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Heltwate School Canopy

How much does a canopy cost?

By: Oli Birch Category: CanopiesExternal Solutions

One question we’re often asked is: How much does a canopy cost? But the answer is not as straightforward as the question.

In fact, there are a host of different factors that effect the overall total.

That’s why we’ve put this blog together to outline four key areas that will impact the cost of your canopy and provide an approximate figure.

    • Style and size
    • Roof material
    • Colour
    • Labour
    • Approximate cost

Style and size

The size of space available on site can often determine whether specifiers choose a lean-to or free-standing canopy.

As lean-to canopies are fixed directly to the outside of a building, they would be a more cost effective option compared to a free-standing canopy of the same size, requiring half the number of posts and foundations.

However, if the project requires a free-standing canopy, the cost will depend on the style of frame within this category. Apex canopies require more posts for structural support than a mono-pitch of the same size, and henceforth would cost slightly more.

Both lean-to and free-standing mono-pitch canopies have a maximum projection of five metres. Lean-to’s can go to six metres from the wall with intermediate support posts.

Meanwhile, free-standing apex canopies can span just over six metres in width and seven metres in length, whereas mono-pitch and lean-to’s can cover any length. This changes if a glass roof is used, though.

We identify the differences between the two styles in greater detail here.

Roof material

Once the style of canopy has been sorted, the next factor to consider is the canopy roof, which has a big impact on the overall cost.

The two choices here are polycarbonate or glass. Polycarbonate roofing comes with two options available; 16mm triple wall or 8mm solid, with the former more commonly used.

Similarly, it’s a toss up between two when it comes to glass, with laminated or toughened glass recommended here. Both materials are incredibly durable and have a wide range of advantages and disadvantages, as we explain here.

But when analysing cost, polycarbonate is certainly the more cost effective option. Glass roofs require more support posts and roof beams to accommodate the additional heavy weight, whereas the lightweight polycarbonate does not. The latter, therefore, tends to be the cheaper of the two.


There are two considerations that impact the cost when it comes to colour; the colour of the frame and the roof.

Many canopy manufactures have stock colours which can be used on both aluminium and steel frames. And, if chosen, they will not have a huge impact on the total.

Conversely, if the colour is unique to the project and needs to be specifically colour matched, this adds to the cost as a special powder coating is needed to protect the frame.

Choosing the colour of the roof depends on the roof style. If you wanted to opt for an opal colour, for example, then the only option is the 16mm triple wall polycarbonate. Both the 8mm solid polycarbonate and glass only come as clear.

Labour costs

Typically, the labour costs decrease pro-rata as the size of the canopy increases. However, a host of other factors could impact the total here.

If the site is does not have easy access and additional measures need to be taken to reach the destination, for example. Or if work needs to be completed outside normal working hours.

The ground on which the canopy is installed is another area that requires consideration, as it needs to be structurally sound and made good around the posts to support the frame.


As you can see, it’s difficult to give a definitive figure as an answer to this question. However, what we can do is provide a figure based on the average cost per square metre of the last 20 projects we’ve done:

  • Free-standing polycarbonate roof: £386.7
  • Free-standing glass roof: £410.60
  • Lean-to polycarbonate: £254.5
  • Lean-to glass: £608
  • Free-standing apex canopy: £282.5

If you’d like to speak about pricing in greater detail, or any future projects you have, then please contact our expert team!

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