Lean-to roof design ideas, inspiration & pictures

What is a lean-to roof?

A lean-to roof is a single slope with its upper edge adjoining a wall or building. A lean-to roof is also known as a sloping roof and it is the most commonly used roof in houses.

What is the lean-to roof used for?

This type of roof is generally used for verandas, building simple extensions, carports and lean to sheds. It is also used for storage building; if a building needs more space, then the roof is built with an existing wall.

The advantages of a lean-to roof

The simple design of the lean to conservatory roof makes it far easier to install then a luscious green roof for example. You may think that building a lean to roof will be cost you a pretty penny, but it’s actually one of the more affordable options. Another benefit of this roof is that water and snow run off it easily during the chilly seasons, so there is no need for added waterproofing. This roof is best for high rainfall and snowfall areas.

Materials needed for a lean-to roof

One of two materials can be used: polycarbonate and glass. While the latter is more expensive, it does have more advantages than the former:

Polycarbonate Conservatory Roofs: This plastic roof material offers decent insulation, and it’s lightweight and cost-effective. There are however some downsides to using this material: it gets dirtier quicker than glass has the limited soundproofing abilities. Hence, this type of material is best used for rooms that won’t be used regularly or for living/entertaining purposes. It is the ideal option for a greenhouse for instance.

Glass Conservatory Roofs: If you’re building a conservatory roof that you will use regularly, such as a veranda, then a glass roof might be the most suitable option. Glass units can be fitted with most types of frames such as uPVC or wood, and it offers good insulation and soundproofing that is superior to polycarbonate. This makes it the perfect choice if you live in a bustling street and you want to block out noise, or if you want to control the temperature of the room.

Planning involved in building a lean-to roof

Consult the local building authorities: This is the first and most important step in the process. You need to gather information such as permits you will require, code prerequisites and property setbacks for storage buildings. This will help you make informed decisions about building your conservatory roof.

Identify underground hazards: Before your start digging, contact a utility location service. They will advise you on whether it’s safe to dig in the area that you are planning your build your lean to roof. Failure to do so could result in digging into an electric line or pipe and you could be held financially liable for this.

Draw up a plan: You need to consider the length and width of your roof, where it will attach to the shed, and building it to withstand harsh weather. Make sure you position the roof so that rain and snow is directed away from the building’s parameter, especially if you live in an area that experiences harsh rainfall and snowfall. Use a simple gutter or downspout drainage piping to prevent pooling at the bottom of structure.

Choose a foundation: A solid foundation is key when it comes to constructing a lean to conservatory. In this step, decide on the materials you will use for the base. Considerations such as your location and climate will determine the type of materials you pick.

Calculate the amount of materials you require: After figuring out how much material you need, work out the total cost of the items. This way you won’t be shocked when you visit your nearest hardware store to purchase them.

Steps for building a lean-to roof

Now that the planning of your structure is sorted, it’s time to get your hands dirty and start the task of building. To make things as easy as possible, we’ve created a step-by-step guide for constructing your roof.

Step 1: Mark the area where you want to build the structure

Step 2: Measure 8 feet from the existing structure towards the outer direction. Now dig a deep hole.

Step 3: Drive the post in and fill the hole with concrete in order to set it in place.

Step 4: From this existing post, measure 3 feet distance in the same line. Then dig a hole and drive the second post in. Repeat this process for the third and fourth post. Be sure to maintain the same distance as before between the posts.

Step 5: Cut out a notch on the top of your posts. This is where the supporting post will rest.

Step 6: Place the supporting posts into the notches.

Step 7: Once this structure is ready attach the metal purlins on the outward side of the installed posts. Nails must be used for this so that it is attached firmly in place.

Step 8: Fasten the nailer on the side of your existing structure. Use high-quality screws to drill in the nailer. You will be attaching the upper end of your rafters on this.

Step 9: Attach two planks on either ends of the nailer by nailing them firmly in, and place them on top of the structure. Add a third plank in the center.

Step 10: Set the roofing material by attaching wooden planks at regular intervals on top of the roof as previously done.

Step 11: Measure out your roofing material and place it over the base roof structure. Screw it in with a drill and nails.

Step 12: Finally, install the trim of your choice as a cover against the side structure. Screw it in with a drill and nails.

What the costs of building a lean-to roof?

The total cost of installing a lean-to roof is difficult to estimate. You need to consider the type of materials you will use and add the costs of contractor and builders’ fees if you plan on using them. As stated above, glass is more costly than polycarbonate, but prices vary per manufacturer. On average, if you’re using a steel base, it costs anywhere between £1,000 and £1,500 for a small to medium lean-to roof. The supply-only cost for a quality, small uPVC full-glass sided lean-to with a polycarbonate roof is £2,000 to £2,500. As far as contractor fees goes, each professional will charge a difference price according to how established they are. It’s worthwhile to request quotes from a few different places before deciding on one.

How long will it take to build a lean-to roof?

Again, this will differ according to a few considerations. If you’re hiring a general contractor and builders, it should take roughly 3-4 weeks to complete. This is of course dependent on the availability of the contractor and builders, and how much time they have to dedicate to the project. If you are planning on building the roof yourself, it may take longer depending on how much building experience you have, if any.