How to Build Benches on a Deck

A deck is a good spot to relax or to entertain family and friends.

A good addition to a deck.A good addition to a deck.
You can make the deck more user friendly by building benches adjacent to the railing, leaving plenty of space to entertain. Basic woodworking skills are all you need to spruce up your deck with benches.
A cutting diagram for this project.

Cut nine 2-by-4s to 48 inches in length, three 2-by-4s to 19 inches in length and three 2-by-4s to 24 inches in length.

Watch the depth.

Place four of the 48-inch pieces of lumber on the worktable along with the three 19-inch pieces. Mark the edge of the 19-inch piece as follows: ¾, 2¼, 4½, 6, 8¼, 9¾, 12 and 13½ inches. Drill countersink holes 2 inches deep through the 3½-inch width of the 19-inch 2-by-4s, apply glue to the bottom edge of the 19-inch pieces and secure them across the width of the 48-inch pieces with the deck screws. Install two of them 2 inches from the ends and one in the center of the 48-inch pieces. One end of the 19-inch pieces should be hanging over the assembly. This is the bench seat.

Place the 24-inch lumber on the worktable. Make marks on the edge at 1¾, 5¼, 8¾, 12¼ and 15¾ inches. Drill countersink holes on these marks as you did the 19-inch pieces. Place five of the 48-inch pieces of lumber on the worktable adjacent to one another. Apply glue to the 24-inch pieces and secure them to the 48-inch pieces with the deck screws. Flush the 48-inch pieces with one end of the 24-inch pieces. Part of the 24-inch pieces will not be covered by the 2-by-4s.

Cut six pieces of leftover 2-by-4s to 18 inches in length and six pieces to 19 inches. Measure from one end of the 19-inch pieces and make a mark at 14 inches. Draw an "X" on the inside of the line indicating where the 18-inch pieces will be secured. Secure the 18-inch pieces perpendicular to the 19-inch pieces with the deck screws. One of the 18-inch pieces will be flush with one end of the 19-inch piece and the other one will be at the 14-inch mark. These are the bench legs.


Place a leg adjacent to each of the 2-by-4s on the bottom side of the seat. Secure them through the 19-inch 2-by-4s. Next, cut a 2-by-4 to 41 inches in length and secure it to the overhanging 19-inch 2-by-4 with the deck screws.

Secure it here.

Place the seat assembly at the desired location and secure it to the deck. Place the back of the bench on the back part of the seat and secure it to the seat with the deck screws.

Things You Will Need

  • Nine 2-by-4-by-96-inch lumber
  • Electric miter saw
  • Variable speed drill
  • Countersink drill bit
  • Wood glue
  • 3-inch deck screws


  • The seat of this bench will work without the back if the deck has railing that can act as the back of the bench. Seal the bench and the deck regularly with a good water sealer to give them long life.


  • Do not leave power tools unattended in the presence of children. Do not apply a sealer in gusty winds.

About the Author

Michael Straessle has written professionally about the construction industry since 1988. He authored “What a Strange Little Man,” among other books, and his work has appeared in various online publications. Straessle earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in professional/technical writing.