Achieving the Look of Wood with the Easy Maintenance of Metal

The options appear endless as metal manufacturers develop new textures, mattes and prints for making metal more appealing to a wider range of consumers. A related article in the May issue of Rural Builder outlined this trend. This issue we look at a specific project.

Motorists driving by the new Paul Prince Construction LLC office and storage building have responded well to its inspiring good looks.

A low-maintenance building with the vintage look of board and batten were the owners’ goals for this office and storage building near New Auburn, Wisconsin. It houses the offices of Paul Prince Construction LLC and Lisa Prince-Architect Wisconsin. It was built and designed by the husband and wife team using wood-frame construction, the method they are most accustomed to working with as custom home builders. Because they are not familiar to working with metal, however, they employed L&M Builders, also of New Auburn, for the metal installation. The metal was acquired through Hixwood Metal, Stanley, Wisconsin.

The textured black finish of the metal wall and roof panel, a coating from Beckers called BeckryTex, is a significant part of what distinguishes the building. Lisa Prince explained the selection. “I didn’t want the wall panel to be shiny, I just wanted it to be good looking, a flat finish,” she said. “It kind of fools you into thinking that you’re looking at board and batten, that you’re looking at an old wooden barn, not metal.”

It was the Prince’s first venture into metal and they like the idea that it will require less maintenance. “We have a cedar-sided barn for the horses, and it’s all wood, all cedar, and you have to keep that up,” Lisa noted, adding: “While the cedar is beautiful, it turns black unless you keep up with staining and finishing.”

There is not much call for residential homes with metal wall panels so far, but the Princes have noticed an uptick in interest for metal roofing and they do expect to use metal for a new venture they are about to embark upon in tiny home construction. It’s a trend they believe holds promise for guest cabins in their tourism-destination area. Because so many people who have driven passed their new building have inquired about the roof and wall panel, they plan to include it in their plans for the tiny homes. “We’ll definitely be using it for that,” she said. RB

Metal was used on this New Auburn, Wisconsin, building to save on the maintenance typically needed for wood-frame structures.

PROJECT details:

  •  Project: Office and storage, 54 foot wide, 64 foot long, with 6 foot wide porch and lean-to
  •  Architect: Lisa Prince-Architect, Wisconsin
  •  Builder: Paul Prince Construction LLC, New Auburn, Wisconsin
  • Building System: Wood frame
  • Metal Panels, Wall: SR-16, 26 gauge with Beckers BeckryTex coating in textured black. Roof: SR-16, 26 gauge with Beckers BeckryTex coating in black. Metal panel acquired through Hixwood Metal, Stanley, Wisconsin.
  • Metal Installation: L&M Builders, New Auburn, Wisconsin
  • Doors: C.H.I. Overhead Door
  • Windows: Windsor double hung

More about Beckers BeckryTex

In the late 1970s, safety-conscious Sweden implemented new legislation defining minimum friction levels for the “slipperiness” of coil coated roofing materials.  Coil coatings had to pass a special test to gain certification. One solution was to reduce gloss with flattening agents. At the same time, a small volume of “wrinkle finish” paint for an indoor application had been developed by one of Becker Specialty Corporation’s partners in the United States. Granges Aluminum conducted a trial with the American product at one of its production lines.

The coating exhibited excellent non-slip properties. In 1981 a customer in Europe introduced it as a standard product for non-reflective sidings. That same year, the façade of Becker’s own Marsta factory in Sweden became an impressive reference application for what has become to be known as BeckryTex.

Swedish Steel SSAB initiated the production of BeckryTex coated roofing tiles, followed by Finland’s Rautaruukki.

By the mid 1980’s BeckryTex was established and popular in the Nordic countries, and Nordic countries were exporting considerable volumes of BeckryTex coated sheet to Poland, where it became a fashionable and popular roofing material.

Today BeckryTex coated coil continues to be one of the preferred materials for residential roofing in Central and Eastern Europe.

In late 2011 BeckryTex was introduced to the North American market and has grown tremendously as a roofing option, also expanding into wall and interior applications. RB

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