Gauge of steel 12 or 14?

What’s the difference between 14 gauge and 12 gauge framing?

What’s the difference between 14 gauge and 12 gauge steel framing? The answer to that question is very simple; strength and value. Stronger steel framing means your metal building will not only be more weather resistant, but will add more property value to your home or land.

The first thing to understand is the gauge system. Gauge is the measurement used to measure the thickness of steel. In the gauge system the higher the number the thinner the steel. As an example, 12 gauge steel is thicker and stronger than 14 gauge steel.

Many first time buyers of metal buildings ask about the difference in the 14 and 12 gauge steel framing.

Our most economical option is the 14 gauge steel framing, measuring 2 ½” x 2 ½” in diameter. The 14-gauge steel is the industry standard of frame thickness and the most nationally accepted gauge for carport and metal structures.

Our 12 gauge framing is 2 ¼” x 2 ¼” in diameter and has a higher tensile strength that provides higher snow load and wind load ratings. Which is why we recommend the 12 gauge steel for areas with heavy snow and high winds, as well as carports 10’ and taller or more than 30’ in width.

Both gauge options are structurally sound and will allow you to use your Elite Metal Structures building safely. All of our gauge options can be certified.

Steel framing also compares well to wooden framing because they are lighter, more stable, less susceptible to the weather, and resistant to pests and vermin.  Large open spans are possible by using trussed structures.  Most producers of steel buildings will make custom frames, made to your specifications.   This allows for you to have no limitations in the design, for a relatively low cost.




Granted, rain gutters aren’t exactly glamorous, but they handle a critical task: routing the runoff from a very large surface—your roof—to proper drainage away from the house. By doing this, they keep your building high and dry, protecting exterior sheeting, windows, doors, and foundation from water damage.

For buildings which have a lot of roof-space, the issue of rain- and snow runoff is particularly important. Gutters and downspouts are an important part of any roofing installation, but are elements that are sometimes overlooked. For many people building a carport, garage, or other metal structure these items are some of the last items on a list of priorities — but they shouldn’t be.

Some people do not consider the importance of proper drainage from their roof until late in the construction of their building. Without proper drainage, erosion would ultimately damage the foundation and landscaping around the building.

Gutters and downspouts are not expensive, and they play a vital role in the roof doing its job. For any building, it’s important to remove the water that runs off the roof as quickly as possible.

Elite Metal Structures offers gutters and downspouts for all of our metal buildings. In the same colors as your building or trim.


Why Do I Need Steel Building Insulation?

Metal and steel buildings are durable, but this choice of construction materials also presents a challenge when looking for insulation to use on such buildings. Choosing the right insulation for a metal building helps to reduce energy consumption and may, in some states, allow those constructing the building to claim tax incentives for making the effort to save energy. Steel and metal panels alone will not protect the contents of your metal building from the outside temperature, meaning there is no natural barrier to heat and cold. Adding the right type of insulation helps to control the transfer of outside temperatures. The result will be a building that stays cooler in warmer months and warmer once the temperature drops.

Protection from Condensation

Condensation is a major concern in metal and steel buildings. Insulation serves to protect a metal building from condensation, which can cause damage over time. Insulation creates a vapor barrier to reduce how much condensation takes place directly on the steel panels. Steel or metal buildings located in colder climates can experience condensation from exposure to ice and frost. A regular pattern of freezing and thawing can cause frost to melt, drip water and produce condensation. Insulation creates a “thermal break” between outside sheeting and internal framing to prevent condensation.

Protection from Mold

Mold, in humid climates, can cause problems. Improper maintenance is a common cause of mold in steel buildings. Animals, birds, and even insects may damage the insulation in metal buildings as they try to create a home. It is not always possible to prevent every possible cause of mold. The best defense is to be aware of what is going on inside the walls of a building. This is accomplished with regular inspections using special equipment to detect possible insulation issues. The area in question needs to be opened to correct the issue. This may include replacing insulation that is damaged.


Insulation and regular maintenance of your metal structure will save energy and make your building last longer and feel more comfortable.

Color Scheme

Metal Building Colors

After you determine what type of metal building you need, it’s time to customize the look and functionality of your building. In one of our previous blog articles we discussed functional additions like gutters and downspouts.  Here we will focus more on the aesthetics of your building, which primarily involves choosing your metal building colors.

More specifically, selecting a trio of options from our color chart creates your metal building color scheme for the roof, walls and the trim. Another popular option is Colonial Trim and Dutch trim corners.

Elite Metal Structures customers tend to select their steel building colors based on one of the following three color combination definitions.

Monochromatic: Colors that are shade or tint variations of the same hue.

Complementary: Colors across from each other on a color wheel.

Analogous: Colors located adjacent to each other on a color wheel.

