What is the Cost of Bespoke Canopies in the UK? 7 Key Factors

What is the Cost of Bespoke Canopies in the UK? 7 Key Factors

cost of bespoke canopies - commercial-grade shade sails

What is the cost of bespoke canopies in the UK, and what are some factors that you need to keep in mind when looking for one? Continue reading to learn more.

Bespoke canopies are among the most versatile, effective and aesthetic solutions when it comes to shading outdoor areas, and they are perfect for both residential as well as commercial spaces. 

However, a lot of homeowners, businesses and contractors shy away from a personalised solution because they believe it’s significantly more expensive than a store-bought option. 

In this article, we will talk about the cost of bespoke canopies in the UK, what are some considerations that you will have to keep in mind when looking for one, as well as the biggest benefits of bespoke canopies for your outdoor space. So, let’s get right into it:

What are bespoke canopies?

So, what exactly are bespoke canopies in the first place?

Bespoke canopies are man made shading structures that serve the purpose of protecting an outdoor space from the harmful effects of the sun and the UV light, all while providing shelter and enhancing the aesthetic appearance of the exterior area.

In contrast to store-bought alternatives, bespoke canopies are designed and manufactured to fit the individual requirements for dimensions, shape, style, material and fabric of the client. 

They can come in a variety of shapes, styles and sizes, that’s why it’s important to keep in mind that the cost of bespoke canopies will vary widely based on that. 

made to measure canopies 2 - cost of bespoke canopies

What is the cost of bespoke canopies?

The cost of bespoke canopies is not straightforward. As we just mentioned, it depends on a variety of factors, so here are a few things you will have to keep in mind:

1. Shape of the canopy

One of the biggest factors that affect the cost of bespoke canopies is their shape. That’s because not all outdoor areas have the same shape, but store-bought options only come in several standard shapes including square and triangle.

In contrast, personalised solutions may offer an unlimited variety of shade sail types, from standard ones like square and rectangle to hexagonal, rectangular and even custom shapes. 

This means that residential and commercial outdoor spaces that have irregular shapes may require a bespoke solution in order to get fully covered and get proper UV protection

This is extremely important because the effects of the sun’s UV rays can be quite harmful – they can cause sunburn and skin ageing, but may even lead to skin cancer and eye damage. Ensuring maximum protection is key for avoiding unnecessary risk.

2. Size of the canopy 

Among the biggest factors that affect the cost of bespoke canopies is also their size. As a rule of thumb, larger canopies require more material and labour to produce, which generally makes them more expensive

Bigger shade sails may also need additional support structures, such as larger and more robust poles, connectors, and hardware, which may slowly add to the expense. In addition, they tend to require more time to install due to their size, leading to higher installation costs.

3. Complexity of the canopy

The complexity of the canopy is among the factors that play a role when it comes to the cost of bespoke canopies. Shade sails with complex designs often require custom manufacturing to meet the specific requirements of the installation site.

On another hand, customisation involves additional time, effort and expertise from the manufacturer, which can increase the overall cost. 

Depending on the design and the intended aesthetic, the shade sail may also require special materials that are more expensive than standard fabrics used in simpler designs. 

These materials may have better durability, UV resistance, or specific characteristics that match the design requirements.

4. Fabrics used for the canopy

The fabrics that are used for the shade sail or tensile canopy may also add to the cost of bespoke canopies. On one hand, we have the quality of the fabric – it is important to keep in mind that a lot of manufacturers don’t work with high-quality fabrics, which means that you may experience reduced longevity, worse UV protection, and worse resistance to the elements.

On another hand, companies like SD Sails in the UK offer a rich selection of premium fabrics that you can choose from for your bespoke canopies. They offer a wide range of applications, come with a warranty of up to 15 years, and provide highly effective UV protection blocking up to 98% of the UV rays. 

You can also opt between breathable and waterproof fabrics depending on the climate characteristics of your physical location, as well as your personal preferences.

5. Complexity of installation

When it comes to the cost of bespoke canopies in the United Kingdom, complexity is another factor that has to be kept in mind as it may affect the final quote of the shading solution. 

