8 Types of Pool Canopies and Awnings

Including canopies and awnings around your pool can provide you with welcome shade in the heat of the day and add style to your backyard. Canopies come in many different styles and materials. Here are eight different kinds of canopies that you can consider for your poolside.

1. Sail Style

3 or 4 sided sail canopies are constructed from fabric with ultraviolet resistant coatings. They are mounted by attaching the corners of the sail between tall posts with rings and guidelines. You can stretch them tightly, providing a very low profile. They come in a variety of bright and muted, typically solid, colors, and they work well for a modern style. Most people use several of these sails, sharing poles as they stretch them.

2. Carport Style

Also used as a shade covering for cars, boats, and trucks, this kind of canopy consists of a series of aluminum poles that are staked to the ground. A tarp is pulled overhead and connected to the aluminum frame with eye hooks. This canopy is portable and inexpensive, but it is not as attractive as other styles.

3. Pavilion Style

Similar in some ways to the carport type canopy, the pavilion style canopy is supported by aluminum poles but features a steel truss and polyester or polyethylene fabric is stretched in a way that is reminiscent of a circus tent. Since they are more stylish, they tend to be more expensive than their carport counterparts. Oftentimes, these canopies have fabric "walls" that can drape down over the frame, providing even more protection from the elements.

4. Detached Retractable Style

Also supported on a frame with posts, the major difference with this type of canopy is that you can pull the fabric ceiling back in a way similar to a window blind. The advantage to this is that you do not need to uninstall the canopy just to increase your sun exposure or to have a view of the stars at night.

5. Attached Retractable Style

Fixed to the side of a building, a simple retractable awning can serve as a pool canopy. This is a great option if you have a small space for your pool patio.

6. Umbrella Style

These canopies tend to have the smallest amount of shade coverage. Suspended on a self-supporting post, they can make your pool area feel like a beach. Some have a central post, while others have a post off to the side to support the canopy like a lampshade. If the supporting post is made of metal, the canopy fabric typically is acrylic or some other fabric. However, there are some umbrella canopies that are constructed from wood with a central post, and roofed with shingles or even grass thatch.

7. Greenhouse Style

Extending out from a building, thick glass panes provide a rain shelter for the pool area. The canopy provides excellent visibility. The drawback to this type of canopy is that it does not provide you any sun protection.

8. Pergola Style

A wooden pergola, constructed with thick posts and beams across the top that form horizontal slats, can give your pool partial shade. For more complete shade, tarps or sheets of fabric can form a dense canopy, if you stretch them across the top.