What to keep in mind when purchasing a side-entry building


What to keep in mind when purchasing a side-entry building


Short Answer: When looking into side-entry buildings, remember there are various factors that could affect you later on. A few of these include the snow run-off in front of the doors and the higher leg height required for the door clearance.


When determining what kind of steel building fits your needs, you may decide that a side-entry building is the best option for you. For some customers, this is the perfect fit. However, make sure you’re doing your due diligence and looking at all the factors that may affect you later on! A few factors that are typically overlooked when purchasing a side-entry steel building include the snow and debris run-off, the additional leg clearance, the additional width requirements, and the side headers. 

Snow and debris run-off

As we mentioned in a few other blogs, the best roof option in the steel building industry is the a-frame vertical roof which has a higher roof pitch, boxed eves, and vertical sheeting running from the peak of the building down to the sides. This roof style allows the snow, rain, and debris to slide off the sides of the structure. This is a great option for buildings that have their doors on the gable ends; however, it may bring extra maintenance for buildings that have their doors on the sides since the fallen snow and debris will then be in front of the doors. If you think a side-entry building may be the best route for you, there are a few products that can be purchased to help stop or redirect the snow from falling in front of your doors, such as roof snow guards.

Additional leg clearance

When going with a side-entry building, keep in mind that additional leg clearance is needed to be able to fit the doors on the side. When a door is placed on the side of a metal building rather than the gable end, the legs need to be removed and a header is required to stabilize the building and support the weight of the door. A higher leg height could be costly, especially if your height is going past the 12’ standard. This additional leg clearance depends on the type of door you are trying to fit, such as an overhead door or a roll-up door. Since roll-up doors roll into a coil when opened, your building has to have space available for the coil to fit. If there isn’t enough clearance for the coil, the roll-up door won’t be able to be opened all the way. On the other hand, since overhead doors are pulled on a track overhead when opened, they don’t require as much additional clearance as the roll-up door would.


As mentioned above, doors that are installed on the side of your metal building require header bars. Header bars are used to stabilize your structure and support the weight of your doors since the legs in that area have been removed. Depending on the size of your door, your header bar will be manufactured differently to support a specific weight. The headers are also at an additional cost since extra material is required to create the header bars.


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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.