Last summer, after living in Florida for almost six years, we decided it was finally time to build a lanai. When we bought our home, it was a new construction, and our builder did not give us the option for a lanai at that time. Eventually our builder started offering lanais, and because they were a big success, lanais became standard in the rest of the community. That meant our building was the only one without lanais!
My wife loves being outside, so when we finally made the decision to move forward with building a lanai, she was so excited. I also was excited about the lanai because I now had the opportunity to make some outdoor furniture.
Building the lanai wasn’t cheap, so I wanted to make the furniture I built to be as budget friendly as possible. Right around this time a friend at church told me he had a bunch of left over wood from cabin he built. He gave me cypress beams that were left over from the ceiling of the cabin, cypress tongue and groove slates left over from the walls, and some other pieces of left over cypress he was just going to throw away. Because it was free and I had a lot of it, I used these cypress pieces to make almost all of the outdoor furniture for my lanai.
This week I am sharing the DIY outdoor sofa I made for the lanai. Because the material I used is not something you can go buy at Home Depot or Lowes, I will not be including a normal project plan, but I will show you how I made it.
- 13 Pressure treated 2x4x8
- 5 Pressure treated 1x2x8
- 3-3/4 in x 8 in beams (Not available at home improvement stores)
- 1×7 in cypress boards (Not available at home improvement stores)
- 2-1/2 in screws
- Saw (I used a miter saw for this project)
- Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
- Air Compressor and nail gun
I made the arms of the sofa using cypress beams (3-3/4 in x 8 in cut to 30 in) and 1×2 (cut to 29-1/2 in) pressure treated boards. See illustrations below to see how I made the sofa arms.
For the bottom beam, I attached the 1×2 on the inside edge of the top of the beam. I drilled countersink holes, so the screw would not stick out at all.
For the middle beam, I attached the 1×2 1-1/2 in from the inside edge on the bottom of the beam and on the inside edge for the top of the beam.
For the top beam, I attached the 1×2 1-1/2 in from the inside edge of the bottom of the beam.
I connected the beams together by screwing 2-1/2 in screws on the inside of the sofa arms, attaching the 1×2 pieces together. At first I was a little nervous that the arms would not be sturdy enough, but they were fine. After I attached the seat frame pieces’ sofa arm, there were no issue at all with its stability.
I built 2 seat frames and attached them to the sofa arms.
I built a seat frame for the middle of the sofa to provide support.
I cut the 2 pieces of 1×7 cypress board to 66-1/2 in for the front of the sofa. I also cut a 1×2 piece to 66-1/2 to go behind the 1×7 pieces and mimic the gap in the sofa arms.
I cut 10 2×4 to 66-1/2 in, and I drilled countersink holes into the sides and the middle so when I attach it to the seat frame, the sofa cushions would not snag on the screws.
At this point, I stained everything because it would be too heavy and large to move into my lanai in one piece. After it was stained, I assembled everything together in the lanai.
I attached the 1×7 cypress boards (66-1/2 in long) to the two sofa arms using pocket hole screws. I then attached a 1×2 piece of pressure treated wood (66-1/2 in long) to the back of the 1×7 boards using a nail gun and brad nails. I did this to match the indentation on the sofa arms.
I attached the 2×4 to the seat frame pieces.
The lanai has become a favorite place for my family to hang out, and it has a lot to do with this outdoor sofa. We sit out on it all the time, my wife likes to takes naps on it, and I really enjoy drinking a cup of coffee while chilling out on the sofa.