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Can Metal Roof Panels Be Used as Siding on a Shed?

When it comes to building or renovating a shed, finding the right materials can make all the difference in terms of durability, aesthetics, and cost-effectiveness. One innovative approach that has been gaining popularity is using metal roof panels as siding.

This versatile option not only provides a sleek, modern look but also offers superior protection against the elements. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits and considerations of using metal roof panels as siding for your shed, and why it might just be the perfect solution for your next project.

Can Metal Roof Panels Be Used as Siding on a Shed?

Yes, you can use metal roof panels as siding on a shed. It can be a good option for a few reasons:

Durability… Metal panels are very weather-resistant and can last for decades with minimal maintenance.

Low maintenance… Unlike wood siding, metal won’t rot or warp, and you won’t need to repaint it regularly.

Quick installation… Metal panels are relatively easy to install compared to some other siding materials.

Shed Plans

There are a few things to keep in mind when using metal roof panels for siding:

Stability… Roofing panels are designed to shed water, not necessarily to provide structural support. You’ll need to make sure your shed frame is strong enough to handle the wind load without relying on the siding for rigidity.

Sealing… Metal panels themselves are waterproof, but you’ll need to make sure the overlaps between the panels are properly sealed to prevent leaks. This may require using caulking tape or other waterproofing materials.

Appearance… Corrugated metal panels, a common type of roof panel, have a distinctive industrial look. This may or may not be the aesthetic you are going for in your shed.

Overall, using metal roof panels as siding for a shed can be a viable option, as long as you consider the potential drawbacks and take steps to mitigate them.  If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, long-lasting solution, metal siding can be a good choice.

Can I use the Galvanized Steel Roof Panels on Walls?

Galvanized steel roof panels can be used as siding for a shed, and that applies whether you install them vertically or horizontally.  However, there are some additional considerations specific to using roof panels as wall panels.

Structural Support… Roof panels are designed to shed water, not necessarily to provide structural support for the building.  While they can certainly act as siding, your shed’s frame  needs to be strong enough on its own to handle wind loads and other stresses. Use sufficient framing lumber and proper bracing techniques to ensure the shed structure is rigid.

Shear Strength… Shear strength refers to a material’s ability to resist forces that tend to make two layers slide past each other.  Roof panels may not have the best shear strength compared to some dedicated siding materials.

While not a deal breaker, be mindful of this and ensure your framing and fasteners provide a strong connection between the panels and the shed structure.

Insulation… Roof panels themselves typically don’t offer much insulation.  If you plan on using your shed year-round, you may want to consider adding insulation between the wall framing and the metal panels. This will help regulate temperature and improve energy efficiency.

Using galvanized steel roof panels on shed walls is absolutely possible, but it’s important to address the structural considerations  mentioned above.   Ensure your shed frame is designed to handle the additional weight and wind load and consider adding insulation if needed.  If you prioritize aesthetics over ultimate structural strength, metal roof panels can be a great, low-maintenance option for your shed walls.

How to Fasten Metal Roofing to Walls

Fastening metal roofing to shed walls involves securing the panels to the underlying frame while allowing for proper movement due to thermal expansion and contraction.

Here’s a general guide:


– Metal roof panels (galvanized steel recommended for sheds)

– Self-drilling metal screws with weatherproof sealant washers (choose the right length to penetrate the panel and frame)

– Trims and flashing


– Drill/Impact Driver

– Level

– Tape measure

– Safety glasses and gloves

– Sealant caulk (optional for extra weatherproofing)


– Prepare the Wall Framing: Ensure your shed frame is plumb and square. Use appropriate bracing for rigidity, especially important when using metal panels as they don’t provide much structural support themselves.

Panel Installation:

– Decide on horizontal or vertical installation (considering drainage, wind, and aesthetics as discussed previously).

– Start with a full panel at one end, ensuring it’s level.

– Use a level to check plumb (vertical) for vertical panels or horizontal for horizontal panels.


– Drive screws through the panel pre-drilled holes (typically located on the raised ribs or flat areas) and into the wall framing.

– Use self-drilling screws with weatherproof washers to create a watertight seal around the screw hole.

– Don’t overtighten the screws – allow some wiggle room for thermal movement.

Overlaps and Seams:

– For horizontal panels, ensure a minimum overlap of 2-3 inches at the sides and ends.

– For vertical panels, overlap should be at least 6 inches at the ends.

– Use self-adhering waterproofing tape or sealant caulk along the overlaps for additional weatherproofing (especially for horizontal panels).

Panel Ends and Trim:

– Use metal flashing or trim pieces to cover the cut edges of the panels at roof corners and parapets (if applicable).

– Secure the trim with screws and caulk any gaps.

Additional Tips:

– Wear safety glasses and gloves when working with metal panels.

– Pre-drill pilot holes in the shed frame (especially if using thicker wood) to avoid warping the wood when driving the screws.

– Stagger screw placement along the panel length for a secure hold.

– Work from the bottom up for horizontal panels and from one side to the other for vertical panels.

– Cut metal panels with metal snips or a power saw with a metal cutting blade. Be cautious and wear proper safety gear while cutting. Check out this article for cutting the Roofing.  How to Cut Metal Roofing Step-By-Step Guide

Remember… For specific recommendations and installation guidelines, always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the particular metal roof panels you are using.

Can I Attach Metal Roofing Directly to Wall Studs?

It’s generally not recommended to attach metal roofing directly to wall studs for your shed walls.

