35 Deck Bench Ideas – Built-In Outdoor Seating Designs

Deck Bench Ideas for Built-In Outdoor Seating Designs

If you ever wanted to make a deck bench and needed ideas on how to design the bench seat, the backrest, and the support legs then you came to the right place. Here, you’ll find inspiration on building built-in benches on decks using wood only, and no metal brackets. We describe different designs and offer tips on how to mount benches on decks.

As you will see, the designs and the construction styles are plenty. With a backrest or backless, with a solid seat or slatted, with straight legs or slanted, you’ll find the best design for your own DIY project. There are ideas for benches with planters and with storage, benches integrated with a pergola or with deck railing, and, of course, freestanding designs.

A deck bench can serve as a deck railing, especially if it has a backrest. You can go with a more elaborate wrap-around idea or a small corner bench or a simple inexpensive design that can be built as a weekend DIY project. Let’s take a look.

35 Design Ideas

All pictures are real-life examples from actual homeowners

 

1. Wrap-Around Bench With Built-In Planters

Wrap-around planter benches for deck
Image credit: en:User:JDoorjam, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

This cool wrap-around bench becomes the main feature of the deck. The built-in planters create natural weight points to balance the seating area. The solid seats offer simplistic seating, blending seamlessly with the solid planters. There are no backrests, which creates an infinity feeling. Most angled sections are interlinked, leaving a few gaps in between for convenient access. It’s a beautiful design overall.

 

2. Deck Bench with Built-in Storage

Image credit: homestratosphere.com

Wood boards create the seats, each of which opens to a built-in storage space for outdoor seat cushions. This idea uses a unique corner design to provide easy seating and incorporate the rail into the seat backrest.

Solid legs help delineate the space, creating an outdoor “room” for social gatherings. Find blueprints for this design at the source.

 

3. Classic Deck Bench Design

Image credit: libraryrachel via Creative Commons

This is a classic deck bench design with angled back and front legs. The pergola posts provide support for the back. The bench’s corner studs are positioned at a 45-degree angle. The seat and the back are built from 2x4s. The backrest also serves as a deck railing. The frame and the legs are 2×6.

Image credit: libraryrachel via Creative Commons

The angled bench legs help preserve floorspace, while the boarded backrests open to nature and allow airflow. The supporting pergola posts add structural stability.

 

4. Bench Railings Design Idea

Wrap-around bench serves as deck railings
Image credit: Scott Feldstein via Creative Commons

A wrap-around bench with a backrest is often called the Bench Railings. If you like the look you could save on material and labor by combining a railing and seating into one. This is a quite simple design idea that allows you to achieve both security and convenience.

Use the same boards as the decking to build this bench. One board is used for the seats, while two boards create the backrests. The single leg supports help carry the weight of the benches while also anchoring the bench to the deck structure for stability. These single supportive posts extend down under the deck floor where they get bolted to the joists.

 

5. Slatted Corner Bench Made from 2 x 4s

Slatted corner bench in red wood
Image credit: redagainPatti via Creative Commons

This custom built deck has all bells and whistles – a nice tall privacy wall, overhead lighting, built-in steps, lots of room for play, and of course, the slatted bench seat. Located on the corner, the seat is made from 2x4s and designed to have a slatted appearance. It could use some backrest for safety, as it’s located quite up high. Notice an interesting detail – all legs in this entire corner plan are parallel.

 

6. Freestanding Bench Design Under Pergola

Freestanding deck bench under pergola
Image credit: Fiberon Tropics composite decking via Creative Commons

This composite decking creates the feel of a tropical retreat that culminates in the solid seat benches. The triple seats echo the shape of the pergola, seamlessly blending with the open rail structure. This is a freestanding design that can be attached to the deck floor, and after the pergola is assembled.

 

7. Boat Dock Bench Idea in Composite Wood

A bench design built into the boat dock
Image credit: Michael Coghlan via Creative Commons

Some boat docks are built similarly to exterior decks. They have railings and may have seating built-in. In this photo, the modern benches, made from composite wood, are secured to the dock rail in an interlocking manner. While the real wood parts have patinated to a dark gray the composite wood retained its color. The slotted design for the seats and two beams for the backrest is a water-friendly idea that is ideal near pools, ponds, and rain-rich areas.

 

8. Solid Deck Benches

Two solid seat wooden benches mounted to the deck floor
Image credit: Al Bowler via Creative Commons

Here we have two small benches located on both sides of the same corner. The very solid seat design provides stability, and these benches without a backrest are made with wide and thick wood boards for a cubed appearance. It creates a good contrast to the slatted rail behind the freestanding benches.

