DIY Stone Benches

David Reed details how to build DIY stone benches with nothing but a little help from friends.

| January 28, 2014

  • "The Complete Guide to Stonescaping," by David Reed, presents the basics of stonescaping in easy-to-understand terms for projects that will be functional and beautiful.
    Cover courtesy Lark Crafts
  • The backrest stone of this freestanding bench was sunk into an earthen socket dug well below ground level.
    Photo courtesy Lark Crafts

Learn techniques for building functional and beautiful stoneworks that will last for ages with The Complete Guide to Stonescaping (Lark Crafts, 2013). With easy to follow instructions and hundreds of breathtaking photos David Reed shares stone projects to turn any yard or garden into a retreat. In the following excerpt, Reed offers a couple easy ways of constructing DIY stone benches. 

Imagine taking a welcome rest and enjoying your favorite vista while you sit on a bench you’ve built yourself. A well-built DIY stone bench, set in a favorite location, will see years of use and will require little or no maintenance.

Freestanding Benches

Freestanding benches — the simplest kind to build — may be located almost anywhere: under a tree, in the middle of a garden, on a woodland path, or next to a playground.

Although stone benches may not be as comfortable as garden furniture, when they’re set in the right location, they’re just as inviting. Choose a site to which you’ve always been drawn. A bench set in an area that you rarely visit won’t get the use it deserves.



The size of your bench stone (the stone you’ll sit on) will determine how difficult it is to set. Some of the benches shown in this section were built by a single person, but help from a friend always makes setting these heavy stones easier.

Selecting Stone

The hardest part in building a freestanding bench will be finding a slab 3 to 5 feet (.9 to 1.5 m) long and the supporting stones. If you’re not lucky enough to have an old piece of granite curbstone lying around, a trip to the stone yard may be in order. Don’t count on finding exactly what you’re looking for the first visit. Let people there know what you’re looking for, and they may be willing to keep an eye out for you. Bench stones don’t have to be rectangular in shape, but they should be heavy and at least 2 inches (5.1 cm) thick. Triangular, rounded, and squared slabs of stone will also work, although they’ll require three or four supports.





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