Free plans, diagrams, and step-by-step instructions for building a simple 4-by-6-foot outdoor shed. Step-by-step instructions, too!

Have you been longing for a shed where you can store lawn and garden equipment, sports equipment, compact outdoor furniture, and miscellaneous tools and supplies? When inconspicuous, functional storage is all you’re looking for, a lean-to shed is the perfect solution.

Per its name, the structure simply leans against the house or garage for additional support and provides a water-safe haven for shielding gear from the elements. If you have moderate do-it-yourself skills and tools, this is a weekend project. If you decide it’s more than you bargained for, check out these convenient lean-to shed kits on Amazon.

Lean-to shed provides simple shelter for yard gear and more. Photo: Sunset
Lean-to shed provides simple shelter for yard gear and more.

Browse Tools for This Project on Amazon
Combination Squares
Power Circular Saws
4-Foot Levels
16-Foot Tape Measures
Framing Nailers
Pancake Air Compressors

 

Storage Shed Design

Because the shed is designed to abut to another structure, the foundation need only be pressure-treated skids, the roof pitched in only one direction to shed water, and the back wall sheathed with 1/2-inch CDX plywood, which withstands indirect exposure to moisture. See Anatomy of an Outdoor Shed or Playhouse for more about typical shed construction.

Sunset’s Sheds & Garages offers many plans for many types of outdoor structures. Just click to order at Amazon.

Plan Modifications

It isn’t a requirement that this shed be built against a wall—but the structure is designed to take advantage of the wall for strength. So if you modify it to be a freestanding shed, you’ll need to build a conventional stud wall across the back and face it with the same type of plywood siding used on the rest of the shed. For information on how to mark, cut, and fasten wall studs, see How to Frame an Interior Wall (ignore the part about working with drywall because you’ll be using exterior-rated T1-11 siding instead).

For a freestanding shed, you can build the shed on top of a concrete slab (see Pouring a Concrete Slab) instead of the pressure-treated skids and floor joists; this will actually result in a sturdier—more permanent— structure. Otherwise, for a freestanding shed, the foundation should be constructed on concrete piers or poured footings (see Pouring Concrete Footings & Piers).  Be aware that building on footings will raise the height of the shed up from the ground.

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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years as a remodeler and builder, Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort