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Bridger Steel Project News, Highlights & Helpful Tips

Project Highlight: Custom Flat Panels

[fa icon="calendar"] 12/15/2020 / by Kaylee Beattie

Bridger Steel has the ability to customize metal panels in order to create the look you’ve dreamed about. One of our most popular and asked-about projects actually deals with customization. We’re going to take a look at the materials used to complete this look, and other ways of achieving a similar look without custom panels!

Project: Custom Residential Metal Siding 

Materials Used: Custom Flat panels (including screws and batten strips)

Finish: Truten™ A606 Weathering Steel 

Custom Flat Metal Panel Wall

Completely Customized Panels

The metal panels used in this project were completely customized flat panels — meaning no standard size was used and these panels were made-to-order to fit the scope and size needed for this customer’s home. Bridger Steel is able to custom cut panels to create a unique, one-of-a-kind look for your project. Of course, with custom panels, increased lead times and costs should be expected. 

The panels used in this project specifically were raw sheets of steel — typically 4’x10’ — and had a piece of trim (or batten strips) laid out every 16 inches. This project can sometimes be referred to as “flat batten,” but again, is not a standard panel.

A Unique Finish

This project used our Truten™ A606 finish, which is a great way to add another custom, unique aspect to any project. Weathering Steel is a finish that begins with a top coat of copper, phosphorus, and silicon that forms a textured oxide surface film on the panels.

Once the panels are exposed to different weather conditions, they begin rusting into a unique color. After the top coat is gone, the steel will ionize, preventing it from rusting all the way through. The base layer of steel will last just as long as other finishes, so similar life spans can be expected.

Since this finish naturally rusts over time, the end results vary every time for every project. That’s the beauty of Weathered Steel — there is no “standard” end result, just a unique, one-of-a-kind look!

Finishing Touches & Installation Information

The finishing touch that added the final pop of customization were the screws and batten strips used to secure the panels. The strips of batten were spaced out every 16 inches and were secured with fasteners. This completed the look for these panels and gave the project a truly custom finished style.

Installation of these kinds of panels can be a bit tricky. It’s very important to note that no installation guides can be provided when it comes to custom panels, since again, they’re completely custom to the size and scope of the project. As with all flat panels, customized flats can be susceptible to oil canning. How the panel is attached and how wide it is can affect the severity of oil canning. Adding striations can help alleviate this issue. 

Recommended Applications

We highly recommend only using wall applications like this one in areas that are covered, as weather-tightness can pose an issue. This helps keep the panels covered from the weather as much as possible. This project specifically was used under an awning. 

In projects similar to this one, we recommend doing any of the following steps to ensure the panels are as weather-tight as possible:

  • Use mastic and watertight caulking to seal up any butt and end joints 
  • Frame the wall application as a rainscreen (Rainscreens sit away from a building’s outside wall’s weather-resistant barrier, in order to create an air pocket directly behind the panels and help protect the barrier) OR 
  • Adhere a bituthene waterproofing membrane behind the siding (this will seal the building envelope)
  • Ensure you are performing any regular maintenance needed to keep them intact (touch up caulking, inspecting the panels regularly, etc.)  

How to Achieve This Look Without Customizing

If you are aiming to recreate this look, it’s important to remember that while we are able to produce similar products, it’s going to look different because of the customization used. However, there are a few ways to ensure you achieve a similar look without the extra customization. Here’s what we suggest:

Choose Truten™ A606 Finish — One of the easiest ways to achieve a look similar to this custom panel is to finish your project with Weathering Steel. This finish creates a unique look for every project, every time.

Truten A6060 Weathering Steel swatch

This Truten™ A606 swatch shows how the finish transforms over time.

Choose Flat Panels — Opting for V Groove or Shiplap Wall panels can also help you achieve this look. These panels won’t have the batten strips and screws on the outside of the panels, but they will create a flush, seamless appearance similar to that of the custom panels.

Here’s are two examples of different flat panels with a similar look:

custom flat 1

V Groove Flat panels create a flush, seamless look.

custom flat 2

Shiplap Wall panels also replicate a similar look!

All in all, creating something completely customized like this project can result in a stunning, one-of-a-kind end look. We’re always happy to suggest similar products and finishes to help you replicate this look, or talk with you more about custom sheet metal fabrication to exactly fit your vision.

Have more questions about this custom project and ways to achieve this look? Get in touch with one of our Product Specialists today. We can help you through ordering the products you need to recreate this look! 

Topics: Metal Siding, project highlight

Kaylee Beattie

Written by Kaylee Beattie