Shed Plans & Woodworking

Free Shed Plans: How To Build a Lean-to Shed

The lean-to is a classic outbuilding intended as a supplementary structure for a larger building. Its simple shed-style roof helps it blend with the neighboring structure and directs water away and keeps leaves and debris from getting trapped between the two buildings. When built to a small shed scale, the lean-to (sometimes called a closet shed) is most useful as an easy-access storage locker that saves you extra trips into the garage for often-used lawn and garden tools and supplies.

This lean-to tool bin is not actually attached to the house, though it appears to be. It is designed as a freestanding building with a wooden skid foundation that makes it easy to move. With all four sides finished, the bin can be placed anywhere, but it works best when set next to a house or garage wall or a tall fence. If you locate the bin out in the open—where it won’t be protected against wind and extreme weather—be sure to anchor it securely to the ground to prevent it from blowing over.

As shown here, the bin is finished with asphalt shingle roofing, T1-11 plywood siding, and 1× cedar trim, but you can substitute any type of finish to match or complement a neighboring structure. Its 65″-tall double doors provide easy access to its 18 square feet of floor space. The 8-ft.-tall rear wall can accommodate a set of shelves while leaving enough room below for long-handled tools.

Because the tool bin sits on the ground, in cold climates it will be subject to shifting with seasonal freeze-thaw cycles. Therefore, do not attach the tool bin to your house or any other building set on a frost-proof foundation.

Here is everything you will be needing to start building this shed design.

Blueprints Lean To Shed

Wall Plan
Wall Plan

Side Roof Edge Detail
Side Roof Edge Detail

Side Elevation
Side Elevation

Roof Framing Plan
Roof Framing Plan

Right Side Framing Elevation
Right Side Framing Elevation

Rear Side Framing Elevation
Rear Side Framing Elevation

Rear Elevation
Rear Elevation

Rafter Template
Rafter Template

Overhang Detail
Overhang Detail

Left Framing Elevation
Left Framing Elevation

Front Framing Plan
Front Framing Plan

Front Elevation
Front Elevation

Floor Framing Plan
Floor Framing Plan

Door Jamb Detail
Door Jamb Detail

Door Elevation
Door Elevation

Cutting List Lean-To Bin

1 Foundation
2 Drainage material 0.5 cu. yd. Compactible gravel
3 Skids 2 @ 6' 4 × 4 treated timbers
4 Floor Framing
5 Rim joists 2 @ 6' 2 × 6 pressure-treated
6 Joists 3 @ 8' 2 × 6 pressure-treated
7 Floor sheathing 1 sheet @ 4 × 8 3/4" tongue-&-groove ext.-grade plywood
8 Joist clip angles 4 3 × 3 × 3" × 16-gauge galvanized
9 Wall Framing
10 Bottom plates 1 @ 8', 2 @ 6' 2 × 4

Step 1

Shed Design Plan Step 1

Prepare the site with a 4″ layer of compacted gravel. Cut the two 4 × 4 skids at 70 3/4″. Set and level the skids following FLOOR FRAMING PLAN (find the blueprint above).

Cut two 2 × 6 rim joists at 70 3/4″ and six joists at 44 3/8″.

Assemble the floor and set it on the skids as shown in the FLOOR FRAMING PLAN. Check for square, and then anchor the frame to the skids with four joist clip angles (inset photo). Sheath the floor frame with 3/4″ plywood.

Step 2

Cut plates and studs for the walls: Side walls—two bottom plates at 47 3/8″, four studs at 89″, and four studs at 69″; Front wall—one bottom plate at 63 3/4″, one top plate at 70 3/4″, and four jacks studs at 63 1/2″. Rear wall—one bottom plate at 63 3/4″, two top plates at 70 3/4″, and six studs at 89″.

Mark the stud layouts onto the plates.

Step 3

Shed Design Plan Step 3

Fasten the four end studs of each side wall to the bottom plate.

Install these assemblies.

Construct the built-up 2 × 6 door header at 63 3/4″.

Frame and install the front and rear walls, leaving the top plates off at this time.

Nail together the corner studs, making sure they are plumb.

Install the rear top plates flush to the outsides of the side wall studs.

Install the front top plate in the same fashion.

Step 4

Shed Design Plan Step 4

Cut the six 2 × 6 rafters following the RAFTER TEMPLATE (find the blueprint in the slideshow above).

Cut the 2 × 6 ledger at 70 3/4″ and bevel the top edge at 26.5° so the overall width is 4 5/16″.

Mark the rafter layout onto the wall plates and ledger, as shown in the ROOF FRAMING PLAN (in the slideshow above), then install the ledger flush with the back side of the rear wall. Install the rafters.

Step 5

Shed Design Plan Step 5

Complete the side wall framing: Cut a top plate for each side to fit between the front and rear walls, mitering the ends at 26.5°.

Install the plates flush with the outsides of the end rafters.

Mark the stud layouts onto the side wall bottom plates, then use a plumb bob to transfer the marks to the top plate.

Cut the two studs in each wall to fit, mitering the top ends at 26.5°. Install the studs.

Step 6

Shed Design Plan Step 6

Sheath the side walls and rear walls with plywood siding, keeping the bottom edges 1/2″ below the floor frame and the top edges flush with the tops of the rafters.

Overlap the siding at the rear corners, and stop it flush with the face of the front wall.

Step 7

Shed Design Plan Step 7

Add the 1 × 4 fascia over the bottom rafter ends as shown in the OVERHANG DETAIL (slideshow above).

Install 1 × 8 fascia over the top rafter ends. Overhang the front and rear fascia to cover the ends of the side fascia, or plan to miter all fascia joints.

Cut the 1 × 8 side fascia to length, and then clip the bottom front corners to meet the front fascia. Install the side fascia.

Step 8

Shed Design Plan Step 8

Install the 1/2″ roof sheathing, starting with a full-width sheet at the bottom edge of the roof.

Fasten metal drip edge along the front edge of the roof. Cover the roof with building paper, then add the drip edge along the sides and top of the roof.

Shingle the roof, and finish the top edge with cut shingles or a solid starter strip.

Step 9

Shed Design Plan Step 9

Cut and remove the bottom plate inside the door opening.

Cut the 1 × 4 head jamb for the door frame at 57 1/8″ and cut the side jambs at 64″.

Fasten the head jamb over the sides with 2 1/2″ deck screws. Install 1 × 2 door stops 3/4″ from the front edges of jambs, as shown in the DOOR JAMB DETAIL (slideshow above).

Install the frame in the door opening, using shims and 10d casing nails.

Step 10

For each door, cut six 1 × 6 tongue-and-groove boards at 63 3/4″.

Fit them together, then mark and trim the two end boards so the total width is 27 5/8″.

Cut the 1 × 6 Z-brace boards following the DOOR ELEVATION (slideshow above).

The ends of the horizontal braces should be 1″ from the door edges.

Attach the braces with construction adhesive and 1 1/4″ screws. Install each door with three hinges.

Step 11

Shed Design Plan Step 11

Staple fiberglass insect mesh along the underside of the roof from each side 2 × 6 rafter.

Cut and install the 1 × 8 trim above the door, overlapping the side door jambs about 1/4″ on each side (see the OVERHANG DETAIL blueprint above).

Step 12

Shed Design Plan Step 12

Rip vertical and horizontal trim boards to width, then notch them to fit around the rafters, as shown in the DOOR JAMB DETAIL (see slideshow above).

Notch the top ends of the 1 × 10s to fit between the rafters and install them.

Add 1 × 8 trim horizontally between the 1 × 10s below the door. Install the 1 × 4 corner trim, overlapping the pieces at the rear corners.


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