Advice wanted on lean-to wood shed

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ChillyNoMore

Member
Hearth Supporter
Dec 15, 2009
52
WA state
I have found lots of great info on this forum on how to build a standalone wood shed. Unfortunately, I don't have space for a freestanding shed, but I think I can squeeze some wood storage right next to the garage. Perhaps 15' long by 4' deep and 5' high (the height limit is driven by a window on the garage wall.

I'm looking for advice on how to build something simple and not too expensive. I have salvaged concrete blocks from removing a chimney that I can use for the base. I'm figuring 4"x4" posts at the outside corners set into prefab concrete footings, but what additional supports are needed on the sides and garage wall? For the roof, can I use some corrugated plastic panels that I have on hand? If so, how do you attach them so they won't blow off in the Columbia River Gorge winds? Does the wood need to be held off the garage wall siding (cedar board & batten) to keep pests from migrating out of the wood? Any other tips?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, but thanks in advance, especially for any pictures!
 
A leanto wood shed is just a roof. Since you are talking about jutting out only four feet, it is a very small roof at that. Therefore your structural needs are rather minimal. While 4x4 corner posts may be more than you really need, too much is always enough, so go with it. Plan on a post in the center as well to simplify construction and reduce material size. Pitch (angle) the roof a bit. The more you angle the roof, the stronger it will effectively be, but the less useful. Derive a good compromise. Use a length of (preferably) pressure treated 2x4 as a ledger against your garage wall. Bolt it throught the wall, into every stud with two 3/8"x 5" lag bolts. Use a 2x6 for the the outside edge. Use 4' long 2x4s as rafters. Joist hangers would simplify construction enough to justify the cost. If you decide to use joist hangers, buy them first. The plastic covering would be fine, especialy if you already own it. Since you are in a large wind load area, cast metal straps into your concrete footings and bolt them to your three posts. Use plenty of screws to hold down the roofing. The roofing will last longer if you can find screws with built in rubber washers.
 
Dune said:
A leanto wood shed is just a roof. Since you are talking about jutting out only four feet, it is a very small roof at that. Therefore your structural needs are rather minimal. While 4x4 corner posts may be more than you really need, too much is always enough, so go with it. Plan on a post in the center as well to simplify construction and reduce material size. Pitch (angle) the roof a bit. The more you angle the roof, the stronger it will effectively be, but the less useful. Derive a good compromise. Use a length of (preferably) pressure treated 2x4 as a ledger against your garage wall. Bolt it throught the wall, into every stud with two 3/8"x 5" lag bolts. Use a 2x6 for the the outside edge. Use 4' long 2x4s as rafters. Joist hangers would simplify construction enough to justify the cost. If you decide to use joist hangers, buy them first. The plastic covering would be fine, especialy if you already own it. Since you are in a large wind load area, cast metal straps into your concrete footings and bolt them to your three posts. Use plenty of screws to hold down the roofing. The roofing will last longer if you can find screws with built in rubber washers.

Great answer Dune. Useful, simple and just what the OP was looking for I'm guessing.

This is why I love this place.
 
I think Dune's plan sounds good. I would probably dig post holes and set my posts into concrete in the ground. Treated lumber posts will last a long time in the ground - more than long enough for a wood shed.
 
Thank you, Dune and WoodDuck for your quick and helpful replies! I agree with WoodPileOCD that this place is fantastic!

I have a few more questions, if you don't mind...

Where the ledger attaches to the house, should I cut out the 1"x4" battens so the ledger lies flat against the cedar boards? Or just attach the ledger on top of the battens, leaving a 3/4" gap between the ledger and the house? (I know that in deck building, you normally cut all the siding away, but that seems like overkill.)

What is the best way to attach the 2"x6" members to the vertical posts? Rabbet the top of the 4"x4" posts or just lag bolt to the side of the posts? (Again, I'm thinking of how decks get built, but I will never stand on this roof!)

Can I get away with 24" o.c. rafter spacing? The corrugated plastic panels are 25" wide by 78" long, with the ridges running long wise. I hate to cut them down but if I make the wood pile deeper than 4', I'm figuring the stuff against the garage will never dry.

For connector hardware, joist hangers at the ledger and hurricane ties at the front?

The concrete blocks for the base are 17"x7-1/2"x3-3/4". Do I embed them in the ground an inch or two? Do I need to put anything under the blocks to minimize the moisture coming up from the dirt?

