The cost of manufactured furniture is rising all the time. Building your own is relatively easy, costs little and lasts a lifetime. You choose the materials, colors, and the style. https://www.hugoandsons.co.uk/beds/ gives you the custom furniture offer. Custom furniture often becomes a family heirloom. Even furniture considered “fad” or “chic” at the time turns into “vintage,” “heirloom,” or “collectable.” Remember the unique potato- chip shaped chairs of the 1960’s? They cost an arm and a leg now. Go figure.
Many people do not understand the difference between a loft bed and a bunk bed. The bunk bed has a bed on top and one on the bottom. The loft bed has one bed on top and the bottom space is utilized differently.
This loft bed is inspired by a design I saw on the HGTV website. My design is a little different and works beautifully. It will not tip over as it can be anchored to the wall for security. The original design is built against the wall, but in a rental property that is unacceptable.
Place or build a desk, wardrobe rod or other items under the bed to utilize the space. This makes the bed perfect for children’s rooms, dorm rooms and small apartments.
Intermediate woodworking skills are needed for this project.
You will need:
- Four 4-by-4 posts or decorative porch posts, 8 feet long
- Five 2-by-6 boards, 8 feet long
- Eighteen 5/8″ lag bolts and washers
- Four 2-by-4 boards
- One sheet ¾” furniture grade plywood
- One sheet ¼” MDF hardboard
- Primer and paint or stain
- Measuring tape and markers
- Saw, drill and bits, ratchet set
- Box of #10 wood screws, 1 ½” long
- Wood filler or plywood edge tape
- One box #8 wood screws, ¾” long
Nothing is written that says only a single bed can be a loft bed, or that only a child’s bed can be a loft bed. If building something larger than a twin bed, more support will be needed for the extra weight.
Begin by determining how tall the bed will be. The top of the post does not have to be the bottom of the bed. You can saw off the posts level with the bed base, or have the posts rise above it. This allows you to attach safety railings; important for a child’s bed.
Ensure all the lumber is straight before beginning to cut. Allow it to acclimate to the room for a couple of days first. Never try to build furniture from green lumber.
Line up the posts and ensure all the bottoms are even. Mark all four posts where you want the bed platform to be.
Measure the mattress and add four inches all the way around. This allows space for bedding, safety rails and the posts.
Cut the 2-by-6’s to the measurements. Attach to the marks on the posts by utilizing two lag bolts on each board. Drill a pilot hole, place a washer over the lag bolt and insert using the ratchet.
The posts will be to the inside of the rails. At this point, decide whether the posts will be cut level with the rails or left above it.
Cut and attach a 2-by-6 to the back side and both ends of the bed posts, four inches from the floor. This will stabilize the bed so it will not tip over.
Measure the top of the bed from railing edge to railing edge. Cut the plywood to fit and attach to the rails with the 1 ½” wood screws. Drill pilot holes to make driving the screws in easier.
Sand the edges smooth. Use wood filler or plywood edging tape to finish the edges.
If the posts will be higher than the bed platform, cut the corners from the plywood to fit.
Raise the bed up and move into place using help. It is going to be heavy. Access the bed by building a ladder at the end, on the side or purchase a commercial ladder.
Build stairs to access the bed and attach the top to the bed rails.
Build safety rails from 1-by-4’s. They can be decorated by using stair railings, cast iron or other items. When building for children, follow current codes and make sure the rails are close together so little heads can’t get through.
Measure and cut the MDF to fit under the bed and make the look more attractive. Attach with ¾” screws.
Place the mattress on the platform and check the look.
Stain, or prime and paint.
Place a dresser, desk or other items under the bed. The space can be utilized any way the user desires.
For around $100 or less, you can have a loft bed customized to fit your mattress, your décor and your personal style.
Build one for a dorm room, child’s room, spare bedroom, or a studio.
Warning: this is going to be heavy. Get help to lift or move it. When moving, remove the lag bolts. The bed platform will remain intact. The plywood bed platform is not attached to the posts.
- Attach the posts by using mortise and tenon joinery for a nicer joint. Bed bolts through the posts into the 2-by-6 boards are attractive.
- Set the mattress inside the rails by attaching an inside railing and bed slats. This does take more materials, time and woodworking skills, but the effect is beautiful.
- Add extra railings underneath the bed and build a desk or media center.
- Add a closet rail and hang a wardrobe under the loft bed. In rooms without a closet, this makes wonderful use of space.
- For an interesting use of space, place railings across the bottom of the 2-by-6’s and build storage boxes from the MDF hardwood. Slide the boxes into place between the slats.
- Do not cover the entire underneath of the 2-by-6’s. Leave space at either end or in the middle for more storage space.
- Decorate the sides with wrought iron panels painted to match the décor.
- Dress up the posts and rails with decorative moldings.