How to Build Window Seats

A window seat can make a quaint and cozy addition to any room in your home. You can easily build your own unique window seat using ready-made floating cabinet units as a base. Just choose a window with a pleasant view, build a frame for your base, then assemble the cabinets and add cushions, pillows, and other comfortable accessories. As a bonus, your window seat will double as an attractive storage solution!

EditSteps
EditAssembling the Base Frame
Select a window in an unobstructed area to use as your window seat. Ideally, the window you choose should be recessed, as this will provide a perfect nook for the seat itself. Any window can work, however, as long as there’s ample space in front of it.[1]
If you go with a non-recessed window, your bench will project outward from the window a couple of feet. Keep this in mind while deciding on a location.

Purchase two floating cabinet units to use as the seat base. Over-the-refrigerator cabinets will work best, as they’re shorter and easier to maneuver than full-sized cabinets. For an average-sized window nook around in length, you’ll need a pair of cabinets. Consider buying more units if you think you might want to add more storage.[2]
Measure your window to the nearest and, if possible, shop around for cabinets that will fit this space exactly.

Alternatively, you could find an open-faced bookshelf or vertical cabinet and turn it on its side to function as both base and bench.[3]

Remove the baseboards from the wall around the window. Wedge the tip of a crowbar or trim puller into the space between the baseboard and the wall. Pull up gently on the handle of the tool to loosen the baseboard. Finish pulling the baseboard free by hand to avoid damaging the drywall.[4]
You may also want to remove the molded stools from the bottom of the window if you think they might interfere with your space or clash with the look of your new seat.[5]

Arrange 2×4 or 2×6 boards into a frame around the front of the window. Fit the boards together into a rectangular shape the length and depth of the window space you’ve chosen. This type of frame is known as a “toekick.” When it comes time to assemble your window seat, you’ll simply side your cabinets right inside your frame.[6]
Use a circular saw to trim your boards to the necessary size.

If you want, you can extend your frame enough on either side to make room for additional cabinets or bookshelves for extra storage space. Be sure to measure your cabinets or shelves in advance to guarantee a proper fit.[7]

Fasten the toe kick using wood screws. Use 2 screws for each joint where the boards connect to ensure that your frame is secure. Once you’ve done that, anchor the toe kick to the floor by driving a screw into the floor or wall stud at each corner of the frame.[8]
To save yourself some time and work more precisely, use a cordless power drill to drive your screws.

When anchoring a toe kick to a concrete floor, you’ll need to use a powder-actuated nailer or plastic screws instead of ordinary screws.[9]

EditInstalling the Cabinets
Fit your cabinets into place beside one another inside the toekick. Assuming you measured correctly, they should slip right inside without difficulty. Take a moment to make sure the units are centered and sitting perfectly flush with both the surrounding walls and one another.[10]
Use a level to check the orientation of your cabinets before proceeding.

If necessary, fill in any small gaps between the cabinets and the toe kick with wooden spacers cut from leftover boards.[11]

Attach the cabinets using two drywall screws. Sink the first screw through the edge of the face frame at the top of one unit into the neighboring unit. Drive your next screw in the opposite direction through the face frame at the bottom of the other unit.[12]
By sinking your screws in opposite directions, you’ll increase the strength of the connection site, which is a good idea since you’ll be putting weight on the cabinets.

It may help to clamp the face frames of the cabinets together to hold them flush until you’re ready to begin drilling.

Install side cabinets or shelves and fasten them to the seat cabinets. As an optional step, you can put in 1-2 more floating cabinet units in the same dimensions on one or both sides of your bench. Fit these cabinets into your frame alongside your seat cabinets, then fasten them to their face frames using drywall screws.[13]
Make sure you’ve measured and constructed your toe kick to accommodate any other cabinets you want to add on.

EditFinishing and Customizing Your Window Seat
Install molding along the bottom of the seat base to hide the toekick. Cut your molding to match the dimensions of the frame, then attach it using finishing nails. Space your nails apart and fill the holes with wood putty if desired.[14]
Consider adding a thinner trim along the contour where your bench meets the wall as well to help the eye transition more easily.

Once in place, the trim will cover the toekick and lend some decorative flair to the lower edge of your window seat.

Use matching plywood skins to conceal the joints in stacked cabinets. If you opted to incorporate both cabinets and vertical shelves, you may want to cover their outer faces to give them a more seamless appearance. To do this, use a utility knife and straight edge to trim plywood skins so that they’ll fit over the entire surface. Glue the skins directly to the cabinet using contact cement.[15]
Plywood skins are available at any hardware store or home improvement center. You can also get them from the same company who manufactured your cabinet or shelving units to make sure they’re a match.

Contact cement dries and holds fast, so you’ll need to work quickly and make sure your skin is lined up properly the first time.

