I am trying to construct a window seat like this one: window seat

I live in Canada.

I was wondering what are the common construction code points to consider on this one?

  • Materials - does it matter if this is just a seat and not a bearing wall, I was planing 2x4s from Home Depot.
  • Screws vs Nails - I was thinking screws with pre-drilling.
  • Framing - should I follow the spacing guidelines for the wood frame or as long as it's sturdy it's all that matters?

Electrical Heating Element

I also have an electrical heating element attached to the wall right where the seat will go, so I was thinking to move it onto the face of the seat once completed. Is there any specific plating that has to be installed to drywall?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Better asked on the woodworking stack? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 13, 2018 at 21:09
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking which stack exchange is better suited, but I am more looking for common pitfalls or building code points to consider rather than wood construction techniques. $\endgroup$
    – Alexus
    Jun 13, 2018 at 23:05
  • $\begingroup$ We don’t have your building codes... you need to contact the codes people... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 14, 2018 at 4:03
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Better on DIY.SE. There is no structural engineering here, it's not a structural component. I'd be very surprised if any local building code cared about it at all. $\endgroup$
    – AndyT
    Jun 14, 2018 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


I don't think there is any problem with the idea, with these considerations.

Heat register should be relocated to somwhere that is not likely going to be exposing someone to excessive heat or burn.

2x4 at 16" o.c. type 5 nailing is ok with with 16 d nails, unless you have decking screws with data sheet so you can adequately provide for 100 lbs/ sqr foot of bench load.

Bench covers and fabrics should meet locale fire retardant code.

Glazing should be tempered and meet local impact resistance codes.

Your local buulding department should be a good source of information.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ OP suggested screwing with pre-drilling so why do you suggest the poorer technique of nails - are you sugesting that they go into the existing wall? Will nails hold? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 14, 2018 at 6:10
  • $\begingroup$ Nails as approved by code are better choice. Many tests have to be performed on them to qualify, such as ductility, repeated bending moment loading and release, shear single and double loading. In fact in structural framing nailing is code recommended. Specific uses such as prefabricated shear walls and metal frames using screws/bolts such as Simpson need individual lab test and code special report certification. $\endgroup$
    – kamran
    Jun 14, 2018 at 6:31
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    $\begingroup$ If that existing wall is plasterboard, then unless the nails go into the existing studs they won't be much use... Also, whose codes are you referring to? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 14, 2018 at 6:53
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike, if memory serves me right, Canada light framing code used IBC type5, chapter 23. Which am very familiar with because it was adopted by City of LA with some reduction on allowable stresses as to add a more sensitive approach to seismic hazard, where I worked. No load bearing nail or screws through dry wall per that code, even though a stud-finder can mark the studs. OP needs to put cripple studs under the back of the bench as well. But he may use screws or nails through drywall to attach and secure the bench. $\endgroup$
    – kamran
    Jun 14, 2018 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ So that’s good - your comment above is nails as approved by code and now no nails are approved by code - you got it covered!!! $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 14, 2018 at 19:31

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