How to Build a Lean-To Shed

| December 22, 2010 | Comments (0)

How to Build a Lean-To Shed

Per its name, the structure simply leans against the house or garage for additional support and provides a water-safe haven for gardening tools, sports equipment, compact outdoor furniture, or anything else you want to shield from the elements.

Build lean-to garden shed parts


  • Because the shed is designed to abut to another structure, the foundation need only be pressure-treated skids, the roof pitched in only one direction to shed water, and the back wall sheathed with 1/2-inch CDX plywood, which withstands indirect exposure to moisture.
  • However, if this will be a freestanding shed, the foundation should be concrete piers or poured footings and the back wall should be sheathed just as the other three walls, with exterior-rated T1-11 siding.


  • The shed shown here is 6 feet long by 4 feet wide, making a change in its dimensions— longer or wider—a matter of easy arithmetic.
  • To construct the framing for the floor, cut two pressure-treated 2 by 4s to a length of 6 feet for the rim joists. Then position six 45-inch-long floor joists between the rim joists 16 inches on center (with the exception of the last one, as shown in the floor joist detail below). Attach them with 16d nails. Build garden shed floor framing Cut two pressure-treated 4 by 4s to a length of 6 feet for the skids. Position the frame on the skids, and when square, toenail the floor joists to the skids.
  • Attach 3/4-inch tongue-and-groove plywood flooring onto the frame.

The walls for the shed are constructed separately and then raised onto the frame.

  • Start with the back wall, which is 8 feet high, with 6-foot-long top and bottom plates and four studs placed 18 inches on center. The tops of the wall studs are mitered at 18 degrees. Attach the wall to the floor frame and temporarily brace it.
  • The front wall has a 6-foot-long top plate and two 1-foot-long bottom plates, leaving space for a 4-foot-wide door. The four wall studs are 81 1/4 inches long; install as shown in the front framing detail below. Next, install the 73-inch-long jack studs and then attach the 51-inch-long doubled header. Finally, attach the 6 1/4-inch-long cripple studs.
  • Raise the front wall, attach it to the floor, and temporarily brace it.
  • Build garden shed rafter framing.  The side walls have top and bottom plates 41 inches long and studs 81 1/4 inches tall. Raise them, attach them to the floor, and temporarily brace if needed. When all wall sections are square, attach them at the corners with screws.

The frame of the roof consists of four 2-by-4 rafters cut so that they rest on the front- and rear- wall top plates, as shown in the rafter detail above. Install a gable stud directly over the center studs on both side walls to fit between the end rafter and the top plate. Install the sub-fascia and then the fascia to the front ends of the rafters.

  • Build garden shed framing4 Position pieces of T1-11 siding on the front and sides of the shed so that they are flush with the bottom of the rim joists. Attach the siding with 8d galvanized nails spaced every 8 inches.
  • Cover the rear wall with 1/2-inch CDX plywood from the bottom of the rim joists to the tops of the rafter ends.
  • Sheath the rafters with 1/2-inch CDX plywood; stagger the joints so that none end up on a rafter. Nail in place with 6d nails. Attach rake trim to cover the exposed edges of the roof sheathing, and install drip edging. Roll out 15-pound roofing felt, and apply the shingles.

Construct the doors from pieces of T1-11 siding, and trim them out with 1 by 3. Add cross trim in the centers of both doors and install the door latches. Use strap hinges to attach the doors.

Things you will need;

  • Plywood
  • Concrete piers
  • Screws
  • Strap hinges
  • Nails

Category: How to Build a Lean-To Shed

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