How do I build built-in bench seats for a deck?

Written by michael straessle
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How do I build built-in bench seats for a deck?
Deck seating comes in handy for a barbecue. (karoto/iStock/Getty Images)

Adding a bench to an existing deck makes it more user friendly and is an open invitation for guests to come out and relax on the deck. This makes neighbourhood barbecues and birthday parties something to remember. Building a bench also adds to the deck's attractiveness, thereby adding to the value of the property. Building and installing the bench seat so the deck handrails are the back to the bench gives it a built-in look and ties it directly to the deck structure itself.

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Things you need

  • Two pieces of 5 by 10 by 37.5 cm (2 by 4 by 15 inch timber
  • Two pieces of 5 by 10 by 120 cm (2 by 4 by 48 inch) timber
  • Variable speed drill
  • Philips head screw tip
  • 7.5 cm (3 inch) deck screws
  • 1 piece of 5 by 10 by 22.5 cm (2 by 4 by 9 inch) timber
  • 4 pieces of 10 by 10 by 45 cm (4 by 4 by 18 inch) timber
  • 3 pieces of 5 by 10 by 135 cm (2 by 4 by 54 inch) timber

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place the two 37.5 cm (15 inch) 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards on a worktable on their 10 cm (4 inch) side. Measuring from one end, make a mark at 30 cm (12 inches). Place the 120 cm (48 inch) 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards on a worktable parallel to each other and on their 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inch) edge.

  2. 2

    Place the 37.5 cm (15 inch) 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards on the ends of the 120 cm (48 inch) 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards, and secure them with the deck screws -- one on the 30 cm (12 inch) mark and the other on the ends. This will result in a rectangular-shaped box with 7.5 cm (3 inches) of the 37.5 cm (15 inch) sides sticking out of what will be the back of the bench.

  3. 3

    Mark the centre of the 120 cm (48 inch) pieces, and secure the 22.5 cm (9 inch) 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) board in the centre of the rectangle box with the deck screws. Set the 45 cm (18 inch) 10 by 10 cm (4 by 4 inch) boards in the four corners of the ends of the rectangle, and secure them to the box with the deck screws. These are the legs of the bench.

  4. 4

    Place this frame against the deck handrails so that the 7.5 cm (3 inches) sticking out of the back are placed against two of the vertical pieces of the handrail. Secure the frame to the handrail with the deck screws.

  5. 5

    Install the 135 cm (54 inch) 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards to the top of the frame, spacing them out to cover the frame. Be sure to let them hang over the sides of the frame evenly.

Tips and warnings

  • To make the bench seat wider, use 45 cm (18 inch) 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards for the sides, and mark them at 37.5 cm (15 inches) instead of 30 cm (12 inches).
  • Drill pilot holes for the deck screws with a 1.5 mm (1/16 inch) drill bit if the timber splits while installing the screws.
  • Do not leave power tools unattended in the presence of children.
  • Do not apply waterproof to the timber without gloves and safety goggles.

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