You want the best possible roof over your head, right? Well, if you’re looking at steel buildings, be sure to pay just as much attention to what goes on top as on what’s below. Metal building roofs are the “icing,” so to speak, on your steel building, aka the “cake.” The roof design is a big portion of the cost of your building, and it plays an important role in what your building looks like on the outside and how much space is on the inside. So, it’s worth taking the time to learn as much as possible about metal building options before starting your next construction project.

Styles of Roof Panels

Metal roofs come in three styles:

  • Vertical. This is the strongest roof type paneling available in carports. The roof’s hat channels increase the amount of water that flows off the top and decrease the amount of debris that can collect there. That means you can avoid shoveling snow off the roof, getting drenched as you enter or exit your car during a downpour, or hauling out the ladder so you can reach the leaves that won’t fall on their own. If you need a building that’s 36 feet or longer, know that there’s a greater chance for structures this size to leak. So, a vertical-roof building is definitely your best choice.
  • Regular. Introduced more than two decades ago, the regular-style frame (the most affordable in the industry) has five bends, which create the roof’s curved look. The paneling runs from front to back, so leaves, rain and snow have to travel far before they fall off the sides or make their way to either end. Because of this design, you’ll spend time each year cleaning the roof. If you want a barn-style roof, a carport with a regular roof is the only kind on the market. For more protection from the elements, you can fully or partially close this style of carport.
  • A-Frame. Also known as a “boxed eave” roof, this looks a lot like the vertical roof — but costs less. Just like the regular-style roof, the A-frame’s paneling runs from front to back, so you’re more likely to get wet as you get into and out of your car. Plus, not all of the leaves and snow on the roof make their way to the ground. Bottom line: You will have to clean this roof several times a year.

Buildings with straight walls have roofs made of flat panels. Steel building roofs can consist of two straight panels on either side, which meet at a peak in the center of the buildings. Or a building could have a sloped roof, made up of one straight panel in an upward slope across the entire surface.

Flat paneled roofs give property owners options for the amount of pitch (degree of slope) in their roofs. The differences between higher-pitched and lower-pitched flat roofs can be seen in the building’s looks and performance.

Higher-pitched buildings better match other structures surrounding them. Inside, their height creates more room. If a building is located in a warmer setting or won’t be air-conditioned, a higher sloping roof helps distribute heat more evenly throughout the building, which drops the temperature.  

A lower-pitched roof, on the other hand, will reduce the interior space, so it takes less time (and money) to heat and cool the building. Since low-pitched roofs are often less visible at ground level, a property owner might choose lesser-expensive paint finishes to protect them.

Although painted roof panels cost more, steel buildings that have them generally look more finished and better match the buildings around them. The most common colors are variations of blue, green, gray, red and tan. It’s important to find out what kind of warranty applies to the paint used on the panels. Most of the time, panels are coated with a silicon polyester-based paint – which has a 25-year warranty. Other color options for roof panels come with as little as a five-year warranty because they aren’t as durable.

For buyers seeking steel buildings with roofs that appear more residential than commercial or industrial, there’s now a way to create that kind of look. A building with a metal roof that appears to be made of shingles or tiles is no longer out of the question. It gets even better: This roof option has special coatings and finishes in a bunch of colors. Building styles include farmhouse, modern and traditional.

Styles of Roof Panels

Metal roof panels come in five styles:

  • AP Panels. These roof panels have screws that are visible and are part of an economical pass-through system forming a roof that looks like a more-expensive standing seam roof.
  • CF Panels. Concealed fastener, or CF, panels consist a lock-joint system. Since they’re low profile, they create a clean, smooth look.
  • Corrugated Panels. These durable panels, which had become scarce over the years, are now easier to find, affordable as ever and almost maintenance-free.
  • R Panels. These are a hit with property owners who favor a traditional-looking building. They’re a low-maintenance part of a metal roofing system that can be placed over a roof with shingle roofs. Doing so can reduce construction time, cost and labor.
  • U Panels. A little more rounded than AP panels and usually made of higher-grade steel, these panels can sometimes be installed over a shingle roof.

Accessories for the Roof

Downspouts, gutters and skylights are a few of the extras that can not only protect a metal building but make it more energy efficient.

In locations with lots of precipitation, downspouts and gutters can divert snow and rain off the roof and away from the walls and foundations of steel buildings. Downspouts and gutters are added only to straight walled buildings.

Most people think of skylights as accessories that are just decoration for a building, but they’re also practical. Referred to as rooflights when they’re part of steel buildings, skylights allow more natural light inside the structures, lowering the amount of money required to light the interior.

What’s This About a ‘Roof Only Building’?

It might sound crazy, but these steel structures make a heap of sense in certain cases. Maybe all you need to do is store hay or keep a tractor out of the elements (at least partially). Or you may need a covering for an outdoor party or concession stand. Well, a roof only metal building may be your answer. But this roof option requires a steel building company with engineers who know how to keep a roof only building firmly on the ground – because you do not want the wind to raise this roof.

Take Advantage of Metal Building Roof Options

There’s simply no better material for building a roof than steel. It’s always been durable, fire resistant and energy efficient. Even better, there are now so many ways to design a roof made of steel that meets your exact storage needs at the right price. So, why not get started right now on your next building project?

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