Language is one of the mysteries of the human race and so much miscommunication happens when we use the wrong name or phrase and it catches on. “Omo ya Toss” comes to mind. Not exactly the same thing but we’ve confused ourselves by calling canopies and awnings interchangeably and the technical ones out of us usually get caught out!
An Awning is permanently attached to a building and is designed to withstand most weather patterns. Often you’ll find that they are retractable meaning you can ‘open’ or ‘close’ them to allow light into the area under cover. They don’t have any support legs because that would then make it a canopy.
A Canopy is freestanding and not always attached to a building. It requires standing support legs. In the West, a canopy will be portable and easy to assemble and disassemble, similar to a tent. The independence from a building allows a canopy to offer a duo-pitch (like an A-shape roof) design which isn’t possible with an awning.
So which one do you choose for what application?
Well, an awning gives the additional benefit of exterior aesthetic to a building. Pick the right fabric and color combination and you could have a stunning look to the outside of your building. A canopy is practical for a walk-way or where the building doesn’t need something aesthetic to add value. They come in similar shapes, can use similar materials and do pretty much the same job. There will be variations in cost due to the design and size. If it has legs and not attached to a building then it’s a canopy, if it’s attached to a building then it’s an awning.