Signs it’s time for you to invest in an outdoor canopy


Have you been toying with the idea of installing an outdoor canopy? Or perhaps it’s an option you’ve only just become aware of and are starting to research?

Whatever your circumstances, there are numerous benefits to be gained from investing in an outdoor canopy, whether you’re a college or school, hotel or restaurant, homeowner, care home, hospital or manufacturer.

The beauty of outdoor canopies is that they’re suitable for the widest range of environments (as the shortlist immediately above suggests). Many of today’s industry-leading models can also be tailored to your exact requirements, making sure that your investment is fit for purpose now, and for many years to come.

So, we’ve briefly touched on some of the benefits of installing an outdoor canopy in the last few paragraphs. But how can you be sure you should join the growing number of individuals, businesses and organisations who have chosen to invest in one (or several)? These signs will help:


SIGN 1: Your outdoor space is seriously underused

With the great British weather being such a mixed bag all-year round, it’s not uncommon for outdoor garden areas, terraces, patios, etc. to wind up being underused.

We see it happen all of the time within the hospitality sector. Pub, bar, hotel and restaurant owners want to provide their customers with the trendy al fresco experience, yet the weather more often than not, has other ideas…

It’s why so many of them have invested in an outdoor canopy, like our hugely-popular Cantabria system. Not only does it mean they can cater for their customers’ requirements, regardless of what the weather’s doing, they can put their outdoor space to good use.

It’s worth noting here that it’s not just hospitality professionals who are using outdoor canopies to their advantage. Homeowners looking to dine in their gardens in all seasons and schools wanting to turn their courtyards into highly-engaging outdoor learning environments, are just two more examples of how canopies are being used to make better use of outdoor spaces.










SIGN 2: You’ve run out of space!  

This is a common situation that’s encountered by many of our customers. From schools in need of more dining room space, to hotels wanting to be able to seat more guests so that they can increase their profits (we’ll explain this point further below), lack of space is a really common issue.

Going down the extension route costs time and money and, in many circumstances, requires planning permission. However, installing an outdoor canopy, such as our retractable Cantabria system, can provide protection from 90% of the strongest UV rays and wind speeds of up to 60km/h, is far more straightforward, efficient and cost effective.

Plus, outdoor canopies are multi-functional spaces, so you can use them for far more than you originally planned.










SIGN 3: You want to boost your profits

More covers = more sales within the hospitality sector. But while this may sound like a pretty simple statement, achieving it can be far from that, especially if you haven’t got the space to cater for more customers…

…which is where outdoor canopies come in. We’ve worked with countless hospitality customers over the years and it’s an investment that really pays off for them. By installing a Cantabria canopy, they can cater for up to 184 additional customers*, generating an additional weekly revenue of more than £7,000.**










There are all sorts of signs that indicate you should invest in an outdoor canopy, far more than the three we’ve listed above. If you’d like to find out more, would like some more guidance, or would like to discuss your outdoor canopy requirements with us, contact us on 01254 777 002 or

* Based on Friday and Saturday, 2 sittings per day.

**Based on £40 per cover = £7,360.

[Ebook] An inside guide to site-specific calculations

Site-specific calculations are one of the main things that set Canopies UK apart from the competition. Discover what they are and why they’re so important when considering any canopy installation by downloading this free ebook.


How to guarantee your outdoor canopy is fit for purpose?


If you’re thinking about investing in an outdoor canopy, there’s one thing above all things it needs to be – and that’s fit for purpose.

You may be planning to install an entrance canopy or create a covered play area or sheltered al-fresco dining spot, but if your canopy hasn’t been purpose-built for your environment, then you could wind up coming unstuck.


What do we mean by ‘fit for purpose’?

Whether you’re a nursery, school or college, hotel, restaurant or bar owner, fit for purpose involves making sure your outdoor canopy is designed, manufactured and installed to fully meet your requirements. Settling for anything less, could result in:

  1. You not getting the best return on your canopy investment.
  2. Your canopy not standing the test of time.


Unfortunately, not all outdoor canopies are engineered for purpose. Yes, they may look the part and meet certain standards and initially perform well, but in most instances, they aren’t fit for purpose

And it’s this exact reason why you should do your research before partnering with an outdoor canopy provider, so that you can avoid being caught out by any issues or having to carry out on-going maintenance to your canopy, the external wall or surrounding area.


