Jim Finlay’s clients requested a deck and patio off the back of their house, with the grade-level deck just 14 1/2 inches below the level of the kitchen floor. Although the deck was too low to require railings, one side of it was some 16 inches above grade–too high for anyone to step on or off the deck comfortably or safely. Finlay’s solution was to build a bench along the edge of the deck, with the top supported by single 4x4 legs extending down into the deck framing. Fastening the posts securely with through-bolts proved to be the key to making the bench stable and strong.

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