Are Outdoor Wooden Benches Really Good For Your Garden?
Wooden Benches Look Best In Nature-Rich Backyards
Near the track, next to the house wall or right in the middle of the garden - wooden benches just look great anywhere they are placed. Even if your backyard follows a formal style with a lot of pavements and well supported rye-grass you can install massive wooden benches
and they will look just bloody good.
In addition to that wood is ecological and easy to use material that allows all kinds of shapes and models, is relatively affordable and light compared to metal and concrete. Wooden benches are the best choice in at least 80% of the cases, so if you are unsure, just pick a wooden bench.
Outdoor wooden benches can look even this way
Photo by featherbacon
Wooden Bench designs
Because wood is so friendly there are limitless number of designs of wooden benches. There are of course some general styles that most bench designs more or less follow:
- Massive/square style are benches with very tick board for sitting, square legs or legs made directly from stumps and are usually backless.
- The benches in natural style are similar to the ones above, because they have parts (legs, backs etc) directly made of tree branches. The boards of such benches either have irregular shapes or are made of rough boards.
- The most popular wooden benches are made of many laths and have comfortable seats and backs. Sometimes there is some distance between the laths, while sometimes they are agglutinated to each other.
- Old style benches are made of high quality wood and are very massive. They usually have decorations typical for the past period that their style represents. These are usually for indoor usage but you may see them in some gardens as well.
Describing the bench styles with words is kind of a hard task, so I would recommend you check the wooden benches gallery.
Prices of outdoor wooden benches
The cost of the benches of course depends on the style, size, material quality and the brand. But we can talk approximately just to give you an idea how much you can expect to spend. The simplest backless wooden benches can start from as low as $40-$50, up to $100-$150 for the higher quality or bigger ones. The most popular laths benches with backs vary a lot. The child-size ones can start of just $50, some pretty decent benches can be bought for $80 - $130 and bigger, more complex and higher quality ones start from $150 and can exceed $300.
Of course benches with unique design, additional features can go even up - $500 - $600 or more. Don't worry, there are even more expensive ones, and I'm not talking about artwork - it's not at all hard to find "designers" benches which cost $1,500 or more. It's entirely up to you whether you'll buy such - just have in mind that a $100 wooden bench is good enough for most gardens.
If you are looking to save even more money or have some fun, you can consider making your wooden benches yourself - for that, keep reading.
Wooden bench installation and maintenance
Installing a wooden bench is usually quite a simple task, not to mention that some benches are heavy enough not to need any installation (just drop them at the place you want). If you still want to anchor the bench to the ground (because it's too light or you just want it anchored), you will need to drill some holes in the ground. Insert fastener sleeves in the holes and attach with screws. For more stability fill the holes with concrete or the bench frame with mortar. Basically that's all you want to do on an outdoor wooden bench.
The maintenance of the wooden benches starts from the time of buying or building them. Here are the main efforts you need to put into your benches if you want to use them for long time:
- Before installing check the item for any cracked areas, sticking bolts or screws, or places where the factory sealing is missing or insufficient. Add sealing if needed, fix the cracks and any other problems you notice. If it has too many problems just return it to those guys who sold it to you and ask for another one.
- Every month or so you need to clean your wooden bench. Don't worry about using water, it's an outdoor furniture and the rain is going to make it wet anyway. Add some soap and clean it well, then you can dry it.
- In the winter or cold season (if there is such season where you live) it's better to cover the bench with some canvas.
- Every few years wooden benches need refinishing and eventually repainting.
Making a wooden bench yourself
Can't you just make a wooden outdoor bench yourself? Of course, why ask? Building a bench is not at all a complex do it yourself project, so you don't need special skills or big experience. Based on that you can either look for garden bench plans or design the bench yourself, it's really not that hard. Then get some boards, stocks and basic woodworking tools and build your bench.
If you need introduction to woodworking, check out this guide.