A stand alone shading and weather protection structure is very pertinent when the location is away from the main building, or the building walls are either too low, or not suitable for fixing to. This is a large percentage of many older buildings we generally find. We offer several stand alone structures and many of the existing wall mounted products can be adapted with aluminium framework systems to create a stand alone structure if required, so please email or call if you perceive a problem with any product and the fixing of it.

Create a perfect outdoor oasis at the bottom of your garden in the sunshine. Make a great outdoor living area away from your home so you feel you have escaped to a different world. A freestanding structure has a lot of benefits over attaching directly to your property.

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The Basic Principle

A freestanding outdoor structure of any reasonable size is generally supported by a minimum of 4 posts, but of course as you get larger sizes, you will at some point need more support posts.
Most customers want to have as few posts as possible, for obvious reasons in terms of access and overall aesthetics. What is important with any freestanding structure is being confident in the wind loading capabilities and how the system is fixed/bolted to the ground. Nothing we offer simply sits on the ground without fixings and fixing plates of some kind and below that it is also necessary to have sufficient padstones or concrete base depth.
A self supported structure needs to withstand 365 days a year of British weather and think about recent storms in the UK, which are more frequent and where the wind speeds are simply getting higher all the time. Add one or more infill sides and the wind pressures could be even more on the structure. A properly specified structure, which has been tested within European standards is what you should be looking for and not a system simply imported from a very hot country, where it has been only really tested and used as a sun shade product.

Flat or Sloping?

You may notice all weather protection systems are generally either a sloping canopy or a flat roof structure. However, even the flat structures are slightly deceiving and the actual roof inside the side profile fascias are still sloping, albeit at a minimal angle. From the outside however the system looks flat and angular, which is perfectly suited to many property styles.
For our fixed glass, polycarbonate, fabric and louvre roof systems the standard systems are nearly all sloping for the rain to drain off to one side, all sides internally and into a guttering system, or straight off the edge down to the floor. You may need to think very carefully about the implications of the rainwater drainage for your own situation and where the rainwater will end up on the heaviest of rainfall days.
The steeper the pitch on a sloping roof, the faster the rainwater will drain off the roof and this might be a serious factor on larger sized roof systems, especially in terms of where the water is going.

Extra Weather Protection

Various self supporting structure systems will have optional side infills to close in one or all sides for weather protection and privacy. Most systems are built to enable these side infill options to be added at a later date, but please check first if you are not sure.
One of the most popular options is infilling the side which is exposed to either the prevailing wind or the neighbours house. One for weather protection and the other for privacy for both parties and some noise control too. This can be a vertical fabric blind, a solid aluminium walling system, a louvred aluminium system, sliding glass wall system or just solid glass. Of course you can also mix the products used depending on the reason for adding.
LED lighting is also another very popular addition along with various infra red heating systems at high or low level. If you are going to create a special outdoor space then why wouldn't you continue into the evenings when using it? Most LED lighting now is controlled via the same remote handset used for other products in the structure or you simply go for the Smart control via a Somfy Tahoma Switch and the app which accompanies it. Smart control around the home these days is not only very affordable, it is so intuitive and enables far more control than just switching on and off.


  •   What is a FreeStanding Structure?

    It is a structure which stands on its own foundations or base and does not attach or rely on any other structure, building or wall for its stability. It should be designed and tested to be strong enough as a freestanding unit to withstand a minimum amount of wind as it is for outdoor use.

  •   Do you need planning permission for a Pergola?

    If your home is in a conservation area or is listed then yes, there is a fair chance you will need planning permission, however we are not talking here about traditional ‘pergolas’. You may also not need full planning permission anyway and these structures are classed as ‘temporary structures’ in black and white terms. As long as the system does not take up more than 50% of the land around the existing building and is not in front of your property or higher than 2.5m, then you should not need planning permission.
    If you are attaching the pergola system to your house then the same rules tend to apply.

  •   How long is a Pergola system likely to last?

    Most of the top quality freestanding structures come with a 5 year warranty as standard, with some caveats on coastal locations and corrosion from salt. The mechanics can be complex in some models, but they are all tried and tested products with years of development behind them. Any electric motors are usually a 5 year warranty as well but are never really under stress.
    In the case of a glass or polycarbonate free standing structure there really isn't anything to ever go wrong, so it is just all about longevity of the framework and roof panels. We know of structures which were fitted over 15 years ago and are still fine, with maybe just the wear and tear of the weather showing, depending on the colour and location. Most of the systems with electric drives and retractable roof canopies will have replaceable parts which gives confidence to a long lifespan and the ability to replace anything which gets damaged.

Highly professional and well-informed…

Extremely professional and knowledgeable company. The entire process of viewing products online, selecting the preferred system, and placing the order was remarkably straightforward. The person I spoke to on the phone demonstrated significant expertise. They also dedicated time to thoroughly explain how the system operates. Plus, it looks fantastic! Many thanks your team we will recommend Awnings Online to friends.

Beautiful awning, fantastic price, delightful people

We are absolutely delighted with our awning. The entire process was incredibly straightforward, and everyone at the company was exceptionally helpful.  Overall, it was such a positive experience, and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone seeking the best products with top-notch customer service.

New Awning on our victorian home

New Awning on our victorian home 
After 24 years our two 'side by side' full cassette awnings (3.5m and 4.0m) started to show their age, so found Awnings Online to seek replacements. We were very impressed with the advice and knowledge of the products, and it was wonderful to discover that we were able to have one 7.0m awning. The sales person coprihensively showed us the quality and showed us the design of the Markilux 1600 awning, and this is what we ordered. Your sales person completeled the order for us promptly and the awning is now installed. We are delighted with the product, and we were very pleased with the efficiency and helpfulness of the whole Team at Awnings Online. Thank you.

What an excellent team!

A special shout-out to Jess, who provided valuable advice on the design and color selection for our new awnings. I highly recommend Awnings Online, and the awnings boast exceptional craftsmanship and top-quality construction.

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