Outdoor Built-in Bench for Our Deck




About: There is nothing I love more then making something new and usable again that someone else would have thrown out or torn down! And there's no reason to buy new when you can build it yourself!

This corner has always been a little bit of a “dead man’s land” tucked all the way back behind my home. I built my smaller bench first by building a rectangle out of 2x4s and adding legs where they were needed. I didn’t see any reason to add legs to my benches where the deck already had posts so I kept that in mind as I was building. I went on to build the much longer bench (over 10 feet!) also with legs only where they were needed. Because of the distance I chose to cut my 8 foot 2x4s so the “seem” would land on one of the deck posts instead of requiring to add two legs in a weird spot. I flipped my benches “right-side-up” then attached them to each other before screwing them to the main posts.

Next I just needed to cut around eight million 24 inch boards for the seats… I set my miter saw up outside for this so I didn’t have to measure every board! Then I just stood there and cut and cut and cut.

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Step 1: Building the Back of the Bench

With the seat complete I moved on to the back of the bench. I wanted to create a little bit of a slant so I screwed a deck board down all the way around the back of the bench pressed tight against the deck posts – with it laying down flat it was 5 1/2″ from the back of the bench to the front of the board. Then I duplicated that board where the top of the back rest would land, screwing it to the deck posts all the way around above the benches. Then it was just a case of putting another two million 24″ boards on, lining them up with the bottom seat boards. (Because the slant was not very severe I didn’t feel the need to miter any of them.)

With the majority of the outdoor bench complete I just needed to figure out what I wanted to do in the corner. Using a scrap piece of wood I created a support across the top of the corner and across the base. This gave me a place to put one more board. I considered doing something a lot more complicated in the corner but I didn’t hate this both in looks and in functionality… UPDATE: it has become my favorite spot to sit and read actually!

Step 2: Finished Bench and Completion

I also went ahead and screwed all of the 2×4 legs down to the deck.

(I used green treated wood on this project which is made to be outdoors – it is more expensive then regular pine and considered very toxic. I live in northern MN and I know folks with cedar decks who watched them degrade within only 5 years of having put them in so, honestly, there was no choice but to use green treated wood on this project. Green treated anything requires up to a year to fully out gas and dry out which is why I built them in the late summer to give them the entire fall, winter and next spring to sit and do their thing.)

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    3 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Looks like the benches are made out of palettes, which would be quite clever. Great looking benches.


    2 years ago

    I just built a bench for our deck as well and we love it. Yours turned out fantastic! Thanks for sharing

    1 reply