This project lets you add both function and beauty to your deck with the addition of a bench with planters
Some deck planters are wood containers that actually hold soil. Others serve as decorative containers into which you can place potted plants. The type shown here combines the features of both: an attractive planter box that holds a large plastic tub with holes in the bottom for drainage.
Tubs are available at garden or home centers. Another option is to order a galvanized liner from a sheet metal shop; the liner can be custom-made to fit any size planter.
Whichever type of planter you choose to make, be sure water can drain freely out the bottom and plan where that water will go. Drained water trapped in a cavity below the planter could cause decking to rot. Most decorative plants need less than 1 foot of soil depth. Rather than loading a tall planter with unnecessary soil, build a shelf inside.
A bench is even easier to build than a planter. A platform that is 16 inches wide and 17 inches high will be comfortable for most people.
Several hours to build two planters and a bench
Tape measure, level, drill, hammer, circular saw, layout square, framing square, squeeze or pipe clamps
Measuring and cutting boards, fastening with nails or screws
Purchase a liner and design a planter to fit around it
Lumber for the planter and the bench, screws or nails, L-shape strap ties with screws, 6-inch carriage bolts
Hold three of the sides together with clamps and drive nails or screws to fasten them together. Attach the fourth side in the same way. Cut pieces of decking for the shelf. Check the structure for square, then attach the shelf pieces to the cleat. Add the top and bottom trim pieces.
If a seat is longer than 8 feet, add 4x4 supports every 6 feet or so. Cut seat slats from decking lumber and fasten them to the frame with screws or nails driven into the seat joists. Space the seat slats as you would for decking and allow them to overhang the frame by 1 or 2 inches.