Potting Bench / Outdoor Bar : Buy or Build?

The idea of a potting bench (okay, really an outdoor bar) has totally haunted me ever since we built one during last year's Lowe's Backyard Makeover

I've really wanted to make something similar for the space under my deck stairs that is currently used as a catch all but I'm torn about buy vs. build.  If we build, we can make it fit the space better and perhaps save a tiny bit of money but of course its a lot more work and the outcome might not be as finished as I like.

What do you think?


via BHG / the picket fence

or buy...

via amazon / amazon

I'd love to get some opinions!


  1. Everything you make looks like a million bucks, and I think you will like being able to customize it to your specific needs. Go for it!

  2. Build!

    Its a fairly simple project, you can get it exactly the size you need / customize it, and its going outside so any imperfections from it being a DIY will be part of its charm!

    www.ana-white.com has a ton of potting benches people have made

  3. there is nothing as wonderful as telling someone, "I made it myself" when they ask where you got that awesome piece of furniture....

    go for it!!

  4. Build! They're soooo easy, and like ivichelle said above, Ana White has a bunch of doable plans. Can't wait to see what you come up with! :)

  5. Build. Not for pride; potting benches get a lot of wear and tear between use and being outside. If you make it you can always fix it easily if you buy it... I just can't believe it will be as sturdy.

  6. There's nothing wrong with prioritizing how you spend your energy. Maybe this is a good buy this time. My bet is you have a million and one things on your plate.

  7. Building it will make it truly yours. But then again, it's only an outdoor shelf for under the stairs. With time and energy at a premium for you these days, just give yourself a break and buy one. Then in 5 years when it's worn to pieces from the weather, you can focus and build one of your dreams :)

  8. Judging from the photos, I'd say that you are pretty skilled carpenter. Carry on building. Not only does this give you pleasure, but also the level of customization is higher - the things you build fit perfectly where you want them to fit. :)
    Domestic cleaning expert

  9. The first 'buy' it option from Amazon is crazy inexpensive. I would buy that one and tweak it add some personality. That's the best part of the build anyway! :)

  10. Build! I made two of these: http://www.ana-white.com/2015/04/free_plans/ryobination-potting-bench I adjusted things a bot to make it taller ((i'm 6'1") and placed the top slats ext to each other to give me a flatter surface. I love them! I'm not experienced and it took me maybe 2 hours to assemble.

  11. Hello my friend! I did both, I bought for one space (that SAME potting bench and I LOVE it although it takes a few hours to assemble) and we also built a version of the BHG potting bench which took a few hours but still works for us as a bar and a potting bench, check it out here!
    Either way, you'll be happy!


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