Additionally you can also choose the Colonial style which is available on vertical side buildings only. Colonial style is an option where there is different colored band around the bottom of the building. Similar to wainscoting, it is commonly used with a dark lower color and a lighter color on top. This option is great for areas where gravel dust and mud may get on your building.

Choosing your metal building colors is an important part of the design process. Some things you may wish to consider when choosing your color scheme are as follows:

  • Light colors reflect sunlight. Keeping your interior temperatures cooler in the summer.
  • Your steel building will last for decades. Having the newest “hot” color on your structure may seem like the thing to do right now, but ten years from now you may have changed your mind.
  • Home Owner Associations and municipalities may have restrictions on what colors you may choose in your location. You should check with any local organizations to be sure.

A-Frame Roof


If you want an elegant looking steel structure to match your house design along with being affordable, look no further. A-Frame metal structures are built with an a-frame roof which matches most home designs. With our A-frame steel structures, you don’t have to worry about the design of your home being compromised. The A-frame structure that you purchase will blend seamlessly with the style of your home and not distract from the look and elegance of your abode.

Elite Metal Structures offers you the flexibility of designing and customizing your A-frame structure in the manner you find suitable for your needs. Whether you need an A-frame structure for a single car or one big enough to house multiple vehicles and equipment, Elite Metal Structures has the structure you need. Our structures are built in many colors and you can use any of them for the roof, trim, or the walls. With the color and size flexibility, it is easy to find an A-Frame structure that will blend with the design of your home. With all of the design options, you don’t have to worry about your A-frame structure looking out of place.


An A-frame structure can be converted into a fully enclosed A-Frame metal garage by adding side panels and end walls to the structure. A fully enclosed A-Frame metal garage offers complete protection from the weather elements as compared to our open (or partially closed) A-Frame structures. In fact, our fully enclosed insulated garages are perfect for areas with harsh weather conditions that receive too much snow or high-speed winds or storms. When you choose an Elite Metal Structures A-frame structure for a garage, or larger building, you can be sure of the superior workmanship and best build quality.


If you’re shopping price, a regular style structure or A-Frame unit may be the right choice for you. If you want the best, long-lasting roof system that’s virtually maintenance free, then the vertical roof is the only way to go. Vertical style structures are sturdiest among our offering and have ridge-caps and a hat-channel under the length of the roof.


Regular Roof



The radius bend transition from the roof on to the legs or posts makes the regular roof style the most economical of the three roof styles that we offer. Which means there are no right angle joints where the side walls meet the roof line. The roof wraps around the edge in a curve. There’s no posts to weld, no hat channel needed to support vertical roof panels, and there’s no eave side trim needed, so that keeps the material and labor costs low and ultimately your cost low.


The corrugated ridges on the regular roof panels run from front to back or end to end on all regular roof style buildings. With those ridges running horizontally, water, leaves, snow, and other debris tends to hold onto those ridges. This increases the chances that rust will form in these places, shortening the life of the building and increasing maintenance costs.

The regular roof style will also drain on the front and back of the building, at the ends of the panel, where most people place the entrance or exit.

The only effective way to remove debris is by pressure washing or using a ladder and broom to sweep off the roof.


While regular roof style buildings are economical, they don’t look as nice as the A-Frame building will look adjacent to your home.

The horizontal roof sheeting on the regular style carports gets dirty faster and water stands on the unit longer. In short, the roof panels won’t last as long as those do on a vertical roof unit.

Ultimately, the choice is yours but our goal is to provide you with all of the information to make the best possible buying decision that’s right for you.

Regardless of the roof type that you choose the professionals at Elite Metal Structures will assist you in choosing the building that is right for your circumstances and budget.

Decorative Options


While these decorative options are not all inclusive, these are a few of our most popular items.

Colonial Trim

Colonial trim buildings from Elite Metal Structures bring in a style of two colors meshing together on a vertical metal building to create a clean, professional look. Pick from any combination of the colors offered by Elite Metal Structures. Only being available in the stronger vertical side option, colonial trim metal buildings are stronger than most.

Colonial trim options are most commonly added to various barn buildings that have non-agricultural uses in mind. Custom buildings are also frequently accompanied by the colonial trim option. The colonial trim is only available on any end or side that can be made vertical. When constructing a metal colonial trim building, there is a run of trim that is used to cover the connection point between the top panels and the bottom panels.

Dutch Trim Corners

A Dutch trim corner is a three quarter closed corner, or 45 degree angle on the top corners of the door. This option, often seen in vinyl siding, can also be replicated on your Elite Metal Structures building.


J-Trim is used as trim along the top edge of a sidewall and around door and window openings to cover the ends of a panel, which may be sharp. It is also known as safety trim. It gets its name from the J shape of the cross section.

Color Scheme

The color scheme you choose for your Elite Metal Structures building can be uniquely your own. Although we recommend choosing colors that you know you will like for years to come as your building will last a long time.


