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Sheet metal plays a significant role in the world of mechanical contracting, especially in HVAC systems and material handling with air or gas. While “off-the-shelf” options may seem convenient, there is a lot to gain from opting for custom sheet metal. In this blog, we describe how custom sheet metal should be a key consideration for every mechanical contractor.

Why Custom Sheet Metal Is Crucial for Mechanical ContractorsLarge object made from sheet metal

When it comes to mechanical systems, one size does not fit all. Generic sheet metal often falls short in meeting specific requirements, leading to inefficiencies and increased costs over time. Custom sheet metal, on the other hand, offers a specific solution to fit your project, from energy efficiency to ease of installation.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Custom Sheet Metal


Varied materials like aluminum, stainless steel, or copper have their pros and cons. Industrial applications and commercial applications can differ wildly. Choose the material that suits your project’s specific needs for durability and performance. At Rohde, we are ready to design and build your custom sheet metal with lead times that are as impressive as your project design.


The thickness of the sheet metal can affect its durability and function. When you choose the thickness of your custom sheet metal make sure that it meets the rigidity and thermal properties of your needs. In many cases thicker walls means more weight, make certain you consult with our team to make sure you have the right thickness in your fabricated sheet metal.

Fabrication Technique

Various techniques like bending, cutting, and welding can affect the final product. It is crucial to work with a skilled fabricator who can meet your project’s needs. Work with a skilled fabricator that uses your industrial and commercial specifications to meet your project’s needs. Many contractors fail because they don’t consider the fabrication into their design, when you work with Rohde you will not have to worry about that because we use 5 axis cutting, water jet cutting, and we can spiral up to 36 inch straight ductwork and we know how to fabricate to the standards for your specific application.


Cost is at the heart of every industrial or commercial job. You cannot get around the cost when planning a job. Looking forward into the future helps you to intelligently design your systems. While custom solutions may initially seem slightly more expensive, make sure you know what you are getting because they can provide long-term savings through improved efficiency and reduced need for maintenance.

How to Implement Custom Sheet Metal in Your Projects


Early involvement in project planning allows for better customization options. Detailed blueprints and simulations can help visualize the product. This is true for commercial and industrial sheet metal applications as well. You should get the fabrication design team involved in the beginning; you may be pleasantly surprised with the result of an intelligently designed system. It may save you both time and money.


Going with “off the shelf” or “custom” sheet metal still requires fabrication. Many contractors chose to build their ductwork onsite. Technically this is the standard, however, pre-building your ductwork or sheet metal can save you hours of labor in the field, speeding up construction time and saving money in the process. If you are not figuring in the cost of that labor in your calculations, you will always believe that “off the shelf” ductwork is less costly. When you are doing custom applications like mist removal, scrubbing, or some material handling, fabrication becomes much more critical. Paying someone to learn how to build a complex part will always be more expensive than choosing a vendor that has built complex pieces with high success ratings. When seeking sheet metal sourcing look for certifications, reviews, and past projects to ensure high-quality work. Greater Wisconsin Sheet Metal is such a vendor and they have supplied one-off and highly customized pieces for some of Wisconsin’s most diverse applications such as food production, foundry, and machining.


With the high dollar industrial and commercial applications, installation becomes an area of great concern. Using a contractor who specializes in sheet metal and mechanical can make the difference between a project done on time, and having to re-manufacture an expensive system because the failed installation damaged the parts. If you cannot use the company that designed the system, use the company that built it. Familiarization with the equipment is a vital consideration in selecting the right contractor. In many industrial applications, custom is the only way to go. Designers and business owners are always trying to be innovative, and save capital at the same time, this means items will need to have more capacity and cost less simultaneously. Greater Wisconsin Sheet Metal understands this and saves time and money for its customers by being a fantastic installer and using efficient methods of fabrication.


Custom sheet metal is a reality for all mechanical contractors today. Its importance spans from the planning stage to the final installation, affecting cost-efficiency, functionality, and durability. Custom sheet metal applications are becoming more complicated, because of modern design and functionality trends. Do not forget to consult the experts in industrial and commercial applications, Greater Wisconsin Sheet Metal, we will be here for your most complicated projects, and we are always willing to provide a helping hand with the installation as well.


What materials are available for creating custom sheet metal?

There are several; Galvanized steel, alloy steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and copper are popular choices.

Is custom sheet metal more expensive?

The initial costs may seem higher, but long-term savings can make it a cost-effective solution. Make sure you add the cost of on-site fabrication to get the full cost of the job. Building the entire system in advance and having it delivered may be a cost savings by focusing on installation vs. building the ductwork.

How do I find a reputable sheet metal fabricator?

Depends on what your project requires. If you need food grade stainless, you will need to find a firm with experience with that thickness and finish of metal. If you need to build an air scrubber, you will need to look for someone that can do multiple cuts, bends, and at the right scale. Look for certifications, read reviews, and examine past projects to gauge their expertise. Greater Wisconsin Sheet Metal has experience and industry contacts to be able to manufacture and install the custom sheet metal it produces.

Reach out to Greater Wisconsin Sheet Metal today to learn more about our people, our process, and what makes us the most reliable sheet metal fabrication shop in the area.

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