This corner bench is a custom-made feature in the amazing backyard makeover designed by Caitlin Ketcham, author of the blog Desert Domicile. Take a look at Caitlin’s low maintenance backyard to see how this built-in bench and fire pit lounge fits into the overall backyard design.
The bench provides plenty of seating for enjoying the fire pit. Caitlin even included flower planters in each end of the L-shaped bench.
The Home Depot helped her with building this corner bench, as well as some of the other larger projects in her backyard makeover, including the floating deck, a beautiful slatted outdoor privacy screen and artificial grass installation. (Seriously. You should take a moment to see all the amazing features of this backyard.)
Here’s Caitlin’s tutorial explaining how you can build an outdoor bench like this in your backyard.
DIY Corner Storage Bench
When I was envisioning what I wanted in our backyard, I knew I wanted to include a fire pit/lounge area. I love making s’mores while chatting with friends, and I also love spending time outside at night stargazing.
Because I was tucking the space into the corner of our yard, I had to get creative with seating and storage options. I wanted to include as much seating as possible, but chairs can get expensive and depending on how large they are, they can take up a lot of space. I came up with the idea of an L-shaped corner bench with storage that would have planters built-in on either end!
I wasn’t sure of how it would look with everything else in our yard so I put together a moodboard, as seen above. My original plans changed a little bit but the end result is still in line with what I was dreaming of!
The Home Depot brought in some contractors to build this outdoor bench for me, and they worked their magic to turn my dream bench into a reality!
Here’s how they made it happen.
- 1 box of Deckmate #10 2½-in. wood deck screws w/bit
- Ready Seal exterior wood stain in dark walnut
- Foam paint roller
- Paint tray and liner
- Rubber gloves
- Work gloves
- Wiping cloths
- (2) 20 x 20 x 20 in. square planters
That’s the Mondavi 36 in. Envirostone Round Propane Fire Pit you see in this fire pit lounge.
Lumber Used for This Bench
- (4) 2 x 4 x 10 pieces of pressure treated lumber (for bench frame)
- (13) 2 x 6 x 12 pieces of pressure treated lumber (for bench frame)
- (17) 2 x 6 x 10 pieces of decking boards (for frame cladding)
- (5) 2 x 6 x 12 pieces of decking boards (for frame cladding)
Step 1 – Determine bench size and plot interior frame
Determine how long you want your corner bench to be. Measure out the space in your yard or sketch out the design of your bench, making notations regarding its length, depth, width and interior framework.
I wanted to create an L-shaped bench with each side measuring 10 ft. long.
Note: This tutorial will walk you through how to make one side of an L- shaped bench. Repeat the steps to make the other side.
Step 2 – Measure and mark bottom/top perimeter of frame
Use a measuring tape and pencil to mark and measure four 2 x 4 pieces of pressure treated lumber at 10 ft. long. Mark out 12 20-in.-long pieces on two 2 x 4 x 16 pieces of pressure treated lumber.
These pieces will be used for the base and top perimeter of your corner bench’s frame.
Step 3 – Measure and mark frame’s vertical supports
Use a measuring tape and pencil to mark and measure out 16 18-in.-long pieces on two 2 x 4 x 16 pieces of pressure treated lumber.
These pieces are the vertical boards within the frame, which give the corner bench its height.
Step 4 – Cut out boards for internal framework
Put on your safety goggles and ear protection. Use a compound miter saw to cut each of your wood pieces down to size. Set them aside.
Step 5 – Assemble base perimeter
Grab two 10 ft. pieces of pressure treated lumber and 2 20-in. pieces of pressure treated lumber.
Use a drill and decking screws to screw one 20-in. board to the end of one 10-ft. board.
Screw the other 20-in. board to the end of the 10-ft. board, and then screw the remaining 10-ft. board into the ends of the 20-in. boards.
Step 6 – Add interior supports to base perimeter
Use a drill and decking screws to screw interior supports to the base perimeter every 24 in. on center, or whatever works best for your corner bench size.
