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.

Lean-To Structures

We offer an option of lean-tos where the need, with limited space, for the shelter to be attached to the side or front of a bigger building

Pricing for the lean-tos are generally 60% of the price of the structure. You can see pricing and options on the various application pages and calculate it from there. Please don’t hesitate to call us for a more firm price if you have any questions.

All of the Multi Shelter Solutions structures use the 2 part hoop system bolting together in the middle with a continuous ridge. This allows any of our buildings to be used as a lean-to. The size of the lean-to is mostly determined by available wall height where it will be fastened To determine where to look for applicable information double the width of your desired lean-to (e.g. 10’ lean-to…look at 20’ wide, either regular, high or space saver)

To fasten a lean-to to the wall we can supply individual brackets for the top of each hoop if the support framing is consistent enough (55% cost of full structure) or we can supply a single sided ridge (60% cost of full structure)..

One point of extreme caution, you must be aware where snow typically comes off the building where the lean-to is being attached to. One of our “heavy duty” options may be required to provide the required security.

Who is Multi Shelter Solutions?

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Manufacturing & distributing economical shelters for all your growing, housing and storage requirements.

Using our 43 years experience in greenhouse, shelter operations and construction, allow us to help you find creative solutions to your shelter requirements.

Proudly owned and operated by Norman Eygenraam, this family oriented business started in the Dundas, Ontario area and has moved up to Palmerston, Ontario for the last 15 years. Specializing in unique shelter construction, we don’t bend any steel before we get an order. We sit down with each customer to assess what their structure will be used for, and the location, and help you find the solution that will be most useful for your application. We have many standard variations to offer, and aren’t afraid to venture outside the box to get the right fit for you!

We don’t sell you a structure, we help you buy one!

With 43 years of experience in the industry, we don’t sell you a structure, we help you buy one!

Norm worked at a nursery operation in his 20s, at a time when cold frames were manually bent steel around a tractor rim. Later he started selling structures with a manufacturer outside Grimsby, Ontario. In 1989 he started his own greenhouse manufacturing business in Dundas Ontario. In 2005 he moved the operation to Palmerston and became Multi Shelter Solutions. The business focus has changed to include shelters for many more applications.

We bring all that experience to each and every call or email that we receive from potential and existing customers. We feel word of mouth is still the best advertising and strive to give personal attention to every request, from a small hobby shed to multiple large operations.

Our biggest selling point still remains that we don’t bend any steel before getting an order, so we are able to customize it to fit in just the right spot, or alter how it’s done for your unique request. That’s how we’ve come up with our “igloo” structure, the airplane hangars, our “flying” greenhouse that was lifted onto an apartment building, and more! We pride ourselves on being able to help you find your best shelter solution.

Multi Shelter Solutions offers an economical alternative with a flexibility that the larger competitors find hard to match. We have worked hard over these years to come up with a balance that provides the economy so many seek, while not sacrificing any quality of the structure or customer service. We can work with you to fit whatever budget you have in mind and publish sample prices freely for you to compare. Feel free to contact us for a custom quote for what you have in mind and we can work together to reach your goals.

With a friendly and helpful staff, we are big enough to serve you, but small enough to care & serve you well. Currently we have 7 employees & growing and are happy to help you with any questions you may have. Conversations often begin with 2 questions …

what are you trying to accomplish and what are you dealing with? We look forward to your call!