Build Seating Walls for Concrete Patios

What You'll Need
Concrete blocks
Cement mixer
Landscape spray paint
Safety glasses
Dust mask

Concrete patios make an excellent addition to a house, but they can be further improved with seating walls. Seating walls make the patio space even more welcoming and allows more people to relax during periods of warm weather. They’re easy to build and in just a few days, you can have some fantastic extra seating for your patio.

Step 1 - Preparing the Area

The first thing is to decide on how much seating you want around your patio. You might choose to have seating along one side or alternatively, around two sides of the concrete patio. When you’ve made that decision, you need to mark out the seating area.

Your seating will sit on a cement foundation. Using landscape spray paint, mark the area for seating on the grass, working from the edges of the patio. As the seats will be 12 inches wide, your foundation doesn’t need to be too broad.

Step 2 - The Foundation

You don’t need a deep foundation for the seating. Digging down between 4 and 6 inches into the area you’ve marked should be ample for your needs. Mix up the concrete for the foundation. Use a mix of 1 part concrete, 2 parts sand, and 3 parts aggregate with just enough water to bind everything together.

The process will work faster if you rent a small cement mixer for the job, especially if you plan a great deal of seating around the concrete patio. Fill the foundation to the level of the patio and smooth it out. Check that the concrete is level. Cover with polyethylene and allow to cure for several days before you put the concrete blocks in place for the seats.

Step 3 - The Seat

To be comfortable, the seat itself should only be 18 to 20 inches high, so you’ll only need 2 rows of concrete blocks. Place them on the cured concrete. The rows should be staggered for strength, so each of the rows will require two half blocks. They should be placed in such a way that the solid side faces in to the patio with the hollows sitting vertically.

You’ll need to mix up more concrete and use this to fill the hollows in the concrete blocks. This will make them strong enough to use as seating and bond them to the foundation.

Step 4 - Finishing the Seat

By itself, the concrete block doesn’t make an attractive seat on a concrete patio. It still needs to be finished so that people can sit on it comfortably, and the top also needs to be leveled for balancing plates and glasses as well as for sitting.

There are several options for finishing the wall seat on your concrete patio. A layer of bricks mortared into place gives a very pleasant contrast, as does a bull-nose concrete finish. Alternatively, you can mortar flat stone into place. Always make sure the finish is leveled correctly.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you allow enough time for the mortar or concrete to cure fully before using the seating. When all is done, you can top with cushions so that the seating is more comfortable.