5 Essential Walkway Canopy Elements to Consider

Aluminum walkway canopies add value to any commercial property, and they last much longer than fabric canopies. Below are 5 elements to consider when determining the best walkway canopy layout.

1. Walkway width

A commercial sidewalk must be at least 5′ wide to comply with ADA regulations. Any sidewalk that is less than 5′ wide must have areas every 200′ called ‘passing spaces’ that measure 5′ x 5′. To avoid having to pour concrete for passing spaces, most commercial sidewalks are at least 5′ wide. Therefore, our canopy is usually between 5′ and 6′ wide, but the maximum width that it can span is 12′.

2. Walkway length

If you want the entire sidewalk covered, measure the distance from one end of the sidewalk to the other. If you want partial coverage, measure only the area you want covered.

3. Changes in direction

In order to design the canopy correctly, we need to know if there are any changes in direction. The most accurate way to give us information about changes in direction is to send us an overhead picture or layout drawing of the sidewalk or walkway.

If the sidewalk makes a turn and has a step down or up, we will design the canopy so that one section steps overlaps the other section at an angle. If the sidewalk makes a change in direction on level ground, we can cut the canopy decking at the specified angle of the turn. Check out a previous Upside walkway canopy project layout.

Overhead plan of two sidewalk canopies with flush change of direction
Canopy cut at an angle
Overhead plan of two sidewalk canopies overlapping at corner
An overlapping canopy that has a step

4. Changes in elevation

There are two ways to design the walkway canopy to accommodate a ramp or step system within the walkway. First, one canopy section would step down from the higher canopy section. The higher canopy section would hang over the lower one so that rain does not come through the gap. The second option is to cut the canopy posts at different lengths to counteract the elevation change.

Side view of walkway canopy with flush top for elevation change
A canopy that steps down with taller posts
Step-Down Walkway Canopy for Change in Elevation
Overlapping canopy that steps down

5. Barriers

People tend to forget about structures that might be in the way of a walkway canopy; take into account structures like power lines, light posts, and trees. It is possible to design a solution if the barrier is known, but if the barrier is discovered after the canopy arrives to the site, it can be difficult to provide a quick solution.