Home > What are the benefits of installing an external shelter?
Al Fresco Dining Fabric Pergola

What are the benefits of installing an external shelter?

By: Oli Birch Category: AwningsCanopiesExternal Solutions

Installing an external shelter is an effective way of enhancing your outside space. Whether you run a school, restaurant, bar or hotel, maximising your outside space can provide a wide range of benefits to occupants.

In a blog earlier this month, we identified the different types of external shelters available for those looking to add another element to their outside space. From hospitality venues to educational facilities, there are a host of options available.

Now, we’re taking a look at the benefits of installing an external shelter and what they can offer different industries.

Weather protection

The primary benefit of installing an external shelter is to offer protection from the weather.

As we head towards the warmer spring and summer months, many of us will be looking forward to basking in the sunshine. But ensuring your outside space also has a shaded area providing UV protection for occupants is of paramount importance.

Retractable awnings, for example, give pubs, restaurants and bars the opportunity to provide cover for customers sitting outside and glare control for those dining inside. Not only does this enhance the overall customer experience, it also helps the venue regulate energy costs by reducing the need for air conditioning or fans.

Similarly, canopies can create comfortable outdoor learning environments for students at a nursery, school, college or university, by providing vital UV protection. Furthermore, if they’re installed close to a classroom door or window, canopies can also assist with reducing the internal temperature and improving the energy efficiency of a school and productivity of the pupils.

Riverwalk School Canopy

External shelters are not limited to benefits throughout the summer months, however. There are a plethora of options available to ensure your outside space can be used during the winter too, though some are better suited than others.

Awnings, for example, would need to be retracted during high winds and extreme weather conditions to prevent damage. And canopies require accessories like side panels to ensure they’re fully enclosed.

Garden rooms, meanwhile, do not have this issue as they’re complete with a waterproof roof and sliding glass doors to ensure they offer complete protection from the wind and rain.

Though they’re often installed in commercial settings for additional meeting areas or co-working spaces, garden rooms can also provide restaurants, bars and hotels with a private space available for events.

Increased seating capacity

By offering additional cover and protection from the weather, external shelters allow venues to increase their seating capacity throughout the year.

And with al fresco dining here to stay in the UK, this is hugely important for restaurants, bars and hotels looking to add another element to their external space and accommodate more customers.

Education facilities can also reap the rewards of additional seating provided by external shelters. Pupils will have more space and freedom to enjoy their break times, leading to a more safe and relaxed environment.


External shelters are incredibly versatile and give establishments the freedom to be as creative as they please, to suit their specific requirements.

For instance, schools can free-up more corridor space inside by using a canopy with the secure doors and side panels to create an external locker area for pupils.

Canopy Accessories - Side panels

Or a garden room could allow hospitality venues to host social events like a pottery evening or wine tasting.

Return on investment

The previous point leads us nicely on to this section.

By providing additional seating or private areas available for hire, establishments can quickly recoup the money spent on installing an external shelter and start to get a return on their investment.

We discuss this topic in greater detail here.


It’s easy to see how external shelters can be an excellent option for establishments looking to maximise their outside space.

By choosing the right one for your needs, you can create an environment that is comfortable, welcoming, functional and bespoke to your facility.

If you’d like to discuss an external shelter installation for your venue or project, please get in touch with us here and one of our expert team will happily assist you.

    • Max. file size: 512 MB.
    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Download our brochure

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.