One guaranteed way to make sure your outdoor canopy is going to be fit for purpose is by applying site-specific calculations

The term ‘site-specific calculations’ describes a number of technical measurements that are carried out on site, before the design of a canopy can be finalised. These calculations should be carried out before a quote’s given, so that there are no nasty surprises during the installation phase or further down the line.

These technical investigations cover factors, including:

  • Wind speed
  • Annual snowfall
  • The quality and structure of the wall that will support the canopy
  • The terrain in which the foundations will sit
  • Drains and below ground drainage that might be in the way
  • Trees and tree roots that are close by
  • The height of the canopy

If you’re going to invest in a cantilevered, wall hung canopy, then site-specific calculations will help determine whether the wall you’ve identified is strong enough to take the weight of your canopy system.

With specific tests designed to mimic the weight of a canopy, a trained surveyor can establish whether additional foundation supports will be required in order to safeguard the canopy, the building and its users. Other factors that should be taken into account are the material, age and position of the wall, as well as type, weight and load-bearing capacity of the canopy you’re opting for.

Understanding the importance of site-specific calculations is the first step in making sure the canopy you purchase will deliver on safety, performance and longevity – all key ingredients when investing in any building extension and making sure your canopy is fit for purpose.


Want to discuss any of the points above further with us or find out more about our site-specific calculations? Contact us on 01254 777 002 or email

Top 5 reasons why schools invest in outdoor canopies


Schools are increasingly becoming switched on to the benefits outdoor canopies can bring, not just to their students, but their staff too.

Over the years, we’ve installed literally thousands of outdoor canopies in all different shapes, colours and sizes at schools up-and-down the country.

In fact, at last count, we’d installed 5,000+ canopies and shelters at primary and secondary schools, as well as other educational establishments, including nurseries and colleges.

So, why are outdoor canopies a good investment for schools? We’ve listed the top five reasons right here: 


REASON # 1: Deliver outdoor learning

With the benefits of outdoor learning being widely promoted by bodies, including the Government, more schools and colleges are tapping into the outdoor learning trend.

According to the Natural Connections project commissioned by Natural England, children are more motivated to learn when they’re outside, with 92% of teachers surveyed, saying pupils were more engaged with learning when outdoors. 85% saw a positive impact on their behaviour too.

Key takeaway: Outdoor learning canopies enable schools to effortlessly take learning outside the classroom, which can aid children’s overall development through outdoor learning and play.









REASON # 2: Create more space

Contrary to popular belief, canopy systems aren’t quick fix, temporary solutions. Today’s industry-leading canopies are self-contained buildings that can provide protection from the wind, rain and UV rays.

They can also feature retractable roofs, that are operated by a remote or smart device, sliding glass doors, integrated guttering and heating, like our hugely-popular Cantabria system. As a result, many educational settings are seeing canopies as more of a viable and cost effective way of creating additional teaching and dining space rather than venturing down the extension and building work route.

Key takeaway: With classroom sizes on the rise, outdoor canopies can provide schools with the much-needed solution they need to finding more space within their existing surroundings.









REASON # 3: Make the right impression 

First impressions matter, especially when schools have prospective pupils and parents visiting their site, which is why it’s particularly important to ensure their exterior, as well as their interior, looks as presentable as possible.

By investing in an outdoor canopy, schools can transform the overall appeal of their site more quickly and cost-effectively and with less hassle than perhaps they first thought…

Key takeaway: Simply installing an entranceway outdoor canopy, parent waiting shelter or covered study spot can all make a big impression on school visitors.


REASON # 4: Get more from their space

The beauty of outdoor canopy systems is that they’re multi-functional spaces, so can be used for more than just classroom space. They can be used in many other ways, such as providing meeting rooms, staff rooms or offices – the options are endless.

Take our range of outdoor canopies, for instance, they can be used in a whole host of ways, including:

Key takeaway: Many of today’s industry-leading school canopy systems can be used for a multitude of purposes, providing schools with an even greater return on their investment.









REASON # 5: Stay within their budget

Yes, outdoor canopy installations are an investment, but they’re an affordable investment that’s far more cost effective than building an extension or a new building in its own right. (What’s more, in most instances, you don’t have to worry about planning permission either).

For less than £5,000 (from £4,449 to be precise), it’s possible for schools to enhance their outdoor space with an outdoor canopy. We also offer a range of payment plans to make it easier for schools to fund their canopy investment.

Key takeaway: Investing in a school canopy doesn’t have to break the bank, it’s possible for schools to invest in a system that fits within their budget.


