Step 5: Adding storage benches

The benches are of an extremely simple design and don't take long at all to construct. They are basically 17" tall and 17" deep (the numbers were just taken off of a regular plastic deck chair), and the tops are hinged in order to provide storage room. I used 5/4" x 6" material to cover the sides and for the seating area; basically flooring material, so that the two would match.

The frame of the benches is constructed of 2" x 3" beams, and then covered on the sides with flooring material and attached to the deck by driving screws diagonally through the bottom square of the bench directly into the deck. The cover then has it's own frame made out of 2" x 2" beams with more flooring screwed on to it in top.

To attach the cover and install hinges, I added a 2" x 3" beam lying on its side and running along the entire back of the bench. This hinge beam has to be very strongly attached as you'll have the seats swinging off of it (and they're not exactly light). I glued it down, added metal brackets and screws on the front (one every foot or so) and 3" screws running diagonally through the back and into the sides of the bench (also one every foot or so).

Once the hinge beam is set up, measure the size for the seat frame, and then just make a square made out of 2" x 2" beams. Attach flooring material to the top of the frame and you're done. The hinges I used were regular door hinges that were safe to use on treated wood, out of the same concern with the ACQ approved screws. I just chose steel hinges that were coated in weather resistant paint.

Attach the hinges to the seat covers and hinge beam (recess them to make it a bit nicer and have the seat cover lie right next to the hinge beam), and you're done. 
Beautiful! Well thought out. I especially appreciate the detail you provided on the railing construction. Well done.
Glad you liked it, and thx for the compliment.
I really enjoyed reading this - it's given me lots of ideas. Thank you very much for taking the trouble to post such a detailed description - much appreciated!
Glad you enjoyed it, and thx for taking the time to say so. The comments are appreciated by the authors as much as the articles are appreciated by the readers :)
<p>Hey this is awesome! Exactly what I want to do on our back deck, that goes out to the pool and hot tub area. The length of the railings in behind our sectional would be 10x11, and I want the storage underneath to preferably house the cushions. How is the height in width of the sectional? I was thinking that the width should be longer because I want the to be really cozy. It looks like they could be a bit wider? But I don't want it so long as I wont be able to get cushions to fit. I guess what I'm asking is with cushions on top, could it stand to be a bit longer? </p><p>Also, what did it cost to build yours? Just so I can get an estimate for mine, Thanks so much!</p>
Hi there. Glad you liked the article!<br><br>The storage bins can be made to any size you need, since they're really just custom made frames that then get covered in panels on the outside. Just make the frame to whatever size you like (even wide enough to accommodate storage of the cushions), cover with panels, and you're done. <br><br>The only thing I'd suggest doing differently (as I've learned this over the past couple of years) would be to make the storage in small, movable sections instead of one large piece like I did. Now that it's time to redo the stain, I'm finding it difficult to figure out how to move the whole thing. Had it been in smaller sections this would have been a piece of cake.<br><br>As for cost? I really don't remember the exact number. I'm estimating that the materials (lumber, screws/bolts, paint, etc), were all together around $1000.<br><br>Good luck with your project!
<p>I made this! Thanks for the inspiration!</p>
You're very welcome. Post a photo if you ever get a chance!
<p>Not only do I prefer the aesthetic of a wooden deck more than a concrete deck, but I also prefer the maintenance. I know that concrete seems like it is easier to maintain, but damage is a nightmare to repair. Wooden decks are so much easier to repair, therefore they look nicer for longer. &lt;a href='http://www.sweetmanstimber.com/decking-timber' &gt;http://www.sweetmanstimber.com/decking-timber&lt;/a&gt;</p>
No arguments there :)
<p>Great instructions and photos. I will be using part of them this summer. My existing patio is about 10 inches thick so it would be hard to remove so I plan to put a wood or composite deck on top. The new deck will extend past the cement by a few feet on both sides and the end so I plan to use standard deck piers for those sections. The cement I have is aggregate so it has exposed rocks, do you think silicone will still work? I read another post were they used a felt material, have you heard of that? I live just north of Seattle Washington so rain and moisture is a big concern.</p><p>Maybe you have heard this since posting your project but thought I'd throw it out there in case you have not. You mentioned in your posting the odd sizing of boards and figured it had some history to it. I remember learning about this in wood shop in high school. When the lumber mill starts with a board say a 2x4 in is &quot;roughly 2&quot; x 4&quot; but when they run it through the saw the kerf (thickness) of the blades are 1/4 inch so each side is cut buy 1/4 inch. A 2x4 measures 1.5&quot; x 3.5&quot; for that reason and it isn't likely to change.</p>
