How much does it cost to install built-in seating?
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Built-in Seating Cost Guide
Updated: October 7, 2022
Built-in seating takes many forms and can be utilized in many different spaces inside and outside of the home in creative and functional ways. The most common types include benches and banquettes. Many homeowners opt into built-in seating for additional seating space while making use of the space available. Built-in seating comes in various colors, materials, shapes, and sizes or can be customized to suit any home.
The national average cost for installing built-in seating is between $550 and $6,000, with most people paying around $1,800 to install a linen L-shaped kitchen banquette with storage space. At the low end of the spectrum, you can expect to pay around $250 for a faux leather single-sided built-in bench in the garden. At the high end, you can pay up to $9,500 for a custom U-shaped, premium wood built-in seating with upholstered tops and cabinets on the patio.
Built-In Seating Price
|Built-In Seating Cost|
|National average cost||$1,800|
Cost of Built-In Seating by Type
The cost to install built-in seating is influenced by the type ranging anywhere between $400 and $8,000. Built-in seating can be used in many spaces both inside and outside of the home. Built-in seating also offers lots of add ons for storage, such as shelving, cabinetry, drawers, and internal storage. The chart below highlights some of the most common types of built-in seating with their respective costs, followed by an explanation of each.
|Bench Seat||$250- $8,000|
|Bookcase Bench Seat||$400 - $3,000|
|Kitchen Table Bench||$400 - $3,000|
|Bench With Cubbies||$500 - $2,000|
|Seating With Storage||$500 - $3,000|
|Sofa Bench||$500 - $3,000|
|Reading Nook||$500 - $4,000|
|Daybed Under Window||$500 - $4,000|
|Booth Seating||$850 - $6,500|
|Breakfast Nook||$850 - $8,000|
Bench seats come in several sizes and materials and cost between $250 and $8,000. Built-in bench seats are a great addition to many rooms inside and outside the home. They are commonly placed in areas where you take off your shoes, such as the entryway or mudroom. They are also useful in spaces that require seating, such as the living room, family room, kitchen, and basement. A patio, deck, garden, or firepit area can also benefit from built-in bench seating. Bench seats are great for areas where space is limited. They allow you to seat many people comfortably and eliminate the need for individual chairs. Bench seats can be constructed with a back so you and your guests can lean back and sit comfortably.
Built-in seating comes in several shapes and configurations, which affects the price. Anything beyond a standard bench incurs a slightly higher cost. For example, you pay the most for circular or u-shaped bench seating, while a simple corner design might not cost much more than a single bench or booth. The table below shows the average costs of curved banquette seating, built-in corner bench seating, and other options.
|Single-Sided||$250 - $1,000|
|Corner||$500 - $2,000|
|Curved||$750 - $6,000|
|L-Shaped||$750 - $6,000|
|Circular||$750 - $8,000|
|U-Shaped||$750 - $8,000|
Bookcase Bench Seat
A bookcase bench seat costs between $400 and $3,000 and provides a dual function as a seating area and a place to house your books. These benches work great in entryways, cubby closets, mudrooms, kids’ rooms, or any space that could use extra seating. They often come with a padded cushion for comfort. There are many sizes and styles to choose from, including open bin fronts or even doors.
Built-in Kitchen Table Bench
Built-in kitchen table benches range in price between $400 and $3,000. Dining benches can be used as an alternative to dining room chairs. They provide comfortable seating during meals while saving space in the kitchen. They can be customized to fit different lengths and designed using a variety of materials. The length of the bench should be equal to or slightly shorter than the table length. The height of the bench should be just enough to allow for enough leg space to fit below the tabletop. When used for dining, table benches are constructed with a back so you and your guests can sit and enjoy a meal comfortably. Additionally, built-in kitchen benches can include built-in storage both underneath and inside.
Built-In Bench With Cubbies
The cost for a built-in bench with cubbies ranges from $500 to $2,000 or more. If you are looking for a one-stop spot for you or your kids to hang up coats and backpacks and put away shoes, then a built-in bench with cubbies is the perfect solution. This built-in unit can be utilized in a ton of different spaces within the home, such as the entryway, mudroom, laundry room, garage, and many others. The bench is more than just an eye-catching accent piece but makes for a comfortable sit-down spot. These built-in seating types come in various styles with multiple features, including shelving, drawers, cabinets, hooks, and lower cubbies for additional storage.
Built-In Seating With Storage
Built-in bench seats with storage start at around $500 for a smaller unit and go up to $3,000 or more, depending on the features, size, and materials. Built-in seating with storage units is very popular in spaces where the room is limited. They are a functional unit that provides a place to sit as well as room for storing items. They most commonly come in the form of a bench or banquette. Storage can be added underneath in cubbies, drawers, or shelves and internally using a pop-up lid.
Built-In Sofa Bench
You will pay between $500 and $3,000 for a sofa bench depending on the size and material. Spice up your interior with a stylish built-in sofa bench, perfect for adding extra seating to any bedroom, living room, or entry space. Sofa benches are a versatile choice for seating that comes in various upholstered materials and colors that enhance your interior decor. A sofa bench comes in many different sizes to fit any space or can be customized to do so.
