Quick Fix: Secondary Framing and Hole Misalignment

Secondary Framing

mr quick fix secondary framing

Are the holes in your secondary framing not lining up? If so, don’t fret. It’s a common problem with an easy fix. But let’s start by walking through secondary framing.

Secondary framing helps support the wall and roof panels of a metal building. It consists of purlins and girts, which create the skeleton of the building by attaching to rafters and columns. Purlins are the members in the roof. Girts are the members in the wall. And both purlins and girts have holes punched through the web. It’s these holes that might give you a headache when they don’t line up properly.

So to avoid a misalignment problem with your connection holes, when putting those members together, make sure to alternate the direction of the laps. One of the two has to flip over 180 degrees in order to “nest” within the other. By turning them in opposite directions, they will lap together.

Here’s how it looks when attempting to lap the same flange width. Notice that the holes do not align and that it needs to be flipped.

hole misalignment detail

A small, triangle shaped hole punched near the end on each secondary member indicates the direction of the large flange. The larger flange fits over the smaller flange.

If you try to force fit the two members together, the holes will not line up and you’ll end up nesting equal flanges that will result in a gap between the two flanges—and you don’t want that gap. So don’t force anything. Flip your members around until they line up properly, and then you’re off and running.

So that’s my Quick Fix for the week! Have questions? Comments? Want more details? Just send me a comment below, and stay tuned for more quick fixes to keep your job on schedule, on budget, and on the move.

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Star Building Systems

Founded in 1927, Star Building Systems has seen and done it all, from supplying tool sheds for oil derrick drilling sites in the early oil boom days to hangar buildings during World War II. We set the industry standard for innovation and technology. Most importantly, we have the best builders in the business.


  • Avatar
    Reply February 8, 2016


    You guys failed to mention that the flanges are different widths this will affect the ability to line up.

    • Star Building Systems
      Reply February 10, 2016

      Star Building Systems

      You are correct about the two flange width, nesting equal flanges results in a problem. There is a need for a larger and smaller flange for it to properly fit and line up. Thanks for the feedback.

  • Avatar
    Reply February 9, 2016

    Calvin Williamson

    yeah that works great when they are punched right

    • Star Building Systems
      Reply February 12, 2016

      Star Building Systems

      This post was created to discuss unequal flanges. The punching alignment can be a whole other problem that happens in tooling, for which we will have other posts in the future of what to do when holes do not align and how to correct. Stay tuned!

  • Avatar
    Reply March 23, 2016

    Donald Scott

    I’m building a Star Building in my backyard. There is a Railroad Track that backs up to my property. The Track is probably within 50 yards of the Building. The effect of the Trains each day is like a small Earthquake for a few minutes with vibration.

    Although not specified, should I use Lock Washers or LocTite on the Structural Fasteners?

    Thanks, Don

    • Star Building Systems
      Reply March 24, 2016

      Star Building Systems

      Hey Donald, provided the bolts have been properly tensioned, then lock tight or burring the treads is a good measure against the effects of vibration. Also, a periodic inspection to see if any bolt connections have loosened would be required to ensure the measure is holding. If you have additional questions feel free to call Star at 800-879-7827 and ask for Cary Barger, he will be happy to discuss further!

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