Oak & Glass
We build our oak canopy frames with sawn, green oak, curved braces and traditional oak frame joinery for a chunky, rustic appearance that is particularly suited to country settings, soft landscaped gardens, older style buildings, or clients who prefer the type of rustic charm which oak never fails to deliver. These canopies look visually stunning. However, there are various factors to bear in mind when choosing an oak frame canopy:
1) The oak will go grey in colour eventually. It will also develop unique character in the twists and cracks which will appear in the timber over time.
2) Although we use oak framing for the main frame (the lintel and legs), oak is not a suitable material to support a roof because of the characteristics of the timber mentioned in point 1. For this reason we use chunky, tanalised softwood to create the wall plate and rafters. The oak and softwood will age differently as the softwood becomes very warm in tone over time, whereas the oak will become grey, as previously discussed.
3) An oak canopy will come with a greater price tag because of the cost of base materials and the extra labour involved in using traditional carpentry methods.
4) The style and chunkiness of an oak canopy lends itself to spaces which are 6m wide x 3m projection and above.
An Oak & Glass canopy will certainly provide a feast for the eyes with its rustic, sawn finish, beautiful curved braces and oak pegs, tensioning the mortice and tenon joinery. Oak is also a dense hardwood, which carries its own natural tannins, and therefore is well protected from the elements and renown for its sturdiness and longevity in outdoor structures. Put simply, oak canopies have the quality of appearance that make them beautiful to look at and they are a great choice in the right setting, but they are not for everyone!
With our Contemporary Glass canopies, we mimic the chunky style of the Oak & Glass canopies by using 6" (150mm) leg timbers along with deep rafters, wall plate and lintel. However, the lines look cleaner and simpler with a planed-all-round finish on the softwood timbers and straight braces, creating a much more contemporary look. The wood is tanalised to protect it from weather and pests. This initially gives the structure a slightly green appearance, but as the wood dries out from the tanalisation process, the warm tones really start to come through, so you can see the real beauty of the wood. This type of wood remains warm in colour, rather than greying over time like the oak. It also retains a stability in aging which allows us to build the rafters out of the same material as the rest of the framework (not possible with oak), so that the structure is consistent throughout in how it ages and colours.
The Contemporary Glass canopy looks good in any setting. We have attached them to modern houses, old houses, farm houses and country houses, and we are happy to say that they have worked equally well in every setting. The cosy look and feel that is created when our customers add patio furniture, festoon lighting, outdoor heaters, rugs, cushions and speakers, is really hard to beat. They become incredibly personalised and open up the usability of the patio and garden in a way that make them feel like a real extension of living space to the home. Add to that the clarity of view up to the sky afforded by a glass roof, and you have a little piece of heaven in your back garden. We can honestly say that we haven't had an unhappy customer yet.
Because of the chunky nature of these canopies, they work best in larger spaces (4m wide x 3m projection and above). We do offer the same style of canopy in smaller dimensional wood for smaller spaces - see Contemporary Slimline section. We also offer both the Contemporary Glass canopy and its slimline counterpart with the option of multiwall polycarbonate roofing as a cost reducing alternative to glass (see Contemporary Poly and Contemporary Slimline sections).
The Contemporary Glass canopies usually take about a week to complete as they are built on site and to specification. They are sturdy in design and have a really quality feel to them. We build them with longevity in mind, using passivated post feet to lift the legs out of contact with any surface level water (the roof already offers rain cover to the wooden framework), using leadwork to create a water tight seal to the house, and using quality, aluminium glazing bars to house the glass roof sheets. Though most canopy companies use toughened glass for their roof systems, we choose to use laminated glass in our roof systems. Although laminated glass is slightly more expensive, it stays in position (like a car windscreen) if it is accidentally broken, unlike toughened glass which breaks into thousands of small chunks and falls. We consider the extra cost worth it for the peace of mind it gives us in relation to our customers' safety.
The Contemporary Glass canopy is by far our most popular choice with customers who are looking to create a large, statement veranda with practically unhindered views, minimal light reduction and a real wow factor!
Our Contemporary Poly canopies have all the same features and specifications as our Contemporary Glass canopies, except that we use 16mm multiwall polycarbonate for the roof system instead of glass. The main advantage with this roof system is a reduction in cost, as it is less expensive than glass and much quicker and easier to install.
