Create the perfect garden retreat with our step-by-step instructions
Sunset Books

Imagine sipping your tea or wine in the dappled light of your own backyard arbor bench, your favorite vine overhead.

Building a bench and arbor combo is in some ways less complicated than building a standalone bench. The arbor provides the structure, and the bench comes along for the ride with no complex angles or fancy joinery.

Get our step-by-step instructions

Building tips

Use rot-resistant wood. The posts and the bench legs should be made of pressure-treated lumber that is rated for ground contact. If you use cedar, redwood, or above-ground-rated lumber, apply extra sealer.

If you want to pave the arbor floor, do so right after setting the posts. This will give you a hard surface from which to measure.

Getting posts to the same height may be tricky. You may choose instead to set unnotched posts and tamp the soil to hold them firm, then cut them to height and make the notches.

Where we show joining pieces with a pair of carriage bolts, you may choose instead to drive four 3-inch decking screws or two lag screws.

Next: diagram and materials list

 

What you need

  • Four 10' 4 x 4 posts
  • Two 8' 2 x 6 beams
  • One 12' 2 x 6 for three cross braces
  • One 8' 2 x 6 for two seat supports and three back supports
  • Two 8' 2 x 4s for four bench legs, back rail, and lattice support
  • One 12' 2 x 8 for three seat planks
  • One 8' 1 x 4 for two backrests
  • One 4' 1 x 6 for two armrests
  • Twelve 6' 2 x 2s for four verticals and eight slats
  • One 4' x 4' lattice sheet, cut to 3' x 4'
  • Four decorative corner braces
  • 1⁄4" galvanized carriage bolts with nuts and washers: four at 31⁄2", eight at 5", four at 6"
  • Twelve 1⁄4" x 4" galvanized lag screws with washers
  • 11⁄4" and 3" decking or stainless-steel screws
  • Exterior stain and sealer or primer and paint

 

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