Looking for a quick and inexpensive way to turn your basic deck into the ultimate outdoor seating area? Why not add a built in corner bench and some string globe lighting. This simple weekend project can transform your outdoor space without breaking your bank.
Once again I’m teaming up again with Kippi at Home and some other fantastic bloggers to bring you another great outdoor blog tour. This time it’s just in time for Earth Day! So stay tuned at the end for some other great outdoor inspiration.
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How to build these fabulous deck bench seats
What you will need:
- Miter Saw
- Cordless Drill
- Stainless Deck Screws 3.5 inch and 1-1/4 inch
- Pressure Treated 1X6X8 or 1X6X12 Lumbar
- Pressure Treated 2X4X8
- String Lights or Outdoor Solar String Lights
- 2X2X8 for posts for outdoor string lights
- Hooks for hanging lights
Measure where your DIY corner bench will go
Pick the corner where you want your corner outdoor seating to go and measure from that corner to the outside edge of your next deck railing post on either side.
Gather supplies for your outdoor corner bench seating
Once you have your measurements you can buy your supplies.
At your local hardware store pressure treated 1X6 boards are usually sold in 8 foot lengths or 12 foot lengths. Since our L shaped bench is really a 75.5 ft bench and a 70.5 ft bench, we needed 8 of the 1X6X8 boards for the bench seat. While there, also pick up 2, pressure treated 2X4X8 boards to make your 4 triangle supports, and 3, 2X2X8 boards to hang your solar powered string lights from.
For the lights, tools, and hardware you can check your local store or order on Amazon, the cost is comparable. We used this 100 ft length of led globe string lights, 1-1/4″ stainless steel deck screws, 3.5″ deck screws, and these hooks to hang string lights. We also used our Kobalt miter saw and our RIDGID cordless drill.
Note that if you don’t have access a saw, you can actually have your cuts made for you at Lowe’s, for free, before even leaving the store.
How to build a bench on a deck
Cut and Install your supports
The first step to building a bench on a deck is to make triangular support brackets. We used 4 of these for our bench. You may need more if you are building a much larger bench.
Set your miter saw to cut at a 45 degree angle and cut the end of each 2X4 as shown below. This will give you 4 pieces, one for each support bracket. And each 15.25 inches in length with one straight-cut side and one side cut to a 45 degree angle. We’ll call each of these, piece A.
I like to measure my cuts along the 2X4 itself and mark both the long and the short measurements prior to cutting.
Next, cut again at the end of each 2X4, this time making a parallel 45 degree angle cut as shown below. This will give you 4 pieces, 24 inches in length with each end cut at a 45 degree angle, like a parallelogram. On one side of each piece, cut a small corner off at a perpendicular 45 degree angle, at about the 4″ mark, as shown below. We’ll call each of these, piece B.
Finally, make pairs of one of each (one of piece A and one of piece B) for each bracket. Lay them down as diagramed below and screw them together using a 3.5 inch deck screw.
Repeat for the other 3 supports. We found it easier to assemble the bracket and then attach it to the deck support once assembled.
Next, attach your support brackets to the deck itself, again using 3.5 inch deck screws.
Cut and Install your Deck Bench Seats
Now that you have all 4 supports securely in place, its time to attach the boards that will make up the seat. Take a minute to measure your space again. Measure twice… so you only have to cut once! You can see how we took our measurements here:
Cut 3 lengths of 1X6 to measurement “1”. Then cut 3 lengths of 1X6 to measurement “2” . Cut 1 length of 1X6 to measurement “3” and 1 length of 1X6 to measurement “4”.
Install all lengths onto your existing brackets using 1″ deck screws.
Add additional support underneath, as you deem necessary, using remaining 1X6 pieces. We put one along the middle of each bench seat side.
Install Party String Lights as your Outdoor Deck Lighting
If you want a way to add instant ambience to your new corner seating area, consider adding elegant string lighting. We installed Mr. Beams Weatherproof String Lights a year ago and have loved them every minute since. They’ve been through heat, snow, sleet, rain, hail, and wind with no issue. If you don’t have a nearby outlet to plug them into, try this great solar powered set by Brighton instead.
We suspended our lights high above our deck using these great hooks to hang outdoor lights.
We created outdoor posts for string lights with 3 simple 2X2X8s. We left them in full 8 foot lengths and attached the bottom 26 inches of each of them to 3 of our existing deck railing posts.
With these permanent party lights, our deck feels like its part of a perpetual wedding reception under the stars.
Now that you’ve got your built in deck seating and ambient lighting its time to check out these other great Earth Day Projects. Why not bring some nature inside with this live edge table from Olivia O’Hern. I just love the contrast between the metal legs and the raw wooden top.
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