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Metal Siding & Roofing For Barns: Cost, Options, & Best Panels
Lauren Risotto

By: Lauren Risotto on October 19th, 2020

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Metal Siding & Roofing For Barns: Cost, Options, & Best Panels

Roofing | Metal Siding


The roofing and siding of a barn are its most vital components that serve as protection for the structure. If you’re considering metal for either or both of these aspects of your barn, you’ll have to choose the right metal panel to use.

Metal is a common construction material in agricultural buildings such as:

  • Riding Arenas
  • Horse Stables
  • Pole Barns
  • Shelters For Livestock
  • Garages
  • Storage Areas

At Western States Metal Roofing, we manufacture metal roofing and siding panels that are often used to build barns in an agricultural application. We know agricultural customers need a durable panel that is cost-effective and easy to install. This article will highlight the top 4 metal panels that best meet those needs.

After reading this article you’ll know more about the metal panels that fit the aesthetic, structural, and logistical requirements for barns.

First, let’s go over why metal is a smart choice for barns in the first place.

Why Should I Use Metal Panels For My Barn?

Metal is one of the most commonly used and trusted materials for barns. It’s preferred by so many builders because of its benefits that include:

  • Being inexpensive
  • Being readily available
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Strength against harsh elements (high winds, hail, snow, heavy rainfall, etc.)
  • Minimal upkeep required
  • Inexpensive
  • Readily available
  • Quick and easy to install
  • Strength against harsh elements (high winds, snow, heavy rainfall, etc.)
  • Minimal maintenance

Agricultural areas are also commonly exposed to animals and animal excrement. When used as barn siding, metal can get dirty easily. Luckily, metal is easy to wash to keep your barn looking clean.

If the metal siding panels will be exposed to animal urine, you’ll need to use a Galvalume®/Zincalume® substrate.

Why Are Exposed Fastener Metal Panels Best For Barns?

When you see our list of best metal panels to use for barns below, you’ll notice all of the panels are exposed fastener panels. These are just panels that have visible fasteners that penetrate the panel to attach it to the metal or wood substrate.

This is not a coincidence. When it comes to barns, you need an efficient, inexpensive, and easy to use material. Exposed fasteners panels meet these requirements, which is why we highly suggest them for barn installation.

Exposed fastener panels are the most affordable type of metal panels. Exposed fastener panels cost roughly half the cost of concealed fastener panels, which are more commonly used for residential roofing or metal siding panels.

Exposed fastener panels attach directly to the frame supports, which also makes them easier and faster to install. If you choose to do the installation yourself, you will save on labor costs. But even if you hire a professional to do the installation, your labor costs will still be significantly less with exposed panels compared to having concealed fastener panels professionally installed.


What To Consider When Picking A Metal Panel For Your Barn

Metal roofing is available in many different styles for barns. When choosing your metal roofing panels, you have to consider what main purpose the barn will be used for.

The barn’s purpose might be the deciding factor for which metal roofing panel you use. When picking out roofing panels, you have to choose:

  • Exposed fastener or standing seam
  • A panel profile
  • The proper gauge
  • Paint system (SMP or PVDF)
  • The best color


Metal Barn Design

If your barn is a showpiece where design matters, you’ll need to pay more attention to the type of panel profile. gauge, and paint choices. You might want to spend the extra money to install a standing seam metal roof. You may also want to use a heavier gauge panel in a premium PVDF paint finish.

Agricultural buildings tend to use exposed fastener panels for their efficiency. However, installing a standing seam metal roof is beneficial if you are looking to build an upscale barn that you really want to be eye-catching.

On the other hand, if you're building an agricultural structure, then the design of your roof is most likely not a big concern. The functionality, such as sheltering animals, is the primary consideration. In this case, an exposed fastener panel in a 26 gauge standard SMP color will accommodate your needs. It will be the best balance of price and quality.


Metal Roofing And Siding Colors For Barns

The color that you choose for your barn will be dependent on the paint system you choose.

Metal roofing colors will fade at a greater rate than a metal siding panel because you have more sun exposure on a roof.

If you want a roof with a bright and vibrant color, we recommend using a PVDF painted color. PVDF paint fades at a slower rate than an SMP paint system. Your color will stay bright and vibrant longer with PVDF versus the standard SMP paint finish.

If you have a light color or a metal siding application, then having a color that’s an SMP painted panel will be an appropriate paint finish.

Learn more about the differences between PVDF and SMP paint finishes:

Best Paint For My Metal Roof Panels: SMP Paint v PVDF


Download Your How To Choose A Metal Roofing Color Guide

Metal Siding For Barns

Most metal siding for barns will have an exposed fastener panel in a 26 gauge SMP painted finish. This will be the most affordable panel that still gives you a quality product. 


Metal Roofing Profiles For Pole Barns

When you’re building a pole barn the metal roofing might have to span from support to support. The strongest affordable panel is a 7.2 Panel. This panel will allow you to use fewer supports than some of the other metal roofing panel profiles. 7.2 Panel also carries a higher load and has greater wind uplift values than the other exposed fastener panels.

Any exposed fastener panel is appropriate, but other panels aren’t as strong as the 7.2 Panel.


