Erecting a lean-to shed can be a great use of space, particularly if you have a narrow passageway or side return in your garden. You can either make it from scratch or adapt a self-assembly shed, effectively splitting it in half. There are also some garden shed suppliers who produce lean-to models, although there isn’t the range of choices and options that you get with free-standing sheds.
The Side Return
Side returns are those alleys at the sides of kitchens that are a feature of suburban terraced houses built at the beginning of the last century, and there’s a lot of them around. The advantage of a lean-to shed is that you have a long, narrow shed in that space, where a full-size one would simply not fit.
In addition, many side returns are already concreted over, so there’s a good chance you can put the shed straight down on that. There’s then no need to build the concrete or slab base that many a garden building will require. And as the wall takes some of the support, you don’t have to be too picky about the state of the concrete, just as long as it’s reasonably level.
If you don’t have a property with a side return it will be limited space that attracts you to a lean-to shed. It might be the only option you can fit in without obscuring a neighbour’s view, or perhaps the garden is steep and you only have a narrow flat section next to the house.
The advantages of making it yourself is that you can customise the layout and shape to your heart’s content. You may find that local suppliers will sell you the side panels and door frame and fittings from one of their shed range, which will be a great head start. You can then assemble a frame of batten and attach the made-up panels to it.
Companies that are importing from the Far East are less likely to do this. Their sheds come in complete kits so they would have to break one up to give you what you need.. In that case the only thing you can do is buy the complete shed and hope to reuse most of the parts you don’t need somewhere else.
Buying a Lean-To Shed
Ready-made lean-to sheds come in kit form, some of them assembled by the supplier’s team of fitters. They come in wood, metal or plastic and are a variety of sixes, but few of them are wider than three or four feet.
One of the advantages of buying a lean-to shed is that it will probably have a back wall made of the same material as the rest of the shed. If you are making one yourself, either from shed bits or from scratch, then the temptation is to use the wall you are attaching to as the back wall.
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do this as long as you can seal the top, where the roof meets the wall, against the elements. But having the extra wall gives an extra layer of insulation and will keep the temperature of the shed slightly higher. This may or not matter, depending on what you want to store in the shed and how you want to use it.
So there you have it, a quick run-down on the pros and cons of lean-to sheds and how they fit in to the great world of garden buildings. There’s nothing wrong with having a bit of support now and then and why should sheds be any different?