On any building, metal or otherwise, eaves are an important part of both the look and functionality of your roof. Eaves are the edges of roofing that overhang a building’s exterior walls. They not only add interest to your roof design, but add building functionality and potential lifestyle enhancement as well.
The most simple eave is designed as a roof overhang that works primarily to keep rain water off exterior walls and away from where the roof and the wall connect, protecting the sides of the building from moisture. If the pitch roof and the walls were plumb, rain would roll directly down the walls and to the foundation. An eave works to keep the water away from the sidewall or endwall.
Eaves also control solar penetration, protect the building’s foundation and windows from rain, and, in combination with soffits and fascia, may shelter venting openings under the roofing (in a barn, for example).
Your Worldwide Steel building kit can include self-supporting eaves as unobtrusive as one inch wide or as expansive as 14 inches wide. Depending on the climate where you’re building your new roof, either could serve the primary functions of the eave nicely.
However, there are ways to get even more functionality from your eaves by adding self-supporting overhangs to your new roof framing. By creating a roof design that includes a very large eave, you can add even more functionality, protection, and even exterior living spaces.
If you have a car, a tractor or a stack of wood you want to keep better protected from the elements but don’t need to be entirely enclosed, an extended overhang will do the trick. Worldwide self-supporting overhangs are an economical solution to add to your building package for that extra space. If you’d like a covered porch connected to your metal home or business, maybe a place to put a couple rocking chairs, self-supporting eaves can add that additional outdoor living space.
Like everything else in a Worldwide Steel building kit, your roof framing and eaves are easy to DIY. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be alone when you’re trying to decide how your roof design comes together. When you work with our team of experts, we will walk you through all the options for roof overhangs, dormers, gable ends, drip edges, soffits, fascia and so much more. We’ll also make sure your roofing choices align with local building codes and meet local wind speed codes (because an overhang can significantly increase the wind loading on the roof). To get you started, check out this glossary of basic roofing terms you’ll encounter when designing your metal building.
Basic roofing terms
- Rafters: Two-inch material that holds the roof up
- Sheeting: The wood that the covers the rafters (plywood, osb board or one-inch boards)
- Underlayment: A light layer under the shingles, example tar paper or weather barrier
- Roofing: What you see on top, like wood or asphalt shingles or steel, clay or slate roof tile
- Fascia: The wood board under the finish trim or the finish trim you see on the edge
- Soffit: The finish material under the overhang. Soffit material can include wood, vinyl or cement composite
Adding a New Overhang to an Existing Metal Building
While it is certainly easier to incorporate eaves into your roof the first time you design your Worldwide Steel building, in order to have the most cohesive roof surface, you can add a new overhang to an old roof as well. You’ll probably need to adjust the roof framing and add some new shingles and potentially additional roof trusses, but when you’re finished, you will feel like you have a whole new roof.