Outdoor Sofa - Modern Comfort Collection

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 03/03/2020 - 14:48
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Build your own outdoor sofa.  Modern style, reclined seat and back for increased comfort.  Fits standard 25" x 25" deep seat cusions. Free step by step plans from Ana-White.com

Matching loveseat plans available here and matching chair plans available here.

outdoor sofa with reclining back rest

What Type of Wood to Use?

We recommend cedar wood for building this sofa.  You can also use standard 2x lumber if it is fully sealed (painted or stained with an exterior grade finish.

Where to Get Cushions?

There's alot of great options for cushions.  You can easily modify this plan to fit almost any size cushion, but we recommend "deep seat" cushions.
  • This plan is based off a 25" x 25" x 5" deep seat cushion and a 25" x 22" x 5" deep back cushion (most popular option Amazon affiliate link).
  • You can also use a 24" x 24" deep cushion with minimal modification, but will need to make the distance between the arm rests 3" less.
  • If you use 24" deep x 22" wide cushions, you will need to make the distance between the armrests 9" less.
  • Back cushions should match width of the seat cushions, the pillow height should be between 18" and 25" to cover the wood back rest.

Updated Plans

This plan has been updated from the Simple White Outdoor Collection to feature wider arm rests, easier to build, and a sturdier 2x construction.  
outdoor sofa dimensions
Dimensions shown in diagram


Shopping List

3 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long

4 - 2x6 @ 8 feet long

6 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long

2 - 1x4 @ 10 feet long

(50) 2-1/2" self tapping exterior wood screws

(50) 2-1/2" pocket hole screws

(20) 1-1/2" self tapping exterior wood screws

Cut List

4 - 2x4 @ 22" - legs

2 - 2x4 @ 34" - arm rests

2 - 2x4 @ 31" - arm supports

2 - 2x6 @ 31" - arm supports

2 - 2x6 @ 75-1/2" - bases

1 - 2x4 @ 75-1/2" - back

1 - 2x2 @ 75-1/2" - back rest top

9 - 2x4 @ 23-3/4" - back slats

1 - 2x6 @ 79-1/2" - back base

2 - 2x2 @ 79-1/2" - seat slat cleats

10 - 1x4 @ 23-1/2" - seat slats

Cutting Instructions

Cut boards with a compound miter saw.

Tape Measure
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw


Step 1

Drill two 1-1/2" pocket holes on top of each of the legs.

Attach to the arm rest from underneath with 2-1/2" pocket hole screws.

Leg is shown upside down.

Step 2

Drill two 1-1/2" pocket holes on each end of the 2x4 side supports. 

Attach to the insides of the legs with 2-1/2" pocket hole screws.

Leg is shown upside down.

Step 3

Drill two 1-1/2" pocket holes on each end of the 2x6 end aprons.  Also drill three 1-1/2" pocket holes along one edge.

Attach inside the leg, flush to the outside, pocket holes hidden on insides, with 2-1/2" pocket hole screws.

Leg is shown upside down.

Step 4

Drill two 1-1/2" pocket holes on each end of the 2x6 and 2x4s shown.

Attach with 2-1/2" pocket hole screws to the legs, all pocket holes are on the insides, or facing downward.

Step 5

Attach 2x2 to the back slat pieces with 2-1/2" exterior self tapping screws.  Two screws per joint recommended.

TIP: Attach ends and middle first, then evenly space remaining, to avoid uneven gaps between the back slats.

Step 6

Attach back to the base with 2-1/2" self tapping wood screws, with a 2" gap on each end, keeping the same spacing as the top.

Two screws per joint recommended.

NOTE: There is an error in this diagram, the base should be 79-1/2" long and the overhangs on the ends should be 2" long.

Step 7

Place the back inside the sofa frame and attach at the base 8" inward with 2-1/2" self tapping screws.

The top leans on the back (see next step).

Step 8

Attach a few of the back slats to the back with 2-1/2" self tapping screws.

Step 9

Attach 2x2 to 2x6  with 2-1/2" self tapping screws, screws about every 12".

Step 10

Add the front cleat with 2-1/2" screws to the front, about 1" down from the front top edge.

Step 11

Place seat slats on top of the 2x2s and screw down with 1-1/2" screws (only one per joint is needed).

Help Improve This Plan

We apologize if there was an error in this plan. Please help us out and report any errors here.



Mon, 06/06/2011 - 07:03

Thank you for the wonderful plan! It looks so great I want it to be my first project.

I was going over the plan and noticed that the 1 x 3s for the back and seat slats are listed in the Cut List but not in the Shopping List. I am in the process of trying to figure out how many I need, but will wait for your confirmation.

Thanks for all you do!!!

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 07:42

This makes me very sad. I've been wanting an outdoor sofa (not a loveseat) for months and I finally broke down and bought one :( I love the set I have, just really wanted to build one. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to tackle my 'to do list' of other awesome projects :)

Pam the Goatherd

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 08:28

My son is moving from renting a room to having an entire one bedroom apartment for himself. He has no living room furniture and I was thinking yesterday about building him a sofa. Before I could sit down and draw up plans, here you come up with this design! Thanks, Ana! Eventually I am going to have furnished almost my entire house, and my children's homes, with handmade furniture!


Mon, 06/06/2011 - 10:51

The is such a beautiful couch!!! I love it! We have an all-weather-wicker (resin) set on our deck right now, but I'd love to make a beautiful wood version to replace them. :) The chairs look like a mini version of the couch, so I'm guessing the plans would be easy to adapt... unless you're planning on posting chair plans. :) Thank you!!!!!!!!!

Wyatt (not verified)

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 11:15

I just want to say that this is truly inspiring... I'm usually hesitant to get involved in projects like this, but the results here are just so stunning (and so inexpensive, relative to the cost of buying the RH model!).

I've got a question about the cushions that you might have the answer to: are they Sunbrella fabric? I've heard that Sunbrella makes great stuff and I was wondering if they're worth the investment for outdoor sofa cushions.

Again, I love this project and this blog... bravo!

Ana White

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 12:00

Hi Wyatt, the cushions are Sunbrella, just marvelous! They bead water and are just beautiful. I'd wait - RH will put these on sale at some point because the frames are actually sold out - and buy them at a discount. I'll be checking - my family wants some outdoor sofas, so if RH does put the cushions back on sale, will be buying more!


Mon, 06/06/2011 - 11:55

Would it be so hard to change the legs to be from 2x3?

For the life of me I cannot get a decent 2x2 in Lowe's or HD around me!