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Your Guide to Metal Building Frames

Metal Building Frames


Did you know that there are many types of metal building frames?

Or, that each one has its benefits and advantages, which include being more suitable for different types of buildings?

In this guide, you’ll find out everything you need to know about metal building frames, including the individual types and companies.

Let’s get this show on the road!

What’s in this guide?

Metal building frame types

When it comes to metal building frame types, you will likely find that different frames would be the most suitable depending on what you need to use your building for.

For instance, a clearspan building might be best suited to industrial storage, whereas barns might use I-beam frames.

This is because clearspan buildings have a bright interior space, whereas I-beam frames allow for a larger area which is kept stable via exterior steel beams or columns.

Let’s take a look at each of the favourite steel frames you can use, as well as their benefits.


I-beam frames are a prevalent type of construction type, primarily because they are stable; they are cost-effective and simple to construct.

As they don’t require any interior columns or beams, it means that you can benefit from having a wide-open interior space that doesn’t need to be disrupted.

These types of building types are common in these circumstances:

✔ Homes

✔ Barns

✔ Garages

✔ Canopies

Truss frame

A truss frame building means that typically, the roof is stabilised by V-shaped rods or beams which criss-cross along the structure.

This offers extra support, as well as the advantage of being able to wire things like electricals through the trusses.

These frames are best for use with these buildings:

✔ Auto shops

✔ Aircraft hangers

✔ Carports

✔ Warehouses

Clear span

Clear span buildings allow for a vast interior space that won’t be disrupted by interior columns, which means that the structure will be stable but also cost-effective.

These buildings are easy to partition and rearrange, which is why they are a modern solution to changing circumstances.

Here are the uses that these frames are perfect for:

✔ Factories

✔ Fitness centres

✔ Warehouses

✔ Storage

✔ Agricultural buildings


Modular rigid frames traditionally do have interior columns or beams to keep the structure stable, and they usually can expand the size of the building at any time.

These types of frames are popular for modular structures.

They attach or stack on top of each other, which is often for classrooms or student accommodation.

So, what uses do they have?

✔ Barns

✔ Accommodation

✔ Shops

✔ Industrial applications


A lean-to frame has a very distinct shape, with the roof sloping at an angle which is why it is popular with things like sheds or conservatories.

This allows for the weather to run off the roof, rather than sitting on the top line with some other building types.

Here are some of the uses of lean-to buildings:

✔ Conservatories

✔ Sheds

✔ Storage

✔ Carports

Tapered Beam

Tapered beams frames have a straight column rigid structure, and they are perfect when maximising your available interior space.

They are mostly used for smaller buildings with interior partitions and beams, with sturdy materials that mean they are stable and durable.

These frames are suitable for these uses:

✔ Offices

✔ Retail

✔ Warehouse

✔ Commercial use

Single Slope

While single slope structures have a pitched roof, you will often find that the frame will be higher on one side than on the other, hence the sloped shape.

This can be a perfect fit for climates where you can expect more extreme weather, as you won’t have to worry about needing to remove large loads of snow frequently.

You might use a single slope frame for these purposes:

✔ Storage

✔ Event centres

✔ Sports Arenas

✔ Stables

✔ Agricultural use

Gambrel Frame

A gambrel frame is aesthetically attractive and very practical, thanks to the arched shape of the structure which allows you to avoid weather issues and gives you a grand interior.

Gambrel frames will be used in more unique buildings, which is why you might find them used for many popular holiday homes.

Here’s where you might see a gambrel frame:

✔ Homes

✔ Holiday homes

✔ Barns

✔ Storage

✔ Event centres

Asymmetrical Frame

An asymmetrical frame, as the name suggests, features a structure which has ridges that aren’t equal on both sides, which are often used in stables and for storage.

These types of frames are a good fit for climates with unpredictable weather, as they will be useful in both rain and shine.

✔ Stables

✔ Horse Stables

✔ Storage

✔ Agricultural storage

✔ Equipment storage

What is the best metal building frame type for me?

The best metal building design type that best suits you, your home or your business depends on many different factors, including the following:

  • How big your building needs to be
  • The security of your space
  • Whether you will want to expand
  • What you need the structure for
  • Your specific budget

Does my interior have to be steel?

Although your exterior would be made out of a durable steel material, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your interior needs to look like steel as well.

You can use wooden framing inside your building which can give a much warmer feeling, or you can finish your inside with drywall.

This can mean that you will be left with a more traditional and homely interior.

Although this will typically add a lot of costs to your building, it may end up being worthwhile depending on what you want it to look like.

What about finance?

When it comes to financing, there are several ways that you can fund your new property, alternatively to paying for everything up front.

One option is taking out a construction loan, which allows you to fund your construction without needing to put down a deposit that is too big.

However, the disadvantage of this is that you will need to pay for things such as legal fees or administration costs.

Another option is to do an initial construction loan, but it then switches to a traditional loan afterwards.

Or, you could pay as you go, which means that you pay for your construction as and when you can afford to.

Top 5 metal building frame companies

1. Studco


Type: Steel building product provider

Locations: New York

Studco is a steel building products provider who produces a wide range of items such as steel frame systems, clips and brackets to name a few.

They have worked on many different projects on a global basis such as the Lantern Apartments in Melborne and 520 West 28th Street in New York.

They have an excellent 4.1/5 rating on trusted review sites such as Google, with many customers stating that the team are helpful, friendly and the staff enjoy working at their offices.

2. American Eagle Steel Buildings

American Eagle Steel Buildings

Type: Steel building provider

Locations: Florida

American Eagle Steel Buildings are a 5-star rated company on trusted websites such as Google, providing their customers with a range of steel frames from clear span to single slopes or lean-tos.

This wide range of options available can give you the opportunity to utilise your steel for many purposes such as churches, aircraft hangars and garages.

3. American Buildings Co