How do I Build a Window Seat?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2019
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There are four steps required to build a window seat: find a suitable location, purchase materials required, frame the seat, and paint. A window seat is a permanent seat just below the ledge of the window. There is usually a cushion or series of pillows on the top of the seat to make it comfortable. Window seats are most commonly found in bay windows, as the seat can be easily built to use the space just inside the window area.

The most suitable location to build a window seat is where there are no heating or ventilation vents directly below the window, a nice view from the window seat, and a lot of light in the room. Most people avoid building a window seat in a second floor room if the window opens. A small child would be able to get up onto the seat and may fall out of the window accidentally.

The materials required to build a window seat are wood, drywall, and paint. Measure the space and determine how many support beams you are going to install. The number required depends on the size of the window seat, the amount of weight it should bear, and the location. The standard rule of thumb is to install a support beam every two feet.


To frame the seat, install a wooden beam along the outer edge of the seat and secure it to the floor. Install cross beams every two feet to support the weight and secure those to the floor as well. Measure, cut, and install the drywall to create the actual seat and front. If you prefer, wood can be used instead of drywall. Keep in mind that the wood is just for appearance, and is not load-bearing.

If you choose to use drywall when you build a window seat, make sure to use drywall compound and tape to seal the joints. Follow the instructions on the container, remembering to sand away the excess after it dries. Once this is done, you can paint the window seat.

If you choose to use wood, you can either stain and sand the wood before or after installation. The best method depends on the location of the window seat in your home, the type of flooring already in place, and the level of skill you have with applying varnish. The type of cushion placed on the top of the window seat varies, depending on the decor of the space and your intended use. If the window seat will be used by children, invest in a cushion with a removable, machine wash cover.


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