How Much Does It Cost to Install Built-In Seating?

Typical Range:

$100 - $8,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated November 4, 2021

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Installing built-in seating costs an average of $1,800, although it can range from as little as around $100 to upward of $8,000. Built-in seating, sometimes known as window seats or banquettes, can add charm and functionality to any room. These seats can range in size and style, meaning that the cost to install them will vary, too.

Average Cost to Install Built-In Seating

Install Built-In SeatingCost
Low end$100
Average$1,800
High end$8,000

Built-In Seating Costs

Built-in seats are typically made from wood and different types of upholstery, all of which can vary in price. If you don't already have them, you'll also need to factor in the cost of tools.

MaterialCost
Wood$5 - $150 per board foot
Leather$50 - $60 per yard
Faux Leather$7 - $20 per yard
Velvet$25 - $70 per yard
Polyester$10 - $30 per yard
Twill$30 - $50 per yard
Linen$20 - $30 per yard
Tools (hammer, screwdriver, sewing kit)$50 - $200

Built-In Seating Installation

You may want to enlist a local carpenter to build and install built-in seating, especially if you’d like the seat to precisely fit it into your home or if you want to add custom storage solutions. You may also consult a designer and a local furniture upholstery professional.

LaborCost
Carpenter$50 - $150 per hour

Designer

$50 - $200 per hour
Furniture Upholstery Professionals$40 - $100 per hour
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Built-In Seating Cost by Type

You may want a breakfast nook near the kitchen, or perhaps you dream of a cozy little reading nook in the living room. There are many types of built-in seating, and they vary in cost based on simplicity or complexities in design.

Bench

A built-in bench is one of the least-expensive types of built-in seats. A smaller bench, without any added storage, may cost around $100 to $500. Larger benches may cost $1,000 or more.

Bench With Storage Cubbies

If you want the simplicity of a bench with a little extra storage, this type of built-in seating is for you. Cubbies are perfect for storing shoes or baskets to hide away clutter. A built-in bench with cubbies costs about $500 to $1,000. Larger benches with extra cubbies can cost $2,000 or more.

Bench With Interior Storage

If you want hidden storage for blankets or winter coats, consider built-in seating that lifts up to reveal storage inside the bench. This option will cost around $500 for a small bench with interior storage, although larger benches made with more expensive wood may cost closer to $3,000.

Daybed

A daybed offers a larger amount of built-in seating that can also double as a sleep space for guests. This option costs up to $4,000 because it is a bigger built-in seating option that requires more materials for the frame plus extra padding and stuffing to make it comfortable enough for sleeping.

Dining Seats

Built-in seating at the dining table or breakfast nook can easily add more space for large families. Consult a kitchen remodeling contractor for advice on which type of built-in seating arrangement may work best for your space.

  • Bench with tall back: Adding a back to the bench can make a more comfortable seat for dining, but it will also require more materials. This project will cost around $1,000 to $3,000.

  • Booth: Booth seats can make your dining space feel like a hip restaurant. The extra padding and frame materials will cost more though. Built-in booths can cost $1,000 to $7,000.

  • Breakfast nook: Breakfast nooks can range widely in the materials and storage options, so the cost can vary from $1,000 to $8,000.

Reading Nook

Reading nooks are one of the most popular built-in options. They can be simple, like a built-in bench with cubbies to store books, or more complex with drawers and shelves to create a mini-library. Simpler options will cost around $500, while larger nooks with more storage solutions may cost closer to $4,000.

Built-In Seating Cost by Shape

The shape of built-in seating can affect the cost. Corner benches and L-shaped options can be easier to construct, and cheaper, compared to curved built-in seating.

ShapeCost
Corner Bench$500 - $2,000
L-Shaped Bench$1,000 - $8,000
U-Shaped Bench$1,000 - $8,000
Curved Bench$1,000 - $6,000
Semi-Circle Bench$1,000 - $8,000

Built-In Seating Cost by Size

Most built-in seating projects are priced by the type of seating and the amount of materials required for construction, although you may also find the cost based on size. Built-in seating starts at around $30 to $40 per foot for a simple, 3-foot-long bench. More complex projects and those made of exotic materials can set you back $300 or more per foot.

Built-In Seating Cost Factors

There are many additional considerations that can impact the cost of built-in seating, particularly custom storage options or design additions like tufting and cushions.

Stuffing

If you want your built-in seat to be plush and cozy, you may consider upholstery and stuffing. Adding padding and stuffing costs around $100 to $500 per cushion.

Tufting

Tufting refers to small, evenly spaced indents, often finished with buttons, for a creative appearance to the surface of upholstery. For a tufted bench, you'll likely spend about $50 more for buttons and twine.

Storage

There are many ways to add storage to built-in seating, whether you add drawers, a lifting bench, or cabinetry. Storage in smaller, 3-foot seats typically costs approximately $500, while custom storage solutions for larger built-in seating projects may range from $3,000 to $8,000.

Cushions

Cushions can help finalize the look of your built-in seating while also making it more comfortable. Cushions can range in materials and styles. You can find cushions at home decor stores for around $20 to $50 each, or you may spend $100 to $500 for custom cushions.

Cost to Install Built-In Seating Yourself

The bulk of costs to install built-in seating are in materials, so you won’t save much money by doing this project yourself. You might save 10% to 30% of the project budget in labor costs, but it might take longer than if you hire a carpenter, especially for complex designs. If you do decide to DIY, expect to spend about $30 to $500 per foot in material costs.

DIY vs. Hire a Pro

Hiring a carpenter to install built-in seating is a solid investment, especially if you want custom woodworking, storage solutions or complex designs. For an $1,800 project, a carpenter’s services will cost about $200 to $600 of the total, and they will be able to complete the job correctly and quickly.

A carpenter will take a few hours for smaller built-in seating or a few days for larger, custom built-in seating. It may take a day to build and install simple seating or several days for more complex projects if you go the DIY route.

FAQs

How long does it take to install built-in seating?

For a carpenter, it can take as little as a few hours or closer to 20 hours for larger, more complex projects. If you decide to DIY, it may take a day for a simple built-in seat or several days for larger built-in seating.

What size should the built-in seating be?

A 4-foot-wide bench will typically seat two adults, and the ideal depth is about 17 to 20 inches. For height, aim for around 18 or 19 inches, although anywhere from 16 to 21 inches will be comfortable.

Do I need a permit for installing built-in seating?

Check with your carpenter and municipality about permit requirements. Usually, installing new built-in seating inside your home doesn’t require a permit, but some cities may have stricter requirements than others.

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