What Material Will Be Used On My Building?


What material will be used on my building?


Short Answer: All of the main structural components of your building will be steel. This  includes the roof, siding, braces, uprights, trimming, and more.


Your building has various components made of steel. Ranging from 29 gauge steel sheeting as siding and roofing to 12 gauge square tubing as structural framework. Although, every company may differ in its materials and products. The material you can find on your steel building includes steel sheeting, either 29 gauge, 26 gauge panel-lock, or 26 gauge R-lock. Also, galvanized square tubing, either 14 gauge or 12 gauge. In addition, other materials include 18 gauge hat channels, self-tapping screws, and foam enclosures.

 Standard 29 gauge or 26 gauge steel sheeting

The steel sheeting may appear on many areas of the building, such as the roofing, siding, trim work (such as base trim, corner trim, etc.), and the ridge cap.

  • Roofing

Steel sheeting can be laid horizontally or vertically on your roof, depending on which roof style you choose to buy. Therefore, if you decide to go with the a-frame horizontal roof, the sheeting would be laid horizontally. The ridges will run from the front of the building to the back. The sheeting will be laid vertically if you choose to go with the a-frame vertical roof. Ridges will run from the roof’s peak down to the sides. For more info on these roof options, check out our blog on Which Roof Style is the Best Option?

  • Siding

Just like your roofing, you can choose to have your steel siding be horizontal or vertical. However, when manufacturing steel sheeting the siding comes in increments of 3’ wide. Choosing vertical siding would be an additional cost, due to requiring additional framework to bolt and secure the sheeting properly.

  • Trims

There are several different trim styles for your building, and all serve a different purpose. For example, a few trim options include the base trim, corner trim, J-trim, and L-trim. First, installation of the base trim comes before the rest of your siding. This trim helps to minimize water seepage and acts as a barrier against small pests. Next, the corner trim is used on all the corners of your structure to enclose where the steel sheeting meets. Then, the J-trim appears on any windows, service doors, and ridged edges on sheet panels. Finally, the L-trim can appear on any roll-up door and overhead door openings.

  • Ridge cap

The ridge cap is on the roof’s peak to enclose where the steel sheeting meets. This material eliminates any water, snow, debris, or small pests from entering the building through the opening.

Standard 14-gauge or 12-gauge galvanized steel tubing

Galvanized steel tubing is the material used for most structural components on your metal building. For example, these components include the trusses/bows, legs/uprights/columns, base rails, and center braces. To compare the 14-gauge and 12-gauge options, read our blog on Steel Frame Gauge Options.

  • Trusses/Bows

You can find the trusses/bows by looking at the interior of your roof. The square tubing runs down from the roof’s peak to the building’s sides. The same tubing will connect with the legs/uprights. Therefore, you’ll find these on every roof style, whether standard, a-frame, horizontal, or vertical.

  • Legs/uprights/columns

The legs/uprights/columns of your structure are just that- the “legs” of the building. You’ll find these on the sides of your frame to support the roof and the steel siding. When asked about your building’s “leg height,” this is what your builder/dealer is referring to.

  • Base rails

The base rails of the building are essentially the base of the structure. This rail holds the weight of the building to rest on. The base is also where you’ll find your installed anchors.  This is so the base rails can be securely fastened to the ground and wind-certify your building.

  • Center braces

The center braces are put in place to offer additional building support for the roof of your building. If your building is anywhere from 12’ wide to 20’ wide, all braces are bolted, including the corner/knee braces. If you notice center braces welded, your building is 22’ wide and up.

Standard 18 gauge hat channels/purlins

Hat channels/purlins are on the interior of your a-frame vertical roof. You won’t find these on the a-frame horizontal roof style. Like vertical siding, additional material is needed on a vertical roof to properly bolt and secure the steel sheeting.

Self-tapping screws (silver or colored)

Self-tapping screws can come in standard silver or color to match your building. You’ll find screws anywhere where the material needs to be secured. For example, the sheeting to the legs, the corner braces, trusses, or the trim to the sheet panels.

Corner braces/knee braces

The location of the corner braces/knee braces are where the trusses/bows and the legs meet. These corner braces act as a support and are bolted in place to secure the structure. No matter the roof or building style, you can find these braces on any steel building.

Foam enclosures

You can find foam enclosures in areas of the building where light can enter. For example, the ridge cap, the roof eves, and the corners of the building. Foam enclosures are foam strips that align with the ridges of the sheeting. It offers additional sealing for openings and stops light, debris, and small pests from entering the building.

Midwest Steel Carports, Inc.

(877) 235-5210



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The Midwest Steel Difference

When you choose Midwest Steel Carports, Inc. you choose high-quality and an exceptional customer experience. To best serve our customers, we never sacrifice value; therefore, our pricing is not the lowest. However, we guarantee an overall industry-leading product and service that will continuously exceed your expectations.  Continue for value.


A-Frame Horizontal Roof

A-Frame Horizontal roofs give your structure a residential look. The sheet panels run from side to side and does not have purlins or ridge cap. The increase in price to upgrade to A-Frame Horizontal is the additional welding needed on your trusses (bows). An excellent option to keep your residential look for residential areas for a minimum upgrade costs.


A-Frame Vertical Roof

Known as the best choice for areas that experience extreme weather conditions, the vertical roof style is hands down the best choice for Michigan weather. The roof panels run from the pitch to the eaves causing heavy snows, rain, and natural elements to slide off the roof easily. In order to tie down the panels to the structure, we must add purlins or hat channels lengthwise making the structure more rigid. The finished look with special trim all around the roof and ridge cap makes this roof style the best option.