Choosing a Steel Building Roof: Screw Down or Standing Seam?

Steel Tech Inc., Winkler, MB, Canada


When it comes to selecting your steel building roof, you’re probably considering two popular options:

Screw-Down Roof (SDR) or Standing Seam Roof (SSR).

Each has its advantages and considerations, so let’s dive deeper into these roofing systems to help you make an informed decision.

Screw-Down Roof (SDR)

A screw-down roof is a popular steel building roof that consists of metal panels secured using screws and washers. The key benefits of a screw-down roof are its excellent weather resistance, relatively low cost, and breezy installation compared to a standing seam roof. However, it’s important to note that the screw-down roof does not allow for thermal expansion. Over time, the regular expansion and contraction of the steel in the heat and cold can cause wear and tear on the screws and washers, potentially leading to maintenance and replacement requirements.

Screw down roof
Not afraid of replacing screws in 10-15 years and looking to save on building costs? The screw-down roof might be your ideal option.

Standing Seam Roof (SSR)

A standing seam roof is a popular steel building roof choice for commercial and industrial buildings. It offers a refined look, exceptional durability, and excellent weather resistance. The distinguishing feature of a standing seam roof is its interlocking metal panels joined together with concealed fasteners. This design allows the roof to expand and contract naturally, while the clips remain fastened and the panels can move back and forth. As a result, a standing seam roof requires minimal maintenance.

Stand seam roof
Want lower maintenance? Definitely consider a standing seam roof.


When deciding between a screw-down roof and a standing seam roof for your steel building, you’ll have to decide which are you most important factors:

  1. Maintenance: If you prefer a lower-maintenance option, a standing seam roof is the way to go. Its durable construction and minimal movement mean you won’t have to worry about regular maintenance or replacing individual screws.
  2. Cost: The screw-down roof generally offers cost savings in terms of initial installation expenses. However, it’s essential to consider the potential long-term costs associated with maintenance and screw replacement over time.
  3. Aesthetic Appeal: If visual appeal is important to you, a standing seam roof provides a sleek and modern look that can enhance the overall appearance of your building. The clean lines and concealed fasteners contribute to a polished and professional finish.

To determine the ideal steel building roof type for your project, consider factors such as the climate conditions in your area, budget constraints, desired maintenance levels, and the visual impact you wish to achieve. It’s always helpful to consult with a professional roofing contractor who can assess your building’s requirements and provide guidance on the most suitable roof option.

Want to speak with an expert? 

Northern Steel Building rep.

Once you have a good handle on what your building needs to do, share your vision with a helpful building consultant at Northern Steel Buildings. Steel buildings are what we do!

Give us a call at 1-877-751-3486.

Or if you are looking for steel buildings prices, request a free quote below.

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