Inside custom steel building

When it comes to metal building construction, choosing the right frame is essential to a successful project. Whether you’re building a new structure or renovating an existing one, it’s important to select the right type of frame for the job. Different types of frames are designed to fit the needs of different types of projects, and understanding how different frames function will ensure you make the best choice for your project.


What to Consider First


Before choosing a metal frame, it’s important to consider the unique needs of your building project. Here are 5 factors that will affect which frame is best for your project:


  1. Budget: Pre-engineered metal buildings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and different price points. Consider what you can realistically afford before making a decision. 


  1. Location: Where the building will be placed will determine the type of frame needed. Different geographical areas may require different frames to suit the climate and other environmental factors. 


  1. Size and purpose: Consider the size of the building and what it will be used for to determine the best frame for the job. 


  1. Durability: Different frames have different levels of durability. Make sure to choose a frame that will last for the duration of the building’s life. 


  1. Ease of installation: Pre-engineered metal buildings are designed to be easy to install, but some frames may require additional installation components or tools. Consider the ease of installation when making a decision.


​​When it comes to pre-engineered metal buildings, there are a variety of frames and designs available to suit a variety of needs. From the rigid frame to the lean-to, single slope, tapered, and column & beam types, there are options for all types of projects. 


Though Whirlwind can customize the framing to meet your exact needs, there are 5 general types of pre-engineered welded frames that we sell. 


Rigid Frame


The rigid frame is the most common type of pre-engineered metal building frame and is typically used in commercial and industrial applications. It is often chosen for its durability and strength. It features a rigid, column and beam design that is ideal for larger buildings and those with heavier loads, as they are designed to carry more weight than other types of frames. 


Rigid frames are resistant to wind and seismic activity, making them a good choice for buildings located in areas that experience extreme weather. Additionally, rigid frames can be custom designed to meet various building requirements and can accommodate a wide range of wall and roof systems.


Lean-to Frame


The lean-to frame is a popular choice for residential and light industrial applications and can be used to build add-ons or extensions to existing structures. This type of frame is lightweight and easy to install, making it a great choice for DIY projects.

It is generally more cost-effective than other types of metal building frames, making it a great option for those looking to save money on their project. Lean-to frames are highly adaptable and can be customized to fit the specific needs of the building. This type of frame can be easily attached to rigid frame structures, perfect for adding office space or simply expanding the b building. The simple design of the lean-to frame allows for easy expansion and modifications as needed.


Single Slope Frame


The single slope frame is designed to provide a sloping roof on one side of the building and is a great option for applications where drainage restrictions are a design concern. It is a great choice for buildings located in areas that receive large amounts of snow or rain, as the single slope design helps to shed the precipitation and prevents it from accumulating on the roof.


The single slope frame also helps provide natural light to the interior of the building, reducing the need for artificial lighting. This type of frame is often used for storage complexes, shopping malls, and offices.


Tapered Frame


A tapered frame offers structural integrity and stability for your building project. The sloped nature of the frame creates a stronger, more rigid structure that is better able to withstand the forces of wind and snow. It also allows for increased rain runoff, reducing the risk of water pooling and damage to the building.


This type of frame is a great choice if your building project requires a lot of floor space because it does not require additional bracing and support members. Without columns, it’s much easier to rearrange the interior or partition it into sections as needed. This is often used for projects like office spaces, warehouses, and aircraft hangars.


Column & Beam Frame


Finally, the column & beam frame is a versatile option that can be used to create a variety of structures. This type of frame is ideal for large, heavy-duty projects such as warehouses and manufacturing facilities. The columns and beams can be engineered to meet specific loading requirements while providing a cost-effective solution. 


The design of this type of frame makes it easy to assemble and erect, and columns can be placed as close together as needed to meet design requirements. If your project needs to be pretty wide and allows for interior columns, this is the frame to go for.  


Final Note

Each type of building frame has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh your options before making a decision. Regardless of the type of pre-engineered metal building frame you choose, all of these frames provide a strong and durable structure that can be customized to meet your needs.


If you’re stuck on which type is best for your building project, reach out to our Whirlwind team. We can talk through your options and help you find the right solution based on your unique needs. With the right frame, you can build a reliable and safe structure that will last for decades.

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Using a self-locking seal Super Seam II is a weathertight panel that gives a sleek appearance as a metal roof.


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Can’t wait? Call us at
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