Notice how while the benches are perpendicular to each other, their legs are parallel. This was done to enhance the visual aesthetics. But from the construction point of view, this is not a very practical idea. When the legs are attached along the shorter side of the bench the entire assembly becomes much more rigid. Realizing that, the builders had to add a second pair of legs to the other bench design where the legs are aligned with the longer dimension.

 

9. Deck Bench with Built-in Planter

A composite wood bench design with built in planter, planted with yellow daisies
Image credit: Deck City via Creative Commons

These corner benches are joined by a built-in planter. The benches and the planter are made from the same composite wood as the deck. The edging is painted in a contrasting neutral-toned gray. The solid seats have a split board appearance due to the routered edges of each wood board. The benches have no backrest, and thus include the garden beyond into the open space.

 

10. Bench Design Integrated with Pergola

A built-in pergola bench on a composite wood deck

Using a bench design integrated with pergola construction techniques makes clever use of existing architectural features. The bench legs are from the same wood as the pergola, while the solid bench seats are made from the same composite material as the deck.

The wrap-around design creates a natural railing for the deck.

 

11. Easy DIY Bench

Narrow long bench installed at the edge of a deck
Image credit: Peggy via Creative Commons

Ideal for small decks, this narrow freestanding bench is made using a single board with boxed edges. It’s easy to DIY. Each section of the single bench is supported by a 4″ x 4″ leg and set in the middle of the section at a perpendicular angle. The bench becomes a low deck rail that leads up to the pergola. It’s anchored to the deck, below the deck floor.

 

12. Inexpensive Wrap-Around Deck Bench

Inexpensive deck bench design idea that combines the seating with the railing
Image credit: mazaletel via Creative Commons

You can think of this bench design as an extension of the deck railing. The wrap-around railing is attached to the outside perimeter of the deck using 2x8s as rail posts (that also serve as balusters). Then the seat frames are anchored to the rail posts while using slanted wood legs for additional support.

With minimal extra materials, create this deck bench that doubles as the deck railing. The overall design may seem a bit flimsy to some people but it’s inexpensive and lightweight.

 

13. Cool Slatted Design

Neat slatted bench design that matches to the railing design
Image credit: Dravium Polcaro via Creative Commons

The horizontal design of the rails is complemented by a natural organically slotted bench. The shaped 2×4 beams attach to 2×2 legs, achieving a rounded front curve. With no backrest, the bench seat blends seamlessly with the rail for a unified look.

Slatted bench seat detail
Image credit: Dravium Polcaro via Creative Commons

In this image, the curved seat profile is revealed in more detail. Front supporting legs will be added for additional strength. The deck rail becomes the backrest.

 

14. Simple Backless Built-In Bench Design

Simple backless built-In benches made from cedar, on the cottage deck

These two corner built-in deck benches have their support legs mounted underneath the deck floor, conveniently close to the edge of the deck for easy installation access. So the legs are actually much longer than they appear, providing ample length for secure mounting to the base of the deck.

The seats are a very basic simple design. Four cedar boards make up the nearest bench, while two cedar boards create a pew-like single bench further along the edge of the deck. I would dare to say that the seats were attached to the leg supports after the deck was done.

 

15. Built-In Deck Bench with Angled Back

A bench with angled back on a multi-level deck of a mountain home

This is a very robust bench design with the supporting posts extending past the edge of the deck for a slightly angled back design. With the seat and bench back floating away from the actual deck, the designer created space where there was none. It’s a perfect setup for lazy afternoons in and around the nearby hot tub, with mountain views and fresh air.

A mountain home deck bench detail

The seat is perfectly designed as a barrier to encapsulate the deck area, without compromising on space. The seat has two additional boards of the length of the bench installed below the seat, securing the deck from any pets scurrying off the edge. You can see that the design of the four supporting brackets is very sturdy as well.

 

16. Wrap Around Jacuzzi Bench

Here’s an interesting idea. This deck bench wraps around the hot tub. Its design is highly functional as seating and a step to help you get into the tub. The wooden skirt of the hot tub blends seamlessly with the bench. Consider adding in some built-in planters for a greenery effect.

 

17. Minimalist Slatted Bench With Open Deck Design

Here’s one of my favorite designs for an open deck. Several benches around deck form one continuous seating area. They follow the perimeter of the deck which has no railing. And the benches are backless. So the view is not obstructed at all while plenty of seating is provided. I call this design the Perimeter Bench.

