When storage space in the old tool shed is at a premium, it's time to plan for expansion. The lean-to has been a popular option for adding extra space for as long as storage buildings have been around. Sometimes called "wings" in some areas, the lean-to can be enclosed for dry storage or left open as a handy parking space for the tractor or other equipment.
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Things you need
- Metal roof material
- Post hole digger
- Tape measure
- 5 x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) studs
- 5 x 15 cm (2 x 6 inch) studs
- Framing nails
- Lag bolts
Fasten a stud along the top of the shed's exterior wall where the lean-to will be built. The stud must be placed below the overhanging roof on the shed. Fasten the stud to the shed's frame using lag bolts.
Measure the distance from the shed's wall to mark the width for the lean-to. Measure the distance from the front corner, the middle, and the back corner of the shed to establish a square.
Dig holes for the corner posts at each corner. Holes should be one-quarter as deep as the post is long. A 3.6 m (12 foot) post should end up with 90 cm (3 feet) buried in the hole. Set the corner posts and cement them into place. Secure the posts upright using 5 x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) studs. Depending on the length of the lean-to, set intermediate posts between the corners in a straight line. The type and weight of the roofing material to be used will determine how many additional intermediate posts will be needed. Typically a post should be set for every 3 m (10 feet). These posts should also be cemented into place.
Determine the desired pitch of the roof being placed atop the lean-to. About 15 cm (6 inches) of drop for every 3 m (10 feet) is usually adequate for a lean-to. If the width of the lean-to is 3 m (10 feet), attach a stud along the outside of the posts, 15 cm (6 inches) lower than the stud previously attached to the shed's wall.
Cut the rafters from 5 x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) studs and fasten them in place between the shed and posts to the headers. Evenly space the rafters along the entire length of the lean-to between 40 ans 50 cm (16 and 20 inches) apart.
Attach the metal roof material to the rafters using self-tapping roofing screws with rubber grommets. The rubber grommets will help to prevent leaks. With the roof installed, the lean-to can be left open for parking equipment under, or enclosed to provide a dry storage area.
Tips and warnings
- For a small lean-to, 5 x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) rafters and studs are adequate. For larger sheds, 5 x 15 cm (2 x 6 inch) rafters and studs should be used.
- Pressure-treated lumber and creosote posts will last much longer than untreated posts and timber.
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