Metal buildings may tend to follow some common and popular designs, but there are plenty of customization options. You don’t need to be a designer or contractor to understand the basics of building design so you can make the best possible customizations to your metal building. It’s much easier to pick the right roof type from the beginning rather than trying to change the structure style later after changing your mind. There are many different roof types offered for metal buildings from most manufacturers, including the following common styles.

Mono-pitched or Shed Roofs

The simplest roofs that make the most efficient use of materials are mono-pitched roofs, also commonly known as shed roofs. This design features a single simple slope roof that sheds water rapidly from a high ridge point along the length of the building.  A mono-pitched roof is not a standard feature for most metal buildings, but it’s a common customization request. This style is slightly less resistant to snow load and wind lift damage than an arched roof because of the need for at least a small overhang around the edges.

Arched Roofs

For both cold and hot climates that face either heavy snow loads or intense summer storms, arched roofs are the most popular option for metal buildings. This kind of continuous roofing style is also one of the most common standard roofs you’ll see on metal buildings across the country. Arched roofs shed water rapidly and are free from overhanging edges that can catch wind and lead to lifting damage. Even though this method uses slightly more material than the shed roof style, most metal buildings feature it as a standard feature with no extra charge.

Gable Designs

For a more traditional look that matches your home or business, consider a basic gable roof. This style features two evenly sized slopes that meet at a single ridge down the middle. Two flat ends provide opportunities for natural lighting and reinforce the strength of the metal building. With the combination of straight walls and flat roofing surfaces, it’s easy to finish out the interior of a building with a gable design. These roofs tend to feature the most overhang to shed water away from the foundation of  the metal building, but this also creates opportunities for wind lifting. This style is primarily available as a custom option from most metal building suppliers.

Gambrel Roofs

To make a metal building look like an old-fashioned livestock barn, try a gambrel roof customization. This semi-curved roof style features two sets of slopes, with a shallow slope that connects to steeper slopes along the sides of the barn. The symmetry of the even roof sections makes it an attractive addition to any kind of enclosed metal building. Gambrel roofs work reasonably well at shedding both rain and snow, and they’re usually fairly wind resistant if designed with minimal overhang.

Choosing a Roof Pitch

In general, steeply sloped roofs shed water and snow faster than shallow ones. This prevents rust from weakening the fasteners on the roof when water pools up. Ponding water also causes leaks that leave your stored items damaged or in need of drying. Aim for a slope of 3/12 or more to keep the metal building working as designed. This way of referring to the pitch of a roof is based on the amount of rise for every foot of run, which is the length of the roof. For example, a 4/12 pitch features a rise of four inches for every foot of roof run.

Attaching Gutters

If you want to install gutters on your metal building to harvest rain water or keep the building dry during heavy storms, you’ll need to pick a roof style with overhanging eaves. Arched roofs and other continuous curved designs don’t leave a place for attaching the gutters where the equipment can properly gather water. Mono-pitched, gable, and gambrel designs will all work with any gutter designs you prefer. Arched roofs may work with other water management equipment like French drains, so you may not need gutters if that’s the roof style you choose.

Check out examples of all of these roof styles before deciding which one is right for your metal building. All of these styles take roughly the same amount of time and effort to install, but costs may vary depending on the amount of materials required and fees charged for customizations.