Build your own concrete garden bench – instructions & tips



Concrete decorations in the garden are currently very much in vogue. A bench seat can also be easily built from concrete. You can find out how this works and how it can be designed here.

Build your own concrete bench
© Александр Беспалый – Fotolia.com

Why always wood, metal or plastic? Concrete furniture is very trendy and is virtually indestructible, especially in the garden. Especially those who like it more modern and minimalistic will love a garden bench made of concrete, because it does not need any ornaments. Concrete garden benches are cheap and solid. The coolness of the concrete is absorbed by the contrast to warm woods. We will now tell you how you can build robust and durable concrete garden benches.

Concrete furniture – what are the advantages?

Concrete furniture has been experiencing a real boom lately. Designers have discovered a niche here and are paying dearly for their creations. In the process, furniture made of concrete itself can be produced comparatively cheaply. Mix cement, stone and water or use existing concrete parts. Concrete is a material with many advantages, especially in outdoor areas. Concrete garden furniture is durable and due to its weight can also be placed in the front garden, thieves will certainly keep their hands off it.

In addition to garden furniture, concrete can also be used for

  • chairs
  • stool
  • cupboards
  • beds
  • worktops
  • washbasins
  • or plant pot

to manufacture.

Which concrete is suitable for furniture production?

A standard concrete mix can be used to make a garden bench. You can also mix your own concrete. For this you need:

  • cement
  • Gravel or sand
  • Water

For more extensive projects, the use of porous or light-weight concrete is a good choice. This was mixed with expanded clay, which forms air pockets and reduces the density of the concrete. Of course, you can also use existing concrete parts and convert them into a garden bench. There are no limits to creativity.

Overweight garden furniture

Your garden bench will not be a lightweight. Concrete has some weight and even if you use aerated concrete, nobody will be able to lift your garden bench out of its hinges so quickly. Therefore, consider in advance where the bench is to be installed and transport the concrete parts on site before the bench is fully assembled.

“Tip: If the concrete furniture is coated with waterproofing slurry, the garden bench will not be affected by moisture and even light frosts will not be damaged.

Wood meets concrete

Concrete is cold and sober? Then simply put wood to the side of your concrete garden bench. If seats are made of wood, the bench looks much friendlier and more inviting. Use wood that is suitable for outdoor use and does not wear out so quickly. In addition to teak and other tropical woods, American oak also fulfils these purposes. A garden bench completely made of concrete would not be a really comfortable seat. The body cools down very quickly through direct contact with the concrete layer. Wooden slats on the seat and back are therefore more than welcome.

Build your own concrete garden bench – Variant 1

material list

  • concrete parts
  • square timber
  • dowels
  • screws
  • woodstain

tool list

  • percussion drill
  • cordless screwdriver
  • chop saw
  • grinding machine
  • sandpaper
  • folding rule
  • brush
  • pencil

instruction

❶ Concrete casting
❷ Set up concrete blocks
❸ Cutting wooden slats to size
❹ Pre-drilling holes
❺ Adding more in-depth knowledge
❻ Transferring holes to concrete blocks
❼ Drilling holes
❽ Glazing wooden slats
❾ Screw slats into dowels
❿ Screw wooden slats onto the lower slats

First the L-stones are manufactured. Mix the concrete according to the instructions and fill it into the prepared moulds. When the concrete is completely cured, the angle stone is removed from the mould. Once you have produced the two required L-stones, they are transported to the later location of the garden bench, preferably with a wheelbarrow.

“Tip: When aligning the concrete blocks, use a spirit level so that the bench stands upright later.

If the bench is set up on a loose floor, for example a bed, a straight surface can be created by applying a layer of gravel. A layer of concrete screed, which is applied to the gravel and then watered, gives the concrete blocks additional stability.

Now the wooden slats are cut according to the desired length. A length of two metres is ideal so that there is room for several people on the garden bench. The wooden slats are now screwed onto the concrete. First attach the two long slats and then screw on the shorter wooden slats in the desired bench width. The use of dowels is necessary for attaching the bottom slats. Before the wooden slats are screwed on, they are provided with wood protection. If you wish, you can attach additional slats in bench width to the front and back of the bench, giving the garden bench additional facing and making it look more inviting and less cool.

Garden bench made of concrete blocks – Variant 2

Would you like to save yourself the trouble of mixing the concrete, but still not do without a concrete garden bench? Then simply use ready-made concrete blocks. In a few simple steps a decorative and robust garden bench is created, which can also be produced without great experience in craftsmanship.

material list

  • concrete blocks
  • plywood panel
  • glue
  • Cushions for decoration

tool list

  • spirit level
  • hammer
  • cartridge pistol
  • safety goggles
  • protective gloves

Instructions:

❶ Set location
❷ Positioning concrete blocks
❸ Bonding concrete series
❹ further row concrete bricks platzieren
❺ second concrete row gluing
❻ Cut plywood panel to size
❼ Plywood board bonding
❽ Attach decoration

First, the location of the garden bench is determined, because it has to be set up on site. Ensure that the surface is firm, level and stable. There, the first row of benches is now being built with the help of concrete blocks. The blocks can be arranged as desired. So you determine the size of the future bank yourself. Two rows of concrete blocks are available to give the bench stability.

“Tip: Arrange the concrete blocks in a staggered order. This gives the bank more stability.

The center of the rear concrete block is then exactly at the intersection of the concrete blocks of the front row. Now the blocks are connected with each other. A construction adhesive must be used for this purpose. The adhesive is applied drop by drop on both sides, then both blocks are joined together under pressure. In this way all the blocks of the lower row are glued together.

“Tip: Before you continue, let the concrete blocks dry overnight.

The staggered arrangement of the concrete blocks has created an empty space in the back row. This is now filled in by dividing a concrete block with a hammer.

Attention: Work with protective goggles and gloves.

Glue is applied to the two halves and these are now glued into the two empty spaces. When the first row of concrete blocks is completely dry, the construction of the second concrete row begins. Place the concrete blocks offset so that the bench has more stability. Now all the blocks are glued together and you let the bench dry again overnight.

The plywood panel is cut to size according to the dimensions of the bench. The construction adhesive is applied to the underside of the plywood panel. For a better hold, you can also apply some glue to the concrete blocks. Before the plywood panel is completely glued, it can be aligned on the concrete parts. Use the spirit level for this purpose. Subsequently, the later seat surface is pressed down well and possibly weighted down. After the construction was able to dry overnight, the work is completed. You can now decorate the finished garden bench with cushions and blankets as you wish and finally take a seat to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Which material can concrete be combined with?

Concrete is flexible in this respect. In modern buildings concrete in combination with metal and glass finds a perfect connection. This is less recommended for the garden area. The whole thing would simply appear too cold and sterile for a feel-good oasis in the countryside. The combination of concrete and wood is therefore the first choice for garden furniture. The warm wood tones in combination with fluffy blankets and cushions create an inviting ambience and take the severity out of the concrete.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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