 

18. Trapezoid Shaped Bench Idea

Trapezoid shaped bench design on a wood deck

These benches attached to the deck were added after it was built and painted to match. The design is freestanding, providing both seating and space for flower planters. The solid seats are supported over several 2″x4″ legs that take the weight while also ensuring the seats are stable on the deck. Despite its complex trapezoid shape, it’s a very basic design that completes an otherwise empty deck. The framing was done outside the deck and then the benches were juxtapositioned and the legs were secured to the wood floor.

 

19. Backless Bench as Wrap Around Railing Idea

Backless wrap around bench offers unobstructed views of the river

If you have a stunning view, like a river and vacation cottage, you want to preserve it. Replace the view-obstructing rails with backless deck benches instead. The benches become the railing, wrapping around with lights to create a perfect picture frame for the stunning river view. Enjoy the uninterrupted outlook on the outdoors from the deck or from inside the cottage.

 

20. Small Bench Idea for an Outdoor Shower

Small rectangular bench wraps around a tree inside an outdoor shower enclosure Shower bench detail

This simple homemade bench is built around an existing pine tree. It’s triangle-shaped to fit the small triangular deck. The deck serves as a floor for an outdoor shower. As you can see the bench is bolted to the deck on one end. On the opposite end, there is only one leg. It’s a three-legged design. Building such a small bench is easy. All you need is one 8-ft 4×4 and a few 1×6 boards. You can construct it onsite. Install and attach the legs first. Then frame the seat while cutting the boards to fit around the tree. For its rustic look, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

 

21. Deck Bench as Railing Idea

Bench installed on the corner of the deck of a suburban home, with the backrest design that looks like railings

What’s unusual about this design is that the bench has a backrest that is installed at 90 degrees to the seat. Also, the designers installed post toppers that are commonly found on deck railings. Basically, the backrest is designed to mimic the railing.

 

22. Deck Benches with Flower Boxes

A long bench includes a built-in wooden flower box with pink daisies
Image source: archadeck.com

Here’s an idea of how a flower box can be seamlessly incorporated into a bench design. The flower box has solid walls made from the same planks as the solid seats are made from. This creates one beautiful look, enhanced by the pink daisies planted in the box.

 

23. Deck Bench Construction Techniques

This photo shows how to anchor a bench to a deck using bolts
Image source: archadeck.com

For a DIY deck bench construction, learn the T-support method. Simply attach a 4″ x 4″ post to the side of the deck with two bolts per leg. Cut the posts to achieve an equal leg height. Next, use a 2″ x 4″ plank for the two halves of the T-section. Attach this to the legs with two bolts per piece. Use a spirit level to ensure it’s perfectly level. This is one of the construction techniques you should know when you build DIY deck benches.

 

24. Recessed Deck Design

A unique seating design made up of a recessed deck section and a floating corner bench with a backrest

Here’s a neat idea. Create a unique seating area with a recessed deck section that emphasizes the solid seat of the deck benches. The backrest is made from twin planks and a top cover to define the view beyond. The specialized Y-bracket made from wood and steel secures each seat leg against the side of the deck, allowing maximum use of space as the benches float over the side of the deck. And the recessed deck adds interest and creates a natural conversation area.

 

25. Bench with Built-In Table Idea

Corner bench with a small built-in table

Decks are entertainment spaces, where hanging out with friends includes a couple of drinks. This bench with a built-in table that occupies the corner is ideal. The seats and the table have matching solid appearance. Angled wooden brackets form the bench legs for a space saving design.

 

26. Bench with Built-in Storage Box Idea

Bench with built in storage design that also includes a small pergola roof and a high back
Image source: wilderoutdoorspaces.com

Love this idea for built-in storage. Neat as a pin, this deck bench stores outdoor or garden gear in the under-seat storage box. The same type of lumber is used for the deck and for the bench, creating a unified design with a privacy screen behind the bench backrest. The overhead pergola complements this awesome outdoor space.

 

27. Craftsmen Style Built-in Corner Bench

Craftsmen style deck with built-in bench
Image source: wilderoutdoorspaces.com

This deck with benches built-in is constructed in the typical craftsman’s style. The wrap-around bench is composed of 6″ tight knot cedar lumber. The backrests slant at a 35-45 degree angle for added comfort. Alternating front legs helps save materials and cost.

