Although canopies and awnings look similar and serve the same basic function, they’re classed entirely differently according to the NYC Building Code and require different permits as a result. Failing to obtain the correct permits could result in hefty fines.
What’s the difference?
An awning (also known as a marquee) is entirely supported by the building it’s attached to. The only permit it needs is from the Department of Buildings.
A canopy, meanwhile, is partially supported by the building, but also by at least two support columns. Like an awning, it needs a DOB permit. Because canopies’ support beams extend onto the sidewalk, however, Department of Transportation also has to issue a permit… just as it does for anything else that obstructs the sidewalk.