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Metal Roofs: Aren’t They All the Same?

A.C.E. Building Service has been constructing pre-engineered metal buildings for over 60 years; 46 of those years as a Butler Builder. I’ve been working with Butler Manufacturing and pre-engineered metal buildings for over 14 years, myself, and I’d like to let you in on a few secrets I’ve come to learn along the way.

We’ve seen numerous types of roof systems, profiles, and fastening methods; we’ve witnessed the effects of expansion and contraction, time and wear, as well as, the Wisconsin weather that has given its fair share of influence on these roof systems. And one thing has become abundantly clear, all metal roofs are not created equal.

When we take a look at two metal roofs right next to each other, we can pick out the differences like a police line-up. But what does the consumer typically see? Maybe they see how companies A, B, and C are all offering a 24 gauge, galvanized finish standing seam roof - so then they focus on what? The price of course! This might be the quick and easy way to choose between A, B, and C, but your project is an investment and remember the lowest price does not necessarily mean the best value or quality.

Read below and learn why you should consider a metal roof for your facility and how the Butler MR-24® Metal Roof System stands out from the rest.

Reduce your building costs and timeline without sacrificing quality by choosing A.C.E. Building Service in partnership with Butler Manufacturing. Download our Competitor Comparison Analysis Sheet, today, to see the difference for yourself. Get your free download.

The MR-24® Metal Roof System. What About It?

Metal roofs, if installed correctly and with the correct details have a life expectancy of 40 to 50 years – well, at least the Butler MR-24 roof does. Bold claim? Well, we have proof. In 1974, Gerald Ford was president of the United States, Hank Aaron surpassed Babe Ruth as the all-time MLB home run leader, and a gallon of gas would set you back $0.39. It was also the year that A.C.E. installed our first, of hundreds, MR-24 roof. Fast forward 45 years later, these same roofs are still holding strong.

What makes the Butler MR-24 roof hold up so well? Here are five reasons:

  1. Factory punching
  2. Roof clip design
  3. Integrated gable trim
  4. Superior details
  5. Care of installation

Wait, What Does Factory Punching Have to Do With Metal Roof Longevity?

Metal, when exposed to extreme heat and cold, expands and contracts. And when a 10,000 square foot metal roof surface expands and contracts under different stresses and in different directions, it oil-cans, wrinkles, wears down, and opens up, creating potential leak spots.

Butler uses a factory punching method so that every roof clip is installed exactly 24” on center - making it perfectly aligned. This means that every roof seam is exactly 24” on center from the eave (edge of the roof that overhangs the face of a wall) to the ridge (the peak where two opposing roof planes meet). This also means that the same 10,000 square foot roof from before moves as one monolithic roof surface, hence the name “MR-24” – neat, huh?

The proof is in the pudding – see below. By the way, the other guys try to be perfectly aligned by “field measuring.” Have you ever tried field measuring 10,000 square feet 24 inches at a time?

A.C.E. Building Service built this Butler metal roof with factory punching. Compared to another manufactured roof with field measuring.

And What the Heck is a Roof Clip?

Butler MR-24 Roof Clip

Pretty simple, actually. Roof clips are what secures the roof panel to the structural framing of the building. The kicker is that these clips have to be perfectly aligned and able to move freely to accommodate the expansion and contraction that metal roofs experience.

What is one factor that makes Butler’s clip system better? You’re right, it’s pre-punching! Two other factors contribute to the superior design of the Butler clip:

  • First, the triangular zinc plated bar and stainless steel tab slide effortlessly without binding.
  • Second, the tap is perfectly centered during installation by two plastic tabs, allowing for a full range of motion without binding.

Because of the unique clip design, the Butler MR-24 system can be installed up to 250’ wide for single slope applications or 500’ wide for double slope applications without having a step in the roof.

Psst, here’s one of my secrets: the other guys’ clips are field-located and installed with self-drilling screws. That means the other guys have to rely on field installation procedures to ensure the roof expands as it should. Not ideal - as you can imagine. 


Now Let’s Cover the "Integrated" Gable Trim

Take a look. Which one would you want on your roof? The one on the left, or the one on the right?

A.C.E. Building Service uses gable trim for their Butler manufactured metal roofs rather than hundreds of fasteners and bolts

The choice is clear! The difference is the integrated gable trim. Butler’s gable trim is seamed into the roof system, not screwed into the roof panel.

