5 Outdoor Furniture Pieces to Build and Enjoy All Summer

Lounging on the patio, deck, or in the yard will be even more satisfying if you've built the furniture! See these 5 great projects from ThisOldHouse.com!

1. Classic Westport Chair
Westport ChairWestport Chair
You know the Adirondack chair. What you may not have known is that the ubiquitous lawn lounger is based on an earlier design like this one-less refined, more rustic-called the Westport chair.

Thomas Lee was bent on comfort when he built the original, back in 1903, and the hallmarks of that vision remain. A deeply pitched seat and slanted back practically demand that you recline, and gratuitously wide arms easily host a good read and a cool drink, not to mention a lazy limb.
See how to build it!

See also: 28 Easy Summer Weekend Projects

2. Adirondack Chair
Adirondack ChairAdirondack Chair
Anyone who's ever sat in the low-slung seat of an Adirondack chair and sunk into the curve of the fanned back knows there's no cushion-free seat like it. The beauty of the Adirondack chair--which takes its name from the New York mountain camps that snapped up hundreds of the chairs after it was invented in the early 1900s--is its simplicity, as some of the parts do double duty. The beefy seat supports are also the back legs; the wide armrests (perfect for resting a picnic plate or cocktail, by the way) also hold the back support. Assembling a basic one will take less than a day, if you follow the plans we show here.

See also: 25 Thrifty Ways to Create Outdoor Dining

3. Porch Swing
Porch SwingPorch Swing
Get yourself the best seat not in the house, and enjoy it all summer long! For this building project, we selected a 5-foot-long swing made from stout planks of solid teak, milled into elegant, comfortable curves as lovely to admire as they are inviting to the touch. No cutting is needed, so assembly takes only a few hours.
Get the step-by-step instructions!

See also: Front-Porch Fix-Up

4. Picnic Table
Picnic TablePicnic Table
If you wanted to set up a folding table and chairs for your barbecue guests, party planners say you'd need to allot 10 square feet per person to create enough access. Do that on the average deck or patio and your Fourth of July celebration will get so chaotic that it may end with the wrong kind of fireworks. A classic picnic table with attached benches is the perfect solution. This staple of backyards and parks-with its elbow-to-elbow dining and climb-over seating-works in all terrains, so you can move off the deck and onto the grass.
See how to build it!

See also: How to Build a Simple Deck



5. Outdoor Bar Cart
Outdoor Bar CartOutdoor Bar Cart
If your usual method of serving beverages at a barbecue involves a Styrofoam cooler and a bag of ice, it's time to think about an upgrade. This mobile cart is tough enough to withstand sun, rain, and spills of your libation of choice. Two-wheeled construction lets you navigate stone patios or lumpy lawns with ease, and the top tray is removable for serving drinks or munchies. Best of all, the entire thing can be easily taken apart and stored flat-or, better yet, stashed in your trunk for tailgate parties this fall. What better project to celebrate the beginning of grilling season?
See our step-by-step instructions!


More on ThisOldHouse.com:


10 Ways to Add Privacy to Your Yard

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25 Thrifty Ways to Create Outdoor Dining