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    Built-in benches can help define the edges of a deck or double as storage units. Learn how to build one with our step-by-step instructions.

    Built-in benches bring more to a deck than a place to sit down. They can help define space at the edges of the deck or within its perimeter, accent the deck, or double as storage units.

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for You can incorporate a bench between permanent planters, you can build movable freestanding benches (although 2x furniture can get heavy), or you can take advantage of the strength of dimension lumber and your deck framing and build these permanent benches. Whatever you choose, we''s easiest to frame built-in benches before the decking goes on. Bench seats should be about 18 inches above the decking and 15-30 inches deep.

    Built-in perimeter benches help define the edge of a deck in addition to increasing the seating. For continuous seating, cut enough supports to install one every 4-5 feet. Most building codes permit perimeter seating without a railing on ground-level decks; on an elevated deck leave enough space for a railing behind the seating.

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    Step 2

    Installation

    Mark the locations of the 2x10 legs on the joists. Keep the outer edges of all legs the same distance from the edge of the deck. Cut the legs to length, predrill them for three lag screws or bolts, and fasten them to the joists. Install blocking between the joists adjacent to the legs. Cut the seat rails to the width of the seat and screw them to the legs. Attach a cleat to the outside of each leg as a nailing surface for the decking.

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Step 3

    Attach Legs, Blocking, and Seat the 1 last update 2020/07/13 Rails Attach Legs, Blocking, and Seat Rails

    Mark the locations for the 2x10 legs on the joist. Attach the legs to the joists with lag screws or bolts through predrilled holes, and attach blocking between the joists to keep the seat from rocking. Cut the seat rails to length—about 16 inches for a bench seat that is 19 inches deep—and screw them to both seat legs.

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    Step 4

    Install Cleats and Slats

    Attach cleats to both sides of the legs to provide a nailing surface for the ends of the decking. You can install the seat slats before or after the decking. But if your slats will overhang the seat rails by more than 6 inches, install the decking first so you won''t have to square each one.

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    How to Make Built-In Benches for Your Deck
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