Ask a question

The Bunnings Workshop community can help with your home improvement projects.

Planter box privacy screen with bench seat

Growing in Experience
Growing in Experience


Planter boxes with a seat and privacy screen built from treated Pine timber.


The project


I built this planter box with an incorporated seat and privacy screen with treated Pine decking, timber and hardware from Bunnings, in only 10 hours. 


This project was built in a townhouse and the use of power tools needs to be planned to ensure the comfort of both the home owner and neighbours, so be aware of local regulations regarding noise limits, especially on weekends. Fortunately, based on the wide variety of wood dimensions available, this build required very little cutting and could easily be built with only a handsaw and screwdriver.


The boxes are 450 x 450mm and 700mm high, the seat is 2700mm long and 450mm high, and the privacy screen is 1800 x 2600mm.


For the frame, I notched all the uprights to accommodate 2 x 3600 long frames and cut a lot of 450mm cross members to tie the front and back together. I completed the entire screen separately and bolted it onto the frame with 6 x M10 100mm galvanised bolts.


All up it only cost about $800, with the decking costing about $500 and the frame $250. We only required one box of 500 stainless steel 50mm decking screws which cost about $50.


All it needed to finish was a coat of paint, some cushions, and two green shrubs for the planter boxes. This was a quick and easy little weekend project that anyone with a circular saw and screwdriver (preferably electric) can do.




Step 1


Mark 4 of the 3600 x 90 x 45mm pieces for use as horizontals.


Step 2


Cut 2 of the other 3600 x 90 x 45mm pieces into three 1800mm lengths and mark as screen verticals.


Step 3


Cut 8 x 700mm for planter box verticals and 6 x 450mm for middle seat verticals, being mindful to reduce waste by using the 1800mm length to create 4 of the seat verticals.


Step 4


Notch all verticals on the 45mm face to accommodate the horizontals starting 35mm from the bottom and notch the verticals for the top horizontal under 450mm.


Ensure saw cuts are deep enough for the frame to be flush across the front and rear surfaces. By using multiple cuts with the circular saw, the waste can quickly and easily be removed with a hammer and chisel by inserting the chisel and pushing backwards and forwards to snap all the small waste shards. 


Step 5


Assemble front and back frames by screwing the 4 x 3600mm horizontals into the notched verticals. Planters are 450mm on outside width and other verticals should be evenly spaced between. Note Pine is pretty soft and will not require pre-drilling, so be careful how far your screws penetrate the timber.


Step 6


Cut remaining timber into cross braces (two per vertical) to length to join the front and read frames such that the total depth is 450mm. (~360mm) and screw into cross braces through the 3600 horizontals and into the verticals.


Step 7


Finally, cut frame pieces to close around the planter top and put two cross braces under the ends of where the seat will meet the planer boxes (so you have somewhere to screw the seat down at the ends).


Step 8


Begin assembly of the screen by laying out on a flat surface the 3 x 1800mm posts and cover with 3600mm decking lengths. Depending on your spacing, you will need between 20 and 12 pieces of decking. Screw the top and bottom boards on first, checking the entire frame is square. Then use a spacer as you screw each piece of decking on starting from the top down. (Keep the uglier/knotty pieces for the bottom which will be behind the seat and planter boxes.)


Step 9


Once the screen is complete, stand it upright and drill through the 3600mm horizontal framing at the bottom into the 1800mm screen posts and again at the top of the planter boxes. You may need to find alternative locations to bolt through if room is limited. You will need to use an additional 300mm long piece of scrap decking as a backer if you bolt through the screen only.


Step 10


If decking boards are over 3600mm, try to overhang the ends by 22mm (decking thickness) to hide the boards for the side. Cut the pieces to fit. It is faster to install the deck boards in one piece horizontally, however, if you prefer to go vertically, you should still have the same coverage in the quantity noted. Do be careful of waste, as you want to ensure scrap pieces can all be used elsewhere. 


If you have enough deck boards left, you may want to cap the planter boxes with mitre joins. Bear in mind, with 90mm deck boards covering 2 x 45mm frames screwed together means you will not be able to create much of a lip (if any) when planning to cap your planter boxes.



One regret I had was using full-width mitred planks to cap around the top of the planter boxes. This reduced the available diameter for plant pots by at least 50-80mm, meaning they would either need to be added from below or by tipping the planter box onto its side, or go with a smaller pot. The other challenge is the height of the pot required, so an internal shelf in the planter box to support a pot would be helpful, although only suitable for a smaller diameter pot lowered from above (as the shelf would prevent entering from below).


Finished project after painting:




Tools and materials


Materials used in the project:



Tools used in the project:



Why join the Bunnings Workshop community?

Workshop is a friendly place to learn, get ideas and find inspiration for your home improvement projects