Beauty With Additional Seating.
This year we decided to do something an area of our deck that we don’t often use. That area is stuck back underneath an overhang created by the transition between the kitchen and the dining room. Up until his time we’ve used it for things like storage, protecting plants and actually utilizing it when we have our yearly Oktoberfest.
In order to better use it we want to make the area more useful as well attractive. To this end we came up with the idea of adding a couple of deck planter boxes that are connected with a bench seat. We also didn’t want the interior planter boxes to be in direct contact with soil in order to keep any rot that might occur to an absolute minimum.
What we came up with is a couple of planter boxes that were constructed mostly from material that I had left over from other projects. Here is a list of materials we used. Materials listed are for one box and one bench.
Planter Box Materials (1 Box)
- 2 – 2” x 4” x 8’-0” studs (For framing).
- 16 – 1” x 4” x 6’-0” fence boards (For sides, trim and top plate).
- 1 – 2” x 2” x 4’-0” deck rail balusters (this will be enough for two boxes).
- 1 – Plastic tote with 5 to 6 half inch holes drilled in the bottom. We suggest a blue recycle bin tote available at Home Depot for around $13. This tote is fairly tall and extremely rugged so it should stand the test of time once filled with dirt and plants.
- Whatever paint or stain you would like.
- 2 ½ inch outdoor wood screws.
- 1 ½” galv. Finishing nails or a pneumatic staple gun using 1 5/8” staples.
Bench seat Materials.
- 5 – 2” x 4” x 8’-0” studs
After watching the video below you will have a pretty good idea of how we put it together but here are some key points to remember when assembling the boxes and bench.
- The tote you choose will be the key ingredient to the size of your planter box, since the box is literally built around it. The tote we suggested above will give you a good bench height as well as more than enough room for your plants roots.
- When sizing the frame for the box the tote is of course crucial, but you also want to take into consideration how many fence boards will be used across the face of the box. The fence boards will be 3 ½ inches wide so multiply that out to find out exactly how many boards you will need across the face of the tote. You will want to use a full count of boards so that you do not have to rip a board down to a smaller size to make it fit.
As an example if my tote is 28 inches long on one side then add that dimension plus 1 ½ inches on each side for the frame plus a quarter inch gap on each side between the frame and tote. This gives you a grand total of 31 inches but when you add up (9) fence boards you come up with 31 ½ inches. You will want to use the 31 ½” for the frame size instead of the 31”so that you don’t have to rip a quarter inch off on each side of 2 boards.
- When you complete the exterior of the box and prior to applying the trim consider painting or staining everything at that point. This way you make sure everything becomes as weather resistant as possible.
- When building the bench portion we decided on 48 inches wide so we could just split the 8”-0” studs used in its construction in half. It is also my opinion that if you go much further than 48 inches wide your bench seat might have a tendency to get a little bit springy due to being over spanned for 2x4s.
- Also think about a time in the future where you might want to move this new creation to a different locale by choosing carefully how you attach the seat itself. This is discussed in the last portion of the video.
The video below is not an actual step-by-step procedure but I do point out all the key points in the construction of it and it should be a simple matter to see everything that was done and transfer it to your project.