I’m publishing these deck bench plans to share with you how I used up leftover materials from building a deck several years ago. These are often my favorite types of projects. I love being able to use leftovers and scraps, that would otherwise be thrown out, to make something useful.
When I first built the benches, I designed them around the scraps I had on hand. You could easily go out and buy the materials as listed and build your own set of benches.
However, I encourage you to adapt the design to whatever you have lying around unused. Many communities have a used building materials store, often sponsored by Habitat for Humanity, which would be a good source for materials as well.
The materials for this project were actually double salvaged from a deck building project. A house a few doors down was being demolished, but the deck was in pretty decent shape. My father-in-law and I were able to dismantle the old deck before the house was torn down and build a nice “new” deck on my house.
In the process of building the “new” deck, we reconfigured it slightly from the original. So there were several small lengths of pressure treated 2x6 and 4x4 boards left over. As I was staring at the pile one day, trying to decide what to do with the mess, it occurred to me that I could probably piece the leftovers together into a couple of nice benches.
As you’ll notice, the bench doesn't require any very long pieces of lumber. I have seen similar deck bench plans that have the seat boards running lengthwise. However, I had a bunch of short pieces of 2x6 from trimming the deck boards. So I ran them crosswise and it worked great!
The other thing is that you could easily use all 2x4 lumber to build the benches. The 4x4 posts were nice, but two short lengths of 2x4 nailed together would work just as well. Also, 2x4’s are plenty strong to use for the Fronts and Ends. For the Top you would just need to use a few more boards and might need to adjust the length slightly.
Even using salvaged material I was able to size the benches close to fairly common bench height and depth. Ideally a bench is 18 inches tall and between 12 and 18 inches deep. Mine were a little short because of the small pieces of 4x4 I had to use for the legs, but they are still comfortable to sit on.
I had boards long enough to make the bench 15 inches deep. To me this seems like an ideal size. Any deeper would be unnecessary and much shallower would be slightly uncomfortable and tippy. Again, part of the key was using short, leftover boards running across the bench rather than lengthwise.
Other than being limited by board size, the only real key to the bench length is the number of support legs. Anything up to about 5 or 6 feet long should be okay, depending on whether you use 2x4’s or 2x6’s. At greater than 6 feet long you should add a third pair of support legs to keep it from sagging in the middle.
Assembly is pretty simple. Just nail or screw it together like you would a deck. I used nails and my only frustration is that the wood has dried out over the years, causing the nails to lift a bit. So each year I have to pound them back down. It’s not a big deal, but you shouldn't have the same problem using screws.
I hope you have some leftover decking materials so that you can build yourself a set of benches. If you do, take a look at the deck bench plans by clicking on the image to the left or just click here. If you prefer to download a copy to your computer, right click then "save-as". Either way, you'll need the Adobe reader to view the file.