Keep it Standard – Reasons to Stay With 24”, 30”, and 36”

Standard sizing of lumber products began nearly a century ago to create a shared understanding between the lumber mills and the markets. Lumber products commonly traveled long distances by rail or water, making communication difficult. Standard sizes helped create an understanding of value and accurate expectations.

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Today, Metl Span’s CF architectural insulated metal panels come in standard widths of 24”, 30”, and 36″ as do most building products throughout the industry. In fact, Metl Span produces standard products for some of the same reasons as the lumber mills from 100 years ago.

Other Building Elements Come in Standard Sizes


Most insulated metal panels are installed vertically, but they can also be installed horizontally. The panel width is typically determined during the design phase and takes the building envelope into account, including openings for windows and doors. One reason standard width wall panels are so popular is because they correspond more easily to other building elements and the framing, which also come in standard sizes. Deviating from the standards creates design challenges and requires more attention to detail.

Manufacturing Process Designed for Standard Widths

The manufacturing process is tooled to create standard products. Metal wall panels are made of steel coils that come in standard widths. Creating custom products requires an adjustment in the manufacturing process, making it more difficult to accommodate. This added time and disruption of the manufacturing process makes it more expensive to produce custom products.

Custom Widths Available but Most Costly

Designers sometimes select metal panels with custom widths so site lines align with the perimeter edge of the windows and doors. When considering custom widths, it is important to consider if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Projects with panels containing customized measurements can be more time-consuming and expensive to construct. Most building elements come in standard widths, so it is essential to plan diligently for custom products to accomplish a cohesive final product.


Many of the metal panels with profiles are not available in custom widths, leaving fewer panel options. This is because the profiles are designed for specific measurements. Some Metl-Span wall panels are available in custom sizes but are costlier. Most of the customizable products either have profiles that are small and close together or the panels are flat, which make it easier to create custom widths without compromising the profile.

Ready to get started? Explore how Metl-Span’s standard width panels can simplify your next project.

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