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I was bored and needed something to do, so I decided to create a bench for the back patio. I saw several bench ideas online that could work, so I chose the one that needed 14 cinder blocks and six 4x4s.Bench

Building on Uneven Foundation

The final outcome was as expected, except I built the bench on a patio I created several years ago. When I made the patio, I didn’t know what I was doing, so I just laid steppingstones on the grass, and voila! I had a patio. Unfortunately, it is uneven.

When building the bench, it needed an even base, or else it would, well, no need for me to explain what would happen. I’m sure you can figure that out.

To correct the imbalance, I bought shims and shoved them under the bottom-most cinder blocks. It seems to have done the trick.

Now to Make the Bench

Making the bench was easy. As I said earlier, I bought 14 cinderblocks. By the way, if you go to Home Depot before 9 am, the gate for the outdoor garden area is not open. As such, I had to push the pallet with over 500 pounds of cinder blocks through the store to the indoor cashier to check out.cinder blocks

The second part of my workout after loading the blocks onto the pallet was unloading the pallet and putting the blocks in my van. And again, when I reached home, I unloaded them and carried them to the patio where I wanted to build the bench. Who needs a gym when you have to transport cinderblocks?

After unloading the blocks, I spray-painted them a charcoal color.

Painting CinderblocksWith the cinder blocks painted and drying (which only took minutes to dry), I returned to Home Depot (after 9 am) to pick up six 4x4x8s. I made sure to find non-pressure-treated wood. Yes, I know, pressure treated wood lasts longer, but the process used for pressure treatment makes it toxic and not recommended for projects that come into contact with human skin.

PaintingI also bought wood stain. I chose a Mocha color stain. Once home, I leaned the 4x4s against the house and began staining them. I first tried staining them while they were laying on the painting blanket, but that took too long. By having them against the house, I could access all four sides at a time. What a time saver.

Putting It All Together

Assembling the bench was easy. As I began to lay the cinder blocks, I put a bead of Liquid Nails cement adhesive on the connecting surfaces. The most challenging part about the cement adhesive is the applicator gun. The applicator gun and I have a love/hate relationship. The other thing that frosts my liver when using Liquid Nails is no matter how much I try to preserve the unused portion of the adhesive, it is always unusable the next time I need it. For me, Liquid Nails it’s a one-and-done product.

Liquid NailsAnyway, I placed the Liquid Nails cement between each of the bricks and arranged them so I could insert the 4x4s through the openings to make the seat and the backrest.

Inserting the 4x4s is a two-person job. Once inserted, the hard work was done. All that was left to do was to find the right cushion to cover the less-than-comfortable seat. The spacing between the planks is great for adults, but little bums might find it very uncomfortable (my grandkids made it abundantly clear to me just how uncomfortable it is).

Making the Bench Comfortable

I haven’t found the right seat cushion as yet. The seat length is 77”. That’s an odd size and difficult to find a cushion to fit. I did find a 76” chaise lounge cushion on Amazon and ordered it. Unfortunately, they kept delaying the delivery date, so I finally cancelled the order. In the meantime, the seat is as it is until I can find the proper cushion.

About the Workout

While I thoroughly enjoy going to the gym, there’s something more satisfying about a non-gym home improvement project workout. Call me crazy, but I enjoyed lifting each cinderblock and each 4×4. WorkoutBeing able to bend, lift, squat and reach while enjoying the great outdoors is a feeling I don’t get from an indoor gym.  Not only that, in addition to a workout, I have a finished project to boot.

With a gym workout, I can check my fitness tracker to see how hard I worked.  With a non-gym home improvement project, all I have to do is look out the window to see the fruits of my workout. How great is that?

Update 6/12/24: I found a couple of inexpensive chair cushions on sale at Walmart.  I bought them and put them on the bench.  Not too bad, if I must say so myself!  🙂

Bench and Cushions

Oh man! The more I look over this A Dose of Health blog, the more I realize it needs a total overhaul.  When will that happen? Who knows?


About the author: Felicia has learned the hard way that health, whether good or bad, is a result of daily choices and habits. On this blog, Felicia shares what she’s learned and the healthier choices she now makes as a result of her new knowledge. She hopes to encourage others to experiment to find alternative solutions to nagging problems (she’s also is a bit of a tree hugger and likes to share ways to lighten the toxic burden on the environment).

in Fitness

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Loretta May 18, 2024, 3:22 pm

    Wow! Felicia (aka Wonder Woman), your ingenuity is enviable. As always, I enjoyed reading the current post. Sure enough, the thought of moving those cinderblocks around sounds like a heavy weight-lifting workout session.
    The bench is beautiful. I hope you’ll post a photo after you find a seat cushion for it. I’d love to see the finished product. By the way, have you looked at wayfair.com for a cushion? Keep up the good work, and don’t stop inspiring people like me who aspire to do some unique home improvement projects, but instead of being so enterprising, wonder, “What if?” LOL.

    • Felicia May 18, 2024, 4:38 pm

      Always good to hear from you, Loretta.

      A gal’s got to find different ways to keep moving. I recently heard the quote, “Motion is like lotion for the joints.” At this age, I need as much lotion as I can get.

      Thanks for the heads up about Wayfair. I’ll have to check them out.