Paint your completed seat base if desired. Brush the bench top, cabinet doors, and surrounding molding with a coat of interior latex primer, then follow that up with 2-3 coats of interior latex paint. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying subsequent coats. When you’re done, your new window seat will be one uniform color.[16]
Most water-based interior latex paints dry to the touch within an hour, and can be painted over in 4-6.[17]
Use strips of painter’s tape to protect any nearby areas you don’t paint to get on.

You may elect not to apply paint if you picked out cabinets and molding with a natural wood finish.

Bring in cushions and pillows to provide the finishing touches. Lay down 1 or 2 long cushions to cover the bench from end to end. Place a few decorative throw pillows on top, along with any other accessories you wish to include. All that’s left to do now is sit down, kick your feet up, and enjoy the fruits of your labor![18]
A cozy blanket or quilt can also be a good to have around for both comfort and presentation.

If you don’t want your bench cushion to slide around, cover it with length of durable fabric and staple the edges to the lip inside the top of the cabinets.[19]

EditTips
All in all, your DIY window seat project will likely cost you somewhere from $500-2,000, depending on the style of cabinets you go with and your other materials and accessories.

Plastic laminate cabinets can make a more cost-effective alternative to hardwood ones if you’re looking to save some money.

Take advantage of your window seat’s built-in storage to keep books, toys, and household items put away and organized in the area around your window.

EditThings You’ll Need
EditAssembling the Base Frame
Circular saw

2×4 or 2×6 boards

Crowbar or trim puller

Tape measure or ruler

Cordless drill

wood screws

Powder-actuated nailer or plastic screws (for concrete floors)

EditInstalling the Cabinets
2-4 floating cabinet units

Cordless drill

drywall screws

Level

Matching bookshelf units (optional)

Table clamps (optional)

Wooden spacers (optional)

EditFinishing and Customizing Your Window Seat
Wood molding

finishing nails

Plywood skins

Utility knife

Straight edge

Water-based interior latex primer and paint

angled paint brush

Wood filler putty

Painter’s tape

Cushions, pillows, and other assorted accessories

EditSources and Citations
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Today in History for 17th February 2019

Historical Events

1670 – France and Bavaria sign military assistance treaty
1926 – Avalanche buries 75 in Sap Gulch, Bingham, Utah; 40 die
1957 – A fire at a home for the elderly in Warrenton, Missouri kills 72 people.
1983 – Bob Bourne fails on 8th Islander penalty shot
1984 – Biathletes Eirik Kvalfoss of Norway and West German Peter Angerer finish 2nd and 3rd respectively in the relay at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics; both have complete sets of medals from biathlon events at the Games
1985 – Laffit Pincay Jr is third to ride 6,000th winners at Santa Anita

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1675 – Johann Melchior Conradi, composer
1888 – Otto Stern, German/US physicist (Stern-Gerlach-experiment, Nobel 1943)
1904 – Luis A. Ferré, Puerto Rican industrialist and politician (Governor of Puerto Rico, 1969-73), born in Ponce, Puerto Rico (d. 2003)
1933 – Bobby Lewis, singer (Tossin’ and Turnin’), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
1964 – Buster Olney, American sports columnist
1973 – Drew Barry, NBA guard (Atlanta Hawks)

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1624 – Juan de Mariana, Spanish historian (b. 1536)
1943 – Konstantin Bogaevsky, Russian painter (b. 1872)
1966 – Hans Hofmann, German/US painter (Search for the Real), dies at 85
2007 – Jurga Ivanauskaitė, Lithuanian writer (b. 1961)
2016 – Tony Phillips, American MLB player (Oakland Athletics), dies at 56
2017 – Magnus Wenninger, American mathematician and author of Polyhedron models, dies at 97

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Manage Remote Employees

Hiring remote employees is a great way to tap into talent from around the world. Figuring out how to effectively manage remote employees can seem overwhelming at first, but there are a few tricks and tools you can use to keep your telecommuters productive and happy.

EditSteps
EditEmailing Remote Employees
WH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5c68c72999197’)Email to Remote Employee to Check in on ProgressWH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5c68c7299942c’)Email to Remote Employee to Establish Expectations
EditSetting Expectations
Establish your expectations for your remote employees up front. If your employees don’t understand what you want or need from them, they won’t be able to succeed. Detail all of your expectations in online documents, videos, or slideshows, and pass them along to your employees. Make sure they include all the key information your employees need to be successful at their jobs.[1]
For example, you could create an introductory document to give to your remote employees when you hire them that outlines their responsibilities and gives them specific instructions for their job. You could even include links to other documents or videos that address specific scenarios your employees might encounter so they know what you expect them to do in those situations.

Use deadlines to help your remote employees meet your expectations. Without deadlines, your remote employees won’t know how much time they should be spending on their work or when they should be turning it in. Deadlines will help your employees manage their time efficiently, and they’ll give you a good sense of how much work is being done by your employees.[2]
Deadlines are also a good way to track how productive your remote employees are being. If an employee keeps missing deadlines, you’ll know you need to reach out to them and go over your expectations again.

You can always adjust your deadlines later on if they don’t work out. If you realize a deadline you set isn’t realistic, you can extend it by a few days.

