Versatile Structures commercial awning for Mecca Bah

What type of commercial awning is the best for my business?

 Jamie Howard      In

Considering getting commercial awnings for your business?

Defined as a secondary covering or projection attached to the exterior wall of a building, commercial awnings can provide additional outdoor space for your customers and business. They can also enhance the aesthetics.

Whether they’re for a supermarket, café, workshop or leisure centre, here are some of the key things you need to consider to make sure you get it right.

  1. What you plan to use the awning for

Why have you decided to invest in commercial awnings? Perhaps it’s to create a weather-protected workspace, an outside area for customers and staff to enjoy, or a covered loading or drop-off bay?

Understanding what you plan to use the area for can help you make better decisions in terms of size, awning design and site location.

For example, you might want to choose a spot that’s most protected from the elements, such as wind and rain. Or you may want it close to an entrance.  

  1. Types of awnings and their benefits

There are many different types of commercial shade sails or awnings to choose from, but which is best? Ultimately it comes down to your requirements.

Some of the different types of commercial awnings available include:

  • Cantilevered awnings (PVC, fabric, metal, polycarbonate)
  • Retractable folding arm awnings
  • Retractable roof structures
  • Retractable folding arm awnings
  • Fixed frame awnings
  • Shade awnings

Cantilevered awnings are a great modern option and don’t need to be mounted on posts, eliminating any obstructions. Larger fixed frame awnings come with supports but are ideal for creating an outdoor protected area. While retractable awnings and roof structures allow for great flexibility of use and across seasons.

The best option is to get commercial awnings customised for your business.

  1. Durability and ease of maintenance

For commercial awnings, you’ll typically need something more durable and able to withstand regular use, as well as Queensland’s extremes of weather.  

While many residential awnings are made from fabrics, commercial awnings typically require tougher waterproof materials or even customised weatherproof sheeting like Colorbond (steel) or Zincalume (aluminium/zinc).

Think about whether they can be easily cleaned and how they will fare against sun fading, wind, hail, mould, mildew and rust.  Also, consider if any mechanisms, such as folding, retractable or motorised awnings components, will need servicing.

A quality commercial awning will require little maintenance or resources to maintain it.

  1. Whether you need council approval

Do your commercial awnings need council approval or planning permission?  

In Queensland, this depends on various factors, such as the design, size and placement of your commercial awnings and council zoning.

Generally, commercial awnings are considered domestic outbuildings (Class 10a) of either acceptable or assessable development. Make sure you check with your local council.

You may need planning permission if:

  • Your building is a listed local or state heritage site
  • Your building is in a priority development zone
  • Your commercial awnings are large
  • Your awnings sit closer to street level than your building

If you don’t comply, you could be hit with fines and be forced to take it down.

  1. The company you’re buying from

Choosing a quality manufacturer, supplier and installer with a good reputation is crucial when buying commercial awnings. It can be a significant investment, and you want to get it right.

Look for a company with great online reviews, and check that their commercial awnings meet Australian standards.

Also, see which product brands they use. Some of the best include:

  • Helioscreen
  • Zip Trak
  • Frigerio Living
  • Weinor
  • Somfy

In addition, find out what warranty’s they offer. Good quality commercial awnings should last for 10-30 years.

If you’re looking to purchase commercial awnings for your business, get in touch with our experienced team today. We can offer you advice and provide you with a quote for a custom design, build and install it, and gain any approvals.


  • Versatile Structures Headshots

    Jamie Howard - Director

    Co-founder and Director Jamie has been hands-on in the shade and steel industry since leaving school. With over 15 years’ experience in shade, membrane and steel projects, Jamie is excited about the design opportunities shade structures offer in the commercial and industrial sectors. Jamie’s extensive design skills give him a competitive edge in situations with technical design complexity. He has won two personal industry awards for his designs, alongside many company-won awards.