Built-In Reading Nook
A built-in reading nook has various options that create a wide cost range from $500 to $4,000. A comfortable reading spot for the avid reader is not easy to find. Be inspired to create a built-in reading nook in your home, a cozy place to relax with a good book. Whether you’d like it to be against a sunny window, in a spare bedroom, under a staircase, in a closet, or in a corner, the possibilities are endless. Reading nooks come in various sizes and styles, with many feature options, including shelves, cubbies, and drawers.
Built-In Daybed Under Window
You can expect to pay between $500 and $4,000 for installing a built-in daybed. A daybed is a style of sofa that doubles as a sitting or sleeping area. They are most commonly placed in a spare room or home office, under a window. Daybeds are a great way to accommodate guests. Their frames can be made out of wood, metal, or a combination of both. Most daybeds come in twin size and can be fitted with a regular twin size mattress.
Built-In Booth Seating
The cost of built-in booth seating is between $850 and $6,500. Built-in booth seating is a great option for a small space. It is often utilized in restaurants to increase seating capacity without taking up too much room. Built-in booth seating can seat at least four people comfortably without taking up too much space in the kitchen. They can be great for conversation as they allow you to sit facing each other. Booths come with added storage features below in the form of cubbies, drawers, and shelves.
Built-In Breakfast Nook
Depending on the materials used, features, and finish, built-in breakfast nooks cost from $850 to $8,000 or more. A built-in breakfast nook, also commonly referred to as a banquette, is a built-in hinged-top bench often used with a table to create a dining area in the kitchen. They are normally installed in a corner or near a window. From a design standpoint, breakfast nooks offer efficient use of space, eliminating the need for a table and chairs in a space that is too small. From L-shaped to circular, banquettes come in different shapes. They can have extra features like cabinets or upholstery.
Cost of Built-In Seating by Material
The type of material used for built-in seating influences the cost ranging between $350 and $8,000. They are manufactured from different materials. Typically, velvet and faux leather are at the lower end of the price range, while wood and leather are at the higher end. In between, you find materials like linen and polyester, which provide affordable style for those who choose them.
Faux leather is nice because it offers the look of leather without the expense or upkeep. However, polyester may be more durable over time. Linen is a light material, but it stains easily. Leather requires a lot of upkeep; however, it looks great. Velvet and premium wood seating are also great options. Wood is also another option and it can also be upholstered with the material of your choice, bench seat upholstery can cost between $750 and $3,500. Compare the costs, maintenance, and styles to determine the ideal material for your built-in seating. The table below shows the most common types of built-in seating materials and their costs.
|Material||Cost (Materials Only)|
|Faux Leather||$350 - $3,000|
|Polyester||$350 - $4,000|
|Linen||$350 - $5,000|
|Leather||$350 - $6,500|
|Velvet||$400 - $6,500|
|Twill||$400 - $7,000|
|Wood||$450 - $8,000|
Built-In Seating Labor Cost
The national average cost for custom built-in window seating carried out by a carpenter is $1,800. Of that cost, approximately $200 to $600 accounts for the labor. The materials make up the remaining $1,200 to $1,600. Professional built-in seating installers are usually carpenters charging an average of $50 to $150 per hour. The installation process includes planning and measuring the installation space, removing existing structures if necessary, fitting the unit, and cleaning up. This takes anywhere from four to five hours for smaller units to 20 hours or more for larger jobs. Installing built-in seating may require a designer or architect to draft a design, especially if extensive modifications are required. Complicated installations take more time and add another one to three days to the installation time for a single built-in seating project. The larger the seating space, the more you can expect to pay for the project.
Built-In Seating Cost by Location
The cost to install built-in seating varies based on the location of installation ranging anywhere between $350 and $8,500. Built-in seating can be utilized in many different spaces both inside and outside of the home. Depending on the location installed, built-in seating can serve many different purposes and feature many unique add-ons. The size and style of your seating impact the costs.
Installing seating outdoors or in a mudroom is the most affordable. Most people choose built-in seating for their kitchen, dining room, or living room, which is a nice way to replace traditional furniture. In kitchens and dining rooms, bench seating that is built around a table is common. Window seating in bay windows and other window styles adds a unique look to any living room or other space. You can even have built-in seating for your deck and firepit. This is usually in the form of benches, but they will be made with materials suitable for outdoor use. The chart below highlights common locations for built-in seating and their respective costs.
|Garden||$350 - $1,500|
|Mudroom||$500 - $3,000|
|Fire Pit||$500 - $3,000|
|Living Room||$500 - $5,000|
|Kitchen Island||$500 - $6,000|
|Patio||$500 - $8,500|
|Bay Window||$550 - $1,100|
|Window Sill||$550 - $5,000|
|Glass Box Window||$550 - $6,000|
|Kitchen||$550 - $8,000|
|Dining Room||$550 - $8,000|
|Deck||$550 - $8,500|
What Does Banquette Mean?