Give your employees a quota if deadlines don’t apply to the work they do. Sometimes, remote employees are hired to do lots of short, consecutive tasks, where deadlines wouldn’t make sense. If that’s the case for your employees, try coming up with a quota they have to meet instead to help them manage their time and be productive.
For example, if you hire remote employees to respond to customer inquiries for your company, you could let your employees know you expect them to answer 3-4 inquiries per hour.

If you need help coming up with a quota, try doing the job your remote employees do for a day or two to see what can realistically be accomplished by one person.

Let your employees know if they’re not meeting your expectations. If you notice one of your employees isn’t meeting their deadlines or quotas, reach out to them. Mention your concerns and ask if they have questions or need help with something. If the problem is recurring, consider whether the employee is a good fit for your business.[3]
For example, you could email your employee and say “Hey Jon, I noticed you didn’t meet your deadlines the past 2 weeks. It’s really important that you get your work in on time. Is there anything I can do to help?”

EditCommunicating Effectively
Communicate with your remote employees in a clear and concise way. One of the challenges of working with remote employees is that it’s harder to clarify any misunderstandings. Since you’re not down the hall to answer their questions in person, it’s important that you’re as clear as possible up front when you communicate with them. If you’re giving your employees instructions or sending out a group email, write it out first and read it to make sure it’s clear. Avoid using complicated, vague language as much as possible.[4]
Have someone else at the office read your memo before you send it out to see if it’s easy to understand.

Schedule routine one-on-one video conferences. Communicating over video with each employee gives you the opportunity to explain company updates and expectations more in depth, and it’s a great way to connect face-to-face with your remote employees. There are lots of different video chat platforms you can choose from, like Skype and Google Hangouts. Try to get in at least 1 video conference monthly and individually with each employee.[5]

Communicate as a group using chat platforms. Sending messages over a chat platform is easier than using group email. Whenever you have a message to share with a group of your employees, you can quickly add all the recipients in the platform to a message and send it. Chat platforms are also a great way for your remote employees to communicate with each other and quickly ask questions without having to send an email.[6]

Take time differences into consideration when communicating. Since you’re working with remote employees, there’s a good chance that not everyone will be working in the same time zone. If possible, try to schedule calls and group chats during times when everyone is working. It may help to keep a list of all your employees’ time zones so you can refer to it when you’re scheduling events.
If you need to get in touch with one of your employees about something but it’s late where they live, ask yourself if it can wait until the next day. You can also send them an email so they get it first thing in the morning.

Use emoticons and GIFs to make your employees feel at ease. Non-verbal cues like smiling and nodding play a big part in communicating, which makes communicating with remote employees over email or a chat platform tricky sometimes. You can work around this problem by adding emoticons or GIFs to the messages you send your employees. They’ll appreciate the kind gesture, and it will help prevent your messages from seeming too aggressive.[7]
For example, if you’re asking one of your employees why they did something a certain way, you could include a smiley-face emoticon at the end of the message to show them you’re not mad.

EditTracking Productivity
Have your remote employees log their productivity. Create a form or spreadsheet where your employees can submit tasks they complete and how long it took to do them. You can review their submissions regularly to make sure they’re on the right track. If someone slips behind, you can catch it early and reach out to solve the issue.[8]

Schedule regular group calls to discuss what everyone has accomplished. Routine group calls are a great way to keep your remote employees accountable and monitor their productivity. You can use the call feature on a chat platform to get your remote employees on a call at the same time. Then, have everyone go around and say what they’ve been working on and what projects they’ve completed recently. Take notes during the call and review them later to make sure everyone’s getting enough work done.[9]

Try a time-tracking software. There are a variety of softwares and apps available that let you monitor the amount of time your remote employees are spending on their projects. Some programs will even take screenshots of your employees computer screens during work hours so you can monitor what they’re working on.[10]
If you decide to use a time-tracking software, make sure you’re transparent and explain to your employees why you’re doing it so you maintain an environment of trust and respect.

EditCreating a Team Environment
Send out a weekly newsletter to fill remote employees in on company updates. Even though your remote employees don’t work in the office, you still want them to feel like they’re part of the team. Since they won’t be around to witness big changes or events at the company, draft up a newsletter each week to keep them up to date and make them feel included. You can also include helpful productivity and efficiency tips in the newsletter so it’s even more useful.[11]

Give your employees company apparel so they feel included. T-shirts, key chains, bags, or other items with your company’s logo on them would all work. Giving your remote employees a small piece of the company will help them feel like they’re part of the team.[12]

Host in-person get-togethers for your remote employees. Planning a meet-up is a great way for you and your employees to get to know each other outside of emailing and video conferencing. You can invite your employees to visit your company’s headquarters, or you can arrange a trip to a different location and bring some people from the office along with you.[13]

EditTips
Make sure you’re training remote employees effectively and consider the needs someone has when working off-site.

EditSources and Citations
EditQuick Summary
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