Despite its outdoor location, a deck is a perfect dumping ground for clutter. From snow shovels to barbecue accessories, swimming pool chemicals to garden tools, you likely have a ton of unsightly outdoor gear that needs a home.
A nice storage outdoor bench can help hide all that clutter, giving you an attractive place to store your toys, tools, cushions, and supplies. You will be able to maximize your space - and your enjoyment of the outdoors.
Here's what you should look for.
What Should a Storage Outdoor Bench Be Made Of?
Outdoor storage benches are typically made out of materials like plastic, resin wicker, and wood.
A resin deck box offers all the beauty of wood with none of the potential for rot. It is usually lightweight and durable and, when cared for properly, won't crack, warp, splinter, or fade.
Wood is a popular choice if you're looking for a classic, vintage feel. Usually, outdoor storage boxes are made out of wood veneer styled from moisture-resistant wood like pine, cedar, or teak.
You don't have to choose a bland option if you go with wood, either. Wood can easily be stained to lighter and darker shades. However, keep in mind that wood storage benches will require some maintenance (you will need to keep them clean and restrain them) and will rot over time.
A final option is plastic. Plastic tends to be lightweight and durable, requiring minimal maintenance. It won't' trust, peel, or rot. Unfortunately, plastic can fade, and it has a tendency to look a bit cheaper than the other alternatives.
What Size Outdoor Storage Bench Should I Choose?
There are all kinds of outdoor storage benches you can choose from but it's important that you find the size that correlates best to how much gear you need to stash. Deck box sizes are usually measured in gallons.
In addition to how much interior storage space the bench has, you will also want to pay attention to the exterior dimensions. That way, you can make sure it fits in the space you have allotted for it on the deck.
Often, stores will sell their storage outdoor benches as small, medium, large, or extra-large. Small boxes generally store up to 50 gallons - enough for a hose and a few pillows.
A 70-gallon storage bench will be sufficient for storing small tools and other smaller gardening instruments like pruners and trowels. Extra-large boxes can hold more than 150 gallons with ease, which makes them perfect for inflatable pool toys or bulky lounger cushions. If you have the space for it and don't mind the looks, generally, the bigger the better.
What Other Features Should an Outdoor Storage Bench Have?
Still not sure how to choose the perfect storage outdoor bench? There are a few bonus features you might want to look for.
Some benches come with locks, which can help keep your equipment, tools, and toys secure. Others have storage nets or suspension baskets to make the most of limited space, while others come with handles or wheels and casters that make moving the unit easier.
Finally, look for a storage outdoor bench that's easy to assemble (especially if you don't have tools)!
How Can I Protect My Storage Bench From Rain and Snow?
After you've purchased the best storage outdoor bench for your needs, it's important that you make it last.
Do a thorough winter cleaning each spring to remove moisture, dirt, and debris. This will prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Store your bench indoors during the winter, but if you can't do this, consider investing in outdoor furniture covers to keep it protected from the worst conditions.
Don't forget that a wood storage bench will need to be regularly refinished. Adding a sealant can help keep water out and reduce the frequency with which this needs to be done.
Before you can decide what your storage bench should be made of, what style it should be, and how you are going to protect it from the elements, you need to make a very important decision - what are you going to store in your bench?
After all, there is no way of knowing how to choose the right storage outdoor bench unless you know exactly how it will be used. You can put just about anything in one of these benches, but you'll want to avoid stashing tools that can rust or anything electrical.
Otherwise, one of these accessories is the perfect way to upgrade your outdoor decor. Now that you know how to choose storage outdoor benches for any setting, your outdoor design opportunities will be virtually unlimited!