Building Lofted Beds in Dorm Rooms and Small Spaces Building Lofted Beds in Dorm Rooms and Small Spaces
Lofted beds are great space savers, since they are elevated and the space underneath can still be utilized. Especially in small bedrooms, lofted beds greatly increase the usable floor area. Building beds such as these is a great way to maximize the potential of a small room.
Step 1: Making the Bed Frame
Set your mattress on the floor and use it as a guide to make the box for the bed. Add 1 inch to all measurements, as an allowance around the inside for the bedding. The frame should measure approximately 40 x 76 inches. Connect the 2x6 planks together, by driving nails into the corners of the wood, making a rectangular frame. This is the frame for the lofted bed.
Step 2: Building the Base
Place the plywood sheet on top of the lofted bed frame and mark the edges where you will cut it, so it will fit exactly on top of the frame. Sand the rough edges after making your cut. Place wood glue on the edges of the frame and place the plywood on top. Then, use the wood screws to fasten the plywood onto the wooden frame, driving screws at even intervals around the edges. Allow the glue some time to set.
Now, measure the width of the frame and cut four 1x2 inch planks. After sanding the rough edges, place them at even intervals on top of the plywood. Glue and then nail the planks through the plywood and into the frame. These will provide additional support under the plywood for the weight a person on the bed.
Step 3: Measuring and Cutting the Bedposts
Determine how high you want the bed to be off the floor and cut the 4x4's accordingly. Be sure that the top of the mattress is 3 to 4 feet from the ceiling, to allow room for you to sit on the bed without hitting your head.
Step 4: Connecting the Frame to the Legs
Lay the frame on its side and take one of the 4 x 4 posts and align the top with the top edge of the bed frame. Drill 2 holes about 2 inches apart through the post and the frame of the bed. Hammer the lag bolts into the holes and secure them by attaching the nut. Repeat the process for the other three bedposts. The bed should now be able to stand on its own.
Step 5: Make a Ladder
Measure the distance between the legs at the end of the bed and cut 3 to 4 pieces of the 1x2 inch wood planks to make ladder rungs. Sand the rough edges. Next, nail them horizontally to each side of the legs to make a ladder. Finish the lofted beds by staining and varnishing or priming and painting. If desired, attach felt or rubber pads to the bottom of the bedposts, to protect the flooring. Now you can place the mattress inside the frame and your lofted bed is ready for use. Use care when climbing into and using lofted beds, to prevent injury.