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Self-Storage Construction: Structural Piers and Headers

Chip Cordes Comments
Continued from page 2

A recessed single-piece structural header design provides engineered strength to support roof structures for single-story or multi-story projects, as well as aesthetic breaks in a long-building design. With half the quantity of parts to assemble, a metal-building perimeter can be installed in half the time. All structural components bolt together, providing maximum strength while allowing for easier design changes or maintenance requirements after project completion. The advantages include:

  • Faster installation time
  • Hot-dipped, galvanized, heavier-gauge components
  • Smooth or stucco pattern finish, pre-finished or suitable for field application
  • Flexibility of design
  • Low maintenance 
  • Aesthetically pleasing

Tomorrow’s Self-Storage Facility

Perhaps the next generation of metal buildings is already here. Tapered and apex header designs provide maximum strength the entire width of the building. All components are bolted for maximum strength. Structural headers create a continuous flush surface for proper attachment of the roof panels above. An extra-oversized hole is provided by the component manufacturer for other trades to easily run wiring and accessories the full length of the building, minimizing junction boxes or extra materials. Returns are adequate for proper installation of most roll-up doors. Consult your manufacturer for complete specifications.

Many municipalities require concrete exterior walls where the project is visible to the public. A combination of concrete and structural perimeter components can carry the design throughout the project. Roll-over roof design eliminates stop-and-start roofs, moisture access points and costly maintenance. Standing-seam or screw-down roofs simply “roll-over” most standard step-downs in today’s building designs. Single-piece step-down piers provide an exact fit to the concrete application. Using different colors in the décor of the building adds an aesthetic design.

Special flush structural headers are provided for installation of the hollow metal (HM) entry doors. Sizes are available to fit any size HM door, providing a continuous look the entire length of the building. In addition, gutters, downspouts, lighting, cameras and trims attach directly to the structural components.

As the self-storage industry continues to evolve, more innovation in design and construction components are on the horizon. These new methods will lead to better built facilities that will attract customers and complement city landscapes.

Chip Cordes is vice president of U.S. Door and Building Components, an international supplier of self-storage components, rolling-steel doors, wind-load certified doors, and garage-storage and mezzanine systems. Services include engineering, design, bid take-off and unit-mix layout. For more information, visit

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