Step 7 – Attach vertical frame boards to base’s interior supports
Once all of your interior supports are attached, you have something to screw your vertical boards into.
Use decking screws to attach them to each corner, front and back.
Step 8 – Attach top perimeter boards to those interior supports
Flip your frame over onto its side so you can attach the remaining two 10-ft. boards.
This is the start of the top of the frame.
Step 9 – Attach top perimeter’s interior supports
Flip the frame back upright so you can attach interior supports for the top of the frame.
Use a drill and decking screws to screw the boards between the vertical boards.
Step 10 – Even up front surfaces
You’ll need to even up the front of your corner bench so you have something to screw your cladding into. Measure and mark several 2 x 4 pieces of pressure treated lumber around 12 in.
Step 11 – Cut gap filler boards
Put your safety goggles and ear protection on so you can use a compound miter saw to cut each of your 12 in. boards down to size.
Step 12 – Attach gap filler boards
Use a drill and decking screws to screw the filler boards you just cut into the gaps along the front of the frame so it’s flush with the base.
Now it’s time to clad the frame with your 2 x 6 decking boards!
Step 13 – Set planter inside frame
Grab one of your planters and set it inside the end of your bench’s frame.
You’ll be adding some decorative trim to the top so don’t worry if it’s not flush with the frame!
Step 14 – Repeat steps 1-13
If you’d like to make an L-shaped corner bench, repeat steps 1-13 to make the other side of the L.
Once you have both frames made, use a drill and decking screws to screw one end of your frame (the one without the planter in it) to the side of the other frame, forming a 90-degree angle.
Make sure both frames are flush and then screw them together to form an L!
Note: Complete this step BEFORE you begin cladding your bench!
Step 15 – Measure and mark decking boards
Use a measuring tape and a pencil to mark and measure your bench’s short side boards and long facing boards.
My bench’s short side boards were 2 ft. long (the depth of my bench), and my long boards were 10 ft. long (the length of my bench).
Step 16 – Cut decking boards
Grab your safety goggles and ear protection and put them on. Use a compound miter saw to cut all your decking boards.
Step 17 – Measure and mark decorative trim decking boards
Use a measuring tape and a pencil to mark and measure the decorative trim you’ll be adding to the top of your built-in planters. The trim helps hide any gaps and gives the planters a nice finishing touch!
You’ll be making a mitered picture frame, so measure eight pieces of decking board (four for each planter) at 2 ft. long (the depth of the bench).
Step 18 – Cut decorative trim boards
Grab your safety goggles and ear protection and put them on. Use a compound miter saw to cut your decorative trim decking boards.
Step 19 – Stain and seal decking boards
After all of your wood has been cut down to size, line a paint tray with a paint tray liner. Pour some exterior stain into the lined tray, grab your foam paint roller, and start staining.
Use a rag to wipe off any excess stain as you go, and don’t forget to stain the ends of the boards!
Repeat the staining process until the boards are stained to your desired darkness. Set each board aside to dry according to the time listed on your stain can/bucket.
Note: The stain I chose had a built-in sealer, so I didn’t have to seal my boards any further. If your stain doesn’t have a sealer mixed in it, seal your boards after the stain has dried.
Step 20 – Attach decking boards (cladding)
Use a drill and decking screws to screw the 2 x 6 decking boards to the bench frame. Start on the sides and butt each piece up against each other as you go. Start facing the front of the bench, moving from the bottom to the top, ending with the seat boards.
Step 21 – Add decorative trim to planter tops
Use a drill and decking screws to screw the 2 x 6 decking boards to the bench frame. Start on the sides and butt each piece up against each other as you go.
Our new corner bench has plenty of seating and storage. It can seat a ton of people, which is perfect for entertaining! We added outdoor pillows to add some comfort to the back of the bench and plan to add a thin cushion to the top of the bench soon. I’m so in love with how cozy our new fire pit area looks tucked into the corner of our yard!