Should all the lumber be pressure treated or just the ledger? I have a lot of salvaged untreated wood which would be great to re-use if possible. Then again, I don't want the thing rotting out in just a few years. This part of the country gets something like 80 inches of rain a year!

Thanks for reading and for taking the time to respond!
 
Can you sister to the existing rafters inside the garage and get away without posts/footers?
 
Solarandwood -- Not sure how I would do that. The garage rafters overhang the wall by about a foot. Tell me more about what you are suggesting...
 
My thought was to cut the siding around the rafters so that you can slide a same size piece of lumber along the rafter with significant overlap of the existing rafter. Just make it long enough so that you can leave 4' hanging out, run a sub fascia across the end of them, sheet it and roof it to match the garage. It all depends on the pitch of your existing roof, grade outside, etc if it would work out or not. My two sheds are cantilevered. Posts aren't the end of the world, but its nice if you can get away without them.
 
That's an interesting idea, SolarandWood. Unfortunately, the roof is almost flat (2:12) and is covered with 3-ply BUR so it would be tricky to incorporate an extension. Also, this is the west side of the garage and most of our storms come from the west, so I was hoping to have a structure to attach a tarp to when it is really bucketing. Sometimes it rains so hard, you would think you were in a carwash!
 
Here is how I did it, I finally got sick and tired of using tarps for the past 20 years and always having wet wood that would never dry as the result. Ignore the two right angle pieces in the front with the 45 degree braces- those are nothing to do with the wood shed- was just storing those there for the time being.

Anyway, you could build yours the same way either free standing next your house or attach it using a ledger board as you suggest, except you would have to pitch it the opposite way (toward opening) so to shed water away from the house foundation. There are advantages and disadvantages to attaching to the house- either way is ok to do depending on your local codes. Mine is 16' deep by 24' long, having 3 bays each as seen in photo. About 7' tall in front and slopes to about 4.5-5' in back. Snow sticks to roof at this slope, but built strong enough to handle it. The way I run it I have one bay drying, one bay already dry, and one bay to store splitter and kids outside toys, etc. I burn wood 24/7 all winter and I use only a bit over one bay, using Lopi Liberty. You should be able to see the detail on how I built it- used 4x4 or similar round posts going into the ground down below frost (doesn't matter here anyway cause all sand soil, no frost action). Lagged everything together or used deck screws. Frame is 2x8, rafters are 2x6. Corrugated steel roofing. side slats were just some old oak fencing boards I had laying around or 2x6 material. Was pretty easy to build myself and doesn't look too bad. Didn't have a pre-made plan, just figured it out as I went. Should have gotten a bit longer metal roof lengths but otherwise wouldn't change anything. May not be fancy enough to attach to a house but you could dress it up however you like.
 

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ChillyNoMore said:
Thank you, Dune and WoodDuck for your quick and helpful replies! I agree with WoodPileOCD that this place is fantastic!

I have a few more questions, if you don't mind...


Can I get away with 24" o.c. rafter spacing? The corrugated plastic panels are 25" wide by 78" long, with the ridges running long wise. I hate to cut them down but if I make the wood pile deeper than 4', I'm figuring the stuff against the garage will never dry.


The concrete blocks for the base are 17"x7-1/2"x3-3/4". Do I embed them in the ground an inch or two? Do I need to put anything under the blocks to minimize the moisture coming up from the dirt?


Thanks for reading and for taking the time to respond!

As far as the rafter spacing goes, the corrugated plastic panels are designed to run perpendicular to their supports so I think technically they are run over "purlins" like pictured in Wi_wood shed. Rafters 24" OC would be fine if you have at least 1x2's running crosswise over top or just run purlins between the rafters that go to each post as Wi_wood. Nice shed by the way!

If you have the room, feel free to make it deeper, just hold that back row of wood 6" off the garage wall. Wind at any angle to the garage wall will be deflected along the back side and will dry from that side as well as long as your side wall is open at the back. The back rows won't get the sun but as you know there ain't much to get around here anyway! You'll also appreciate the extra overhand even if you don't stack the wood to the front. And if you use the 2 bay method you won't suffer from first in, last out.

And yes, do use a vapor barrier under your blocks, especially around here. Think of the ground as a sponge with a constant source of moisture, which it is, and you want to separate them just like all the houses around here with crawl spaces. IMO it's the most neglected part of seasoning wood on this forum and it reduces humidity levels, lowering the EMC especially when air is still. Just make sure the ground is sloped away from house so any moisture that blows in can drain out. If you have gutters on that side of your house make sure the down spouts direct the water away as well.

Good luck, take pictures and share :)
 
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