The Anatomy of a Metal Building: Know Your Metal Building Components

By Mark Hiatt   |   Posted In: Garages

metal building component

Looking for the best-made building you can get? Choose steel!

If you’re looking for a practical, tough, rugged building that’s also completely customizable, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better solution than a custom metal building from Carport Central. What’s better about steel as a construction material? Pretty much everything you can think of!


Galvanized steel is incomparably strong, durable, reliable, and cost-effective. It stands up to weather and the elements much better than wood, and steel is also naturally incombustible, pest-resistant, and easier to maintain. Once you stop to consider all the facts, there really is no downside to choosing a custom-designed metal building kit. And Carport Central offers everything from carports, to metal buildings, to barns, workshops, warehouses, barndominiums & metal building homes, agricultural buildings, commercial buildings, and more!


Why structural steel tubing is better than red iron

While there are many metal building designs available these days, not all engineered steel structures are built the same way. Carport Central chooses to focus primarily on offering premier light-gauge steel structures. There are some clear advantages to going with steel structural tubing, versus opting for red iron or a similar rigid-frame approach. Steel tube framing provides for a very strong and sturdy building that doesn’t require any internal columns or supports. How’d you like to have tons of clear-span interior space you can divide up and use in any manner of your choosing? Light-gauge steel buildings are less expensive to install than heavy red iron buildings, too.


The basic anatomy of a metal building

Let’s take a closer look at some of the primary building components used in the construction of these custom metal building kits. We’ll start at the roof, and then work our way down:


Trusses are the workhorses that support the weight of the roof and help provide greater structural stability. Trusses are composed of a series of connected triangular frames.

• Hat channel

Hat channels are long supporting pieces which are attached to the top of roof trusses. Vertical roofing panels are then mounted over the hat channels.

Ridge cap

It’s exactly what it sounds like. A ridge cap is a steel cap structure used to cover the apex where both A-frame roof sections meet, thus giving precipitation no point of entry.

• Braces

Braces are sections of galvanized steel tubing used to connect the roof structure to the legs of the building.

• Leg

Legs are longer pieces of steel tubing on which the entire roof assembly sits. The legs are fastened to the roof, and then mounted to base rails at the bottom. Any side paneling you choose to include on your building will be mounted over the legs, as well.

• Base rail

Base rails are placed all along the bottom sides of the building. These serve as the base which supports the entire structure. The legs are mounted to the base rails, and the base rails are then secured to the building’s foundation with appropriate metal anchors.


One beauty of choosing a light-gauge steel structure is that you also get to choose your foundation type. There are specific anchors which allow for securing your building to concrete, asphalt, gravel, or plain level ground, among other options.

Steel paneling

Steel paneling is used to cover the roof in all of these metal building designs. For metal carports and other roof-only buildings, that may be all the steel paneling you’ll need. However, if you want to partially enclose or fully enclose your building, steel paneling can also be used to enclose any or all side walls and end walls.


Steel trim is a nice decorative feature for helping your building to stand out aesthetically. Trim also serves a practical function of covering any junctions where sides, doors, windows, and other openings meet.


If you decide to enclose your building, then you’re going to need a way to get in and out. Carport Central offers a variety of roll-up door and walk-in door options.

• Windows

Adding some windows is a nice way to provide for natural light, and to allow for natural ventilation.

• Frame outs

For certain metal garage and metal barn applications, some customers will choose to build in some open frame-outs, as opposed to opting for door and window installation.



Additional support features

The above list of components is really meant to be a basic overview. Additional components can also be included, and may even be required at times. Depending upon the size and design of your building, extra bracing and supports may be needed. This is especially true if you’re located in an area that tends to experience more than its fair share of extreme weather. For example, “X” bracing can be used to provide additional support for wall sections. Metal rods or cables are run diagonally from the top corner to the opposite bottom corner of the section in the shape of an X, hence the name.


Can I install a metal building myself?

Yes, you can! Carport Central is happy to deliver and install your carport for sale or metal building for sale at NO extra cost in 46 US states. But if you’d like to be able to pick up your materials and install them yourself for an additional discount, you can certainly do that too. Each personalized metal building kit comes with all building materials needed for installation:

  • Square steel tubing members and supports
  • Roofing panels
  • Pre-welded components for easy assembly
  • Your choice of side paneling options
  • All needed fastening hardware, nuts, & bolts
  • All needed building anchors
  • Optional customization features like roll-up doors, walk-in doors, and windows
  • Optional trim package
  • Optional bubble wrap, ProDex equivalent, or DripStop condensation control
  • Optional engineering plans
  • Convenient regional pickup points
  • 20-year framing warranty
  • 10- to 20-year metal paneling warranty


Choose Carport Central for all your metal building needs!

Carport Central is the name to trust for metal buildings of all sizes and applications. Nobody beats our engineering and customization options, and nobody else comes close to matching our high standard of personalized customer service.

OH, and did we mention? We’ve got the BEST metal building financing and RTO solutions you’ll find anywhere!

 Give us a call at (980) 321-9898 today, and experience the Carport Central difference for yourself!

Carport Central: What’s Central to You, Is Central to Us.


  • Mark Hiatt

    Mark Hiatt brings over 20 years of commercial construction experience as a licensed engineer in NC, SC, and VA. Design-and-build is his specialty, and he serves both as a structural engineer for American Building Network and as an engineering consultant for Carport Central.

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