Weekend Project

Justin Newcombe's tips on outdoor DIY projects

Weekend project: Lots in store

By Justin Newcombe

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To counter an odd-shaped deck, Justin Newcombe comes up with a solution in the form of a seat with a dual purpose.

Justin Newcombe with the finished summer storage box/seat. Photo / Chris Gorman
Justin Newcombe with the finished summer storage box/seat. Photo / Chris Gorman

Getting ready for summer means getting ready to do summer things, things like swimming, surfing, going out for a bit of a boogie, gardening, tennis, touch rugby or maybe an evening skate, bike ride and icecream. It also means doing your fair share of nothing much. I don't know about you but when I do nothing much I like to do it on my butt. So when I planned out my deck a fair bit of consideration was administered to my posterior positioning. As a result of asking myself some deep searching questions like "how do you get chip crumbs out of the cracks in the lilo while you're using it?" some intense internal dialogue has flowed. I'm pleased to announce that one of the brainwaves was a blow-up deck, like a big bouncy castle attached to the side of your house. Pretty cool huh? Sadly, even though I know the bouncy castle deck is the project you most want to read about I've had to put it on the back burner (for now). In its place I've decided on a more conventional timber deck.

The thing is my deck is an unusual wedge shape, so finding the right kind of seating is a bit of a problem. I really want a nice table and chairs, but that's just not going to work in my situation so I'm constructing built-in seating.

The seat is actually a box which is weatherproof, so handily doubles as a storage unit for my "deck stuff" like cushions.

This style of seating means I'll be able to walk across my deck without having to move around a lot of bulky furniture, but at the same time I won't need to fold and unfold something every time I want somewhere to sit. A comfy cushion will always be at hand.

The seat is made in two stages - a waterproof plywood liner, which then has an outer skin of decking timbers. To avoid trapping water underneath your seating box, it is attached to the joists of the deck and not directly to the decking.

Step 1

Measure the length, width and height of your seat (for the height, subtract the thickness of the decking, which will be attached to the plywood lining later). Take these measurements to Bunnings. My seat is 440mm high, 400mm wide and 2000mm long and my decking is 20mm thick so I've subtracted 40mm (20mm for each side of the seat) from these measurements. Use Bunnings cutting service and ask them to cut 12mm H3 treated pine plywood into the appropriate sizes. This will make transport, handling and construction much easier.

Step 2

Cut plywood to the appropriate lengths and assemble the lining. I used masking tape to hold the panels in place while I glued and screwed them together.

Step 3

Paint the outside of the liner with Bituproof plus and the inside with acrylic paint.

Step 4

Insert a couple of bracing timbers to hold the liner walls in place and paint.

Step 5

Using a drop saw (you can hire one from Bunnings if you don't have one), mitre cut lengths of decking timber to go on the outside of the liner. All the corners should join together on a 45-degree angle.

Step 6

Using the mitre saw, cut out the timbers for the seat top/lid. This should be a frame made from decking with lengths of decking inserted into it to form a solid surface.

Once you are happy with this formation glue together using a two pot epoxy glue. I used Ados Rapid.

Step 7

Glue and screw a couple of bracing timbers to the underside of the seat at right angles to the inserted decking described in the previous step.

Step 8

Move the seat into place and attach to the joists of your deck using coach screws.

Step 9

Attach hinges to the lid and secure to the box. I've got my lid opening toward the deck rather than away from the deck because the seat is sitting hard up against a slat screen making opening away difficult.

- NZ Herald

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