Updated at: 19-12-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

The ideal way to construct a lifeguard seat is with a combination of hardwood planks measuring 2 by 4 and 2 by 6. If you want to conserve money and materials, repurposed wood is a great option to consider.

Any pool would benefit from having a lifeguard chair. You can feel safe there, and it’ll be nice to relax there, too.

What Is A Lifeguard Chair?

When you go to the pool, you will undoubtedly run into them. These are the lifeguard chairs, and they are used for just what their name implies: watching over the pool. Stairs and an umbrella are included with the package.

Typically, the height of these chairs is six feet to allow for a nice panorama of the pool. They come in a rainbow of hues, but white is their signature shade for radiating cold.

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Although lifeguard chairs are most commonly found at public pools, they are available for private usage as well. You can keep an eye on your kids as they splash around in the pool, and you can also take a load off and enjoy the cool shade.

Types of Lifeguard Chairs and the Benefits of Each Type

There is a wide variety of materials and designs to choose from when shopping for a lifeguard chair. There are essentially two kinds of chairs: those that can be permanently installed and those that can be moved around easily. Understand the distinctions between these two choices.

1. Permanent lifeguard chairs

To put it simply, a permanent lifeguard chair is just what it sounds like. If you choose to go with this upgrade, it will be permanently installed in one location on the pool deck. Lifeguard chairs that are intended to remain in place are often constructed with metal or fiberglass frames. Plastic could be used for the seats and stages. Plastic is commonly used for the rungs of ladders because it is inexpensive and offers a secure, non-slip footing. Here are a few reasons why you might want to invest in a permanent lifeguard chair:

  • Clearing the pool deck of unnecessary items is a must. People who want to swim will congregate near the shore. A permanent lifeguard chair may be useful if there isn’t much room around the pool. In addition to providing your lifeguards with a comfortable perch, the broad platforms included with many of these chairs will also provide them with some much-needed overhead clearance. The chair’s comfortable design and compact base make it ideal for lifeguard duty. Extra space for supplies can be found on the steps and platforms of a permanent lifeguard chair. A lifeguard’s first aid kit and other rescue equipment can be stored conveniently nearby. There will be no need for a lifeguard to rush down the ladder to retrieve emergency equipment. If a swimmer needs help, the lifeguard can usually just jump from his perch in the chair and into the water.
  • This sort of permanent lifeguard chair is built to last and can be constructed from a variety of materials. Most lifeguard chairs are made of stainless steel, and the grades 304 and 202 are particularly well-suited because of their resistance to corrosion. Other than plastic, fiberglass is also utilized for lifeguard chairs because of its resistance to corrosion from pool chemicals and water. The material fiberglass is widely used in the construction of swimming pools. You can count on the chairs and other parts of the ladder made of plastic to last because plastic is naturally resistant to water. Besides the fact that a permanent lifeguard chair is built to last, its sturdy construction means that it never needs to be relocated. Permanent lifeguard seats have the advantage of not being moved about, whereas portable chairs are constantly being moved throughout a facility and are therefore more prone to damage.
  • The safety of the lifeguards is of paramount importance while selecting equipment. You care about the well-being and efficacy of your lifeguards since you don’t want anyone to be hurt while swimming. With this in mind, lifeguard stands are made to be permanent. Permanent lifeguard seats that meet OSHA requirements are recognized as safe for use in the workplace. Permanent lifeguard chairs give lifesavers a secure place to sit or stand if they come with an elevated platform. This alternative affords lifeguards a commanding vantage point from which to keep an eye on the pool’s occupants, which is essential to their duties.

2. Portable lifeguard chairs

It’s common practice for portable lifeguard chairs to feature metal frames, plastic seats, and plastic rungs, just like their more permanent counterparts. Lifeguard chairs are made to be moved about quickly, thus they don’t have fixed bases. If you’d prefer a lifeguard chair made of a material other than metal, recyclable plastic models are lightweight and easy to transport. Some advantages of choosing a portable lifeguard chair include the following:

  • Mobility: Fixed lifeguard seating isn’t always the best option. Having lifeguard chairs that can be easily moved from one location to another gives personnel additional options for where and when they are stationed at events or other areas near the ocean. Some swimming pools, for instance, are big enough that not all of them are occupied at once. A portable chair can be relocated to a designated area of the pool for use during competitions or other events. Similarly, lifeguard seats are often best served by portable models at beaches. Since sand is not as sturdy as a pool deck, a fixed chair may not always be an option. Furthermore, lifeguard assignments at the beach are frequently changed due to factors like the weather and the tide. Having foldable chairs available makes it simple to place lifeguards where they are needed most.
  • Even though they aren’t anchored to the pool deck in any permanent way, portable lifeguard seats are built to withstand a lot of weight and use. Chairs used by lifeguards are often made with sturdy, wide bases to hold the chair’s weight. The chair’s base can be outfitted with wheels, making it easy to transport over a grass or pool deck. This Paragon Three-Step Chair, for example, features non-slip caps on the base. These kind of chairs are convenient since they can be easily moved as necessary. These seats are fixed in place when necessary to ensure the safety of lifeguards, and they can be easily relocated if necessary.
  • Portable lifeguard seats are typically larger than fixed ones, making them more difficult to stow away. They may take up more room on the deck, but the larger size allows for the storage of a greater number of foldable lifeguard chairs. For instance, the rear of the seat on an O-Series Lifeguard Chair provides a convenient spot to store a rescue tube. Lifeguards don’t have to hold the rescue tube or stoop down to get to it; instead, they can have it close at hand at all times. This Kiefer lifeguard chair, like others of its kind, features holders on the side for rescue floats. Some chairs, like the Discovery Chair, have umbrella holders to protect lifeguards from the sun.

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What to Consider when Choosing a Lifeguard Chair

Now that you know the key distinctions between fixed and portable lifeguard chairs, you can focus on making the best choice for your facility.

  • Lifeguard seats can be fashioned from metal, plastic, or wood. The most common type of lifeguard chair is made of wood. Learn which types of wood are naturally resistant to moisture and can withstand heavy use before committing to this option. You should not spend money on a chair that will split and bulge because of exposure to moisture. The wood must be smooth and free of any hazards so that the lifeguards can use it comfortably. The plastic seats used by lifeguards are a practical choice. Plastic does not absorb moisture and can be cleaned quickly and efficiently. Many plastic lifeguard chairs are also produced from recyclable materials, making them an environmentally preferable choice. Plastic is also typically a lighter material. A plastic lifeguard chair could be the ideal choice if portability is a priority. Metal, typically some variety of stainless steel, is another common material for lifeguard chairs. Stainless steel is a long-lasting choice since it does not corrode and can withstand the harsh chemicals found in pool water. Both stationary and mobile metal lifeguard stations and chairs are available.
  • When purchasing new equipment, pools and beaches should always keep costs in mind. Good news: lifeguard seats can be had at a wide range of budgets. You can find a solution that suits your needs and your budget, whether you’re looking for metal, plastic, permanent, or portable solutions. When allocating funds for a replacement lifeguard chair, the person in charge of purchases should think carefully about the optimal configuration. More complex chairs, such as those with a platform or wheels for portability, will cost more than those with a mere ladder and seat. The price will also reflect the presence of optional accessories like handrails and footrests.
  • Staffing a swimming pool or a beach properly involves strategically placing lifeguards. They require a clear vision in all directions so that they can keep an eye on their designated regions. To help with this, lifeguard chairs are available at a range of heights to accommodate a wide range of locations. Some of the lifeguard chairs can be used without the need for ladders. There is no vertical growth from these. A post on the water’s edge or one that only extends over a small section of water would benefit most from this style of chair. Chairs like the Torrey II Mobile Guard Chair can be as short as three feet, and tall ones like this Discovery Chair can reach a height of eight feet. Larger pools, facilities with an unobstructed view from a lower level, and beaches benefit most from taller seats. Think about how many lifeguards you’ll need to adequately cover your facility or beach, and how you can ensure they have a good line of sight from where they’re stationed. Using this information, you can get the perfect height for your lifeguard chairs.
  • The average lifeguard works fewer than 40 hours a week, yet those hours are sometimes long and physically demanding. Imagine working an eight-hour shift in the sweltering heat of the sun or the stuffy confines of an indoor swimming pool. Lifeguards need to keep their wits about them and keep a sharp eye on the water even as their charges cool off in the pool. For lifeguards, this entails long shifts on their feet or in the lifeguard chair. The goal of the facility’s management is to ensure that the lifeguards on duty are vigilant, and one way to do this is to ensure that they are well cared for. The best lifeguard chairs will include a back and either footrests or armrests to make your shift more comfortable. The human body has certain natural curves, and the chair should follow those. Although they are not as comfy as an armchair, lifeguard chairs nonetheless provide a spot for lifesavers to sit while on duty.
  • Where are you, and what do you require from your beach or pool? The Red Cross suggests discussing a minimum lifeguard-to-customer ratio with your management team, particularly if your facility is large enough to accommodate many swimmers at once. Consider the placement of lifeguards by the water and how often they are scheduled to work. The number of required chairs can then be calculated. Next, think about the optimal placement for those chairs. Do many permanent lifeguard chairs with good visibility from a distance need to be installed? In contrast, would temporary, movable seating better serve your needs? If your pool has a small deck, installing a permanent lifeguard stand could be a good idea. The elevated nature of the stand allows your lifeguards to keep an eye on the sea without taking up too much place along the shore. However, pools that host a variety of activities may discover that foldable lifeguard chairs are the most convenient solution. For example, a movable chair can be easily moved around a pool to ensure the safety of swimmers during open swim, lap swim, competitions, swim classes, and parties.

