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Outdoor seating with planter and storage

Building a Reputation

Outdoor seating with planter and storage

First time sharing a project here, but thought it would be worth sharing my experience!

We decided to undertake my biggest project so far, an outdoor rendered bench seat with a planter and storage. We had a pretty bare and underutilized concreted area in our backyard and thought this would be a perfect additional to be sued in summer and possibly in the cooler months with the future addition of a firepit/heaters


  • 16 3m x 200mm x 50mm Treated pine sleepers
  • 4 2.4m x 200mm x 50mm treated pine sleepers
  • 2 3m x 1.2m Fibre cement sheet cladding
  • 3 2.4m x 1.2m Fibre cement sheet cladding
  • 1 1.8m Piano hinge
  • Fibro screws
  • 14Gx125mm Bugle Screws
  • 3 Olea Europea Bambalina (Dwarf Olive Trees)
  • Solar Powered Led Strip lighting
  • 2 buckets Dunlop pre-mix acrylic render (White)
  • Soil


  • Driver drill
  • Impact Drill
  • Miter Saw
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw


Step 1

First step was clearing the area and cutting down all the sleepers to and then building the frame of seat from the ground up. The seat measures 3m on the outer side and around 2.5m on the inside where the seat will be. The offcuts would be used to fill in the smaller ends of the whole bench.

Step 2

Once I had put together 2 rows of sleepers It was time to add in the supports for the seat itself. I can't recall what intervals i placed these, but they were all spaced relatively evenly along the way. These pieces would go right through so the other side and be bolted down and I suppose be "cantilevered" so the seat can appear to be floating.






Step 3

The next row of sleepers required me to notch out the space for the horizontal sleeper that was just added for the seat support to add the next row, this was probably the most time consuming part as I didn't have decent enough jigsaw, but once I had a lend of Bosch jigsaw I was able to get through it much quicker

Step 4

The completed frame of seat was 4 sleepers high or 800mm.

At this point i made any final adjustments to the level overall and allowed for a bit of fall so any rain water would run off towards the storm water drain nearby.IMG_0324.JPEG




At this point I had some spare timber so decided to add some added support to the seat.


Step 5

It was now time to clad the seat in the fibre cement, I didn't feel comfortable cutting the sheets with my track saw due to all the dust so opted to score and snap the sheets, this was a lot easier than I was expecting it to be, it may have take longer but I wasn't to set back by it.



Step 6

Once the frame was completely cladded I added some angles to the external corners and some fibre cement jointing tape to any joins and internal corners (sorry didn.t grab any pictures!) once this was done it was time to add the render. I opted for the Dunlop pre mixed render, mainly because I had never rendered before and I was planning on completing the render in the evenings so didn't want to annoy any neighbors using my drill to mix the render up at that time. Another reason was it was already in the white we wanted so no need to paint.IMG_0395.JPEG


Step 7

Once the majority of the seat was rendered I added the lid for the storage section and gave that a render alsoIMG_0396.JPEG


Step 8

Finally we had some soil delivered and filled up the planter section of the seat and planted 3 Dwarf olive trees to finish off the Mediterranean look, I also decided to add some strip lighting under the seat for a bit of ambience.



Step 9

And that was it! A little rough around the edges with the render but overall I couldn't be happier, if has elevated the area and created a great spot of lounging and entertaining, future plans would be to add a pergola over the top and create a sort of cabana sort of feel. I hope this inspires someone to do the same!


Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Re: Outdoor seating with planter and storage

Congratulations on the completion of a terrific project, @AriG! You've truly created a wonderful Mediterranean-inspired space perfect for relaxing and entertaining outdoors. You should be super proud of your efforts!


Many thanks for sharing details of your process and photos. I'm sure members looking to do something similar will find this information very handy. What was your biggest learning from this project?


Congratulations again. I can't wait to see what your backyard looks like once you've added that pergola. Do keep us updated and don't hesitate to reach out if you need a hand with anything. 




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Building a Reputation

Re: Outdoor seating with planter and storage

Thanks @Akanksha! Appreciate the kind feedback.


i think the biggest takeaway from this project and the key difference to some smaller ones I have done is I made sure to plan it out in detail using sketch up (a free sort of CAD software online) this allowed me to not only visualise everything and plan out materials but also troubleshoot before starting anything.


This no doubt saved me heaps of time and kept the expense down overall. I’m sure everyone knows the importance of planning but it was something I definitely learnt how important it was as a newbie.

Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Re: Outdoor seating with planter and storage

Solid reminder of the importance of planning, @AriG. Definitely goes a long way in ensuring a project's success. 


Many thanks for sharing.




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Kind of a Big Deal

Re: Outdoor seating with planter and storage

@AriGFar out !!! That’s fantastic 😃

Home Improvement Guru

Re: Outdoor seating with planter and storage


That looks brilliant! Love the way you have constructed it :smile: I was trying to nut out how the seat was supported and the more I looked at your steps and explanations the more it made sense. It really came togther nicely!.



Building a Reputation

Re: Outdoor seating with planter and storage

Thank you! @mich1972 

Building a Reputation

Re: Outdoor seating with planter and storage

Thank you @Dave-1 , appreciate the kind words!

Re: Outdoor seating with planter and storage

Just stunning!!!  This looks so professional and luxurious - congratulations on a job AMAZINGLY done.


Thanks for all of the detail in your post and for the tip on the online CAD software - I plan on trying it out, as I'd like to do a more formal firepit/seating area. Your post has given me great inspiration - cheers!

Building a Reputation

Re: Outdoor seating with planter and storage

Thank you @RenoRach1! 😊

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