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Aluminum Canopies and Awnings

What is the difference between Awnings and Canopies?

The main difference between awnings and canopies is that an awning is usually attached to the exterior of a building whereas a canopy can be free standing. A canopy is almost always used to cover an area where people gather or relax, such as a patio or part of a yard.

Canopies and Awnings are made from many types of materials from steel, wood, fabric and even aluminum. Most of the aluminum awnings you will see are on the outside of your favorite retail store. It is also very common to find aluminum awnings in the residential setting, whether it be for over a window, or creating a cover for a car.

Window awnings prevent harsh light and shadows from entering a home, keeping temperatures low and protecting furniture from sun damage. Window awnings can add style to your home by complimenting its architectural design and coloring.


PSE Consulting Engineers has provided structural engineering for many different aluminum canopies for some of your favorite places such as, Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings, Walgreens, Chipotle and many more. Aluminum canopies can be used in all types of construction, and are an ideal building material because it is lightweight, sustainable, and does not rust or corrode in any weather condition. Our firm has provided structurally-designed aluminum canopies all across the United States for:

Today’s awnings come in two basic types: Manually operated models which are opened by hand and motorized models which operate by electricity. Each offers its own advantages. Benefits include low-cost affordability, easy adaptability to almost any deck or patio, and support arms that can be angled back against the house or set vertically on the deck or patio floor.


Awning and canopy usage is recorded as far back as 50 BC. They have certainly improved in many ways since then. Woven fabrics and mats were stretched between wood poles to provide shade at many outdoor events. Although these kinds of coverings have been used for many years, they became truly common and popular in the second half of the 19th century. People used them for parties and gatherings, and shopkeepers used them to provide curb appeal to their shop.


Awnings or Canopies have a wide variety of uses from providing shade to us to protecting our assets from Mother Nature. Awnings or Canopies now come in a variety of sizes and shapes depending on their desired use.

PSE will provide you with a safe and stable design

The average designer may have a concept of how beams and posts work structurally. But to design a safe structure, one must fully understand stability issues. A structure comprised of simple beams mounted on the top of simple posts is inherently unstable. This means that the structure is susceptible to falling down because of the number, arrangement and method of connection of the members. At PSE we can structurally design, traditional or modern, a simple window covering or a carport. PSE knows what it takes to make your awning and canopies structural sound.