Metal roof wthout sheathing?

Havn’t seen this before, It’s a residential house, all galvanized steel throughout. no info on the house, seller is second owner and did not have an inspection. Built in 1992 with no other (new) roof permit. appears like it would be best over a patio… Wind Mitigation? No sheathing, clips at best and screws are 2’ apart. Thoughts, see before, any info to share? Thanks

I’ve never seen a residential steel truss system, interesting. I do see metal roofs without sheathing though, and it tends to come down to manufacturer recommendations. I would think it would have to be some sort of structural metal roof system, but I can’t find anything online with that profile. Commercial low slope metal roofs are often built this way.

Firestone is a large manufacturer of structural roof systems, here is a link to their website which has detail drawings, application guides, specifications, etc.

Yes Dale even though I am not in a hurricane zone I have seen this particular design in Commercial applications. It is getting more popular as a permanent roof to cover old existing BUR and provides a much nicer look to flat roofs.

I have seen them and not a lover .
.Under the rite conditions they can cry and drip … Roy

Agreed Roy and would never use an application like that without an existing roof under it.

Thanks Dale for the link to Firestone Roofing, they do cover metal roofs but most for 16” sheets and the applications listed that I read through called for underlayment. Sounds like more for commercial uses as Lee stated. Roy, Kevin, agree. Also read this type not a good use in hurricane zone, but I’m in southeast Florida. Without product approval info, local building department is of no help., sad to say.

local building department is of no help![size=3] No surprise

The builder was a Metal Stud Installer and built his own house with metal studs.
Had books on that years ago. I recognize some of the connections.
20 gauge at best with #10 hex head self-drilling screws for connections.

Hat shape channels for purlins on the roof.
Have no idea what the roof material is though. :):wink:

metal roofing panels prollythisor similar

some developments down here that spec steel only
if you’re into steel these are worth their value

That fure looks appropriate Barry. :slight_smile:

Larger frame members are steel wall top and bottom plate channels uprights are slightly smaller wall top and bottom plate channels. Hat shapes are used in commercial and residential as strapping or furring and some side member strapping is actual studs (they have knockouts in them ) never seen them used on roof like this but I see them all the time in local residential construction subdivisions. Factory built units shipped to site and stacked to assemble. These factory built units use a different type of steel studs for the floor framing and for roof framing, not wall studs and plate channels. This looks like metal tile type roofing panels, common to find with spaced plank sheathing. Never observed like this before though.

For those of you who are taking your first steps outside of the US and into Latin America, this type of roof is one you will see time and time again, especially in tropical Latin America.

Wood is very expensive in that area even though they have plenty of it, so they build using C-channel in aluminum (for housing) and steel for commercial buildings. Since snow is not an issue, they get away with a roof made of corrugated metal (they call it “zinc”) that comes in 3 different size sheets, or plastic sheets that fake spanish tile. The one in these pictures is white, which, to me, is an unusual color. They are normally brown or dark tan, and from a distance they do look like spanish tile.

Poorer homeowners do not use a ceiling at all, so when you look up you are looking at the roof covering and the trusses, no sheathing or any other covering.

Advantages of this type of roof (in Latin America, I don’t know about the US):

  • Although not cheap, it is one of the lowest priced
  • Strong
  • Behaves well under seismic loads
  • Little maintenance: for corrugated metal roof, just paint it. For plastic, replace sheet if broken by wind or somebady stepped on it and broke it.
  • The sound of the rain on the metal roof is beautiful. This is no joke. I know a fellow who moved to a house that had no metal roof, so he set up a sheet of corrugated metal outside his window so he could hear the sound of the rain beating on it.


  • Extremely hot for metal and plastic.
  • The plastic covering is very noisy under strong rain.
  • Plastic covering looks cheap and cheesy.
  • You have to know how to walk on them, or will ruin the roof, precisely because there is no sheathing.

Arnold Gonzalez
ARGO Inspections
Milwaukee, WI