The leanto shed is truly the Swiss army knife of outdoor buildings. Following the right leanto design will serve nearly any purpose you can throw at it. Leanto plans can help you build a structure that will fit into almost any space, whether traditionally attached to another structure or standing alone.
In its simplest form, leanto sheds are two or three-sided structures built as add-ons to standing buildings, open in the front, with a single section of sloping roof. The concept doesn’t get any simpler!
Their purpose is simple – keep contents out of the elements. Protecting firewood or garden equipment are examples of simple leanto applications, but this shed type can be any size and incorporate virtually any features you can think up. Here are some keys to think about before implementing your leanto plans:
Select a location for your leanto. Typically, this is the side of an existing structure. For free-standing leanto plans on the market, any convenient open space will work fine. When attaching to an existing structure, just make sure you can add the leanto without damaging the existing wall. Knowing something about the internal structure of the standing building is helpful.
This is almost a non-issue if you choose to build or add a free-standing leanto shed. In this case, your main challenge is snugging it to the existing structure and tying it on for added stability. Again, use some common sense on how yo fix it to the existing wall.
Select the best material for your situation. Wood is generally the first and cheapest option, and using recycled wood makes it even cheaper. This is also a great chance to go “green” and get creative at the same time. If matching your add-on to the existing structure isn’t a priority, vinyl or plastic siding designs are available for increased durability. This is especially true when using a kit or buying a ready-made shed.
Keep maintenance in mind. Wood has the classic look, but requires initial and then periodic sealing and painting. Frequency will depend on climate and your need for change. Vinyl and plastic siding offer a maintenance-free surfaces and may be the best option for property owners who relish a set-and-forget application.
Find leanto plans you can do yourself. Workable DIY projects hinge on your personal skills (and your friend’s!). If you’re like me, this means a detailed plan that will take all the mystery and confusion out of the process. The Internet is a good place to view a lot of leanto applications quickly and to get a clear sense of what your project involves.
Select the design that matches your intended use and need for space. Avoid getting seduced by fancy plans and applications – leantos are meant to be simple solutions. But if you do want to add more, try and stay with what fits the design. Avoid letting the option overwhelm your original intent – you’ll definitely save money!
Also, check with your local building supply provider for recommendations on materials and kits, and on any available examples in your area you check out on your own.
Add the details that work for you. This can mean using the same roofing material and painting it the same color as the structure it “leans” on. Or if adding doors or windows, use the same style. Locking doors are always an option for added security.
Finally, always have a plan and follow it. Check local building codes and covenants for applicable restrictions – there are rarely any good surprises at this point! A sturdy leanto will provide years of dependable service and doing it yourself will make it all the sweeter.
And have fun! There are leanto plans for every occasion and intended use (remember the beauty of the Swiss army knife!). Leantos are the most unique of shed designs because of their adaptability – add-on or free-standing – and their relatively quick construction timelines. Always a winner!