoor space.

The roof of a canopy will retract in some form. A retractable canopy will move the whole rooftop from open to close and can sometimes have LED lighting installed. A louvre canopy rooftop is made up of rotating blades, which are controlled with a remote and allow you to perfectly align the position of the blades with the sun to allow just the right amount of sunlight through at the most precise angle. Heating and lighting are popular additions to these canopy systems, making them a favourite among home renovators, interior designers and garden landscapers.

Why get a retractable canopy?

A retractable canopy is more diverse in what it can be used for. Many people use them as hot tub canopies, or to shelter outdoor kitchens. Screens can be applied as walls which create outdoor rooms much like an extension of the home. They have been known to be used to host home weddings and large events, and overall are a great addition to any outdoor space.

How much is a retractable canopy?

The cost of a retractable canopy could range from £10,000 to £30,000 depending on size and any additional elements such as heating and lighting. Whereas a louvre canopy can also be expected to start at £10,000, but can go up to £50,000 with the same considerations as a retractable canopy. This is because of the technology, design and return on investment to your property. Each brand will specialise in particular properties of canopies, and will also have a range of products available to best suit your needs. When talking to your shading expert about canopies, be sure to provide as much information as possible so they can recommend the best suited canopy system for you. Based on your lifestyle and future plans, they may even be able to advise you on a different system altogether, as a retractable canopy or louvre canopy system may not be what you need. A reputable company will always guide you in the right direction to best suit your desires, plans and needs.