Adding a Softcover Structure to Another Building

There are two ways of adding a structure to the side of a building. It can be done as a lean-to (half structure) that goes parallel to the building and up to the eave, or it can be a complete building at 90 degrees to the existing building. This article applies to the latter option.

When considering attaching an MSS structure at 90 degrees to another building, there are some important considerations to be mindful of before the purchase.

The first is that these buildings are almost always considered high humidity (especially when it is a greenhouse). This means that you will be subjecting that wall to a higher level of moisture. Extra waterproofing should be considered. This high level of humidity should be an extra concern if the intent is to use the warm air as a source of heat for the solid building.

The other thing to bear in mind is the potential snow shedding patterns from the bigger building roof. If the height difference is more than 2’, measures should be implemented to slow the process of shedding snow. Without slowing the rate that the snow comes off the taller building, the force of the impact could be triple or quadruple the weight of the actual snow.

If there is a likelihood of significant snow levels being shed, we recommend reducing the rib spacing of the first 12’ of the building. Going from 4’ to 3’ spacing will increase the strength by 1/3. Going from 3’ to 2’ is a 50% increase in strength. This will give your building the added strength for the impact of shedding snow and the volume that would potentially be on the roof.

The third thing that needs to be considered is how the cover will be fastened to your shelter at the wall. For a stand-alone building, you would be on a ladder or platform off the end but this is not possible if the end hoop is right against the wall.

One option is to have the first hoop about 2’ from the wall and then cover that section with something solid (plywood, sheet metal, Lexan, etc.). This will give you a place to crawl up and secure the cover into the wirelock.

Another option would have you put the first hoop about ½” to 1” from the wall. The wirelock channel would be installed on the underside of that hoop. During the cover installation, you would slide the cover through the gap and then wrap the cover around to the bottom. The wire inserts would be installed from the underside. This option is a little more tricky when doing the double plastic cover. After the cover is installed, the gap can be filled with square foam strips which are available at the building centers. Extra care must be exercised to protect the cover from bolt heads and nuts.

The third option would be to install the structure as per normal but about 1’ from the wall. The covering would be done as usual and once this is complete, the building would be slid up against the wall. This process is a bit risky since the building is not secured to the anchors for a short period. The longer the building is, the more challenging this option is.

The last challenge which needs some attention has to do with the method of ventilation which will be used. Typical ventilation flows through the building. In this scenario, ventilating though the building would also mean that you have to go through the attached building. It can be done, but you would be best to get some additional advice on the process.

If roll-up sides are going to be used, it must be noted that the attached building will interfere with proper airflow.

The challenge with using forced ventilation is “where does the air get into the building. It would be best to create a sketch of the building with thoughts as to what you intend to do. We will use our experience to advise you.

It is important to understand and work through these challenges before you purchase. We are here to advise.

Featured Application: Garages & Small Storage

Tired of brushing snow off your car or having your snow blower and other equipment covered in snow? Do you have a permanent garage attached to your home that is too full to park your car in? We have your Shelter Solution!

cathedral building with truck inside

We have cathedral buildings if you are parking a larger vehicle such as a truck or RV, and roll up doors for easier access

leanto in winter

We also have lean-tos if space is more limited. See more information on our Lean-To page

high profile with tractors stored inside

The above picture is a 20’ x 48’ x 12’ high profile structure which is being used for maintenance equipment storage on a well know golf course. Since all of the equipment is used on a daily basis, the customer chose to go with open ends. This basically created a drive through shed. Not only is this shelter profile a very simple cover during inclement weather, it also provides cover for those involved with maintenance of the equipment. The structure was initially built on beams to simplify future relocation. The present location was convenient for the present but not the permanent location.  The high profile shape was chosen both for the interior side height and the ability this shape has to shed snow.

See more details at our Garage and Small Storage Page

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March Features *So Many Applications! & Who We Are*

If you’re wondering a little bit about Multi Shelter Solutions and who we are, what our values are, and our process to help you find your shelter solution, we wanted to share a few articles this month so you can get to know us.

Why Choose Us?
This page has a bit about Norm’s history and the experience and approach that we have to every project that comes to us from you! It includes our video series on Values as well as a link to the video of Norm’s Greenhouses 101 presentation. “We don’t sell you a greenhouse, we help you buy one!”

Don’t take our word for it, here’s what others are saying!
We have been so grateful for the encouraging words and testimonials that people have shared about their experiences with us, on all our social platforms, on the phone and in emails. We wanted to honour those and share them with you in one place. If you have any to add, feel free to reach out and we will share yours too!

We want to help you find your shelter solution…here’s why!
This page is an overview of why we do what we do and how. Similar to Why Choose Us? it goes into a bit more depth

We have a number of resources on our website to share all the ways and applications which Multi Shelter buildings can be used. Norm has been in the industry for over 45 years and often says there isn’t much he hasn’t seen, and loves the challenge of coming up with new solutions for creative applications.

We have done a flying building to help an apartment building construction, a building over a boat sailing on the St. Lawrence over winter, a round building for a creative workshop area…as well as all the standard uses we have!

Applications Page & Various Ideas and Options

Profiles & Space Requirements
This page discusses the various heights in from the side you can roughly expect from our buildings to help you plan. We don’t bend any steel before we get an order, so this can be slightly adjusted as well if your requirement doesn’t fall within the chart. Please contact Norm for these custom cases we can do, for no additional charge. It also discusses the shapes and pros and cons of each. Stay tuned to this page later this month for a video from Norm explaining this further

We would love to discuss your project with you and how a Multi Shelter can help fit what you need. Have a look around our site for information and pricing, as well as the descriptions of what Multi Shelters values and how we work with you on your project. We look forward to hearing from you!

As part of our new monthly giving back initiative, $240 from structure purchases in February has been donated to Foodbanks Canada

In March we are supporting Breakfast Club Canada with a portion of every purchase

Thank you for helping us make a difference
– Norm & The Multi Shelters Team