Roof Designs to Accommodate Your Needs

Think all steel buildings have to look like metal boxes? Think again. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, most steel building roofs had shallow pitches, which resulted in a boxy, industrial look and feel. This is no longer the case, and design advancements that have taken place mean you can now choose any number of different roof pitches, styles and designs for your metal building based on your specific needs and your architectural and aesthetic preferences.

Key Considerations


If you have more concerns about costs than aesthetics, you may find that a low roof pitch and a basic design best meet your needs. However, if you are looking to maximize storage space, add a mezzanine or second floor, or give your building a custom look and feel, you may want to consider an alternative style and/or a higher roof pitch.


Keep in mind that a custom roof design does not have to be super expensive – instead, you may be able to choose a custom design that keeps costs low while giving your building your desired look and functionality. Sunward Steel also has many different standard roof designs available, and selecting one of these can save you considerable money in comparison to working with an architect to design your building’s roof.


2:12 Gable Roof Pitch Frame

The most common frame type used in steel buildings, the gable framing system accommodates clear spans of between 10 – 200 feet and roof pitches up to 12:12.

Single Slope

Single Slope

Ideal for adding on to existing steel buildings or creating standalone metal buildings with slanted roofs, single-slope roofs allow for easy water and snow drainage.

Multi Span

Multispan Frame

Multi-span steel buildings are a solid option if you are working with a tight budget and do not need an unobstructed, clear span design. Most common on buildings 80ft and wider.


Monitor Style Frame

Often used for farm buildings, houses, workshops, warehouses and commercial buildings, monitor roofs look similar to those seen on traditional barns and can have open, unobstructed interiors free from interior columns and supports.


Gable With Mezzinine

Multi-story steel buildings with mezzanines maximize usable space without expanding your steel building’s footprint. These structures can combine I-beams, open web bar joists and columns to create any number of different designs.


Clearstory Frame

Consider a clerestory roof if you want to maximize natural light or air circulation within your metal building. This design splits two sloping roofs and often incorporates high-up windows to maximize light without sacrificing privacy.

Lean To

Lean To

Similar to single-slope roofs, but used for additions to buildings, lean-tos often undergo use as parking areas, carports, outdoor storage areas or covered porches.

Straight Column

Straight Column Framing

Ideal for creating unobstructed clear spans, straight column buildings often undergo use as garages, offices or commercial buildings.


Gambrel Style Roof

A gambrel roof design creates a spacious, functional metal building that can accommodate second floors or lofts while boasting the look of a traditional barn.

1:12 – 5:12 Roof Pitch

Sunward Steel fabricates buildings with standard roof pitches between 1:12 and 5:12, with 1:12 pitches being the flattest. Sunward can create buildings with roof pitches as steep as 12:12, but these structures require custom engineering.

Have questions about a particular roof design or what type of roof might work best for your metal building? Contact Sunward Steel for help choosing a roof pitch and design that creates the look, feel and functionality you desire.

Written By:

Doug Kiser

Sales Development Director

Sunward Steel Buildings, Inc.

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