How to Build a Loft Bed

Learning to build a loft bed is the quickest way to squeeze more space out of your room. Follow the steps below to make one easily.

Required Tools and Materials

Stain or paint
Nails, screws and bolts
Tape measure
Eye goggles
Pen or other marker
Lumber (several 2 x 4s or 4 x 4s)
Assistants (at least one person)

Make Some Space First

Take out the furniture from the room. Use the tape measure to determine how much space you’ll need. Dimensions of a typical adult loft bed are 78” x 48”. Make room for the ladder in your calculations.

Step 1: Make the Box

Before you build a loft bed, you need to get the dimensions of the mattress. Put the mattress on the floor. Get its height, width and depth. Cut four pieces of lumber large enough the mattress fits inside them.

Put the mattress aside. Nail the four wood pieces together or you can drill holes and bolt them together. Cut some 2 x 4s and make them just a tad wider and longer than the mattress. Nail it on the frames you just made.

To make railings, measure the length of the box. Saw a couple of 2 x 4s and nail them to the box.

Step 2: Create the Supports

The average loft bed is 7 to 8 ft high. You can make it higher or lower than that. To build a loft bed successfully, the supports need to be the same height. If needed, use the tape measure and mark the spot where the lumber needs to be cut.

Step 3: Assembling the Loft Bed

When all four posts are cut, put them in position. Now get the ladder and carry the box up. Nail the box securely. Another option is the following. Turn the box upside down. Nail the supports on the sides. Now you and your friend can turn the bed up slowly.

Step 4: Making the Ladder

Cut a couple of 2 x 4s in equal length. This should be as tall as the loft bed. Now cut the ladder steps. The space is about 10 inches for an 8 ft high loft bed. Feel free to modify the spacing as it suits your needs.

Continue to build a loft bed by nailing the steps to the 2 x 4s you just cut. Set the ladder against the loft bed. Test it for firmness. If it’s okay, you can nail it on the bed. Now you can put in the mattress.

Tips and Warnings

You can paint the loft bed any color you like. However, staining is another option. A couple of layers of paint or stain will do nicely. Wear a mask so you don’t inhale any of the chemicals. There should also be ventilation (i.e., the room’s windows should be open). The goggles are necessary to shield your eyes from splinters.

After you build a loft bed, you can start using the space below it to organize your belongings.    

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