In a small city garden, space is always at a premium. Trying to achieve a beautiful, flower-filled utopia isn’t easy when our daily life comes with so much clutter, be it a rotary clothes drier, tools or children’s plastic toys. By creating a storage space inside a garden bench, you get a practical, attractive seating area as well as a space to squirrel away the sometimes unsightly necessities of life.
Adjust sizes and quantities for how long and deep you want your bench to be. The one made here is 2m x 80cm x 40cm. You’ll find all these materials at your local DIY store – cost approximately £100.
You Will Need
- Concrete blocks 440mm x 220mm x 100mm (4)
- Building sand 25kg bag (3)
- Sharp sand 25kg bag (3)
- Cement 25kg bag (1)
- Softwood battens 100mm x 25mm
- Softwood decking lengths
- 30mm screws
- Galvanised hinges (4)
- Spirit level
- Brick bolster
- Club hammer
Make the bench on a flat surface such as a patio. Build the sides (you’ll only need three if it’s against a wall) with the cement blocks, cutting them with a bolster if required.
Mix the mortar using a ratio of 3:3:1 sharp sand/building sand/cement. Lay each block on a mortar bed and tap the blocks level (check with a spirit level).
Make a frame using the softwood battens on top of the concrete blocks. Cut to the same length as the blocks and fixed to the concrete blocks with screws.
Fix another two batten lengths together to create a T-shaped brace within the blocks to support the back of the frame and the two seat bases/lids.
Cut one deck board to the same length as the bench, and fix it to the top at the back. Cut the rest to half the length to form the two seat bases/lids.
To make the seat bases/lids, use screws to attach the halved deck boards to two sections of batten, cut to the right length.
Align each seat base/lid with the bench to make sure it fits correctly. Once in position, fit the hinges, one to each lid, in line with the battens.
Render the concrete blocks with the same sand and cement mixture used to lay the blocks. When it’s set paint the whole thing with exterior grade paint.