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Making the right choice when it comes to installing a school canopy can potentially save your budget and prolong the longevity of your installation. Choosing the right outdoor school canopy for your school premises won’t just enhance the aesthetics of your school. Shelters for schools can transform the way you use your school, sometimes in ways you may not initially realise. 

If you are careful about taking the time to choose the right school canopy, you can install a bespoke canopy that blends perfectly with your school premises. And one that potentially has multiple uses. 

Here are our top tips for choosing the right bespoke canopies for your school premises.

1. What You Will Your Outdoor School Canopy Will Be Used For?

If you’re thinking about installing a school canopy to your school premises, you will already have a primary need in mind. But before you rush ahead and build an outdoor school canopy to suit those needs, it will be an advantage to you to consider other ways you might also use the canopy.

You may find that a few tweaks to your canopy design could bring on additional advantages such as:

We recommend talking to canopy professionals to discuss any of these ideas. They will l help you to work out what works best for your school premises.

2. How Do You Want Your School Shelter To Look?

You have a variety of design options to choose from when you install a bespoke shelter. Options include:


The options for your school canopy frames often range from aluminium or stainless steel with a paint coating, or natural looking timber. Roofs are often polycarbonate or UV and weather-resistant fabric. 


Painted aluminium frames, polycarbonate roofs and UV fabrics come with a variety of colour options. There will be plenty of opportunities to match or coordinate with your school colours.


Roofing design options include straight or wave polycarbonate roofs. Or fabric ‘tepee style’ roofs, sails or parasols.

Sails and parasols usually provide shelter for smaller spaces where you don’t intend to keep warm in the winter months. For something substantial for all seasons, the best options are the aluminium or steel framed canopies.

You also have options to include side infills if you install a canopy with aluminium or steel frames. Side infill choices usually include options for doors, windows, or shutters. These allow for flexibility throughout the seasons. You can open up the doors, windows or shutters in the warmer months and hunker down in the winter.

3. How Long Do You Intend For Your School Shelter To Last?

You can install a DIY outdoor school canopy reasonably quickly and on a lower budget. However, the materials you use may not last as long as you were planning.

Quality canopy manufacturers usually install the best canopies, and they do so professionally and safely. And the good thing is, they’re usually familiar with working with schools.

They feature high-quality materials and features that will stand the test of time. Like stainless steel or aluminium, long-lasting paint, UV coated fabrics and polycarbonate or integrated guttering which reduces the upkeep and maintenance required.

Quality manufacturers of shelters for schools usually offer guarantees of around ten years. But the lifespan can last beyond 15 years if well taken care of. However, you may need to replace any fabric roofs during that time.

4. What Is Your Local Climate Like?

Enhance the use of your bespoke canopies by knowing the wind path in your local area. It can also potentially reduce the amount of budget you spend.

For example:

If your school premises are on the coast, you might think about building steel frame structures with polycarbonate roofs and shutter side infills. This kind of design will protect from the elements when needed while allowing you to open your outdoor school canopy when the winds are low, and the weather is good.

The same applies to walkways and shelters for other local areas too. If you find you have a strong wind mostly coming from the same direction, perhaps you might consider a half-enclosed canopy or walkway that shields your students and staff from the wind. 

5. Should Your Bespoke Canopy For Your School Be Wall-Mounted Or Freestanding?

In some scenarios, you may not need to decide between a wall-mounted or freestanding school canopy – you’ll know that it needs to be one or the other.

But if you plan to add a bespoke canopy that sits close to your existing school building, there could be an option for you to install a wall-mounted canopy. 

There are several pros and cons of choosing a wall-mounted canopy versus a freestanding canopy.

For example, a wall-mounted canopy can cost less because they require fewer materials. But there may be some building limitations, and it won’t be as easy to insulate in colder weather.

Canopy manufacturers will advise you further, and you can learn more about mounted canopies versus freestanding canopies here.

6. Is Your Bespoke School Canopy Extendable?

Canopies for schools are surprisingly useful. So much so that you may find a few more uses for them once you’ve installed your first canopy. It’s worthwhile to consider how you would extend your canopies in the future to make the most out of your investment. This way you can easily extend your school canopies if you decide to do so.


Canopies for schools can help you solve many problems with the way you use your space on the school premises. It can also protect your students from wind, rain, and sun. But there are several factors you will need to consider before installing a bespoke canopy. Discussing the six tips above with a school canopy manufacturer will ensure that you make the right design choice for your school’s needs now and optimise the potential for use in the future.