Let’s go back to that 10,000 square foot building again. Say the dimensions are 100’x100’, this would have a gable trim condition of 200 lineal feet. The other guys require a self-drilling screw every 6” to 4” on center or 400 to 600 fasteners in total for their gable trim condition. Butler would only have (2) exposed fasteners every 20’ where trim sections splice together or 20 fasteners in total for the gable trim condition.


The Perfect Metal Roof System: It’s All in the Details

The unsung heroes of the Butler MR-24 roof system are the little guys. The ones who are not seen but make the MR-24 roof weather-tight and long-lasting. We’re talking about the 360 Pittsburgh double-lock seam, the hard plastic panel closures, the staggered panel splice, and the gutter support straps.

Here’s another one of my secrets: the other guys snap or crimp panels together, have foam panel closures, square panel splices, and they have wimpy gutter support hangers.

See below – which ones would you want protecting your customer’s inventory, your $250,000 CNC machine, your server room, your sanctuary, or your finished office space?

 ACE Butler Roof Panel Pittsburg Seam compared to other manufactured seam.

ACE Butler Manufacturing Roof Ridge Closure compared to other manufacturer's

ACE-Roof-Panel-Splice-Butler-metal-roofACE Butler Roof Panel Splice compared to another manufactured roof panel splice

The Windup... and Here Comes the Pitch!

All of the wonderful benefits and design characteristics amount to nothing without our knowledgeable, pride-driven crew members. A.C.E. Building Service never has, and never will allow anyone other than our employees to install our roofs.

We also insist upon installing any roof penetration, mechanical curb, or flashing in our roofs. Because of this, we are confident in offering our clients our perpetual promise – if we goofed on something (hey, it happens sometimes – nobody’s perfect!), we’ll be there to fix it.

Solid design, controlled installation, and decades of weather-tight assurance. Who do you want on your roof? A.C.E. Building Service, with the help of Butler, will knock it out of the park!


I Know, I Said 5 Reasons, But There’s More!

We can install the Butler MR-24 roof over the top of your old, leaky, gross roof and give your building a new lease on life. In 1985, Butler recognized that their standing seam roof was a rock star and thought “I bet this would be a good retrofit solution too.” So they introduced a retrofit system. That’s right, a system.

ACE Butler Manufacturing Slope Build-Up ReRoofACE Butler Metal-over-Metal ReRoof system

Remember those other guys we talked about earlier? I’ll let you in on my last secret: They’re going to say the same thing as they say about their regular roofs. They will say their roofs are just as good because they have 24 gauge material or even “clips.” However, in most cases, they are not comprehensive systems but rather a series of parts sourced from one or several materials providers. Field cutting, modifications, and in some cases engineering is how they roll.

The Butler MR-24 low profile metal over metal, high profile metal over metal, and slope build-up systems are fully integrated and pre-engineered specific to your roof. The best part? They get installed over your existing roof. This means there is no chance for a random storm cloud to pop up and rain inside of your building while the new roof is being installed.

How Can A.C.E. Building Service Help?

A.C.E. Building Service is proud to be a part of the national network of builders that represent Butler Manufacturing and roof retrofit projects. We are the exclusive distributor of the Butler product line in the counties of Sheboygan, Calumet, Kewaunee, and Door County on the lakeshore and a distributor in Brown and Outagamie counties.

Contact us today to learn more about the Butler Building System or re-roofing your business. We’ll respond so fast to your inquiry, you’ll think we’re Jimmy Johns®, and we’ll take a look with a free project assessment. Call today at 920-682-6105 or schedule a free consultation.


Competitor Analysis Checklist

Topics: Butler Building Systems, Reroof, A.C.E. Building Service

Written by Chris Herzog

Project Development & Marketing
Chris is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Platteville where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management. A LEED accredited professional (AP), he began his career as an estimator for a local construction company and worked in field operations for a road construction company prior to joining A.C.E. in 2005 as an estimator/project manager. Chris works with owners to develop construction projects from the idea to design phase to construction. Much of his work is in pre-construction services where he assists owners in land selection, performs feasibility studies and works with government officials to obtain permits and approvals. He helps align owner’s goals with finished building projects and serves as the owner’s representative to A.C.E. construction personnel.

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