Working with Corrugated Metal


You've probably seen plenty of photos featuring clever uses of corrugated steel – the kind of material that can be used for just about anything.

Here are just a few of the ways DIYers have turned corrugated steel into something special:

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After seeing those beautiful and functional examples, you're probably feeling the same thing we did: “Awesome! But how do I do that?

Working with corrugated steel isn't hard, and the material isn't too expensive. But what you need more than anything else is the right tools.


Here's how to get started with corrugated steel and make sure you can use it even in an emergency scenario.

Corrugated Metal: The Basics

A first look at corrugated steel shows both the awesome potential it has as well as some challenges DIYers face. Sometimes referred to as roofing tin, steel roofing, or many other names, what gives these sheets of metal its unique shape is its production process. Steel, aluminum, or other materials are rolled through dies that create these unique ripple patterns.

Depending on your needs, you can find corrugated metal sheets in a variety of metals. These include stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and others.

Those ridges give corrugated metal its unique look – and name – but that means it can be difficult to cut without the right tools. (More on this later.)

Benefits of Corrugated Metals

Why would you choose to use corrugated metals instead of straight sheets? What are its benefits?

  • It looks great. With its unique rustic appearance, corrugated metals can be used in a variety of situations and still have an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

  • It has a great strength to weight ratio. This means it's strong enough for most applications without being too heavy.

  • It's corrosion-resistant. Perfect for long-term (decades-long) use.

  • It rolls up well. If you need to move a piece of corrugated metal, you can roll it up for easier transportation.

  • It's relatively cheap. (You can get sheets for $10-$20 each, depending on how big they are.)

  • It's a great material to work with, whether you need to build shelters, planters, and more.

Plus, if you have the right tools, it's very easy to create something durable and functional with corrugated metals.

Tools You Need For Working With Corrugated Metals

In addition to the basic measuring tools you need (such as a tape measure), you'll need to make sure you have a way to cut the corrugated metal. If you're using thinner metals, metal sheers could work. However, according to this post on Chronicle Forum, a thin wheel on an angle grinder works better for cutting steel corrugated sheets than a Sawzall or metal sheers.

You may also want a drill with metal bits to make it easier to put holes in your metal sheets (so you can attach them to wood framing or other sheets).

Corrugated Metal in Emergency Scenarios

So why are we sharing a message about corrugated metal on a prepper website? It's because stocking up on corrugated metal is a smart way to prepare for an emergency.

For example, say a storm blows your roof off. If you have extra sheets in your emergency storage, you can easily build a new temporary roof. You can build just about anything – roofs, walls, and even art – with the right tools and some metal.

DIY Link >>How to make your own corrugated raised beds

Get Some Ideas

If you're looking for more ways to use corrugated metal in your DIY projects (including possible uses in a post-collapse scenario), check out these great projects on Pinterest.

Do you have any uses for corrugated metal you'd like to share? Share them in our comments!

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2 Responses to Working with Corrugated Metal

  1. stephen muwanguzi March 19, 2017 at 8:49 am #

    how can I calculate the embodied energy of one square meter of a corrugated steel wall?

    • David March 28, 2017 at 6:01 pm #

      Hi Stephen, I don’t know how to calculate that! I’d find an engineer to ask. Great question.

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