Outdoor canopies are free-standing structures, similar to a tent but they do not have a floor. They can have side panels that either are in the down position continuously or the side panels can be rolled up and stowed.
There are many different sizes, shapes, colors and complexities for outdoor canopies. The simplest may be not much more than a flat canvas panel supported by a free standing frame. Another simple canopy has a peaked roof which allows rain to run off better. These simple canopies are usually used for a temporary purpose; they are used extensively at the beach as a day shelter or in the backyard during a BBQ.
There are also very elaborate canopies which are often used for special occasions such as an outdoor wedding, family reunion, graduations, etc. These canopies can be custom made to just about any size needed for the occasion. For special occasions, the colors tend to favor white, light green, blue or grey.
The larger, more elaborate outdoor canopies are usually rented for the occasion. Many event planners either have them or they know where to rent them for the day. Smaller units, which are used more frequently, are usually owned by the family.
An outdoor canopy can only be classifies as a temporary shelter, even though they may stand for many weeks or even months. It is common for a family to erect their canopy in the backyard in the late spring, leave it in place all summer, and take it down in the early fall. While the canopy is up, it will be used to provide shade and shelter from rain, usually over a patio or a courtyard. Other people will use them to provide a covered play area for the children, covering the slide, gym set and sand box.
The frame of the canopy is tubing, usually aluminum. After the frame has been formed, it is treated with an electrostatic epoxy which lasts for many years.
Although must outdoor canopies are no more than a roof, there are some that come with sides. These side panels are made from the same fabric as the roof and can even come with clear inserts that act as a window. Canopies of this design are appropriate where privacy is wanted, or more shade. Often, when a family erects their canopy reasonably close to a neighbor’s garden they will use side panels to ensure privacy for both parties.
Although canopies are usually used for parties, shade, and other leisure pursuits, they can also be used for the more mundane. Flea market and weekend market vendors use these canopies to protect their wares; other people use it for a car port or a cover for their mobile home that only is used periodically.