Metal Siding Profiles For Pole Barns

Any exposed fastener panel will work fine for metal siding on a pole barn. R Panel, ⅞” Corrugated, and Ag Panels are the three most common types of pole barn siding panels.


The Best Low-Cost Metal Panel Profiles For Barns

  • ⅞” Corrugated
  • R-Panel
  • 7.2 Panel
  • AG Panel

⅞” Corrugated Metal For Barn Siding And Roofing

The ⅞” corrugated metal siding and roofing panel is a classic wave panel that has a look that is synonymous with farmhouse style design. Being an exposed fastener panel makes it easy and fast to install. The deep corrugations make the panel structurally strong, impact-resistant, and a great choice for a low-cost metal barn siding or roofing.


Roof in ⅞” Corrugated Speckled Galvanized Rust

When Is It Best To Use Corrugated Metal For A Barn?

⅞” corrugated metal offers the traditional look associated with barns. It’s the most readily available and has the most amount of colors because of its popularity. If you’re looking for a classic looking barn and need your materials quickly, consider ⅞” corrugated for your barn’s roofing and siding.



R-Panel is, for barns, the nicest metal panel at the lowest price point. The raised ribs give the panel a boxy, more modern appearance. It’s also a strong and durable panel. Being an exposed fastener panel makes the installation on R-Panel one of the easier panels to install. It’s perfect if you’re a DIY installer.


R-Panel in Light Stone

When Is It Best To Use R-Panel For A Barn?

Since R-Panel is the most affordable exposed fastener panel, it’s an excellent lower-cost roofing and siding solution. If affordability is a top concern for your barn, we recommend looking into R-Panel first.


AG Panel

AG Panel is used so often in barn applications that you may also hear it referred to as “pole barn steel” or “U Panel”. This exposed fastener panel is 36" wide with ribs that are 3/4" deep and 9” apart center to center.


When Is It Best To Use an AG Panel For A Barn?

AG Panel is used often in agricultural construction because it’s a great low-cost panel choice and easy to install for DIY enthusiasts.


7.2 Panel

A 7.2 panel, also known as a structural box rib, is an exposed fastener panel that gets its name from having 7.2” of spacing between ribs. These panels, such as the Western Rib®, are the strongest exposed fastener panel that’s capable of the longest spans between supports.

When Is It Best To Use 7.2 Panel For A Barn?

7.2 Panel is the strongest and most durable metal siding panel. The depth of the panel and their trapezoidal design provides superior strength, wind uplift, and span capacities.

If you are in an area that regularly experiences high winds or heavy snow loads, your barn will benefit from the maximum strength provided by 7.2 Panel.


What’s The Cost Of Metal Roof Or Siding On A Barn?


All of the exposed fastener metal roofing and siding panels that you will use on your barn cost about the same amount of money. Regardless of the profile that you choose, there’s not going to be more than about a 10%-15% difference in cost between the panels.

If you choose a standing seam system, the cost will double. The gauge of the material and the type of paint finish will also significantly affect the cost of the metal panels.


How Much Do Exposed Fastener Panels Cost?

Here are some ballpark price ranges for the two most popular gauges of metal. If you decide to use a 22 gauge versus a 24 gauge that will add 15-20% to the cost. If you decide to go lighter and use a 29 gauge then it will save you 10%-15%.

What’s The Cost Of Galvalume® or Galvanized Metal Panels?

  • 26 gauge EXCLUDING installation:

         $1.50 - $2.00 Per Square Foot

  • 24 gauge EXCLUDING installation:

        $2.00 - $2.50 Per Square Foot


How Much Do SMP Painted Panels Cost?

  • 26 gauge EXCLUDING installation:

        $2.00 - $2.50 Per Square Foot

  • 24 gauge EXCLUDING installation:

         $2.50 - $3.00 Per Square Foot


What’s The Cost Of PVDF Painted Metal Panels?

  • 24 gauge EXCLUDING installation:

        $2.50 - $3.50 Per Square Foot


How Much Does It Cost To Install Metal Roofing Or Siding On My Barn?

The price will vary depending upon whether it’s a roof or a wall, the location of the job, and the difficulty of installation. The installation cost of an exposed fastener panel is around $3-$6 per square foot. A standing seam installation will cost about double that.

When you include materials and labor, the ballpark total cost of your installation will be:

  • Exposed Fastener Panel - $7 to $12 Per Square Ft.
  • Concealed Fastener Panel - $10 to $16 Per Square Ft.


Why Should I Use Metal Panels For My Barn?

Metal is one of the most commonly used and trusted materials for barns.

By using metal panels on your barn, you’ll be working with a material that has many featured benefits including:

You can choose from a variety of metal panel styles, profiles, and colors for your metal barn siding or metal barn roofing.

Check out our color cards to see what design options are available and request a free color chip of your top choices.


If you are ready for pricing information, contact us today for a free quote.

Click here to request a free metal roofing sample in your favorite color!Get a Free Quote for Metal Roof or Metal Wall Panels Today! Click Here

Metal Roofing Learning Cener

About Lauren Risotto

Lauren is the Content Manager at Western States Metal Roofing and provides insight on content creation and product promotions.