Building Canopy

How to choose a building canopy

Aluminum C-Channel Canopy

Aluminum Canopy | Image: Vestis Systems

Choosing a Building Canopy

Trying to choose your building canopy can be a daunting task, but don’t worry. We are here to help you select your next building canopy with so many canopy options like material, deck, frame, mounting, projection, finish, drainage, prefabricated, or custom. Let alone having to choose between all the architectural products like canopies, louvered sunshades, or awnings. Well, we are here to help you make your architectural product decisions.

What Is a Building Canopy

Building canopies are typically aluminum or steel products attached to the exterior of buildings to provide maximum weather protection. They are most commonly used above walkways, storefronts, windows, and building entrances. Canopies can come in different lengths, widths, colors, face types, drainages, mounting types, decks, and maximum loads. You need to ask yourself, “what do I need my canopy to do?”

What Do You Want Your Canopy To Do?

With so many canopy options to choose from, start by asking yourself what do you want your canopy to do? Is it purely aesthetic, or do you need weather and sunshade protection? Do you need maximum weather protection? Or just solar protection? What are your commercial building codes? To help answer these questions, let’s go over the basics of commercial building canopies. At Vestis, we have two different types of aluminum canopies, our Pre-designed canopy, and our Custom Canopy. Both are manufactured out of aluminum and share many of the same traits as maximum weather protection, but they have some key differences. 

The Pre-designed canopies are prefabricated ahead of time and have standard widths, lengths, and face types. This is beneficial if you need standard sizes and face types because they generally have a lower price point with quicker turnaround times. Custom canopies are perfect for unique aesthetics or custom benefits, and they tend to be a higher price point and slower turnaround times. Still, they are truly custom and can fit any building canopy needs. If you are looking for solar loading or only solar protection and don’t want to worry about snow loads, our louvered sunshades will fit your needs. If you need walkway protection and enjoy a lower entry point, our commercial awnings with fabric covers are a perfect choice. 

storefront commercial canopy

storefront Canopy | Image: Vestis Systems

What Are Your Budget and Timeline

After assessing what you need your building canopy to do, you need to think about the budget and timeline. All of our architectural products have different price points and turnaround times. For example, suppose you have a tight budget and need a quick turnaround time. In that case, our aluminum Pre-designed canopy is a better fit than our aluminum custom canopy because, with our prefabricated approach, you get a lower price point with maximum snow loads and weather protection. If you wanted solar protection and didn’t want to worry about snow loads, then our louvered sunshades would be a great option. They offer sustainable solar protection and snowfalls through the louvered blades, so minimal snow load is required. Whatever your budget and timelines are, make sure you find the best architectural product for your project.

louvered sunshade

Louvered Sunshade. | Image: Vestis Systems

Who Is Installing

Now that you know what building canopy best fits your needs, budget, and timeline, let’s discuss installation options. Generally, there are 3 methods to install a canopy:

  1. Have the general contractor or subcontractors install the exterior canopies.
  2. Have a specialist install the canopies(the architectural product company usually does this).
  3. The building owner can self-install.

Vestis separates itself from the pack when it comes to installation. All of our building canopies feature come with Simple Installation. Our signature installation process never requires field assembly and can be installed within 4 hours by a two-person team.  Check out our article on “How to install a commercial canopy.”

concrete building with louvered sunshades

Canopy Install. | Image: Vestis Systems

Just Remember

When trying to decide what building canopy is best for your project, you will need to clearly define what the canopy needs to do, your budget, and your timeline. After answering those questions, you can then decide who will be installing your canopies.

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