Every deck needs a place or two for sitting, whether to read, relax after a long day, or chat with friends. And though a grouping of chairs can do the job nicely, built-in wood benches provide an alternative idea that suits the look and mood of a deck. Built-in benches also consume less space, and when positioned along the perimeter, they can free up portions of the deck for other activities. These practical accents can be used as focal points to show off an unusual design or beautiful crafting. Or they can be styled to blend in quietly, allowing some other feature to take center stage. Since built-in benches can't be pushed in or out of the sun, careful consideration should be given to their location. A good solution might be to position the benches strategically in areas that receive both sun and shade at different times of the day.
A well-designed bench is comfortable and roomy enough for two people to sit. If it isn't deep enough, it will feel like a perch rather than a seat. A long, deeper-than-usual bench can serve as a platform for sunbathing and, with cushions, makes a great place to stretch out for a nap.