When the warm season hits, there is no place better at home than outside on the deck. Enhance your deck's inviting charm with a patio bench attached to your deck railing.
This project is relatively inexpensive. On most decks, 36 inch guardrails (railings) are mandated by code on all decks 30 inches or more above ground. These guardrails will serve as the bench's backrest. The frame for your bench will be constructed from pressure-treated lumber, but you have discretion in choosing the material for the bench's top and horizontal treads. You could simply match the material of your existing deck. Follow these steps to build an 8-foot bench attached to an existing railing.
Step 1 - Construct the Frame
Begin by constructing your frame. Hold the two 2x4x91 1/2 inch pt ledger together and measure every two feet, marking each interval. Attach the five 2x4x11 inch joists by screwing through the ledger into the joists (one at each of the three marks and one at each end of the ledger). Use two 2 1/4 inch exterior wood screws for each joist. Make sure the pieces are flush. Once completed you will have an eight-inch ladder.
Step 2 - Attach Legs to the Frame
Attach the legs onto the underside of your bench frame. At each corner, and directly under each joist, attach a leg by angling a 2 1/4 inch exterior wood screw through the leg and into the ledger. Now you have 10 free floating legs attached to your bench frame.
Step 3 - Position the Frame
Position your frame on the deck. Space the frame so each end lines up with the existing guardrail posts. Screw through the ledger into the existing posts using 2 1/4 inch exterior wood screws.
Step 4 - Level the Legs
Plum and level each leg (mark the deck with a pencil for easier installation). Angle two exterior wood screws through each leg into the deck. Now your frame is solidly installed and ready for the cedar.
Step 5 - Install Horizontal Treads
Leaving a 1/8 inch gap from the deck for drainage, install long horizontal treads and short horizontal treads with the tongue up, angling 2 1/4 inch stainless steel screws through the tongue. Press the grove of the next boards into the tongue and repeat until you reach the top of the frame. Make sure your last horizontal treads are flush with the top of your frame.
Step 6 - Install Bench Top
Beginning at the railing, install your 2x6x8 foot cedar bench top using 2 1/4 inch stainless steel screws. Install two screws through the face of each board into the joists. Space each cedar board 1/8 inch for drainage. You will end up with a stylish 3/4 inch overhang at the front of your bench.
Step 7 - Stain the Bench
Stain if desired. Sit, lean back, and enjoy!