Simple plans for building a patio bench include the wooden garden bench from Popular Mechinics and the trail-side bench from HandymanWire. These two benches use dimensional lumber from a home improvement store, simple hardware and basic woodworking tools.
The Popular Mechanics bench has no back and uses two-by-fours standing on the narrow end to provide a sturdy seat. The bench is supported by four 4-by-4 posts, with shoulders cut to leave a spacer between the outside boards on either edge. The rest of the boards use a 1-by-4 spacer providing efficient drainage. A threaded 3/8-inch rod connects the legs to the seat and holds all the boards in place. A bench built out of rot-resistant Western red cedar should provide many years of comfortable seating.
HandymanWire offers plans for a simple bench that uses two pieces of 2-by-8 lumber for both the seat and back of the bench. The front and back legs are made from 4-by-4 boards, cut at an angle to provide proper support. A carpenter's square provides the marks for the angle cuts. Two 2-by-4 boards connect the two legs and support the seat. Builders have the option of painting, staining or leaving the lumber to weather naturally, depending on the materials they select for construction.