Here’s why:

Limited Structural Support… Wall studs are primarily designed to carry vertical loads from the roof and ceiling. Metal roofing panels themselves are not very strong against forces pushing inwards (wind shear) or outwards (wind uplift). They rely on the complete roof structure, including trusses or rafters, for stability.  Attaching them directly to studs won’t provide sufficient overall rigidity for the walls.

Shear Strength… Shear strength is a material’s ability to resist forces that cause layers to slide past each other. Metal roofing panels may not have the best shear strength compared to some dedicated siding materials.  While they can be used as siding, relying solely on them to connect to the studs might not be strong enough.

Here are some better approaches for attaching metal roofing to shed walls:

Solid Sheathing… Apply a solid substrate like plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) over the wall studs. This creates a strong, stable base for attaching the metal roofing panels.  You can then secure the panels to the sheathing using appropriate fasteners.

Metal Purlin System… Metal purlins are lightweight metal supports designed specifically for supporting roof and wall panels.  These can be attached to the wall studs and then the metal roofing panels are secured to the purlins. This method provides additional support and creates a cavity between the panels and the wall studs, which can be useful for adding insulation.

Whichever method you choose, ensure your shed frame is properly designed and braced to handle the weight and wind load of the metal roofing.

What Type of Fastener Do I use To Attach Metal Roofing to Walls?

The ideal fastener to attach metal roofing to shed walls depends on whether you’re using a solid sheathing or a metal purlin system:

Solid Sheathing:

– Self-drilling screws with weatherproof sealant washers: These are the most common choice for attaching metal roofing panels directly to solid sheathing like plywood or OSB.

– Look for screws specifically designed for metal-to- wood applications.

– Choose the right screw length: it should penetrate the metal panel, sheathing, and grip securely into the stud behind.

– The weatherproof washer creates a watertight seal around the screw hole.

Metal Purlin System:

– Self-drilling metal screws with neoprene washers: When attaching metal roofing panels to metal purlins, use screws suitable for metal-to-metal applications.

– These screws will drill through the roofing panel and purlin.

– Neoprene washers provide a good seal between the screw head and the metal purlin.

Here are some additional tips for fastener selection:

– Material: Stainless steel screws are recommended for exterior applications as they resist corrosion better than regular steel screws.

– Screw Head Style: Hex head screws are the most common type and work well with a power drill.

– Screw Thread: Fine thread screws provide a tighter grip compared to coarse thread screws.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific metal roofing panels and sheathing or purlin system you are using. They might have specific fastener requirements.

Choose the screw length based on the combined thickness of the metal panel, purlin/sheathing, and the depth you want the screw to penetrate the wall stud behind the sheathing (if applicable).

Ryans Shed Plans

Do I Use Metal Trims for Finishing Metal Roofing on Walls?

Yes, using metal trims is highly recommended for finishing metal roofing on walls. Metal trims offer several benefits for your shed:

Improved Aesthetics… Trims provide a clean and professional finished look to the exposed edges of the metal roof panels on your shed walls. They can hide any cut edges and create a more uniform appearance.

Enhanced Weather Protection… Metal trims act as a barrier against wind and rain infiltration. They cover gaps between panels and at roof intersections, helping to prevent water from leaking into the shed.  Here’s how specific trims help:

Drip Edge Trim… Installed at the bottom edge of the wall panels, it diverts rainwater away from the wall and foundation.

W Corner Trim… Covers the external corner where two walls with metal roofing meet, preventing water from seeping through the corner.

Z Flashing… Used at roof intersections (like where a shed roof meets a higher wall), it channels water away from the joint and prevents leaks.

Durabilit…  Metal trims are typically made from the same material as the roofing panels (galvanized steel in your case) and offer similar long-lasting durability. They can withstand harsh weather conditions without rotting or warping.

Here are some additional points to consider about metal trims for your shed:

Types of Trims… Different types of metal trims are available for various applications on your shed walls.  Common ones include drip edge trim, W corner trim, Z flashing, and J-channel (for siding termination). Choose the trims that suit the specific needs of your shed design.

Color Matching… Metal trims are often available in colors that match your metal roofing panels. This creates a visually cohesive look for your shed.

Installation… Installing metal trims is generally a straightforward process.  They typically involve bending or folding them to fit the angles and then securing them to the wall framing and metal panels with screws and sealant caulk.

Overall, using metal trims is a great way to add a finishing touch, improve weather protection, and enhance the overall aesthetics of your metal roof wall application on your shed.

Ryans Shed Plans

Do I Need Building Paper on Walls Before Installing Metal Roofing

No, you generally don’t need building paper on walls before installing metal roofing. Metal roofing itself is quite weatherproof.

The layers that go underneath a metal roof are there to protect the structure of your house, not the walls themselves.

These layers typically include:

Sheathing… This is the structural base of the roof, typically made of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB).

Underlayment… This waterproof membrane protects the sheathing from leaks and wind-driven rain. There are several options for underlayment, including synthetic underlayment, felt, and ice and water shield.

Ventilation… Metal roofs can trap heat, so it’s important to have proper ventilation to allow air to circulate and prevent overheating. This can be achieved through air gaps, soffit vents, and ridge vents.

If you’re concerned about moisture protection for your walls, you should focus on the house wrap installed directly on the wall sheathing, underneath any exterior siding material.  House wrap is breathable and allows moisture vapor to escape from the wall cavity, while still protecting from rain and wind.

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