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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Oct 27, 2020 8:00 AM

What is an Ag panel?

Ag panel is a slang term for one of the most popular metal roofing and siding profiles in the construction industry. Post-frame (aka pole barn) buildings and residential metal roofing represent the two largest construction segments for Ag panel usage.

While there may be some minor differences in specifications and details, the drawings below represent the most popular Ag panel profile in use today. The distinguishing feature of this popular Ag panel are ¾” tall major ribs that are spaced 9” on-center.


There are literally hundreds of companies that manufacture Ag panels across the country. While a handful of Ag panel manufacturers are national companies, the vast majority of manufacturers are regional roll formers that service a small geography around their facility.

Unfortunately, many people believe all Ag panels are the same. But, that is far from factual. Available in a wide variety of substrate and coating combinations, Ag panels performance is directly linked to the quality of the Ag panel substrate and coating.

With so many options, what should a homeowner or post-frame building owner do? One piece of advice is to never purchase an Ag panel without asking these three very important questions.

1. What is the substrate?

The substrate, a metallic coating found directly over the steel of a panel and below the coating, is the backbone of a metal panel. The most popular substrates for Ag panels are Galvalume® and galvanized. Since the performance of these two substrates can vary, please be sure to research the performance differences.

2. What is the coating?

If an Ag panel is painted, the paint, or coating, is the key component that provides the long-term curb appeal. Popular Ag panel coatings are Polyester, Silicone Modified Polyester, and PVDF (commonly known by the Kynar 500® trade name). These coatings have a distinct good, better, and best performance rating and should align with the end user’s long-term performance expectations.

3. What is the warranty and what is the remedy limitation?

Field performance and testing are much stronger indicators of quality than warranties. Many AG panel warranties have liability limitations that max-out at the cost of material at the time of purchase. Look for a warranty that also includes labor in the event of a warrantable claim. Simply getting reimbursed for the material cost is not a satisfactory resolution for most consumers.

As consumers, we are regularly presented with good, better, and best buying decisions and we encourage consumers to view metal roofing and siding with the same evaluating lens.

As a comparison, let’s look at lawnmowers. People in the market for a new lawnmower have some decisions to make along the good, better, best matrix. A non-motorized, reel lawnmower could be in the good category by offering a no-frills grass-cutting option. A better lawnmower would be a motorized push mower with a grass discharge chute while the best option would be a self-propelled mower with higher-performance options like mulching or bag catching. 

Lawn mowers without edgeThe same principle holds true with purchasing an Ag panel. The purchasing decision needs to be aligned with the buyer’s performance expectations. 

Fortunately, for an average-sized home or building, the extra investment for the “best” option is typically only a few hundred dollars more.

When that investment is added to the overall cost (labor, other materials, etc.) of the project, the investment often proves to be insignificant. 

Popular McElroy Metal Ag panels include:

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About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: FAQ, Post Frame

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