 

28. Creative DIY Idea

Nice and simple bench with backrest
Image credit

This is a DIY bench design that someone has beautifully put together using decking leftovers. A very nice construction that shows exactly how it was done. It’s easy to mount on a wooden deck, simply driving screws through each leg into the deck floor. And it’s relatively easy to make too. Out of many designs for deck benches, I like this one the most.

2x4s are used for the legs and 2x6s for the seat. The rear vertical supports are 2x8s cut at a 15-degree angle to create a more comfortable back.

 

29. Curved Deck Bench Idea

Beautiful curved bench design
Image source: johnperryconstruction.com

If straight edges and square corners bore you, opt for a curved deck bench in matching timber to the decking.

This Redwood bench is made using a unique manufacturing process, meaning it’s best to leave it to the pros. The circular section bends around a large tree, negating the need to remove it.

 

30. Simple DIY Deck Bench with No Backrest

Simple DIY idea
Image credit

For all of the benches on deck ideas, this is the one that is the most simplistic and the cheapest to DIY. Deck benches don’t need to be complicated. This design is made by first constructing 6 identical wood frames from 2×4 lumber. Next, the frames are turned on their side, and wooden boards are screwed over the top with a neat 45-degree joint between the two benches. The backrest is not needed on such a low deck.

DIY bench detail

It was assembled outside of the deck, then placed over and screwed to the deck floor through the support frames.

 

31. Outdoor Bar and Bench Combination

Bar table built into a deck along with a bench
Image source: countryplans.com

Dangle your toes off the edge of your deck while sipping a cocktail at the bar. This clever design combines a bar top and a bench, both built into a wraparound porch. The bar top extends past the roof posts, while the bench is made as a simple extension from the roof posts. This photo is so great, that it’ll be easy to repeat the same idea as a DIY project.

 

32. 2×4 Slatted Deck Seat Design

Classic slatted seat design idea
Image source

With a simple frame design, this slatted outdoor seat idea is great for DIY. Build a simple frame of 2x4s with additional lengths of timber to fill the frame as slatted wood. The deck rail serves as the backrest. Six legs per bench offer support and weight-bearing properties. Make two of these and create a nice corner seating area.

 

33. Easy-to-make Pew-Like Bench Design

Pew like bench idea
Image source: huffpost.com

Possibly from one 4×4 and one 1×8, an easy-to-make deck bench is created that doubles as the railing on the three sides facing away from the home. Single legs balance the bench seats, while the lack of a backrest preserves the minimalist style and views. The legs must be bolted to deck joists, to be stable.

 

34. Deck Seating Idea with Fire Pit

Outdoor deck seating with fire pit
Images credit: decktec.com

Wooden boards interlock to form the outdoor seats in this professional design. The benches with their railed backrests become furniture for the fire pit. A raised pit creates a focal point for social activities, while the horizontal railing boards serve as a bar top for wine glasses or beer bottles.

 

35. Floating Pergola Benches

Pergola benches appear to float in the air as their legs cannot be seen
Image credit

These deck benches float on a single leg per section with pergola posts supporting the other corners of the benches. The beautiful seats with slanted backs support the relaxed posture. The construction cleverly hides the seat legs until you look closer, creating a floating appearance that complements the airy pergola design.

 

36. Composite Deck Benches with Built-in Backrest

Here’s a different approach to designing a built-in deck bench with a back. The tapered back supports are actually mounted over the edge of the deck and bolted to the rim joist. This is a very clean and sturdy installation by Decks By RSH. Shaped in two corner units, the benches create a seamless wrap-around railing.

 

37. Irregular Shaped Design

Irregular shape outdoor bench design by RSH
Image credit: Decks by RSH

When it comes to building benches for an outdoor deck, the bench design usually follows the shape of the deck. Here’s one great example of how it’s done.

In a forested setting, these irregular bench shapes are joined in a ziggurat pattern for a strong visual element. Floating seats are anchored on slanted platforms with slatted backrests forming the wrap-around deck railing. Matching color planters and cool lighting fixtures complete this beautiful outdoor living space.

About Joe Hats 176 Articles
Joe Hats is the founder of FreshPatio.com. Joe has been remodeling homes since 1997 when he bought his first fixer-upper. He has built many pieces of indoor and outdoor furniture with his own hands and has every DIY woodworking tool in his possession. Coming from an engineering background, he has designed and built many patio fixture plans. Following his wife's lead, he is also very passionate about home decor and together they keep track of the latest trends. When he is not remodeling or trying a new woodworking tool, he is busy gardening or designing a new outdoor plan.