8 Types of Canopy Roofing (Explained with Pictures)

Canopy roofing made of polycarbonate in the sky

Canopies have proven to be very functional and have been employed for outdoor events for a long time now. Over the last few years, they have presented a perfect melange of creativity, innovation, and functionality. 

Whether you want to plan a picnic, outdoor party, outdoor event, or camping, canopy roofing can offer the shade you’re looking for. Additionally, it’ll add a fun element and aesthetic touch to any alfresco occasion. 

There are several types of canopy roofing that you can implement. Here, we consider in detail the types of canopies available. 

1. Entrance Canopies

These canopies are installed at the entrance to a building. They might therefore allow some light in while at the same time offering protection from UV rays. 

An entrance canopy is useful to a building by not only highlighting the entrance location but also improving the building’s aesthetics. 

You can also fix signage to your entrance canopy to provide important information, display the store name, and welcome visitors. 

If the entrance is large enough, you can even transform your entrance canopy to offer extra retail space. 

2. Cantilever Shade Canopy

This canopy provides a low profile with the canopy being supported by suspension branches and having posts at the structure’s back. There are horizontal beams that extend beyond vertical columns. 

These canopies minimize column obstruction thus creating more open spaces below the shade. They also offer customizable and versatile product options that are ideal for various applications. 

Application areas for these canopies include covered parking, playgrounds, pools, bleachers, and outdoor seating areas. They are available in a variety of design styles and configurations including those having wing, Arch, and hip roofs. 

3. Retractable Canopies

A retractable canopy is a motorized unit covering a certain area when the weather is harsh and retracts when the conditions are favorable. 

This type of canopy can cost you between $800 to $3,000. However, they are worth every penny that you spend. They have also proven to be durable than some other canopy types. 

4. Shade Canopies

Shade canopies offer the ultimate protection against scorching and detrimental UV rays. It also creates a tranquil shaded area in your outdoor setting.

Whether you have plans of organizing a patio picnic, spending a day at the beach, or having a sporting event in the backyard, having a shade canopy will offer perfect relaxation and all-out comfort in any outdoor setting. 

Shade canopies are highly accessible, convenient, and functional, allowing for an easier haul at any time and anywhere. They are also large enough to offer shelter for your whole outdoor living space. 

Whether you want to cover your kid’s sandbox or your swimming pool, selecting a shade canopy is a perfect solution to offer a sheltered covering. 

Even in the presence of a sweltering summer, shade canopies can help you a cool, shaded, and relaxing place, thus escaping the scorching sunlight. 

Shade canopies are also portable and convenient. If you want to rent a shade canopy, they are easy to install. They also offer enough protection and shelter. Therefore, you can consider them if you seek to sell products during an event. 

5. Garden Canopies

You can install garden canopies with ease around your patio, deck, and yard to create an aesthetic feel in your outdoor setting. It’ll also help you get maximum sun protection. 

We recommend that you go for a garden canopy while planning an outdoor dinner party. This roofing canopy has an elegant design, having screened sides meant to keep away any bugs while you’re relaxing in your garden. 

You’ll also come across screened canopies with similar qualities and features as garden canopies but with a simpler design. 

With this canopy, it’s easy to enjoy a pleasant afternoon in the garden or organize a relaxing and perfect dinner in an outdoor setting. 

6. Canopy Tents

If you plan on having a birthday party, family reunion, or grand outdoor party, provide your guests with a place to seek shelter from heavy rains and scorching sunlight by installing a canopy tent or large canopy. 

A canopy tent is a perfect choice for outdoor weddings, where you get a relaxing and safe area for your guests and family to enjoy. You can even employ large canopies to offer shelter for your animals and protect them against the sun’s intense heat. 

Employing a large canopy offers more portability and convenience. 

7. Carport Canopy

Installing a carport canopy or portable garage is the best option, especially when it comes to protecting your vehicles from adverse weather and sunlight. 

Carport canopies are perfect for storing outdoor equipment, building materials, and your vehicles so that they don’t look lackluster or fade away in the scorching sun, or get rusted or drenched during heavy rains. 

Carports canopies and portable garages are available in different sizes, some even having panels and sides. 

Remember that extreme heat can be very dangerous to your vehicle since it cause tear and wear and takes away years from your car’s life. We, therefore, recommend that you protect your car from the wavering seasonal conditions using carports and portable garages. 

8. Shade Sails

A shade sail is created with the same design as a boat sail except that it’s linked to an outdoor structure or roof to form a canopy. Twisted or tilted overhead, they offer protection from the sun. 

Shade sails are developed from UV-resistant materials that are available in a range of sizes, shapes, and colors. 

To select the best-shaded sail, consider going for products with high-density polyethylene fabric. 

Canopy Design Criteria

Canopy Construction Material Selection

To construct a canopy roof, you can either use metal or wood. Common canopy types include a metal canopy covered with metal or glass or a simple wooden structure having wooden roof tiles. 

Since canopies have to meet several design needs, they’re designed with fabric coverings. Most modern fabrics are flame-retardant, strong, highly durable, and easy to clean. 

Canopies Construction Method

You can either build your canopies through flat roof construction or gable construction. With gable construction, you make a self-supporting structure. 

The canopy is flat for the flat roof construction, with single glass plates or metal plates being used as a canopy. 

Canopy Construction Attachments

You can either attach canopies to a building wall or build them on a framed structure. For framed structures, you can use frames made from metal or wood. Depending on your canopy’s weight, you can use outriggers for extra support. 

For small canopy construction, anchor the support structure directly in the masonry. 

Canopy Roofing Materials

When developing a canopy or buying one, you should ensure that the material can withstand the weather conditions. The most common materials used are glass, polycarbonate, and GPR

Let’s consider each of the above materials:

GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic)

These materials are also known as FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic). It’s a combination of glass fibers in a polyester resin matrix. 

The mixture yields a composite that is tough and non-brittle. 


  • It’s versatile
  • It’s available in multiple colors
  • The material offers UV protection to belongings and people underneath


  • Sunlight can lead to the discolorization of clear GRP roofs over time
  • The material surface is rough, thus being difficult to clean
  • It has a shorter lifespan than other options


A canopy developed from glass is a stylish addition to your property. Below are the advantages and disadvantages.


  • The roof panels clear completely
  • It has the best acoustic properties meaning that it produces less noise when there is heavy rainfall
  • It provides a polished and clean finish having an attractive appearance


  • Glass presents an expensive option
  • It provides limited or no UV protection
  • If the panels aren’t high quality, it presents security risks


This naturally transparent thermoplastic allows light to get through almost as effectively as glass. However, it’s highly resistant to impact and tough compared to glass. 


  • It has a low heat transmission property
  • It’s developed with a high impact resistance
  • The material comes with a life expectancy of up to 25 years
  • It’s tinted, opal, or translucent
  • Many varieties are developed with UV filters
  • Apart from offering an effective structural performance, it’s also cost-effective
  • The material is self-extinguishing
  • It maintains its clean appearance and strength


  • It’s hard to have a clear view of the sky with this canopy material
  • It can be very noisy when it rains


As we have seen, canopy roofing presents several benefits, and you can employ them for different purposes. Depending on your requirements, you can select from any of the canopies that we have recommended above. 

It would also help to select the best canopy material. The aim here is to get maximum protection and safety and at the same time get the best experience.


4 types of canopies