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, including roofing, siding, braces, uprights, trimming, and more.


Your building has various components that are made out of steel ranging from 29 gauge steel sheeting as siding and roofing to 12 gauge square tubing as structural framework. Although every company differs in the materials and products being offered, material that you can find on your steel building include: steel sheeting, either 29 gauge or the upgraded 26 gauge panel-lock or 26 gauge R-lock, galvanized square tubing, either 14 gauge or the upgraded 12 gauge, 18 gauge hat channels, self-tapping screws, and foam enclosures.

Standard 29 gauge or 26 gauge steel sheeting

The steel sheeting is used on many different 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 either horizontally or vertically on your roof, depending on which roof style you choose to purchase. If you decide to go with the standard roof (rounded-eves) or the a-frame horizontal roof, the sheeting would be laid horizontally and the ridges will run from the front of the building to the back. If you choose to go with the a-frame vertical roof, the sheeting will be laid vertically and the ridges will run from the peak of the roof 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 sheeting to be laid either horizontally or vertically on your siding as well. Since steel sheeting is fabricated in increments of 3’ wide, choosing to have vertical siding would be at an additional cost due to requiring additional framework to properly bolt and secure the sheeting.

  • Trims

There are many different trim styles that are utilized on your building that all serve a different purpose. A few of these trim options include the base trim, corner trim, J-trim, and L-trim. The base trim is installed prior to the rest of your siding and is used to minimize water seepage and act as a barrier against any small pests. Corner trim is used on all the corners of your structure to enclose where the steel sheeting meets. J-trim is used on any windows and service doors and on any ridged edges on sheet panels. L-trim can be found on any roll-up door and overhead door openings.

  • Ridge cap

The ridge cap is installed on the roof of the building to enclose where the steel sheeting meetings and to eliminate any water, snow, debris, or small pests from entering the building through that opening.

Standard 14-gauge or 12-gauge galvanized steel [square] tubing

Galvanized steel [square] tubing is used for most of the structural components on your metal building. These components include the trusses/bows, legs/uprights/columns, base rails, and center braces. For a comparison on 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 trusses/bows are the square tubing that runs from the peak of the roof down to the sides of the building and connect with the legs/uprights. You’ll find these on every type of roof style whether its 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 structure to support the roof and the steel sheeting on the sides. When you’re receiving quotes for your building and have to choose a “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 and what the weight of the building rests on. This is also where the anchors are installed 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 structural support for the roof of your building. If your building is anywhere from 12’ wide to 20’ wide, the center braces are bolted on and are the same as corner/knee braces. If your building is 22’ wide and up the center braces are then welded.

Standard 18 gauge hat channels/purlins

Hat channels/purlins can be found on the interior of your a-frame vertical roof. You won’t find these on the standard or a-frame horizontal roof styles since they’re not needed with horizonal sheeting. Like the vertical siding, additional material is needed on a vertical roof to be able to properly bolt and secure the steel sheeting.

Self-tapping screws (silver or colored)

Self-tapping screws can come in either standard silver or color to match the colors on your building. Screws are found anywhere where the material needs to be secured, such as the sheeting to the legs, the corner braces to the trusses, or the trim to the sheet panels.

Corner braces/knee braces

Corner braces/knee braces can be found where the trusses/bows and the legs meet. These corner braces act as a support and are bolted in place to secure the structure. You can find these braces on any steel building no matter the roof or building style.

Foam enclosures

Foam enclosures can be found on any areas of the building where light can enter, such as the ridge cap, the roof eves, and the corners of the building. Foam enclosures are foam strips that are designed to align with the ridges of the sheeting to seal any opening and stop light, debris, and small pests from entering the building.


Midwest Steel Carports, Inc.

(877) 235-5210



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Standard Roof

Standard or known as “Regular” roof style have rounded corners. The regular roof has no trim on your eaves, ridge cap, nor purlins (hat channel) making it cost effective option. Standard roofs are best used in areas that experience fair weather year round.


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.