Steel endwall construction is often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the metal building construction process. Endwall framing is necessary to support a steel structure and offers a number of design options to both improve aesthetic appeal and meet local building codes.
What is an endwall?
Excellent question. This common but often-confusing term simply refers to the end walls of a steel structure. The sidewalls of a building meet the roof and run parallel to the floor; the endwalls have a noticeable rise where they meet the roof and increase height.
The sidewalls of a metal building connect to the roof in the eave of the structure. This juncture may be decorated with trim or outfitted with a gutter to control rain drainage from the roof. In a gable roof, two roof slopes meet at the endwall of a building to form the roof peak.
Differentiating between sidewalls and endwalls can help you to provide more accurate dimensions to gather a detailed price quote from a supplier. Metal building specifications may be based on width, length, and eave height. The width will be measured from the outside of one sidewall girt to another; the length will be measured from the outside of one endwall girt to another.
Types of steel building endwalls
Manufacturers may break steel building endwalls down into three different categories:
- Post and beam – Endwall posts support structural load.
- Expandable ridge frame – Offers potential for future expansion of the structure.
- Non-expandable ridge frame – Limited expansion opportunities; designed to support half-bay load of a structure.
The common endwall industry standard is often the non-expandable ridge frame endwall. Both expandable and non-expandable endwalls allow for flexible door placement compared to post and beam endwalls. Door construction can be installed and customized as needed with the potential to upgrade at any time to user-friendly door features, like overhead shipping and receiving doors.
Depending on the purpose and location of a metal building, you may opt to do away with endwalls altogether. A building can be designed with open endwalls in an outdoor setting, used for covered parking or RV storage.
Sturdy endwalls require professional engineering
Now that you understand the ins and outs of endwalls, don’t settle for less than a well-engineered structure. Any reputable metal building supplier will provide professionally engineered endwall design in a custom steel structure.
Most steel endwalls sold by a supplier are intended to be cut on-site for a more accurate fit. However, some metal building manufacturers offer custom-cut corrugated endwall panels for a precise fit; make sure to inquire about custom-cut panels when you request a price quote.
Prefabricated metal building endwalls should also meet stringent design requirements. Look for a pre-fab supplier that offers endwalls and all steel materials welded to shape, cut to length, punched, and drilled in-factory before assembling a metal building kit.