Got any questions or perhaps you’d like to discuss how your school could benefit from installing one of our outdoor canopies? Contact us today on 01254 777 002 ext. 2027 or email

Everything you Need to Know About Fixed Awnings


All of our awnings are bespoke and made to order. Unlike some models, our fixed awnings aren’t retractable or made out of canvas; instead, they’re fixed to your property and made out of Glass-Reinforced Polyester (GRP).

Not only do our awnings look the part, they also help to:

  • Reduce the temperature inside your home in the summer months by preventing the sun from shining in
  • Provide much-needed shade in the summer
  • Maximise your garden space


How much does a fixed awning cost?

It’s not possible for us to say exactly how much your awning will cost without meeting you and surveying your property first. All of our awnings are tailored to our customers’ requirements and therefore vary in price.

Broadly speaking, awnings that are 5 meters long and project outwards by 2.5 meters (including the gutter), cost between £3, and £3,250.

It’s really straightforward for you to find out how much an awning will cost you. Our surveyor will carry out a free survey and then provide you with a quote based on your needs.


Will I need planning permission for a fixed awning?

It’s unlikely that you’ll need planning permission to install an awning. It only tends to be required in cases where the size of your awning is greater than 50% of your home’s ground floor space. If you do need planning permission, we’ll let you know and then talk you through the process.


Are there any restrictions regarding size?

No. All of our awnings are bespoke and designed with our customers’ needs in mind. Your awning will be tailor-made so that it ticks all of your boxes.

Depending on the size and style of your home, it may be necessary to tweak your design to make sure your awning blends in with and enhances your property. If this is the case, our surveyor will work with you to create an alternative design that’s 100 per cent right for you and your home.


Will a fixed awning add value to my property?

Investing in a fixed awning is unlikely to increase the value of your home, but it’s a feature that may well appeal to buyers if you were to put your house on the market. All of our fixed awnings are designed to complement the style of your property and maximise space.


What are fixed awnings made from?

Our fixed awnings are made from GRP. Unlike other materials, GRP is strong, environmentally-friendly and sustainable to source, making it a more favourable option than contemporary materials.


What colours can I choose?

Our standard colours are white, black and brown. If you would like your fixed awning to be in a specific colour, simply provide us with a RAL code and our design team will create your chosen colour (please note – there is an additional charge for this service).


How long will the process take?

The first step in the process is to have a consultation with our surveyor. After the survey has been completed, it will take between 4 and 6 weeks for your fixed awning to be designed, built and installed.

Your awning will be produced in our factory and installed at your property by one of our experienced engineers. It usually takes our team less than a day to install awnings and any disruption will be minimal.


If you have any questions or would like to know more about our awnings, contact us today or book your free survey.

Everything You Need to Know About Glass Verandas


A glass veranda is a great way to transform your outdoor space and create the perfect haven for entertaining family and friends. All of our verandas are tailor-made to suit your needs and available with heating and lighting options, giving you an additional space that can be used in all weathers.


How much does a glass veranda cost?

All of our glass verandas are specifically designed to meet your needs. To help us create a quote that is bespoke to you, our qualified surveyor will visit you to take measurements of your property and discuss your requirements. The survey is free and will give our team the information they need to produce a design and provide you with a no-obligation quote.

To give you a rough idea of price, a 4 meter-long system, with a projection of 3 meters, would cost around £10,000, including VAT, to design, create and install.


Do I need planning permission?

It’s unlikely that you will need planning permission.

You would only need planning permission if you wanted to install a veranda that was greater than 50% of your home’s ground floor space.

If you are concerned that your glass veranda may be larger than the accepted size, our surveyor will be able to discuss this with you during the site survey.


Are there any size restrictions regarding the veranda size?

Every one of our glass verandas are bespoke and uniquely-designed to satisfy our customers’ needs.

You are free to decide how big or small you would like your veranda to be. You will also be given the chance to discuss the size of your glass veranda with our surveyor during the initial free site survey. Sometimes, our surveyor may recommend that you reduce or increase the size of your veranda to better fit the size or shape of your property.


Will installing a veranda increase the value of my home?

Installing a veranda has the potential to increase the value of your home and make your property more attractive to potential buyers. By adding a veranda, you’ll be able to instantly transform your property and create a living area that can be used all-year round.


What are your glass verandas made of?