Hi; glad you enjoyed the article and will be able to put some of it to good use. That's the whole point of this thing, after all :)<br><br>Re silicone - my deck has no aggregate, so I don't have much experience with silicone on it. That being said, though, I doubt it would be a problem. The silicone should adhere to the stones without a problem (especially rough, porous one like cement and stone).<br><br>As for the measurement explanation - guess it makes sense. Thx for sharing that tidbit!
<p>After 2 years, how is it holding up?</p><p>Have you had trouble with rot?</p><p>Any other ideas to reduce maintenance overhead?</p>
<p>Hi</p><p>I can unambiguously (and happily) say that there have been zero issues after two years. Some of the boards on the more highly trafficked areas are losing the stain a bit more than others, but structurally everything is peachy. I can't really see underneath the boards very well because the gaps are small, but from what I see the silicone is still there and holding on well.</p><p>Are you building something similar ?</p>
I have a concrete patio, and other places I'm reading say that wood in contact with concrete is a recipe for rot. Without airflow below the wood - 10 inches, preferably a foot - the lifespan is degraded, so they say.<br><br>Glad to hear you're not having any issues.
<p>There's about 4&quot; of good airflow underneath the floor, and only the runners are sitting right on top of the concrete. There's zero clearance between the runners and the concrete, and the points where they come in contact with it are all sealed with silicone, so that should provide good protection. </p><p>I suppose the only way to know for sure would be to check in a few years. I'll check it again in the summer of 2017 (for a five year span) and get back to you :)</p>
<p>As for reducing maintenance - I would just go with the two main recommendations in the article: put silicone everywhere there is a chance water can get in (e.g. between the concrete and the runners), and use plenty of wood sealer on all the cut ends.</p>
<p>Having trouble with the hinges... Any help appreciated. I have no experience with hinges. Tried and the door wouldnt shut.</p>
Would be glad to help, but kind of hard to do without knowing what your troubles are. Are you having issues putting them on? Do they not close properly? If you add some images it would be easier to lend a hand.
<p>It did not close correctly. Its dark but will try to send pics tomo. My first hinges so I wasnt sure how high or where to put them and stuff. </p>
<p>We have built this but are having trouble with hinges. Could you help. I am not very good with hinges. </p>
I've seen <a href="http://www.jayfencing.com/" rel="nofollow">decks</a> in Cambridge like this, but didn't know how to go about building it. Thanks for posting!
thx. hope it helps you make your own :)
I like it, I would make the box's around the edge taller to top of fence for planters with storage access under planters on the front. (6 to 12 inchs of dirt at top) I love storage.
Not a bad idea. The boxes are already used for storage, but were left at half the height of the railings so people have a place to sit.
I've got a large flat slab outside my house, but it has cracks and doesn't drain water away very efficiently, so I'm currently considering my options - one is to cover in decking, the other is to lay a concrete patio over it. <br> <br>I was interested to see how you deal with the wood sitting on concrete - and I see what you've done - just laid it on top - as the concrete is porous, surely the water will seep under the silcone and work its way into the wood? I've been recommended when I put a shed on concrete pavers to put off cuts of pond liner or similar to stop the water soaking up into the wood. <br> <br>Similarly depending on the variation in temps, won't the sealant eventually split off? <br> <br>It's a neat job btw... just curious to what you think!
Clean out the cracks as deep as you can and Epoxy them closed, then you can hide the ugly fix with this wood project.
Several considerations here. First off - yeah, concrete is a bit porous, but the kind used for exeterior construction is usually a bit better at repelling water since it's exposed to it all the time. No telling if any additives were added to the mixture when it was made, but I have to trust that it was done properly. <br> <br>That being said, it's always possible that some water will get through to the wood, but sealing the edges between the wood and the concrete should minimize that. <br> <br>And as for climate changes affecting the sealant - also, a possiblity, which is why I used high grade exterior use sealant. Should buy me a few more years. We've got a lot of heat, water, snow and ice over here, so it will definitely be subjected to the elements. <br> <br>Finally, you have the fact that the wood is treated lumber, and has been attached at several points to the concrete. Even if some part of it starts weakening, I have faith that the wood (as a whole) will stay solid and well attached for years to come.
