Home Improvement Project: Spice Up Your Yard With a DIY Brick Bench

Segmenting your yard does a lot to help improve its appeal. Small lots can look bigger and more functional if you devote key floor space to different uses, and large yards can look amazing if you designate separate patio, cooking, play, and gardening areas. Many times, people break up their yards by using different flooring to mark off areas: a cement patio for grilling, a cobblestone circle set with patio furniture and a hammock, or brick pathways through a vegetable garden. But you can also segment your space and provide extra utility with this fun home improvement project: a solid brick bench!

Why Should You Tackle This Home Improvement Project?

While different floors can organize the area, a vertical surface is sometimes even better — especially if it separates a play area from the grill or breakable equipment. It also provides additional seating, which is always at a premium during a celebration or family dinner, without cluttering the area with chairs. More than that, it’s a clever way to keep balls and toys contained without looking like you’re walling off part of the yard; a division that’s too tall can make your yard look small, and a bench is just the right height for function and form.

DIY builders are increasingly preferring brick over traditional benches made of metal and wood because they’re sturdier and have a homier look. Even with consistent maintenance and staining, wood wears away and breaks over time. It also soaks up water, which both damages it further and makes it unusable until it dries out. Metal is also vulnerable if you live in a rainy region because the seams are susceptible to corrosion. Brick, on the other hand, is solid and stays durable for decades, rain or shine.

How to Build Your Own Brick Bench:

1. Decide Your Dimensions and Style

Some benches have a back, which provides more support but also makes it one-sided, or they look more like a low wall. This is the generally preferred style because it keeps the bench low enough that it doesn’t break up your yard too much, is more useful for visitors who want to interact with people on both sides of the division, and is much easier to brush up. Most benches are approximately sixteen inches wide and two feet high, so all you need to do is decide how long you want it to be.

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2. Make the Foundational Trench

Because your bench is going to face a lot of traffic, it needs to be set in cement instead of straight in the ground. So first dig a trench that’s about one foot deep and has an extra inch on each side of the perimeter so you have plenty of room to work. Then pour a layer of concrete that fills the trench halfway, or about six inches deep, and let it set so you have a firm working surface for the brick.

3. Lay the First Row(s) of Bricks 

Set a half-inch thick coat of mortar along the foundation where the first row will go. Lay the first brick in the corner, and then apply mortar along the side that comes in contact with the previous bricks until you lay the last brick in the row. Then move on to the second row; now two sides of all but the ending bricks will need mortar (the short side in contact with the progressing row and the long side in contact with the previous row). In order to create the strong, staggered pattern, start the row with half bricks, which you can make by scoring a brick with a chisel and then tap with a hammer to break. Lay the remaining brick rows for the course level, or course, of the bench. Then check with a level to ensure the course is flat.

4. Continue Building Up Your Bench

Add more rows of bricks on top of the first until you reach your planned height; for a bench that’s approximately two feet high, you will have six courses of brick. Be sure to alternate the pattern of half bricks for a stronger, interlocking bench. Once you finish the top layer, you can add a layer of mortar and tile the top or add another row of bricks set side by side decoratively for a neat finish.

This Home Improvement Project Adds So Much Functionality and Beauty

Brick benches add extra functionality and beauty to your yard, especially if you find aged bricks that match your house and neighborhood. Find more of the top ways to transform your backyard here at Homeazing.