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Canopy & Awning

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Both awnings and canopies are lovely additions to a home or backyard, creating shady areas to entertain guests and adding curb appeal. Both are great window covering options for respite from the sun during the hot New Jersey summer months. However, while they do share some similarities and the terms are often used interchangeably, canopies and awnings are two different structures with their own unique benefits and uses.

The differences between awnings and canopies 

Design Differences

The main difference between is their architecture. An awning is made of fabric and is attached to the building through a glass window or door. Meanwhile, an awning is a freestanding structure with posts that support its fabric roof.

Different uses and their benefits

An important factor to consider when deciding between an awning or a canopy is what specific benefits each will bring to your space and which ones are best suited to your specific needs. Awnings do more than just create shade under their fabric. Installing awnings over your windows will prevent the sun's harsh rays and shadows from entering your home, thus keeping the temperature cool and protecting your furniture, flooring and artwork from the sun's harmful rays.

Size Specifications

The size of an awning is limited because it is installed after the building is constructed. It can only be so large before it begins to affect the structural integrity of the building it is attached to. In most cases, an awning can only extend a few feet from the building to which it is attached. On the other hand, the only limitation of an awning is the available space. Some canopies can be so spacious that you can have a wedding underneath them.

Storage Differences

Remember, fixed awnings are always in place. They cannot be easily removed and stored inside at will. Separating and moving them requires a lot of physical labor. Therefore, they are usually left on the building or house until they wear out and need to be repaired or replaced. Therefore, it is important to determine the location, style and color of the awning before installing it. Retractable awnings, however, can be unfolded and closed at will, but remain fixed to the building at all times.


Canopies and awnings are both very durable and long-lasting. However, a canopy will last longer because it is not always outside and exposed to the elements like an awning. Awnings wear out faster than canopies because they are constantly exposed to sun, rain, snow and other inclement weather depending on the season. Meanwhile, canopies spend most of their time safely tucked away when not in use, so they wear out more slowly.

Types of awnings

Fixed Window Awnings

As the name implies, fixed awnings remain open at all times and are often used outside of businesses and homes to create shade and keep the interior cool. They are structurally stable, but it is important to remember that they can be damaged by strong winds or snowfall. Fixed awnings can vary greatly in material, style and size. With dome, elongated dome, eyebrow, concave and waterfall styles to choose from, there is a design for every space.

Retractable awnings

This type of awning can be deployed or closed when needed to provide shade from the sun or elements. Retractable models are often used for decks or outdoor seating areas so people can enjoy the outdoors in the yard without being exposed to bright sunlight.

Solar retractable awnings

These are a popular choice because they don't require physical strength to expand and can reduce your carbon footprint. This type of awning is powered by batteries and charged by the sun using integrated solar panels. The awning's solar panels detect sunlight levels, telling it when and how to operate. Another advantage of solar retractable awnings is that they do not require wires, making installation a breeze. Since it runs on solar power, they cost nothing to operate and reduce your carbon footprint.

Choosing the right type of canopy


These are the most common type of canopy and usually consist of four poles secured to a piece of fabric. Whether you choose to put it in our backyard for picnics and picnics, take it to the lake or to a sporting event, awnings are the perfect escape from the hot summer sun. You can also use them to sell your wares at farmer's markets or craft fairs. Another great use for a shade canopy is to cover a small jungle gym, pool or sandbox for children.


A pergola is a type of outdoor shelter that consists of posts that support beams and a rafter roof grid. The roof grid can be opened to let in light, or closed to create more shade and a barrier between the element and the person sitting under it. Think of it as a more permanent architectural version of an awning. Awnings are usually made of weather-resistant wood or vinyl. However, they can also be made of fiberglass or metal. If you are looking for a long-term solution for your outdoor space, then a pergola may be the right choice for you.

Portable Carports

Portable carports are perfect for keeping your car away from the harmful rays of the hot sun. Parking your car in the sun day after day can cause the paint to fade or lose its shine. Portable carports are versatile; they can also be used as a place to store lumber and building materials on a job site so they don't get wet. They come in a variety of styles, including models with fully covered sides and top, models with one wall that rolls down so you can move your vehicle in and out, models without sides and other models with or without door panels.