While most people do not think of insulation as a decorative option in metal building interiors, it is a definite improvement over bare metal. Not only will it cover the bare metal and help prevent rust, prolonging the life of your building, it makes the interior much more comfortable in extreme weather conditions.

Roof Pitch


Roof pitch, angle, incline, and slope – they all can be used to refer to the steepness of a roof. In the roofing trade the go-to term is “pitch” and it is expressed in terms of “12 inches.” So the pitch of a roof is determined by how many inches the slope rises for every 12 inches it runs horizontally. If a roof increases in height by three inches for every foot of horizontal run, it is considered to have a “3-in-12 pitch” or just a “3 pitch.”

The primary purpose of pitching a roof is to redirect water and snow. Thus, pitch is typically greater in areas of high rain or snowfall.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both higher-pitched and lower-pitched roofs, which both impact the performance of the building as well as the structure’s cosmetic appearance.

Higher-pitched buildings tend to blend in more with surrounding residential and office buildings. Higher pitched buildings also increase the maximum clearance of your building creating more interior space. For owners who are looking for additional storage in the eaves of their building a higher-pitched roof is an excellent choice. If your building will exist in a warmer climate, or will not have air conditioning, a higher sloping roof helps disperse heat within the building, helping keep temperatures low.

A lower-pitched roof is great for owners who do not need high clearance, or additional space up high. A roof that is less steep will decrease the total interior cubic footage, making it faster and more cost effective to heat and cool your building.  Low-pitched roofs are often less visible to those on the ground and surrounding buildings, decreasing the need for expensive paint finishes on you building’s roof.

For most metal building manufacturers 3:12 or 3 pitch is the standard roof pitch. The professionals at Elite Metal Structures will discuss with you options like steep pitch, multi-pitch, or single pitch. Depending on your application and aesthetic we can customize your building in whatever way you wish.

Clear Span Structures


Clear span is an architectural term used to describe The distance between the inside surfaces of the two supports of a structural member; the distance that is unsupported or ‘clear’, if you will.

Clear span construction is designed as a rigid frame that has high strength and durability. Steel is both. The frame requires no interior supports, resulting in an extremely versatile and economical building.

With no need for interior bracing or columns, it’s easy to partition off sections for various uses, easily rearrange them if needed, or just leave it as open space.

If you go inside a building constructed early in the 20th century, you would see the support columns lining the area. A good architect could simply incorporate them into the design of the space, but when it came time to modernize or update the building, those columns could be in the way.

In essence a clear span design is one that does not have supporting pillars such as those found in pole buildings. A clear span building offers the most usable space and is ideally suited to factories and warehouses where vehicles such as fork lift trucks are used within the building. If you have need in your steel building design for a wide space that is clear of posts and beams, then a clear span design is the choice for you.

Applications of clear span buildings include:

For a clear space of less than 30 feet wide, a straight wall column & beam structure can be built. You will still have open space, but are limited to that maximum size.

For a space from 30 to 100 feet in width void of beams or posts, an engineered steel truss structure is the way to go.


Certified versus Non-Certified


One of the things you need to know when building a steel structure is whether you need a permit. Local building authorities may require a permit, and if that’s the case, you will have to purchase a Certified building. Certified buildings include engineered stamped approval blueprints required to obtain a building permit.

Even if you are not required to obtain permits in your area, there are many reasons why you should choose an upgrade to Certified. Not only is a Certified building designed to meet local codes, but certification also relates to the weather that the structure can withstand. High winds, heavy snow, and extreme conditions are all taken into account with the engineering of your structure. The certification makes for a much stronger, safer and more durable structure.

By upgrading to a Certified building, you will also receive mobile home (auger) anchors for ground installation. Mobile home anchors are stronger than the standard pin anchors used on an Non-certified building. Auger anchors are available on non-certified units as well for an additional fee.

Non-certified steel buildings come standard with knee braces on four corners, and a channel peak brace. The Certified structure will have a peak brace on every bow and knee braces on every leg.

A Certified steel building also offers warranty benefits. For example, a 14 gauge non-certified building carries a 30 day workmanship warranty. Certifying that same building gives you a minimum wind rating of 130 mph, and is snow rated starting at 35 lbs/sf.  and a 1 year workmanship warranty.  A 12 gauge non-certified building comes with a 20 year rust-through warranty. Certify that 12 gauge frame, and you’ll have a 20 year rust-through warranty, as well as a wind and snow load ratings.


Whether you need a permit or not, Elite Metal Structures recommends that you Certify any structure that is over 24 feet wide, 31 feet long or has legs 8 feet or taller. The extra bracing and anchors will give your building the support it needs to last you for many years to come. For smaller buildings, upgrading to a 12 gauge Certified will be a relatively small increase in cost. For the added benefits, it will be well worth your money.