DIY Deck furniture for $100

This is what our deck looked like up until recently, but we’ve made some big changes, including building our own deck furniture!

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But first, I primed the railing and started painting, but it’s taking a while since lately it’s either raining or in full sun! So we went ahead with the furniture and we’ll get to the painting whenever we can. I hate to make you scroll all the way down, so without further ado, here’s the finished (for now) product!

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Here’s what we needed to build the table and 3 custom sized benches to fit along the railing. (We probably would have shopped at Lowe’s to get our 5% off, but we had a $25 Home Depot gift card.)

See the end of this post for the finished dimensions of the pieces and how we cut up the lumber.

Treated Pine

  • 4 x 4 x 10 for legs of table – 1 = $12.77
  • 2 x 4 x 10 for apron/supports of table and legs of benches – 1 = $4.57
  • 2 x 4 x 8 for apron/supports of table and legs of benches – 4 ($3.67 each) = $14.68
  • 2 x 4 x 8 that we realized we needed later and got at Lowes – 1 (after discount) = $2.97
  • 2 x 6 x 8 for tabletop and seats of benches – 3 ($4.67 each) = $14.01
  • 2 x 6 x 12 for tabletop and seats of benches – 4 ($6.97 each) = $27.88

Screws (must be polymer coated or galvanized for use in treated lumber)

  • 2.5 inch Grip Rite star drive polymer coated screws – $7.27
  • 3 inch Grip Rite polymer coated exterior screws – $4.00

TOTAL (plus 9.75% tax) = $96.75

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We started by cutting our table legs out of 4 x 4. (FYI, we borrowed a friend’s miter saw for this project, and now we’re more convinced than ever that we need one!) Then we cut our carefully measured apron pieces out of 2 x 4 and laid it all out upside down on the garage floor to make sure it would be level.

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Rather than doing pocket screws from the inside, we opted to use longer screws and a 2″ drill bit to countersink them from the outside to ensure the frame was nice and sturdy. We also don’t have a pocket hole jig, so this option is easier for us.

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Then we added three 2 x 4s for support, one directly in the middle and the other two at the ends for the inner edge of our “breadboard” ends (the tabletop pieces that run width-wise). Apparently, that’s really what they’re called. Who knew.

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We wanted to attach the tabletop from underneath so no screws would be visible, and originally we were planning on doing this with pocket screws. But again, no pocket hole jig. So since we had a bunch of leftover deck balusters from our railing (which are treated wood), we decided it would be easier to line the inside of the frame with those and screw up through them to attach the top.

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They’re not very thick, so plenty of each 2.5″ screw sunk into the table top.

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Then we cut all of our tabletop pieces out of 2 x 6, and centered them carefully on the table. Starting from the middle boards, I stood on each one while Andrew screwed them in from underneath. If you were doing it alone, you might need to turn the table upside down?

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Then we measured the width again, and cut and attached our breadboard ends. Ta-da! It’s a table!

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Then it was time for the benches! These went sooo fast. We decided we wanted these wider than your average farmhouse benches and instead, about the depth of an average chair because they will be right up against the railing. If they were too narrow, you would have to sit up super straight or you’d be hanging off the front. Not comfortable. Also, we needed readily available bench cushions to fit them, which seem to range from 17″ to 18.5″ deep. (More on that to come in a future post!)

We cut the tops first, laid them out, and then cut all the legs the same length and set them aside.

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We measured the width of each side of the “tops”, custom cut a horizontal support piece for it, and then screwed two legs into it from the top. Then we turned the u shaped support over (horizontal piece plus legs) and screwed it into the 3 planks of the seat. And repeated. Sorry if that’s confusing…I didn’t manage to take any pictures of that process.

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We didn’t want them to look too homemade or crafty, so we used some more leftover deck balusters to create little supports on the sides.

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Pretty self explanatory. Measured each one individually so it’d be a tight fit and screwed it in. And there you have it! A bench! We also didn’t want the typical farmhouse bench style because we thought 4 x 4s for the legs would look too bulky with 3 benches all lined up.

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Then it was time to move them back to the deck and make sure they actually fit in the space! We measured very carefully before, but still…makes you nervous. They fit exactly as we had planned (including the small gap on the side so it wouldn’t trap water or scrape the house as we moved it into place.)

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Looks like a pretty good fit to me!

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We also made sure that the two longer benches could fit under the longer sides of the table, in case we ever want to rearrange.

It was a super exciting moment. I may have gotten carried away with my photobombing.

