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Metal Roof And Wall Panel Colors Offer Endless Design Choices

By Shawn Zuver, DesignandBuildwithMetal.com

I’ve lived my entire life in Ohio and two of the most recognizable colors to anyone in this area of the country are the scarlet and gray representing the Ohio State University. Not surprisingly, though with much less affection, equally well known are the maize and blue of the University of Michigan.

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Kimbrough Animal Hospital. Metal roof and wall panels by Petersen.
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United Bank Main Branch. Metal composite material wall cladding by Citadel Architectural Products.
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Windsor High School Farm. Metal building systems, roofs and walls by Varco Pruden Buildings.
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Lewiston Community Health Center. Metal wall panels by McElroy Metal.
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Latrobe Elementary School. Color-matched rooftop snow retention from S-5! attached to metal roofing by Petersen.

Color schemes are key identifiers for sports teams at all levels—starting in the pee-wee league age group and following through to high schools, colleges, and professionals. It’s hard for me to see a combination of silver and black and not think of the Oakland Raiders of the NFL, and any real baseball fan can identify the shades of blue that differentiate the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets.

The immediate mental recognition brought about by colors is effectively played upon in all phases of our culture, especially in the corporate world. From the orange of Home Depot stores to John Deere’s green, a particular color or color-combination can bring instant identification. In some cases, the shade is so specific that it’s secretly-formulated and named for the company that it represents.

Color is also a time-tested method of adding personality to buildings, albeit sometimes more effectively than others. Its use can offer a way for buildings to blend with the environment, with surrounding structures, or to create a stronger—sometimes even bold—statement to make the building stand out.

With metal construction products, there are many opportunities for color to be used, including wall and roof panels; accents like gutters and downspouts, flashings, and trim; doors of all sizes and types; and accessories such as roof curbs, snow guards, lightning rods, and roof and wall vents.

Metal panel and trim suppliers offer wide ranges of colors to meet most requirements, but if those palettes don’t quite fit the designer’s vision, custom colors can also be formulated.

As anyone who’s worked with me can testify, and my wife and daughter would quickly confirm, I possess negligible skills when it comes to selecting colors or doing anything involved with design. However, to borrow the legendary line from Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, while I can’t design a nice-looking building or come up with a pleasing color scheme, “I know it when I see it.” And what I also know is that there are endless possibilities to use metal panel colors as a primary focus or to accent a building design.

Rather than just describing some of the many ways that color can be added to buildings through metal panels and products, I’d like to point out some examples. Shown here are several interesting projects, all which can be found in the Featured Projects and Project Type Gallery sections on DesignandBuildwithMetal.com. The next time you’re brainstorming ideas for upcoming projects, be sure to check out the hundreds and hundreds of projects in these sections to see how metal construction products can help achieve your design goals.

I used to believe that every possible color had been used at one time or another to coat metal panels. Then around 2003 I saw panels with a camouflage paint finish, and had to re-assess my thinking. More recently, color-shifting finishes add to the range of possibilities. Undoubtedly, there are still new horizons ahead.

Shawn Zuver is editorial/content director for DesignandBuildwithMetal.com. He has been covering the metal construction industry, including residential and non-residential construction, since 1985. To contact Shawn, email shawnz@designandbuildwithmetal.com.

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