Built-in Seating Cost

The cost of installing built-in seating is $840 - $1,680.

In this guide

Living room
Kitchen
Decks and patios
Enhancements
Additional Considerations
FAQ

How much does it cost to install a built-in seating?

Adding built-in seating to your home or your outdoor area (deck or patio) is a great way to add more sitting room while making use of your current available space.

The vast majority of built-in 1 seating is constructed from wood by a carpenter with upholstery added optionally. For this guide, the examples of building basic to high quality custom seating in a living room, kitchen, patio and deck are given.

Living room

Adding built-in 1 seating to a living room is often easier if there is a large window in the room. The built-in 1 seating can be added directly in the space near the window which reduces the need for large structural changes.

  • If charged hourly as a custom construction project, carpentry work is approximately $70/hr.
  • It takes approximately one to two days to construct small built-in 1 window seats using a budget wood like pine, so the labor costs would be $560 to $1120 to build most types of custom seating. Costs for a simple installation would be 4 to 8 hours or $280 to $560.
  • Larger windows seats with high quality hardwoods like mahogany, oak or cherry or seats with cabinets built in will cost between $2000 and $4000 not including labor. Labor for larger built-in 1 seating can take one to two days, or $560 to $1120.
  • Freestanding benches are the least expensive option. They can cost between $300 and $600 and don’t have to be installed. They are also often backless and look very similar to built-in 1 seating without the complication.

Kitchen

In the kitchen, built-in 1 seating is also called a banquette and it adds a larger dining area within the kitchen, normally installed in a corner or also near a window.

  • Construction of an L shaped banquette with a budget wood like pine and minimal extra features like cabinets or basic upholstery costs between $750-$2000.
  • L shaped banquettes custom constructed from premium wood, leather upholstery, and cabinets can run anywhere from $2000 to $6000 not including design fees. This includes carpentry and upholstery, but not installation.
  • Installation of an L shaped banquette can cost an additional $560 to $1120 or sometimes more depending on how much modification needs to be made to the kitchen.
  • An upholstered freestanding bench is a less expensive option that can still look similar to built-in 1 seating. The cost is $900 to $2500.

Decks and patios

Many decks and patios are originally designed with built-in 1 seating. When they aren’t, there are a few options for homeowners. Some of the main factors that influence the cost include the size, the difficulty of integrating it into the current structure, the quality of the materials, and the amount of custom building that is required.

  • Creating a basic custom built-in 1 seating solution to a deck or patio such as an L bench built can cost between $1500 and $3000 not including installation. Installation can take one to two days, costing an additional $560 to $1120 to integrate the bench into the patio or deck.
  • A more complex bench like a curved bench with larger seating space that is built directly into the deck can cost between $3000 and $6000 to build and $1120 to $2240 (two to four labor days) to install.
  • Free standing waterproof deck or patio benches are the lowest cost option and can run anywhere from $300 to $1000, they usually do not have to be professionally installed. These can be custom built by a carpenter or purchased pre-built.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • Using a higher quality hardwood such as mahogany, oak, or cherry or higher quality upholstery like leather. This can add 20% to 50% to the material cost for the seating.
  • Adding cabinets or storage space underneath the seating can add an additional 20% to 40% to the cost of custom seating construction.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Many cities now require permits to install built-in 1 seating inside or outside of your home if there is extensive modification required, and hiring a contractor or designer to get a permit can cost between $200 and $400.
  • Patio or deck seating can cost more to custom build because of the need to waterproof and weatherproof it.
  • The larger the seating space the higher the cost will be. A 4’ deck bench will cost substantially less than a custom build 30’ curved bench that runs along the entire edge of a deck.
  • Complicated installations will take more time and can add another one to three days to the installation time for a single built-in 1 seating project ($560 to $1680).
  • A designer or architect may be needed in order to draft a design for the seating addition, especially if extensive modification is needed. This can take 4 to 8 hours of labor, most designers charge $100-$130 per hr. so the cost would be $400 to $800 at minimum.
  • Built in seating can be added into rooms of any size; it only depends on whether or not there is enough space in the desired area.

FAQ

  • How much does it cost to build a window seat?

The average cost of a built-in window seat is between $860 and $1,680.

  • How much does it cost to build a built in bookcase?

Built-in shelving for bookcases typically costs between $2,050 and $5,000 depending on material and upgrades.

  • How much does it cost to put up a shelf?

Custom, built-in shelves made of premium grade veneer plywood typically cost around $2,050. Ready-made shelves can be installed for around $50.

  • How do you make a window seat?

Window seats can be built on site from framing lumber and plywood. They can also be built out of short, ready-made cabinets bolted to the wall with a plywood top for storage and seating in one.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Built-in: An item of furniture, such as a bookcase or set of cabinets, that is built directly into the structure of the room. Built-ins are therefore customized to the room and not detachable

Cost to install a built-in seating varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Arlington, TN
-23%
Arlington, VA
+38%
Athens, GA
-9%
Athens, TX
-38%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Baldwin, NY
+31%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Beaverton, OR
+15%
Bradenton, FL
-8%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Bryn Mawr, PA
+31%
Catawba, NC
-24%
Clover, SC
-24%
Crofton, MD
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Damascus, OR
-19%
Des Moines, IA
+1%
Durham, NC
-1%
Edgewater, NJ
+23%
Elk Grove, CA
+6%
Evansville, IN
+7%
Florence, AL
-24%
Fort Mill, SC
-13%
Fort Wayne, IN
-7%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Glenview, IL
+40%
Greensburg, PA
-15%
Hempstead, NY
+31%
Hollywood, FL
0%
Houston, TX
+24%
Hudson, OH
+8%
Huntsville, AL
-17%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Lancaster, SC
-29%
Lexington, KY
+1%
Lincoln, CA
+3%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Naples, FL
-3%
New York, NY
+77%
North Hollywood, CA
+11%
Palatine, IL
+36%

Labor cost in your zip code

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Methodology and sources