How to Build a Stone Bench for Your Patio
A stone bench can add an aura of sophistication and permanency to your patio. Exceptionally durable and very attractive, a stone bench is quite difficult to build. It is a labor intensive task but one that is well worth it for making your patio look much better and adding value to your home. Building a stone bench will require quite a lot of time and some assistance is essential as it is a physically demanding job. Building the stone bench from scratch will probably take about three days, so try to choose a time when the weather forecast is good.
Step 1 – Prepare the Area
Remove any obstructions from the area where you are going to build the bench. The following assumes that you are going to build it into the ground at the edge of your patio. Get rid of any weeds and other plants from the area as well. If you are going to build the bench into an incline, you will need to cut an arch into the slope. You will then need to build a low retaining wall, making sure that it is vertical so that the back of the bench can be installed there. Finally, make sure that the surface is smooth and the ground is as clear as possible.
Step 2 – Build the Base of the Bench
Make the foundation for the bench by digging a trench to about 18 inches in depth. Make sure you have accurate determined the size and shape of the bench. Mix the mortar is directed to by the manufacturer’s guidelines and apply a 2 inch thick layer to the surface. Place two rows of river rocks into the mortar and gently tap them in place with a wooden or rubber mallet. Apply a layer of mortar on top of this followed by another layer of river rocks. Check that the front edge of the layers is straight by using a plumb line. Continue building up this base to about 18 inches in height, though it can be less or more depending on your preferences. With the final layer, leave a gap at the back where the back rests are going to need to stand.
Step 3 – Place the Backrest
Place some appropriately large flagstones vertically at the backrest. If the bench is being built in an incline, the flagstones can simply lean back to rest in place against the retaining wall. If not, they will need to be fixed in place with mortar and allowed to set before continuing.
Step 4 – Place the Surface of the Bench
Use smaller flagstones for the surface of the bench. Make sure that they fit together and apply mortar in the gaps between them as well. Finally, trim away any excess stone and tidy up the appearance of the bench using an angle grinder. Allow the bench mortar to set as directed to by the manufacturer before using it.