Nice looking deck, and an improvement, but....<br>ACQ is protected against insects and fungi, not moisture, proper drainage does that. Just do a search for ACQ and read the facts.<br>Standard building code calls for 16&quot; centers not 18&quot;<br>Proper drainage starts with the side of the house, proper flashing to redirect the water away from it and the deck. Proper flashing and rubber seals make a deck outlast the home.<br>&quot;skirting&quot; should be applied to cover the ends of the decking for esthetic reasons and with proper drainage with flashing to protect the wood joists. <br>A spot of glue on each runner where the decking touches extends life of the wood and 'firms' up the deck tremendously. also eliminates screws from backing out from vibration.<br>I use the 20yr siding stain on the decks I build, since most 'deck stains' say right on the can, to reapply yearly, clearly a rip off.<br>Always check with local authorities on building codes and accepted practices to avoid fines and rebuilding.<br>Again nice deck, and enjoy a bbq and beer on a warm evening for me.<br>
Thx for the info. Drainage won't be a prob since the concrete is already slanted away from the house, and we'll be treating/staining the wood next year for extra protection and looks.
Since your concrete was in good shape, I would have just covered the concrete with slate or some other stone instead of wood. With a concrete deck, you had something that was basically maintenance free -- basically you just pressure wash it when it gets too green for your tastes. With wood, you're going to be pressure washing, resealing, replacing rotten boards, fixing loose boards, etc from now on. I've owned houses with wooden and concrete decks / patios before and in my opinion, the concrete is a better choice.
A wood deck will defintiely take more work in maintenance that concrete, and I think I mentioned that somewhere in the article. It all comes down to what your tastes are, and in my opinion nothing beats the warmth and aesthetic value that wood has. It's well worth the maintenance costs.
Norm Abram himself would be proud!<br>This is a fantastic instructable, very detailed and well put together.
AHH . . . Norm Abrams. I was already getting all sentimental thinking about my dad today (he's been deceased 12 1/2 years) and then I see this AND the Norm comment. My dad LOVED Norm Abrams, the New Yankee Workshop, This Old House, etc. He always joked that &quot;Normby&quot; was on . . . &quot;Time to watch Norm-by!&quot; I actually got to meet him in 2001. The man has a router for every bit he owns so he never has to change a bit. THAT is woodworking luxury! <br><br>That being said, my dad (an accomplished woodworker) would be impressed by your work. Wanna swing over to Wisconsin and build one for me? ;) Great stuff.
Wow, I didn't know he had a router for every bit! Mind you, the size of his workshop and the stuff he used to turn out :P Not really surprising!<br> Also the safety glasses. very important that.<br> &quot;There is no more important safety rule than to wear <em>these </em>safety glasses&quot;<br> Wise words indeed.<br>
I would add the ear plugs to that ...
I heard an interview with Norm,, I also remember the very first &quot;This Old House&quot; show, Norm actually was just a hired carpenter for the job along with several others. The Construction lead never showed up and the camera's were rolling. Bob Villa saw Norm walking by with a ladder and stopped him and started asking him questions about the job..<br><br>Norm was one lucky SOB,, that made his future.
That's got to be one of the most flattering comments I've received to date. But in spite of that, I've got to turn Wisconsin down. Trust me - the paperwork my wife would have you do in order to borrow me for this project just wouldn't be worth it!
Never knew who Norm Abram until this comment (and Wikipedia) came along. Thx for the learning experience :)
I used to watch his New Yankee Workshop show all the time when it aired in the UK. Well worth looking out for his work if you're into the carpentry :-)
Really well-done project and photos. Congratulations!
Glad you enjoyed it.
That concrete looked terrible, good job! The roof is next perhaps? :o)
Thx. Would love to redo the roof, but I think I know a non-one-man job when I see one. The shingles need some TLC all over the place. Time to call in the experts and have the whole thing redone ... <br> <br>Then again, maybe I can cover it in treated wood to match the deck? I wonder what the wife would to that.
nice and simple!
Hi <br>Thx for the comment. I wouldn't exactly say the project was simple to make (although you're probably referring to the design), but I agree that it was nice :)
Exactly what I was thinking of doing to my back patio.
Then go for it. It's a bit of work, but so worth it in the end.
Nice! Definitely makes the house look more inviting.
Thx. Yeah, makes a huge difference over concrete.

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