What Tools And Materials Do You Need For Your Chair?

It is time to begin working on the project. If you want a high-quality final product, you’ll need to make sure you have everything you need to make it.


Wood and screws are the most fundamental components. Reclaimed wood in the sizes of 2 by 4s and 2 by 6s can be used.

One hundred fifty (150) deck screws measuring 2.5 inches and eighteen (22) deck screws will be required. Don’t forget to stock up on wood glue, either.


Several specialized instruments are required for this undertaking. Even though it looks like a lot of effort now, the lifeguard chair is well worth the effort.

  • There are three types of saws: the table saw, the hand saw, and the band saw. A table saw is ideal for cutting hardwood, while the hand saw will come in helpful for more detailed woodworking. You can round the arms of your chair with a band saw.
  • The drill and drill press will be useful for installing the many screws. A drill press is optional but highly recommended for accurately aligning pilot holes.
  • Belt sander — Useful for finishing reclaimed wood or other rough cuts.
  • Clamps – Clamps are used to secure the chair legs to the frame while the rest of the chair is being assembled. We require four huge pieces.
  • A pencil is useful for making marks such as guides or measures before cutting.

Step-By-Step Process On Building A Lifeguard Chair

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, you can begin working on your project. Check the wood and the tools to make sure they are in good working order.

Step #1. Prep and sand the lumber

Get rid of the dust, debris, and sharp edges so the wood is more manageable. Next, use a table saw to smooth off the edges.

Step #2. Make the backrest

Line up around nine 2x4s in preparation for the next step. Clamp them together as you screw and glue the top piece in place.

Create a stoop at the base of your spine of around 15 degrees. Use this to secure the main seat to the frame.

Step #3. Assemble the seat

Make several pilot holes for the screws and get six boards ready. You’ll need 18 of these to cover your back cushion.

Do not move the wood around and secure it. Don’t forget to secure the front, sides, and back using screws and glue. Once you’re done, you can secure the rear support.

Step #4. Prepare the footrest

Make 16 pilot holes in the side of your wood and you’ll be ready to go. Leave some space between the parts and glue them together.

Step #5. Make the armrests

Get ready two pieces of 26, form a semicircle on one end, and cut it with the band saw.

Step #6. Assemble all the parts together

Place all the parts where the pilot holes were drilled on a level surface and begin assembling. Put your feet up, put your legs up, and take a seat. The armrests and backrest come next.

Step #7. Make some cross members

You may improve the stability of your lifeguard chair by adding cross members. Get your wood cut at a 32-degree angle and make sure it fits snugly under your seat. Measure twice, cut once, and then fasten and glue the parts together.

Your hard work is finally complete, so kick back by the water and take it easy.

How To Keep Safe While Constructing Your Lifeguard Chair

Even though you’re probably pumped to get started on your new project, make sure you do so in a safe manner. Put on a mask, a face shield, and earplugs before starting work. Wearing this will shield you from the drill’s noise and any debris that might fly off.

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Wear gloves to avoid splinters, and keep Epsom salt on hand in case you need to treat an injury.


That super-high bench overlooking the pool is a must. If you want to keep your loved ones safe while they swim and keep costs down, learning how to construct a lifeguard chair is a must. A very creative do-it-yourself endeavor!