How to Build Deck Benches

How to Build Deck Benches

Create the perfect outdoor retreat with classic timber bench seating. Deck benches can be either freestanding or built in. The advantage of freestanding benches is that you can move them anywhere you need additional seating. Built-in benches are fastened to joists and they make a nice addition at the perimeter for a low-level deck that doesn't require a railing. The benches help define the edge of the deck.

On higher decks be careful where you place freestanding benches so children don't use them to climb over a railing. On a deck that requires a railing, the railing must extend 36 inches above the top of the bench. To gain storage, enclose the area beneath a bench seat. Build benches from 2x lumber for stability. Typical seat height for a bench is 15 to 18 inches. Seat depth is usually at least 15 inches but may be as much as 30 inches. To provide a smooth seating surface, sand all surfaces and round over sharp corners and edges with a palm sander.

Skill Level: Intermediate
Time:
  1. Step 1 Make Upper Pedestal

    Make Upper Pedestal

    Mark the layout for the upper pedestal on a 16-inch 4x4. space notches for the legs 1 ½ inches apart. Make the angles on each end 1 inch from the outer shoulders of the notches. Using a circular saw, cut notches 3 ½ inches wide and 1 ½ inches deep. Remove waste material with a chisel.

  2. Step 2 Cut Lower Pedestal

    Cut Lower Pedestal

    Notch the lower pedestal to accommodate the legs. Then cut the angled shoulder at both ends of the pedestal.

  3. Step 3 Attach Legs

    Attach Legs

    Cut the legs to length (12 ½ inches). Install on leg in each of the lower pedestals with three screws through the pedestal into the leg. Attach the 2x6 spreader to the inside surface of the legs at both ends of the bench. Drive three deck screws at each end. Fasten the spreader flush with the other face of each leg.

  4. Step 4 Build Seat

    Build Seat
    Build Seat

    Fasten the rails to the underside of the 2x6 seat boards with 2 1/2 – inch-long deck screws. Position the out faces of the rails 4 ½ inches from the board ends. Space the seat boards with a ¼-inch gap between them. Drive screws through the 2x3 rails into the upper pedestals. Position the seat on the pedestals for a ½-inch overhang on each long side. Rail positions create 1-inch overhangs at the ends.

What You Need for This Project

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