- Circular saw
- ¾-inch plywood
- Tar paper
Giving your pastured livestock a place to get out of the elements is important. Constantly bringing individual animals into an enclosed stall is unproductive for breeding situations, and pasture life is actually a much healthier living situation for retired animals when possible. A lean-to is one of the simplest buildings to erect and yet provides adequate shelter for pastured horses or other livestock. It can even be erected by a single person and requires very little equipment and materials.
Plan your site and clear the ground of sod, making sure it is as level as possible. Sink 4-by-4 posts at least 6 feet in the ground at all four corners. The rear corners should stand at least 5 feet above ground, and the front corners should be 6 feet above ground.
The size of your lean-to is completely up to you and can be adjusted by simply adding 4-by-4 upright supports every 8 feet between the designated corners along both the front and rear sides. It is best not to have a lean-to deeper than 16 feet without actual roof trusses for stability. For a lean-to 8 feet deep, the front and rear corner posts are plenty for support. If you desire a deeper lean-to, place one additional support post in the middle of your side wall.
Frame in the sides and back of your lean-to with 2-by-4s running one along the bottom, one along the top at the level of the rear post and one in the middle of the walls.
Skeleton diagram for 8-by-16-foot lean-to
Attach one 2-by-4 on an angle from the top of the front corner post down to the top of the rear corner post on each side of the lean-to and on each supporting post in the middle if you have a lean-to wider than 8 feet.
Attach 2-by-4 braces along the width of the room from side to side every 2 feet from top to bottom for a roof brace that will hold up under the weight of rain and snow.
Starting at ground level, cover the sides and rear of the lean-to with ¾-inch plywood set width-wise from post to post and nail firmly to the frame. Above the first piece of siding (plywood), cut a second piece to fit along the roofline and nail firmly to the frame on sides and rear of the lean-to.
Attach ¾-inch plywood to the roof, nailing firmly to the braces. Cover the roof with tar paper and shingle. Paint the sides if desired, and your lean-to is ready to provide shelter to your horses or other livestock.
TIPS AND WARNINGS
- TIP : For a longer-lasting siding, you can also attach aluminum or vinyl siding to your lean-to over the plywood to help prevent wood damage by weather and livestock. Horses and other livestock may chew wood and plywood siding, but it is also cheaper and easier to replace than aluminum and vinyl siding.