Awning Vs Canopy: Understanding The Differences

Rubix Awnings over Pool Helioscreen

When choosing a shade solution for your home or business, you’ll likely come across awnings and canopies as two options to consider.  

But what’s the difference between an awning vs canopy? And what’s the best option for your space? 

Here’s what you need to know. 

The Difference Between Awnings & Canopies

Awnings and canopies are both popular outdoor shade structures designed to provide shelter from the harsh Australian sun.  

However, they differ in their structure, placement options and overall functionality.  

Let’s look at both models in more detail: 

What Is An Awning?

Helioscreen Retractable Awnings Cassette Awning

Awnings are permanently attached to the side of a wall or building and are ideal for those seeking durable sun protection for decks, patios, pools and courtyards.  

Awnings are typically made from metal or fabric. Metal models are fixed in place whereas fabric models can extend or retract as your shading needs change throughout the day. 

Retractable awnings give you the luxury to control light and protect yourself from the harsh sun and light rain, adding flexibility and value to any outdoor space. 

6 Benefits Of Retractable Awnings

Stylish and extremely versatile, the benefits of retractable awnings are numerous. They include: 

  • Maximise useable outdoor space 
  • Protects indoor and outdoor furniture from sun damage 
  • Effortless operation (with the option for motorisation) 
  • Reduces the carbon footprint of your home/business 
  • Highly customisable 
  • Optional Vario-Valance for extra sun protection 

What Is A Canopy?

Unlike awnings, canopies are freestanding structures with support poles. They’re portable and adaptable, allowing you to create shade wherever you please, whether it’s in the backyard, a market stall or for a day at the beach.  

4 Benefits Of Canopies

  • Ideal for temporary shading needs 
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble 
  • Available in various shapes and sizes 
  • Optional sidewalls for weather protection 

Awning Vs Canopy Vs Pergola

Pergolas are another popular shade structure, but are not to be confused with canopies or awnings. 

The difference between pergolas and awnings is that an awning is a flexible attachment to the side of an external façade. A pergola, on the other hand, is a fixed permanent structure typically made from wood or metal. They’re often seen as an attachment to a house or freestanding.  

While canopies and pergolas are both freestanding shade structures, a canopy is portable, whereas a pergola is not. 

What’s The Price Difference Between An Awning & Canopy?

Canopies for residential applications generally cost between $500 to $900 

Retractable awnings, on the other hand, typically have a higher price tag than canopies due to their extra features, functionalities and weather resistance. They can range anywhere from $2700 for a small, manually operated model, to over $10,000 for a motorised system with weather sensors. 

For more information on the price of a retractable awning, try our free awning price calculator here. 


Choose Australia’s Leading Retractable Awning Supplier

When choosing an awning for your home or business, look for a quality model from a reputable supplier. This will ensure you receive a reliable shade solution that won’t rust, tear or break in a few years’ time.  

Helioscreen is Australia’s leading supplier of retractable awnings for a variety of residential and commercial applications. All awnings come with a full 5 year warranty on the motor, fabric and hardware, so you know they’re made to last.  

Contact us today for more information on a model to best suit your needs.  

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