How to build a lean-to with a tin roof

Written by rick warden
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How to build a lean-to with a tin roof
A lean-to roof is shown on the side of this farm house. (big old barn image by Pix by Marti from

A lean-to shelter is a structure with a roof that slopes in one direction, often attached to an existing building. With the appropriate tools and materials, a 4-by-8 foot lean-to can be built against the side of a house. You can pick the exact same material as your house for the siding or use classic T1-11 siding for the front and side walls.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Metal cutting snips
  • Electric drill with bits
  • Circular saw
  • 2-by-4 inch lumber, 11 pieces 6-foot length and 21 pieces 8-foot length
  • 3/4 Inch plywood, 1 sheet
  • 1/2 Inch plywood, 4 sheets
  • 1- by-4 inch moulding, 56 linear feet
  • Tin roofing sheets for 4-by-8 foot roof
  • Nails
  • ¼ Inch screws for roof
  • Pre-hung double door, 4-by-6 foot

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  1. 1

    Check with the local building department to see if you need a building permit. Then level the ground of a 4-by-8 foot area for the shed and make two rows of three concrete blocks each to form a rectangle 45-by-93 inches. Lay one 2-by-6 inch by 8-foot-long preservative treated board on top of each of the two rows of blocks on-centre.

  2. 2

    Build the shed's wooden base by cutting seven pieces of 2-by-4 inch lumber into lengths of 45 inches. Lay them parallel to each other 16 inches apart on-centre and nail on 93-inch-long pieces at the two butt ends. Cross measure to verify the base is square. Place the frame on top of the blocks and skids and then nail on the 3/4-inch flooring plywood.

  3. 3

    Build the four walls separately out of 2-by-4 inch lumber, beginning with the back wall. Select five wall studs 8 feet long and mitre the top edge of each board 18 degrees. Space the boards side up 2 feet apart and nail 8 foot boards onto the butt ends. Stand the frame vertically in place and nail it down along the bottom plate.

  4. 4

    Hammer together the frame for the front wall with 2-by-4 inch lumber, using 6-foot long pieces for the two vertical supports and 8-foot boards for the top and bottom plates. Add two vertical 6-foot door jambs beginning 2 feet from the wall's edge on both sides and a 51-inch-long doubled header 72 inches above floor level.

  5. 5

    Cut three vertical studs for each of the side walls 81-1/4 inches long. Cut top and bottom plates 41 inches long. Nail to make two frames, mount them and nail them down along the bottom. Once all the walls are verified as square and fitting, screw them together at the corners and nail on plywood siding except for back wall which is not seen.

  6. 6

    Cut five lengths of two-by-fours for roof rafters with a 72 degree angle at the ends and a length of 50-1/2 inches on the top side so the top of the sloped roof fits snugly against the house. Nail the rafters in place adding extra blocking at side walls.

  7. 7

    Nail 1/2-inch CDX plywood onto the roof joists. Nail down roofing felt paper or a plastic barrier and begin tin roof installation at one edge of the roof. Screw down V-crimp tin roof sheets with 1/4-inch screws every 2 feet along the first edge and screw in clips every 18 inches and then fold over the overlapping edges.

  8. 8

    Install a pre-hung double door, add 1-by-4 inch fascia moulding around the doors, under roof edge and at the shed corners and paint as desired.

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