The level of difficulty for installing a shade sail or a tensile canopy will vary depending on the size, shape, and complexity of the design, as well as the peculiarities of the location.

For example, factors such as uneven terrain, slopes, rocky ground, or hard surfaces (concrete, asphalt) can complicate the installation process. Preparing the site to ensure proper anchoring and tensioning may require specialised techniques or equipment.

Limited or restricted access to the installation site can also add to the difficulty as it makes transporting materials and equipment more challenging. If the site is in a hard-to-reach location, it might require manual handling or creative solutions for installation.

And of course, let’s not forget about the availability of suitable structural support – existing anchor points or mounting structures can affect the complexity of the installation. 

In some cases, additional support structures may need to be provided – including poles and attachment points, all of which add to the complexity and the cost of bespoke canopies.

cost of bespoke canopies hardware and fixing

6. Hardware and fixings

When it comes to the cost of bespoke canopies, another important factor that you will need to keep in mind is the hardware and fixings needed for the installation. 

They are essential components of any shade sail installation as they provide the necessary support and tension to keep the shade sail in place. The selection of appropriate hardware and fixings is crucial to ensure the stability, longevity, and effectiveness of the shade sail.

The anchor points – which are the fixed locations where the shade sail is attached – must be strong and stable enough to handle the tension and stress applied by the shade sail. 

Depending on the material and structural strength of the anchor point, different types of fasteners, bolts, or brackets may be used to ensure this strength and stability. 

When there are no existing structures for anchor points, shade sails manufacturers tend to use poles to support the shade. They can be made of various materials, including steel, aluminium and wood. The size and strength of the poles will depend on the size of the shade sail and the wind loads it may experience, which may affect the final cost.

Cables and wires, connectors and tensioning systems are all elements of the hardware and fixings that need to be taken into account when factoring the complexity of the installation process, and the cost of bespoke canopies. 

7. Warranty and after-sales support

Warranty and after-sales support are also essential aspects to consider when factoring the cost of bespoke canopies.They provide peace of mind and assurance that you will receive assistance if any issues arise after the installation. 

Shade sail warranties will vary between manufacturers and they also vary in terms of coverage and duration. Some manufacturers offer more years of warranty for your shade sail, and a longer warranty period usually means more confidence in the product’s durability. 

As we mentioned earlier, companies like SD Sails offer up to 15 years of warranty depending on the material of the fabric. 

After-sales support is also extremely important when it comes to shade sails – it ensures technical assistance during and after the installation process, and provides maintenance guidance to ensure that your shade sail will last longer.

What are the benefits of bespoke canopies?

Bespoke canopies offer a variety of benefits for your residential or commercial area, including:

– Effective UV protection – by blocking up to 98% of the sun’s harmful UV rays, they ensure that people will be able to spend more time outdoors without worry.

– Cost-effectiveness – when it comes to the cost of bespoke canopies, it is important to keep in mind that they tend to be more cost-effective compared with permanent structures like roofing or awning.

– Great versatility – shade sails can be made in unique configurations, shapes, and sizes, which means that the customisation possibilities are endless.

– Enhanced aesthetics – bespoke canopies and shade sails can be personalised in colour, material, shape and size – in a way that can complement and enhance the aesthetic of your commercial or residential space.

– Attract more people – commercial spaces can also benefit from shade sails by attracting more people under the shaded area. This is especially important in the summer when people stay away from spending too much time under the sun. 


What are the factors that affect the cost of bespoke canopies?

Some of the factors that affect the cost of bespoke canopies include the shape and size of the canopy, the complexity of the design and the installation process, as well as the physical location where the shade sail will be installed.

How long does it take to manufacture a bespoke canopy?

The time for manufacturing a bespoke canopy will depend on the size and shape of the canopy (irregular shapes and sizes take longer to manufacture), the level of customisation required, the materials chosen by the client, and more.

What colour options are available for bespoke canopies?

The available colour options for bespoke canopies will highly depend on the manufacturers and the options they offer. For example, SD Sails offers a wide variety of colours and fabrics that you can choose from for virtually endless possibilities.