A garden party is a bad time to realise you don't have adequate seating. A beautiful deck with nowhere to sit is a shame. Deck benches are a simple, permanent solution to the problem. If you're building a new deck, the cut-off material may be enough for the bench tops. Leave your posts uncut to provide the supports, and you're in business.
Deck benches can be built in a variety of ways. Here are a few design ideas that make for simple construction and provide added value.
Install deck posts up through the deck top and cut to bench height. Add a top made of decking to complete the perfect deck bench. Typical seat height is 16 to 18 inches. Seats are usually 12 to 14 inches wide on top.
Run a horizontal two-by-four ledger board between deckposts to support the back edge of the bench. Use cut off four-by-fours from your deck posts as front legs with a decking top. This makes a beautiful bench that blends perfectly with the deck.
Build benches as boxes with hinged lid seats for storing all those pool and yard toys. Run electrical and add plugins along the front edge to supply electricity for lights and music.
Accessorising your benches makes them even more comfortable.
Backs can be added to benches built against the rail by simply adding additional horizontal boards above the seat. Make sure to sand them well to prevent painful splinters.
Add square planters made of deck material in the corners of your deck and run benches between them for a nice parklike feel. Use ready wood planters or build your own.
Buy or make cushions in a rugged, weatherproof canvas or other durable fabric. Use foam instead of batting to allow damp cushions to dry easily. Add tie downs to keep them in place even in windy conditions.
Woodworking plans are great, but you need seating tonight. Here are a few ideas using items you already have.
Bring the inside out by bringing the dining table or even a comfy stuffed armchair to the deck for a great homey feel. It's a free way to make room for more guests.
Use a pair of breeze blocks and a piece of two-by-ten lumber to make a low bench that is sturdy and rustic. It will be just the right height for your little guests. When you are done, put the breeze blocks back where they came from until next time.
Grab the picnic benches or other benches from the yard and move them to the deck for the festivities. If you don't have picnic benches, your neighbours probably do. Ask to borrow them. Make sure to bring them back in the condition they were borrowed in.
Use wood crates as benches. Throw a cushion on top to provide a comfy seat. If you have several crates, they also make great coffee and end tables to set those paper plates full of hot dogs and burgers on.