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We have to wait to do the finishing stuff (sanding, painting, and/or staining) until the wood dries out. Exterior lumber has chemical-laden water forced into it during the treating process (way more than would happen from rain) so if it’s not hot and dry it can take months to dry out.

I think it might be dry enough now since it has been so hot (should be under 15% using a moisture meter, or even less is better!), but we also have a few areas that might need some re-adjusting based on how the wood changed as it dried. If only we had a kiln to dry our wood before!

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We went ahead and put all of it on the deck so we could start using it, but the next step is to sand it (to make sure the edges are rounded and smooth, the top is level, and to get rid of the stamps, obviously.) Then we need to decide if we want to stain or paint it! And paint the black chairs a fun color!

Until then, we’re already enjoying our new furniture (and new cushions that I’ll share pictures of later) and love that it was a cost effective way to get a lot of seating!

 

Finished Dimensions:

Table: 62″ long x 34″ wide x 31″ tall (we haven’t decided, but we might cut an inch off the legs)

2 longer benches: 48″ long x 16.5″ wide x 18″ tall

Shorter bench: 39″ long x 16.5″ wide x 18″ tall

Table

  • Legs: One 4 x 4 x 10
  • Apron: One 2 x 4 x 10 and one 2 x 4 x 8
  • Tabletop: Three 2 x 6 x 12
  • Tabletop supports: One 2 x 4 x 8

Benches

  • Supports: Three 2 x 4 x 8
  • Seats: Three 2 x 6 x 8 and one 2 x 6 x 12

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7 Responses to DIY Deck furniture for $100

  1. Kathy H February 26, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

    That is just so incredible how you made basic lumber into all of that. I’ve been trying to find ideas for deck benches and came across this. Could you please explain how you attached the 4 x 4 table legs to the four 2 x 4 frame boards? Did you use 5″ or 6″ screws?? Or did you put the screws in at an angle from the inside?

    • Simple House Expressions March 7, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

      Thanks! We like how it turned out! 🙂 We used long screws (don’t remember exactly but I think 2 or 3″) and a longer 2″ drill bit to countersink the screws from the outside of the 4×4 (which does leave holes on the outside of the table leg, but we didn’t mind that for outdoor furniture). You could do pocket screws from the inside (at an angle through the inside of the 2×4 into the 4×4), but if you don’t get the angle just right, the screw might come through the 2×4 and then have to be redone, leaving a hole anyway. A pocket hole jig (like a Kreg jig) prevents this, but we don’t have one so we opted for the other method. We also thought it might be a bit more sturdy this way. Hope that makes sense!

      – Arielle

      • Kathy H March 7, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

        Thank you Arielle. What I didn’t understand is if you’re going through the thickness of a 4 x 4, which is actually 3.5″ thick and from there into the 2 x 4, wouldn’t you need a screw long enough to get through that 3.5″ thickness and then some? A 2 or 3″ screw wouldn’t make it all the way through a 4 x 4. Does that make sense?? LOL. I’m not doing a good job of wording my question I don’t think (grin).

        • Simple House Expressions March 7, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

          Haha! I understand! It can be confusing. So, in the process of countersinking, you use a longer drill bit (we used one that was 2″ long) to push (or sink) the head of the screw further into the piece of wood. I’m guessing we used 3″ screws, which we counter sunk 2″ into the 3.5″ thick 4×4, which means that 1.5″ of the screw is in the 2×4.

          • Kathy H March 7, 2016 at 8:33 pm #

            Ohhh my goodness. NOW I GET IT!! Hahaha. I kept seeing “countersinking” and I’m thinking you meant sinking it just enough to go below the outer surface of the wood and then possibly filling in that small depth with some wood filler or putty. But you REALLY sank it a lot. The info was all there. It just didn’t click for me for some reason. And I would have never thought to counter sink a screw so far into the wood. Typically under normal circumstances you would try to avoid sinking it too far in. But it was obviously warranty in this case. So nothing was registering for me LOL. It all makes sense now and I truly appreciate your patience in helping me get that light to turn on.

        • Simple House Expressions March 7, 2016 at 8:54 pm #

          No problem! You’re very welcome! 🙂 Yeah, it’s difficult to find screws that are 5″ long and they’re pretty expensive, so we went with the next best option.

          • Kathy H March 7, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

            Your option was WAY better than 5″ screws for sure. It was the perfect way of doing it. You guys did a great job! I just finished a patio bar for the pool and replaced the joists and all of the deck boards as well as the vertical posts and boards for screening. This will be my next project along with bar stools and deck benches. Just bought a fixer upper home a couple of years ago and I’m definitely fixing her up (grin).