Aluminium Canopies vs Timber Canopies: Which is Better?

Posted by Admin

Deciding what type of canopy to install in your school or business is a tough choice! Spending any money in the current economy has extra pressure attached as for many, every penny counts. You want to hit the right balance between high quality, low maintenance and value for money. If this is you, we can help.

If you are wondering or if an aluminium structure is the better option, keep reading to learn all about the differences between aluminium and timber canopies, and decide which is best for you.

What Are the Differences Between Aluminium and Timber Canopies?

To help you figure out which option is better, we have looked at lifespan, environmental footprint, appearance and the installation process.


First, we have the lifespan you can expect to receive from both types of canopies.

Aluminium canopies are powder coated and are not affected by corrosion, meaning that even without maintenance, they will still be as strong as when first installed even in years to come. If you do not want to spend a lot of time or money on maintenance, aluminium would be more suitable for you. Spaceshade aluminium canopies are designed to be low-maintenance, with easy to clean surfaces, concealed gutters and downpipes and a certified non-fragile roof.


If you’re one of the 90% of business leaders that think sustainability is important, potential environmental impact will likely be an influential factor when investing in new building structures.

To ensure the timber used is truly sustainable,it is also important to ensure that it has been sustainably sourced. At Kensington, we only use timber from FSC or PEFC-certified suppliers to make sure it comes from wel-managed forests.

While aluminium is not renewable, it is abundantly available and is known as the most recyclable industrial material, leading to its nickname ‘The Green Metal’. Aluminium is so easy to reuse that it is estimated that 75% of all aluminium ever produced is still in circulation today.

Regardless of whether you choose timber or aluminium for your canopy, both materials have impressive sustainability credentials compared to other materials like steel.


Next up, we have the look and finish of a canopy. There is no ‘better’ option when it comes to appearance, as it is subjective to the purchaser and the environment that it is being used within.

For a more modern and contemporary finish, aluminium is best. The smooth lines and streamlined feel of a Spaceshade canopy make it the perfect addition for new buildings or to add a modern structure to an older property. The powder-coated finish is available is available in a wide range of colours, allowing the design to be seamlessly integrated into any space.

Timber canopies generally have a more traditional look and feel. Treating it with different varnishes and sealants can change the look to suit its environment or be left in its traditional state, depending on your preferences. Timber is ideal for older spaces or ones with a clear link to the outdoors.


Again, this point does not allow a clear comparison as factors such as the associated groundwork and size of the structure do impact it. However, aluminium can sometimes be quicker to install unlike timber it doesn’t generally require any onsite carpentry.


Lastly but importantly, how do aluminium and timber canopies compare on cost?

It depends on the size of the canopy. For a small canopy, it’s likely that timber will be more cost-effective. However, as the canopy becomes larger, aluminium offers significantly more value for money. Aluminium profiles are stronger than timber, so a canopy can have wider spans between posts. This means less posts and less foundations are required, reducing the overall cost.

On average, you are likely to find that timber canopies will cost less, although not significantly less, than aluminium. When making a decision however, you should take into account the lifetime and maintenance cost of a timber canopy – unlike aluminium, it requires regular maintenance and upkeep to keep it looking good.

What Canopies Can Kensington Systems Offer?

On balance, an aluminium shelter is likely to be a better choice if you are looking for a long-lasting, low maintenance shelter that also looks great. However, a timber shelter is great for traditional or rustic settings, and with regular maintenance will last well.

If you have decided that an aluminium structure is the best option, our Spaceshade canopies would be ideal. With their sleek aluminium structure and concealed fixings, they make the perfect modern addition to any educational or commercial environment.

We also have school canopies available in purely timber structures or our TimberPlus range. Manufactured from aluminium and low-maintenance softwood, this innovative canopy combines the natural beauty of wood with the durability of aluminium

To learn more about which version would be better for your company, contact our team.