Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The metal roof panels are in

The sheet metal fabricator/installer (Jason Pacetti) finished installing the Zalmag metal roof panels on the mansard today. We purchased the metal in coil stock (3 tightly wound rolls - 20"wide x 150' long) and then had the flat seam folded panels fabricated here in Philly. Every chance we get we try to have the raw materials shipped and then have a local fabricator make the product. There is still an embodied energy involved but this way we are injecting money into the local Philadelphia economy instead of having the products made somewhere else. Additionally, we form a relationship with local tradesmen.

We are very happy with the roof and Jason did a great job on the panels. One lesson we learned here was that the next time we decide to use metal roof panels we will get the material in sheets (4'x8', for example) instead of coil. The reason we got the 20" wide coil was to maximize the material, eliminate waste, and it was a bit cheaper. Because we would not have to rip it (lengthwise) but simply cut the length of the panel we wanted (crosswise) as it was unrolled, there would be no waste. We ultimately wanted an 18"x36" panel. A 20"W piece of metal actually yields an 18"W panel after the two long edges are folded. So by cutting the roll into 38" pieces we would have our ideal size panel. Sounds easy enough, huh?

Not so much in the end. You see the material came wound so tightly that the fabricator had a really hard time straightening in out. He had some concern with "oil canning" (warping you sometimes see on metal roofs) since the panels were a fairly large size. He was going to try to "reverse roll it" but he felt it might get scratched. In the end, he had to work the metal a great deal to make the panels look good (and he did a great job and never raised his price). Also, when dealing with a coil you run the risk of any small dent or ding on the end of the coil repeating itself over and over as you unroll it.

Lastly, we are very pleased with the connection details (folded seams, turning of corners, meeting the windows, etc) that Jason came up with. He took the time to do it right. It is refreshing to work with someone who really cares about quality and gets excited about working on a project where the client cares as well.

We love the metal but would never get it in coil stock again if we planned on making flat panels. Next time, we figure if we can live with a 14"x30" panel we could divide up a 4'x8' sheet and have virtually no waste.

Here's a link to the metal (Zalmag) manufacturer:


Anonymous said...

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A said...

The real strength of new edifice today lies in engineering behind metal buildings and the fabrication of the materials used. Go with a building wholesaler with a name you can trust.