What Is Architectural Sheet Metal?

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In the roofing world and some other contracting trades, the term architectural sheet metal is used to describe a certain class of products. You're likely wondering, however, exactly what it is. This article will take a look at what architectural sheet metal is and what are some of the considerations for using it for roofing projects.


Sheet metal is the classification for any metal that's thicker than foil but thinner than plating. It's going to be tougher than the stuff you might tent a roast with, but it's not going to be thick enough to stop an explosion.

The architectural part of the equation refers to its utility as a material that can be aesthetically pleasing. In the case of a roofing job, you probably don't want your house or place of business to be covered in plain sheets of metal because that has kind of a post-apocalyptic vibe.

Working with Architectural Sheet Metal

This is by far the biggest consideration when deciding whether you want to use sheet metal as an architectural feature on a roof. Installers utilize special tools that are designed to produce tight seams between each of the sheets. These tools can be rented, but they take quite a bit of time to learn how to use.

Even many professional roofers aren't interested in working with the material because it can be difficult to set, hard to redo if you make a mistake, cumbersome to get up onto roofs, and downright bloody to work with because of sharp edges. In other words, architectural sheet metal is a product that almost always is installed by trained specialists. Many businesses deal exclusively with these types of projects.

The product can be shaped into a variety of looks. This can be desirable if you want to give a roof the look of tiles but you live in a high-wind area that's not friendly to tile roofing, for example. It also comes in a variety of colors, and that makes it very desirable for businesses that want to use the color of buildings' roofs as part of their branding schemes.

Pros and Cons

Metal roofing provides between 40 and 70 years of service, compared to 12 to 20 years for asphalt shingles. It holds up well to hurricane-force winds, too. It also can be manufactured from recycled materials, making it an eco-friendly choice. The two main downsides are noise during heavy storms and the potential for corrosion if you use cheaper materials.

To learn more about architectural sheet metal as a roofing option, reach out to local roofing contractors. 

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