Our glass verandas are made from a perfect combination of aluminium for the frame and toughened glass roofing panels. The aluminium frame is durable, rust resistant and powder-coated to guarantee a stylish and quality finish.


What colours can I choose from?

Our standard colours and most popular are white, anthracite and ivory, but you can choose whatever colour you like. All you have to do is provide us with a RAL code and our designers will do the rest for you (please note -there is an additional charge for this service).


How long will it take for my glass veranda to be installed?

It will take around 6 to 8 weeks for your glass veranda to be designed, built and installed. Once you’ve told us you’d like one of our glass verandas, our surveyor will visit your property to take measurements and discuss your requirements. This information will then be passed on to our design team who will draw a glass veranda that’s bespoke to you.

Your veranda will be tailor-made from first-class materials in our factory before finally being installed at your property. Installation will take around a day to complete and be carried out by one of our engineers. We will work hard to make sure that any disruption is minimal.


If you have any questions or would like to find out more about our products, contact us today or request a free survey.

Canopies for Schools in East London: Our Latest Installations

The start of 2018 has been a busy period for Canopies UK, especially when it comes to work in the education sector. Whether they’re providing shelter to parents waiting for their children or creating a year-round location for outdoor learning, education canopies offer numerous benefits. Read on to find out about our latest umbrella canopy and outdoor learning canopy installations in East London.


School umbrella canopy at Phoenix School, Tower Hamlets

49 Bow Road
E3 2AD

Canopy type: Connekt free-standing umbrella canopy

Phoenix School was looking for a way to create a covered area to keep children protected from the elements during break times. Our Connekt free-standing umbrella canopy was the perfect solution, providing a wide, covered space for students to play, eat and relax while only requiring a single, central post for support. The canopy’s Melinex gel coating also protects against UV rays.


Thinking of purchasing an umbrella or outdoor learning canopy for your school? Our guide will help you choose the best possible canopy. Read it here.


Outdoor learning canopy at Oakdale Infants School, Redbridge

Woodville Road
E18 1JU

Canopy type: Connekt outdoor learning canopy

Holding lessons outside can make learning more enjoyable, challenging, active and collaborative, according to research from the University of Stirling. As a result, an increasing number of schools are looking to create outdoor learning spaces – including Oakdale Infants School, which asked us to install our Connekt outdoor learning canopy. The cantilevered design means the Connekt doesn’t require any supporting posts, maximising space underneath the canopy.


Interested in installing your own canopy? We offer a wide array of solutions, from outdoor dining canopies to covered play areas. Browse our full education range here, or request a free brochure for more information.

Canopies in Bristol, Kenilworth and Norwich: Our latest installations


Canopies UK has recently completed work on a series of schools and businesses across Bristol, Kenilworth and Norwich.

Over the years, we’ve worked with countless schools and companies, who all recognise the many benefits outdoor canopies can bring. Read on to find out about our latest school walkway, commercial entrance canopy and parent waiting canopy installations at Wai Yee Hong, Fakenham Academy and Priors Field Primary School.


Wai Yee Hong’s commercial entrance canopy

Eastgate Road
Canopy type: Connekt

Wai Yee Hong in Eastgate Oriental City asked us to help create a sheltered entrance solution that would protect its customers from the weather.

Using our Connekt commercial entrance canopy, we’ve created a covered area that has provided the store with the shelter it needs. The canopy has also given Wai Yee Hong’s exterior a smart and professional finish too.


School entrance canopy at Fakenham Academy

City College Norwich
Ipswich Road
Canopy Type: Italia Range – Salerno

Our installation of the Salerno entrance canopy at Fakenham Academy means staff, visitors and pupils are now sheltered from the elements as they enter and leave.

The canopy is a real statement feature and instantly helps the academy make the right first impression to guests and visitors.


For best practice advice on installing an entrance or walkway canopy, check out our blog, ‘How to ensure you get the best possible canopy for your school?’


Parent waiting canopy at Priors Field Primary School

Clinton Lane
Canopy type: Connekt

Priors Field Primary School wanted to provide cover for parents and pupils, who were regularly exposed to the elements during drop-off and pick-up times.

They found the perfect solution in our practical and sleek Connekt parent waiting canopy, which provides shelter from the elements all-year round. It’s also created an extremely eye-catching focal point too.


Interested in installing one of our industry-leading outdoor canopies? We provide a wide range of solutions, from outdoor dining canopies, to covered play areas. Take a look at our commercial entrance and education ranges.