Is a Dining Canopy More Effective Than a Traditional Build?

Posted by Admin

Are you struggling for space and considering a dining canopy as a solution? A canopy can sometimes give the impression of a temporary structure, but our robust, high-quality Spaceshade® canopies prove these structures are not only flexible but also deliver long-term value.

How do dining canopies compare to traditional building extensions? Keep reading to find out!

What Is a Dining Canopy?

Before diving into the various options available, let’s clarify what a dining canopy means. Most popular for use at schools, these structures protect outdoor areas from the elements and create flexible covered space for students to eat under at lunchtimes.

They can be built using various materials to offer different finishes and created in bespoke formations to suit any available space. Dining canopies can also be specified to include windows, sidewalls, and retractable blinds. By offering schools a way to affordably convert outdoor areas into space that can be used 365 days a year, outdoor dining canopies offer schools an affordable, flexible space with multiple uses.

How Does a Dining Canopy Compare To a Traditional Build?

Now that we have looked at what a dining canopy is, let's explore how these robust structures compare to traditional building extensions.


Depending on the design, a dining canopy can cost anything between £400 -£1000 per sqm. Factors that may influence this include side walls, heating and lighting. Compared to a new building, the price would be around £2000 per sqm, immediately making the cost savings obvious.

Another aspect to consider with pricing is that building extensions must match the look of the existing building to fit in. In contrast, dining canopies can have a different aesthetic. This means more affordable materials can be utilised than the original structure.

Finally, a dining canopy is an addition to a building, whereas an extension requires costly building work to also be done to the existing building. These extra fees are eliminated when dining canopies are selected. In summary, dining canopies are much more cost effective than traditional builds.

Project Length

A traditional building extension can take six to twelve months, which will be extended if the design is complex. Outdoor dining canopies can be installed in weeks, including the groundwork. As well as being much more time effective to install, they are quicker to proceed with as planning permission is not always needed.


Dining canopies are available in a range of configurations, and accessories such as side walls will affect its final appearance. One of the benefits of a canopy is providing a visually obvious way of differentiating uses of available space.

For example, having a dining canopy clearly shows where pupils can go to eat their lunch to avoid confusion when new students are present.

However, a building extension can be designed to suit your requirements exactly, although you may want the overall appearance to match the existing style of the buildings.


Lastly, the experience that can be received in traditional builds and dining canopies is the same. You can weather-proof spaces, design them to suit your needs and provide usable areas all year round.

However, dining canopies offer several advantages over a traditional extension, especially in terms of build cost and time. They also enable students to enjoy an indoor-outdoor experience when the weather conditions allow for it. This enhances dining time for anyone in the area with other benefits, including improved concentration and happiness from spending time outside.

What Types of Dining Canopies Are Available?

Our dining canopies are available in many different styles, meaning the perfect addition can be chosen for any building project. Front roof-only structures to completely insulated modular designs, we can assure you that these structures feel far from temporary.

All canopies can also be designed bespoke and integrated with other features, such as retractable external blinds. To start exploring the option of a dining canopy for your building, please contact our team.