View Full Version : Which direction should a lean-to face?

Aug. 29, 2011, 12:23 AM
Curious as I am building on in Aiken, SC. It had three walls and only one side open. Which way should the lean-to opening face in order to maximize shade and rain/storm protection?


Aug. 29, 2011, 01:45 AM
Easy ... away from the prevailing wind... This will depend on the lay of the land, trees, and structures nearby. It's the wind that will blow rain into the shelter. Enough overhang and shelter area provides the shade. Consider land elevations carefully. You don't want water flowing into or toward the shelter. I also built my shelters tall enough to get a tractor bucket into the very back to clean it.

Aug. 29, 2011, 08:44 AM
Around here the prevailing wind is quite different depending on the time of year. In the winter it is SW (right off Lake Michigan) but in the summer more W-NW and sometimes east! :lol:

If I had my barn or shelters facing away from the SW to avoid the worst of the wind, then there would be ZERO sun exposure in the shelters. A lot of horses won't use a shelter if it means they can't stand in the sun.

I would think for a very hot climate like SC you are better off maximizing shade and breezes and not worrying so much about keeping them warm! :) Which way do your storms approach from? What is the direction of the prevailing wind in the hottest months? Do you have a nice high, dry spot?

My barn faces south--we do get a lot of wind, but TONS of sunshine, and the horses love their south-facing horse porch. When it's not sunny and the wind is blowing, they move down to a spot in their sacrifice paddock where a thick stand of trees and brush block the SW wind and hang out there.

Frank B
Aug. 29, 2011, 09:13 AM
It will depend somewhat on your surroundings, but if Aiken is anything like Bristol, TN, I'd say face it to the Southeast. Most of our winter weather blows in from the Northwest.

Aug. 29, 2011, 09:18 AM
I'm assuming you want to maximize shade for the Summer. Given the sun rises a bit North of East around the end of June and stays there, until around the end of Sept, then NE-ish would maximize shade.

If you want the best protection from Summer storms, then NE is still very good.

But if you want to also have it provide some extended warmth in the Winter, then SE is better. Rarely will you get Winter storms from the East-anything.

But, as said, some of this will depend on they lay of your land, any hills/valleys, natural windbreaks, etc.

Aug. 29, 2011, 10:14 AM
I have property in aiken, and have long considered this as well. I will be facing mine true east.
If need be, I will put up a side extending out to protect from north winds, but I also plan on having abarn so the run is will not be their only shelter. Mostly a summer thing.
Everyone is correct, but JB summed it up best imo.

Aug. 29, 2011, 11:32 AM
I like the NE face too. I'm in central NC and that configuation gives the best protection here from afternoon summer sun, hurricane winds and winter winds.

Aug. 29, 2011, 11:40 AM
LOL, hurricanes are a whole 'nother beast.

If you are West of the eye, then your initial "storm" will come from the NE at some point earlier in it's trek North. As it moves farther North, winds will come from more North, and then NW and then W, all depending on how close to the eye you are.

Aug. 29, 2011, 11:47 AM
In a hurricane your horse is going to get wet no matter what, but the eastern aspect can protect against the brunt of the winds in a lower level storm like Isabel and Irene were when they passed through here.

Sep. 1, 2011, 09:21 PM
I always understood that it was South East, regardless of climate

Sep. 1, 2011, 09:32 PM
It really depends. Dead South is probably the best for the Northernmost climates if they are looking to gain some warmth from the low Winter sun.

If you're in FL, maximizing shade is a much bigger deal, so facing due East, or NE, helps the most.

The rise and fall of the pasture, and any structures and/or conifer or evergreen trees can make winds in a particular section come from the "wrong" direction if it makes it swirl, so if you want to protect against Winter winds more, then even if facing it S/SE would otherwise make the most sense, maybe you have to face it more NE, or more SW, or something "odd"

Sep. 1, 2011, 09:39 PM
It's like peeing...

Away from the wind.
Ours (when we build them) need to go SE, we get the worst storms from the NW :)