Outdoor Sofa - Modern Comfort Collection

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 03/03/2020 - 14:48
Difficulty
Intermediate
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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
Photo by AMIEALEJANDRO

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.  
Dimensions
outdoor sofa dimensions
Dimensions shown in diagram

Preparation

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.

Tools
Tape Measure
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Circular Saw

Instructions

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.

Comments

Lindsay (not verified)

Mon, 09/05/2011 - 19:54

Hi Ana, I just finished building this and i'll put a brag post once it's painted, but I think I found an error - in the instructions you refer to the back seat support as a 2x3, but everywhere else it's a 2x4.

Other than that it was a cinch to build, thanks for the great plans!!

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 09/12/2011 - 12:17

Hello Ana,

I am new to carpentry and I am having a hard time picking out wood types for outdoor projects. What type of wood did you use for this project? And does the type you choose vary depending on whether you are just staining or sealing it versus painting it in a solid color as you did here?

Thanks!

Kristen

Sarahsdawn (not verified)

Sun, 10/16/2011 - 05:31

Just got finished building your classic bunk beds...my kids LOVE them! We built and added a slide, which they love even more!
Just curious.....do you think you might be able to put up plans for an "L" shaped sofa? I'm planning on building this, as INSIDE furniture! I just adore the way it looks, I can sew the cushions easily, and I'd love to have a big L couch in my formal living room, so that all of our friends and family have a place to sit.
Thanks so much! I love your site, and all you do!

Peridot (not verified)

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 05:46

These plans look interesting; I was going to purchase an outdoor sofa for my deck from Pottery Barn, but they want a fortune.
I plan on doing a variation on this and using your plans as a basic template and combining it with the style of the one from Pottery Barn: will use pressure treated lumber as I live in Florida & plan on using it nearly year round..I also already have a Kreg jig, skilsaw, table saw, chop saw and many tools.

Hope to spend many hours entertaining and sleeping on it.

Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

hgraves1

Thu, 03/08/2012 - 09:54

Hello, I want to build this sofa but I do not have kreg jig. I was thinking of taking the back from the simple outdoor chair plan and using it for this plan. Obviously I have to make a few adjustments but I was wondering if you think this would work?
By the way I love your website! You are awesome Ana!

claydowling

Thu, 03/08/2012 - 10:38

You can pick up a doweling jig very inexpensively from any hardware store, and use that instead of a kreg jig to make dowel tenons. They're very strong and the tools are inexpensive.

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 03/12/2012 - 13:13

Can this unit be built without the arms and yet remain stable? I really love the overall design, but am looking for an "open ended" couch and chairs. I can see from the plans how I would modify the ends to exclude the arms, but will the unit remain stable without them?

Thanks and keep up the GREAT work!

Barbara Richard (not verified)

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 07:03

Hi Anna, Love all that you have done and we are hoping to try a few of your plans in the coming months.
I noticed another person asked this earlier, but didn't get an answer. Did you just use regular pine for this outdoor sofa? wouldn't this deteriorate soon since it's outdoors? I have looked online for suggestions using regular pine for outdoor furniture and it seems everyone says that even with stain and or paint it isn't a good idea. I was wondering if you (or anyone else out there) had some way of preserving it to make it last. (I would cover it in the winter months) It would make this much more affordable to make... Not sure if sitting on pressure treated wood is a good idea, so we'd have to find redwood or cedar which could get pricey... Thank you....

Jarmahead

Tue, 05/29/2012 - 20:19

Thanks for the great plans.  My wife and I built this sofa over the weekend.  We used Pine Boards and then stained it with Behr Weatherproof Bordeaux color.  Overall very easy to follow plans.  I do believe wood is much more expensive here in Texas because our total cost for wood was around $115.

We also added 4 support "feet" using leftover 2x4s. 

The only issue we ran into was during the last step (attaching the back rest to the overall sofa).  It wasn't clear on how high or low rest should be installed.  Also, definitely screw in the bottom part of the back rest first!  It was pretty difficult to get to this area with a drill as well haha.

Also, I believe on future projects like this, I'll sand /stain before assembly then do touch ups....it gets old quick trying to paint/stain in between all of those slats!

Here is a pic of the finished product:
http://s14.postimage.org/oq09tunld/Jarmahead_Outdoor_Sofa.jpg

We still have to find some cushions for it though.  We will be moving on to the outdoor coffee table next to match the sofa. 

Again, thanks for the plans and they worked out great!  The Kreg jig is my new favorite tool.