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Firepit area with planter box and bench seat

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Firepit area with planter box and bench seat

We had a large space in our backyard that was going to waste and we wanted to maximise the potential of our outdoor living area by transforming this unused section into a charming firepit area. By adding a firepit, we envisioned creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere that could serve as a feature for gatherings with family and friends. This area has indeed become a delightful and relaxing zone where we can unwind, share stories, and enjoy the warmth of the fire. The investment in creating this space has proven to be well worth it, as it has not only beautified our backyard but has also enhanced our overall enjoyment of our quaint backyard.


This project was inspired by Fire pit entertaining area with seating by @raymond265 and Bench seat with firewood storage by @tony1982




Step 1

What we started with was just a bare corner. 


Backyard Before.jpg

Step 2

We measured out the space we wanted and then started levelling off the space with sand as it had a bit of a slope in the corner. About 3.5 x 3.5m.


This was a HUGE workout transferring sand we had at the side of the house and transferring it to this corner - no gym day required. 


Area with sand.jpg

Step 3

It was now time to start building the planter box with bench seat. Due to the location we built the back of the planter box off site and then moved it into place. 


First step was to cut the posts to the height we wanted the planter box and bench seats. 

We then treated the timber posts with a timber protector to protect them against rot. 


Monocel .jpg

Step 4

We pre-dug the holes for the posts to sit in and added cement to the bottom for stability. We used builders line to make sure our holes were in the correct positions. The "measure twice cut once" thing is pretty similar to holes, we learned that pretty quickly. 


I did use the pincer post hole digger but I found a smaller shovel did a better job. 





Step 5

We attached 3m long treated pine timber sleepers to our pine posts and moved them into place.


Once we were happy with the levels, we cemented in the posts.


Backboard In.jpg

Step 6

We then started to build out the frame for the bench seat and also the planter box. We also lined the interior of the planter box with plastic and drilled holes through the plastic and the bottom of the planter box to ensure water doesn't get bogged but when the sleepers move, no soil would spill out of the sides. 


Planter box.jpg



Step 7

Once all the framing was complete and the planter box finished, it was time to paint. We used left over fence paint in monument. 




Step 8

We really wanted some natural timber accents so we used left over merbau decking for the seat. We sanded each board right back and stained it with a neutral timber oil. 


Turns out an detail sander takes forever so I quickly switched to a belt sander. WOW what an arm and core workout - again no gym required this day.


Sanding .jpg

Step 9

Once the boards were screwed onto the planter box seat frame we realised we needed to sand back again where the screws were and re-stain. So word of advice is to attach the boards, do a final sand then stain. 



Step 10

We planted birds of paradise, banana palms, and bungalow palms. I think it is slightly bare so we will look to add more between each large plant, any suggestions are welcomed!


We also realised that our dog figured out if she climbs onto the planter box she can chat with the neighbours, so we quickly added some fence extensions. However, we think this made the green of the plants pop!


We love our new space and look forward to summer memories being made here. 



Projects Editor
Projects Editor

Re: Firepit area with planter box and bench seat

A terrific project, @Tinker_Bell. Thank you for sharing and providing those details of your process. 


You've indeed created a wonderful entertaining and relaxing outdoor area. Lovely to read that you were inspired by @raymond265 and @tony1982's projects. That's truly one of the best parts of our wonderful community - the exchange of wonderful ideas we can take inspiration from! 


Congratulations once again and looking forward to seeing what you tackle next.




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Home Improvement Guru

Re: Firepit area with planter box and bench seat

Good Afternoon @Tinker_Bell 

Thats a nice cosy firepit area! Love the steps you showed us and yeah I know the workout with sanding the timber, I am sore from doing the same thing atm! lol The raising the fence Iquestion I had was answered when you refered to how chatty your doggo is :smile:


It looks great, looks solid and like it will be there for a long time!


What is the next step in your yard? :smile:



Re: Firepit area with planter box and bench seat

Hey @Dave-1,


Thank you for your kind words! I would love to get our lawn nice and even so, we will definitely start working on that. We are also going to be transforming the deck and moving the stairs and by removing the railing we will have a much nicer view to the garden.  


Watch this space!


Dave your pool area looks divine. Did you end up putting in a firepit next to your gabion walls? 




Home Improvement Guru

Re: Firepit area with planter box and bench seat

Hi @Tinker_Bell 

:smile: Thank you and no firepit area installed as yet :smile: I am being wise kind of, I am saving for my balcony handrail (Merabu) and I tend to go "Oh look sparkly new project" and go off on a tangent lol So No more landscaping that area until I have the handrail sorted is my rule. I am working on sanding back and reconditioning my pool deck area for now tho in reality the money I have spent in sandpaper/oil could have gone towards the handrail :smile: 


Cant wait to see your next steps, they sound like they will open up the yard!



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