Building Benches For Your Deck Adds Value
In this article I will explain the basics of building benches.
When building your own, you need to understand what makes a deck bench work.
There's no point in building benches that aren't comfortable and you'll never use.
And if this bench style isn't for you, I recommend you consider building some of the benches found in Ted's Woodworking Projects.
Plus if you are a carpenter, there are thousands of other plans for practically everything! Click Here!
Basics of Building Benches
The best height of the seat portion of a wooden deck bench is about 16. Although its possible to go as low as 14 or as high as 18, you will find that 16 just seems to feel right for most people. If you are unsure, measure a chair near your kitchen table to see for yourself.
The ideal width of the actual bench seat also seems be 16. Although dont panic too much if the arrangement of boards you selected results in a width slightly wider or narrower. Just keep the 16 number in mind.
Bench Seat Slope:
If you are anticipating that people will sit on your bench for long periods, consider sloping the actual seat about 1 lower in the back (over the 16 width). It's subtle but makes a noticeable difference. But this should only be done if you are including a back to your bench. It wont look right without a back.
An ideal slope for a backrest is about 5 degrees, maybe a bit more. Beyond 10 degrees and it will start looking and feeling like a Lazy Boy, without the comfort so dont bother.
Wooden benches are inherently hard and uncomfortable for sitting on over long periods of time. So these building tips will alleviate that a bit.
Bench Seat Material
The most practical material to use for the seat of any bench is 2x4. Four 2x4s spaced 1/4" apart create a 14 3/4" surface and with 2x4 or 1x4 edge trimming the final bench seat measures between 16 1/4" and 17 3/4". A very comfortable size for any deck bench.
2x2s are also excellent for deck bench seats. You can take a look at how I used them for a built in patio bench and see if building your bench this way might be a good option.
Deck Bench Legs
Of course building benches that look and feel right requires some design decisions. For built in benches with a clean and simple look, I often use two 2x6s separated by a 1/4" gap as the leg component for the bench.
And 2x2s as cleats for the deck to leg connection work very well. For the bench seat cleats, use 2x4s with the bottom corners cut at 45 degrees or 2x2s. 2x2s are hidden nicely under the seat.
Why bother to build a bench for your deck?
By far the most important function of building benches around your deck is to enhance the overall look and feel of your deck get use out of previously unused areas of your deck provide basic seating for outdoor gatherings.
If you would like to try building your own with other bench plans then check out Ted's at this link below.
If you are not yet ready to build your own deck benches, let me share with you some information about other outdoor furniture tips and ideas that might help you out.
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