Multiwall polycarbonate is commonly used for conservatory roofing and despite being lightweight is incredibly strong and durable. It is available in 3 different shades: clear, opal and bronze. Clear allows the most light through, though visibility through the sheets is not clear in the way that it is through glass. Opal is quite white in colour. It is not transparent, which has some advantage in that it prevents you seeing through to any dirt or bird droppings that might accumulate on the canopy roof. It also offers a little more shade than the clear sheets as it doesn't let as much light through. Bronze is quite grey in colour. It also offers more shade than the clear sheets, though it is more see-through than the opal. Clients who have opted for the bronze sheets have often commented that they think the bronze sheets look a little classier than the alternatives. In reality, all 3 options have their own advantages, and all three look great once installed.
One great advantage with the multiwall polycarbonate sheets its that they can span large distances in one continuous sheet, whereas glass sheets over 3m need to be joined, and are consequently more difficult to service or replace. Joining glass sheets also requires the addition of cross members between the rafters underneath where the glass sheets are joined. We would recommend the use of multiwall polycarbonate on canopies that will be used to cover cars or workspaces as it is very practical and hard-wearing. We would also recommend it for customers who want to keep costs down or who particularly want shade as a feature of the canopy. Glass obviously offers no shade. Although it is laminated, which gives it a great deal of strength, it is inevitably more fragile than multiwall polycarbonate, which is something to be considered where there is the possibility of overhead debris (from trees or house etc.) or accidental knocks from beneath. We have built many large, and very beautiful Contemporary Poly canopies as statement verandas. The function of the space is not at all affected by using multiwall polycarbonate rather than glass and it is certainly a very practical choice. Glass, as the luxury option, just adds an extra touch of class.
Our Contemporary Slimline canopies are designed for smaller spaces, areas where space needs to be maximised (eg. a drive), or for more budget-conscious veranda builds. They are built in exactly the same way as the Contemporary Glass and the Contemporary Poly canopies, except that the timbers we use are smaller in dimension, which brings the cost of the canopy down substantially. We use 4" (100mm) leg posts as standard, though the depth of rafters is variable dependant on the type of roof which is chosen. Both glass and multiwall polycarbonate are options, the pros and cons of which are discussed in detail in the two sections above (Contemporary Glass and Contemporary Poly)
This type of canopy is a frequent choice for those who are looking for a really quality-looking alternative to the white, aluminium canopies which are so commonly purchased as carports. The timbers are planed-all-round, giving them clean edges and a smart finish. They are also tanalised, protecting them from weather and pests. With the legs mounted on post feet, over concrete footings, to keep them out of contact with any surface level water, and the framework itself sitting under the cover of the canopy roof, there is little to worry about in the way of maintenance or longevity. They work perfectly as carports. They also provide a cosy, quality-looking home addition as verandas looking out into the garden. They have all the appeal of the Contemporary Glass canopy and the Contemporary Poly canopy; they are just slimline in appearance rather than chunky. Some customers simply prefer this look; others have small enough spaces that the chunkier timbers would simply overcrowd the space. We have certainly experienced universally happy customers (see independent Google reviews), whichever size timbers or roof type they have selected.
Additional Customer Information
Woodcraft Canopies work with and around existing patios or decking to achieve a professional finish.
We need adequate height on the building surface we attach the canopy to in order to allow a forward pitch for roof surface drainage. We recommend a minimum pitch of 5 degrees to allow for proper drainage and to safeguard against potential snow-loading. 5 degrees roughly gives a 9cm fall over a metre. However, we also have to allow for the height of the wallplate and rafters and would recommend that the finished projection does not come below 2.10 metres as per normal building regulations. We are sometimes able to offer bespoke solutions where this criteria is not met. We are also able to build free-standing canopies if necessary.
A gutter system is supplied and fitted to the front of the canopy as standard.
We create concrete footings to mount the post feet onto.
Once you book a survey with us, we will visit the proposed canopy site to assess its viability, discuss building materials and supply a delivery and installation cost. If you are happy with our proposal, our standard procedure is to take a 50% deposit of the total cost for the order and installation before proceeding with arrangements for the fitting. We will fill out a contract with you to cement the agreement and issue confirmation of receipt for any monies paid. We aim to supply and install the canopy within 6-8 weeks of the deposit being paid.
We hope you like the photos of our previous canopy installations and we look forward to meeting you and assisting you with your personal canopy project.