How to Build a Lifeguard Chair

Written by robert raphael
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How to Build a Lifeguard Chair
You can make a lifeguard chair for your backyard swimming pool. (empty lifeguard platform on deserted beach image by Steve Johnson from

Lifeguard chairs are a ubiquitous feature of beaches across the world. They are the tall, lon- legged chairs that lifeguards perch atop to survey the waters for any irregular activity. Whether you want to build one to use as an actual lookout chair or as a decorative, whimsical addition to your backyard, these chairs are easy to make. You can set the chair to any height you want and you only need two materials and two tools from start to finish.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Wooden 2x4
  • Table saw
  • Deck screws
  • Power drill

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  1. 1

    Cut 2 lengths of 2x4 wood to the height from the ground to the top of the back of the finished chair with a table saw. These are the back post supports.

  2. 2

    Saw two 2x4s to equal the height from the ground to the armrests at the front of the chair. These are the front post supports.

  3. 3

    Make a floor frame for the chair by cutting 2 pieces of wood to the width you want the chair to be and 2 pieces to the depth you want the chair to be.

  4. 4

    Arrange the floor frame so pieces of the same length are parallel to each other and attach them with a power drill and deck screws.

  5. 5

    Attach the front and back vertical supports to their appropriate corners on the floor frame.

  6. 6

    Attach an 'X' shape of 2x4 between the back support posts. This cross will help keep the chair straight.

  7. 7

    Make armrests out of a 2x4. Lay the 2x4 on top of the front support posts and secure to the back supports where they meet.

  8. 8

    Place a length of 2x4 on the each inside of the frame, connecting the front supports to the back. This wood should be placed at the level where you want the seat of the chair to be, as these are the seat supports.

  9. 9

    Lay planks of 2x4 so they run between the seat supports. Place as many planks as you want, but remember that you will be sitting on them so the more the merrier. Drill the seat planks in place.

  10. 10

    Attach a 2x4 up the back supports on the inside of the frame to create a backrest. Create the backrest the same way you did the seat.

  11. 11

    Fix several 2x4s horizontally between the front support posts. These planks will serve as the steps to allow you to reach the high seat, so set the wood at a moderate distance that you can climb easily.

Tips and warnings

  • Make several lifeguard-style chairs to use at an outdoor bar height deck table.
  • Make sure you use strong, healthy wood to support the weight of the person sitting in the chair.

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