A banquette is a bench or other furniture item often tucked against a wall for seating, commonly under a window, and may be built-in. Banquettes usually come upholstered, but not always. There are many pros associated with installing a banquette in a home, the first one being coziness. Banquette seating can be much more comfortable as it offers more space for larger people who may feel cramped sitting in a chair. They can also be installed closer to a wall, preventing people from bumping into you as they walk past. In addition to coziness, banquettes can be functional for small spaces. In homes where space is limited, giving up space for storage and a table and chairs is often impossible. Tucking a banquette into a corner or in a small space adds functionality. Banquette seating offers more seating than a table and chairs. For families with children, it is much easier to seat a few children on a bench instead of having them all in separate chairs around a table. Finally, banquettes accent any space in a home. A custom, built-in banquette offers features such as storage, bookcases, or beautiful detailing and trim work.
Along with the pros of banquette seating, there are a few cons. Built-in banquette seating can sometimes affect a home’s value. If you plan to sell, a buyer might see this as limiting them to a certain style for the space and can be costly to remove. In addition, banquette seating is often built for the person wanting it. That means other people may have more difficulty fitting in the space. If you only require seating for a few people, then a banquette could be a waste of space. A small table and chairs might be a better option in this situation. Finally, having a built-in custom banquette can be quite pricey.
Cushions for Built-In Seating Cost
The average cost for a custom seat cushion ranges from $20 for a single-seat cushion or $500 for a custom banquette, bench, or window seat cushion. Create an inviting, comfortable seating area for you and your guests with custom cushions. Choose from hundreds of different fabrics in a variety of patterns and colours. Each cushion can be made in a range of different thicknesses, as well as welting, button, and tie options. Custom cushions can be designed to reflect your style and vision. Custom cushions can be made for any built-in style of seating.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Built-In Bookshelves With Seating
Costs for built-in bookshelves with seating range from $3,000 to $11,000 or more. Built-in bookshelves are a great way to add storage solutions to any room, showcasing decorative items, books, and more. When you add them to your built-in seating, you have the perfect reading nook. You can choose to build bookshelves as a built-in feature separately, but that incurs additional project costs and planning. As with your bench seating or window seat, you can choose from several materials and sizes that impact the final costs.
Reading Nook Decor
Expect to pay between $10 and $500 to add decor to a reading nook, depending on the decoration used. Having a cozy, inviting reading nook makes reading a great book even more enjoyable. Get creative with furniture and home decor accents to brighten the space. Incorporating colorful things such as blankets, rugs, pillows, chairs, artwork, and end tables creates the perfect space. Striking light fixtures add to the space.
Custom Built-In Entertainment Center
If you add a built-in entertainment center, you can expect to spend between $3,000 and $15,000. Most homeowners spend about $9,000 to install a full-wall entertainment center with solid wood shelving, storage cabinets, and a TV mount. A built-in entertainment center is great for creating a storage solution and unique focal point in your family room or living room. Adding a built-in entertainment center can also include storage, shelving, and more. This can enhance your built-in seating by providing another complementary built-in feature and adding more value to your home.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- DIY. A DIY built-in seating project is doable if you are looking to save some money on paying a professional. Although it could be a DIY project, it is best to opt for professional installation for the best results. The process may sound easy to do, but you could encounter some issues. Hiring a professional company eliminates the headache of dealing with these issues on your own and offers a great warranty for anything that may go wrong.
- Estimates. It is important to get at least three written estimates for the work. Sometimes you may be dealing with the wrong company or person that will charge you more than they should.
- Warranties. The built-in seating unit is most often warranted against defective materials or workmanship for many years (based on the company). If there is any issue that is covered by the warranty, then repairing or replacing the product will be completed. Always ask about the warranty before you select the company.
- Permits. Many cities now require permits to install built-in seating inside or outside of your home if extensive modification is required. Hiring a contractor or designer to get a permit can incur an additional charge.
- ROI. Built-ins are a wonderful way to make a big impact in your home. While improving the functionality of your home, they also increase your ROI.
- Blueprint design. If your built-in seating design requires modification to your existing structure, then you may need to hire an architect or draftsperson to create and design a blueprint for you. This will incur an additional charge.
- How do you build a built-in window seat?
The process of building a window seat involves selecting an area, removing the cabinet doors/shelves, removing the baseboards, and then building the base from framing lumber and plywood. Once that’s complete, the window seat base will be attached to the wall, and the wall cabinets will be attached. The seat will then be cut to size, attached, sanded, and painted.
- How tall should a window seat be?
A window seat should be anywhere between 16 and 21 inches tall. Standard chair seating height is around 19 inches. There is a little extra space when building a window seat.
- How do you make a window seat with drawers?
A window seat with drawers can be built out of ready-made cabinets/drawers bolted to the wall. The plywood is then installed on the top to create that space for storage and the seat.
- What is built-in seating called?
Built-in seating is also sometimes referred to as booths or banquette seating. Once primarily found in restaurants, they are becoming popular in residential kitchens and family rooms.