Frequently Asked Lean-to Shed Questions
by John Coupe
Lean-to Shed FAQ – I get asked a lot of questions about building a lean-to shed and so I have pulled together a lot of these onto one page for you to browse. Hopefully, you can find an answer to your question in amongst these.
If not please visit my Shed Questions page and ask away.
My only request before you do this is to take the time to submit several pictures and write a good summary your problem. I am keen to help but if I just get a one-liner saying - “I need some help with my shed roof!” it takes a lot longer to help you get to the root of the problem and find a solution.
I look forward to hearing from you if you don’t find an answer to your question below:
Click here to post comments
Return to Lean-to Shed Questions.
Lean To Shed
by John Andrews
I have a predicament and hope that your vast shed knowledge can help. For years now my shed has been leaking like a colander all the wood is rotten and there are slugs on the walls, and I have had enough.
I have just got an uncle to donate some wood he had lying around and have decided that this is the year that I replace the roof.
BUT...the shed I have is not a shed.
Confused I hear you say, the shed is built on the end of my house with the kitchen window right above the flat useless roof so a nice apex is out of the question says the wife.
Is there any way that you can put guttering on the wall under the window and flash it in or does that only work if you have four sides to a shed?????????
Please help. You probably will need more info unless you've come across it before? thanks very much.
Lean to shed
Hi John, I want to put up a lean-to shed against the side wall of the house up to the boundary fence with our neighbour. The shed will not be going past the front of the house.
Is this allowed to be done with regard to building regulations?
Many thanks for any assistance.
Thank you for your question.
The rules regarding what can and can’t be built as a storage shed on the grounds of a domestic house vary widely from country to country and in the US from State to State.
However, the general approach to ensure that what you are building is within the rules and won’t be required to be dismantled at a later date are similar wherever in the world you are.
To help you understand this process here's an overview of how the building control system works
The specific regulations will vary but by understanding how the process works you should be able to understand the process better when reading the rules that apply to where you are.
The rules that apply to building any development whether it is a domestic or commercial development are the planning rules. To get permission to build a structure of any house (from a factory to a bridge) the person wanting to initiate the building will need to submit plans/drawings to a local approval authority (often the town or city council).
The drawings should show what they intend to build and how it will fit into the existing neighbourhood. The local authority will then listen to local opinion and rule as to whether the project can go ahead.
Once planning permission has been achieved then the developer will create more detailed plans
These drawings and calculations that will prove how his project complies will all local building standards, laws and regulations. The developer needs to submit these to the local authority to get proof that the building is safe to occupy. The local authority will then issue some documentation proving that the building has Building Regulation approval and is in compliance with building standards. This certificate is often required when the building is sold, as evidence of the building's suitability to a potential purchaser.
When it comes to sheds and other ancillary buildings
There are so many and they are so insignificant in the grand scale of things that there are rules on structures that are classed as Permitted Development. Permitted Development is allowed so that the planning system does not get clogged up with small projects that don’t have much significance in the big picture. If your shed fits within the rules of a permitted development then you can just go ahead and build regardless without the time and expense of a planning application.
One thing to note is that even though your project is a permitted development it may still require Building Regulation approval if the permitted development rules say so.
The rules of what is a permitted development are what you are interested in
The rules of what is a permitted development vary from place to place and are also occasionally revised so I don’t offer the service of saying what is and what is not allowed.
In relation to sheds and permitted development specific point that will be referred to in the rules will be such things as the distance of the shed from the house, the area of the floor plan, the height to the ridge or the eaves.
In your case, the rule that you are concerned about is whether the shed can be built to the side of the house but not forward of the main building line.
There are two approaches to finding out if this is allowed
The first is to do a detailed reading of the rules and if you are certain that your building complies then to go ahead and build.
If you are not certain then I would prepare some outline plans and take them along to the council to show them what you propose to build.
When you do this their verbal assurance may be enough for you however written advice would be preferable in case there is a later dispute. In some areas, you can submit your plans and they will issue a certificate of lawful development.
The certificate of lawful development is cheaper than a full planning application and can be issued much more quickly. It proves that your structure is outside of the planning system and complies with the permitted development rules.
I have prepared some sample shed plans that show the sort of thing that would be suitable to submit to a council so that they could confirm if something is a permitted development or not.
I hope that you found this useful and also that your project can go ahead.
I look forward to seeing pictures once the project is complete. ;-)
All the best
Click here to post comments
Return to Lean-to Shed Questions.
First time lean-to shed build - sealing query
Firstly, great site - I am looking to build my first shed and have gleaned a lot of useful information and guidance from here.
Secondly, my question: I am considering my first build to be a lean-to sharing a wall with the house in order to make the most of the narrow piece of land to the side of my house. How do I ensure that I will successfully seal the shed to the house and not compromise the house or shed with regards to water tightness etc. As a side note, I intend to consult with my local council to fully understand any restrictions/guidelines associated with this (as has been discussed on other threads).
The shed will be a pent roof type and plan to seal the top edge against the house with overlapping flashing, my real area of unknown is the vertical joints where the walls join the house. Is it really as simple as filling the void with putty/sealant? I'm sure there is a more comprehensive method to do this and any advice would be gratefully received.
On a separate point, there will be very little space (circa 100mm) between the outer wall and the neighbouring property, should I be concerned regarding a damp atmosphere in this gap? My intent is to fit guttering to this side of the roof to collect rainwater running off the roof, but I imagine the air will be still a lot of the time and so may remain moist. NOTE: the wall on this side will be pre-treated with a long-term coating (TBC) so will not require access to re-apply whilst I am in the property - that's the plan at least!
Sorry for the wordy post. If you need more information please ask.
10x4 shed off of stucco house
by Paul Tyner
(Oceanside, CA USA)
Hello John, I want to build a shed off of our house that is roughly 10'wide by 4'deep and will give us easy access to our 4 bicycles. I was thinking on each 4' end - we'll need a door and on half of the 10' section a sliding door giving us a 5ft wide slider. Make sense...?
It is on a newer concrete slab and I'd want to use that as the floor. What questions do you have?
Thank YOU for your assistance.
Shed attached to house
I am considering building a garden office on the land to the side of my house it is the old driveway before it was fenced off and a driveway put out the front of the house. The area is approx 6m long x 4m deep at the widest point and 2.5m deep at the narrowest (it is a wedge-shaped plot of land)
I want to know if there are any regulations that say I cannot build on the land without planning permission and importantly can I make the house one wall of the shed?
The other side of the plot is my neighbour's boundary and he has a similar plot on his side of the boundary.
The front of my plot is fenced off from the driveway and not visible from the road. The shed (office) will not be nearer the road than the existing house and will be under 2.5M tall
I am enquiring about the 5M rule (must be 5M away from the house)that I have seen on some sites but is not mentioned on the government's interactive website for planning.
Creating a lean-to on to an existing Gambrel shed
by John Szesnat Sr.
( Altamont, NY)
I am wishing help with building a Lean-to off my existing shed the existing shed (Photo Attached) is 10'x10' and 10'7" high. Need help in designing and with the roof pitch. I would like the lean-to to be as wide 8 to 10 feet and high as possible This a first for building as was the shed. Please, any help would be appreciated.
Thank you for your time and effort in this matter.