Outdoor Canopies in the UK: Top 7 Tips to Choose The Best Manufacturer

Outdoor Canopies in the UK: Top 7 Tips to Choose The Best Manufacturer

outdoor canopies in the uk - shade sail uv protection

Looking for outdoor canopies in the UK? Here’s how to choose the best company for your shading solution.

Outdoor canopies are among the best shading solutions for any outdoor area. They not only protect people from the sun’s harmful UV rays, but are also cost-effective and add an aesthetic touch to your residential or commercial property.

If you are looking for an outdoor canopy in the UK, keep in mind that not all outdoor canopy manufacturers are made equal, and experience does matter when it comes to getting a great shading solution, among other important factors that you will need to consider.

Let’s take a look at some must-know tips for choosing the best shade sails and canopy company in the UK:

Tips for finding outdoor canopies in the UK

1. Look for a company that prioritizes quality

If you are looking for outdoor canopies in the UK, don’t compromise with a company that doesn’t prioritize quality. Tensile structures and fabrics made from cheap materials not only have a much shorter lifespan, but they also offer poor UV protection and fade faster in the sun.

In addition, low quality materials are more prone to wear and tear because they don’t have the same resistance to external elements – which results in a shorter lifespan of the shade sail.

Instead, look for a manufacturer that offers high-quality canopy fabrics and hardware. Premium materials provide better durability, resistance and to the shade sails, resulting in a longer lifespan – which makes them more cost-effective as well.

2. Choose a manufacturer with experience

When researching for outdoor canopies in the UK, opt for a manufacturer with experience in the industry. A company with a solid track record of designing and installing shade sails will not only ensure the perfect materials for your outdoor area and geographical location, but will also be able to offer expert advice for your specific needs.  

For example, the leading shade sails company in the UK, SD Sails, has over 30 years of experience in designing and manufacturing high-quality shade sails and bespoke canopies across a variety of industries, including:

Swimming pools





An experienced shade sails company will have a better understanding of the unique challenges and needs for each industry, and will take all these factors into consideration when it comes to providing the most durable, cost-effective and aesthetic shading solution for your needs.

outdoor canopies in the uk

3. Look for a cost-effective solution

If you are looking for cost-effective outdoor canopies in the UK, keep in mind that “cost-effective” doesn’t necessarily mean cheap. As we mentioned earlier, shade sails and tensile canopies made from low-quality materials will have a much shorter lifespan than premium ones.

This means that you will have to either repair them or entirely replace them more frequently, which results in additional costs every single time. 

On the contrary, investing in a high-quality shading solution means that you won’t have to worry about wear and tear, holes created by the tiniest bits of debris, and reduced lifespan due to harsh weather conditions. 

Premium shade sails can last up to 15 years, and with proper maintenance, you will ensure the necessary protection for your outdoor area without constantly incurring in extra costs.

4. Research your customisation options

When looking for outdoor canopies in the UK, another factor that you will have to keep in mind are your customisation options. This is especially important, and not only for aesthetic purposes – each installation site and area has its peculiarities that need to be considered.

For example, it is not the same as shading a huge outdoor area of a hotel or a stadium as it will be shading a small residential patio. The installation requirements may change based on the nivelation area and the surrounding structures, especially when it comes to proper tensioning.

But there are other things to keep in mind as well:

– Climate – if you live in a geographical area with strong winds or heavy rain, you will need a shade sail that’s capable of withstanding these conditions, and not all manufacturers offer these options.

– Sun angle – the angle of the sun when it comes to your outdoor area can impact the amount of shade that you are getting from the shade sail. Choosing the right angle and placement can maximise the amount of shade provided, and you may need a personalised option to achieve that.

– Size and shape – if your outdoor area has an irregular shape or size, you may need a custom solution in order to cover it adequately, and provide proper protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays. 

– Installation site – as we mentioned,  the installation site is another factor that may require a more custom solution. For example, if you have limited space or the access to it is difficult, you may need a personalised design to provide proper coverage.

And of course, let’s not forget about materials – having the opportunity to choose between the perfect fabric for your outdoor area is important when looking for outdoor canopies in the UK

Companies like SD Sails offer high-quality fabrics that you can personalise to achieve the perfect aesthetic for your residential or commercial area. You can also choose between waterproof fabrics, breathable fabrics and ones that can withstand harsh weather conditions.

5. Opt for professional installation

While installing outdoor canopies in the UK is not necessarily a difficult task, it’s always recommended to get professional help to ensure that your shade sail has been installed safely, efficiently, and to a high standard.

If not done according to the best practices and the manufacturer’s recommendations, installation can not only become dangerous, but may reduce the lifespan of your shade sail and make it more susceptible to damage.

A professional shade sail company has the expertise and knowledge to choose the most adequate hardware for your specific area, and also has the necessary safety equipment and training to complete the process following the best practices.

If your shade sail is installed and tensioned properly, it will have a much longer lifespan, and it will be able to withstand different environmental conditions better. 

In addition, professional companies also provide a warranty for their installation work, giving you peace of mind and protection in case any issue arises.

6. Read reviews online

Doing your research online requires establishing trust with a company, and one of the best ways to achieve that is to look for reviews before getting outdoor canopies in the UK

Reviews not only give you an idea of the quality of service that you can expect, but you can learn more about the specific benefits of working with a company – and see if they align with your needs.

Reviews can help you assess the reputation of the shade sail company within the industry and among previous customers. You can learn about the company’s track record and whether they have a history of providing high-quality service and products.

7. Don’t compromise with time

While designing custom-made outdoor canopies may sound like a long and time-consuming process, it actually doesn’t have to be with the right manufacturer. 

No one likes having to wait for months to get their custom outdoor canopies in the UK, especially as the summer months are just around the corner and they need a great shading solution for their outdoor area.

For this reason, SD Sails developed a unique Free Form technology, designed to take the complexity out of tensile fabric structures and custom canopies. 

It allows you to order a totally bespoke canopy, up to 40m perimeter with 3 to 8 corners, quickly and easily using our online system. You can choose from a wide range of fabrics, colours, and materials, as well as personalise the form, load case, and the number of corners.

Get a quote instantly by clicking here.

FAQ – Outdoor Canopies in the UK

What are the different types of outdoor canopies that I can get in the UK?

There are different types of shade sails and outdoor canopies that you can get in the UK, but the most common ones are hypar, conic and flat. Flat shade sails consist of a rectangular or square piece of fabric that is stretched between anchor points. 

Hypar ones consist of two or more flat planes of fabric stretched between various heights and angles, while conic ones have a conic shape which is similar to a tent or umbrella.

What are the maintenance requirements for outdoor canopies?

Some of the maintenance requirements for outdoor canopies include regular inspection, cleaning of debris and dirt that accumulates on the fabric, immediate repairs in case of a damage, and retensioning over time to ensure they remain taut and properly anchored.

How do I choose the right size and style of canopy for my outdoor space?

The right size and style of canopy for your outdoor space may vary depending on whether you want to cover the area fully or partially. You will have to measure the length and the width of the space, and choose something that’s large enough for your requirements. Make sure to consider the shape of your outdoor space and choose a shade sail that complements the existing architecture and landscaping.

It’s best to contact a professional who will guide you towards the right choice. Contact SD Sails today.