Add Space and Style to Your Deck with a Built-In Bench

Decks bring the comforts of indoor living outside, expanding your home’s livable space. But while decks offer fresh air and great views, their functionality is often hampered by a lack of sufficient seating, storage, and design elements.

That’s where a built-in bench comes in! Integrating a bench right into your deck structure checks all the boxes, providing integrated seating, hidden storage, and style in one solution.

built in bench on deck

Benefits of Built-In Benches for Decks

Integrated Seating

Unlike freestanding deck furniture like chairs and loungers, a built-in bench is permanently installed as part of your deck. This seamlessly incorporates seating into the structure without cluttering up floor space.

Built-in benches become part of the deck floor plan, tailored exactly to the layout and flow of the space. No more haphazard furniture arrangements or dragging pieces in and out each season.

Added Storage

Built-in benches open up storage possibilities right where you need them. Benches can be designed with hidden compartments underneath the seat, offering out-of-sight storage for deck items like cushions, toys, gardening tools, and more.

Stashing these items right in arm’s reach saves trips back inside while keeping the deck clutter-free.

Dual Functionality

Unlike a standard bench, built-in versions serve double duty as both seating and deck railing. The backrest portion often extends above seat level to act as railing or edge protection.

This dual-purpose design does more with less, maximizing functionality from every bit of your valuable deck real estate.


Built-in benches allow you to customize the exact size, shape, materials, and features to perfectly suit your deck space and style.

Choose a curve shape for a unique accent or go for clean lines that seamlessly blend with your existing deck. Mix and match color schemes and materials to coordinate with your home’s exterior.

Low Maintenance

With a built-in bench, you can consolidate maintenance like refinishing and cleaning with the rest of the deck, avoiding the extra work of caring for separate furniture pieces.

Benches crafted from composite deck boards offer enhanced durability and weather resistance with minimal upkeep required.

Key Considerations for Your Built-In Bench


Getting the size right is key to comfort and functionality. Consider depth in the 18 to 24-inch range to give ample seat space. Aim for bench seat height around 16 to 18 inches tall.

Determine overall length based on available space and intended usage. For seating multiple people, plan for at least 6 feet. Prefabricated bench boxes make sizing easier.


Wood choices like pressure-treated pine, cedar, and redwood offer traditional styling. Opt for naturally rot-resistant cedar or redwood if not using a wood preservative.

For the lowest maintenance option, go with composite decking to reduce the need for staining, sealing, and frequent replacement compared to natural wood.

Design Features

Backrests allow you to relax against the bench rather than sit bolt upright. Full backrests stretching to bench height provide optimal comfort and support.

Armrests give a place to rest arms, added convenience when sitting for longer periods. They also provide leverage for getting in and out of the bench.

Custom touches like planters, lighting, storage boxes, and charging stations integrate seamlessly during construction.


Proper construction entails securely attaching the bench to the deck frame for safety and stability. Reinforce framing with extra beams or posts in the bench area.

Use weather-resistant deck screws, galvanized hardware, and waterproofed lumber to stand up to outdoor exposure and prevent rotting.

Customizing Your Built-In Bench

Storage Space

Built-in benches present an opportunity to add concealed storage space right where you need it on your deck. Optimize bench storage without compromising seating capacity.

Determine an appropriate storage depth based on what you intend to store, but keep it shallow enough to maintain leg room. Then optimize the storage width and length within the bench footprint.

Access storage via lift-up cushions or hinged lids discreetly built into the bench.


For two or multi-tier decks, built-in benches can pull double duty as stairways between levels. This creates seamless transitions when navigating the deck.

Check building code requirements for stair dimensions like depth, riser height, and landing size to ensure the bench stairway provides safe access.

Focal Point

Make a bold style statement by incorporating unique design elements like curved benches, ornamental woodwork, decorative hardware, and colorblocking visuals.

This commands attention, instantly becoming a focal feature of your outdoor living space. Integrated lighting amplifies the effect after dark.


Look for bench designs with adjustable backrests to accommodate different seating positions. For dining, keep the backrest vertical. Lounging calls for a reclined backrest.

Sections like end caps can also fold down to extend the seating surface. This adapts the bench for conversation pits or casual family movie nights.


Complement your bench with built-in lighting for both form and function. Subtle accent lighting creates atmosphere on the bench surface or backrest.

Lighting can also provide illumination along accessibility routes. Hardwire lighting to tap into your deck’s existing electrical system for easy control.

Natural Elements

Further blend the built-in bench into your deck’s outdoor oasis by integrating natural materials and textures. For example:

  • Incorporate large rocks or stone surfaces into bench construction
  • Display live plants, succulents, or flowers in bench planters
  • Use real wood with pronounced grains and knots
  • Emulate natural rock textures and colors in concrete bench surfaces

This transforms the bench into an organic extension of the rest of your deck environment.

Built-in benches provide the perfect perch to enjoy your deck while maximizing both form and function in one seamless solution. You get comfortable, customized seating integrated organically into your deck design.

Storage compartments keep deck items out of the way but within reach. Safety railings blend into bench lines. And you can consolidate maintenance with the rest of your deck.

Purpose-built for its intended space, a built-in bench feels like it came standard with your deck. It creates an inviting spot tailored for lounging, dining and conversation – without dragging out a single piece of furniture.

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