How to Build a Loft Bed for Your Spare Room How to Build a Loft Bed for Your Spare Room
As your child grows, the need for efficient storage can be met if you build a loft bed. A great solution to meet both needs, the project can be altered to meet the specific needs of any room. A desk or small dresser can be tucked under the lofted bed. You can finish with stain or paint to your child's liking when you build a loft bed.
Step 1 - Cut Bed Frame Lumber to Length
To begin to build a loft bed, use a tape measure and verify the mattress dimensions and ceiling height. Cut 2 pieces of 2 by 6-inch lumber to length of mattress plus 2 inches (76 + 2 = 78 inches long). Cut 2 pieces of 2 by 6-inch lumber to a width of mattress plus 2 inches (38 + 2 = 40 inches wide).
Step 2 - Assemble Mattress Body
Lay out the lumber cut in Step 1 on edge. Arrange the lumber such that the short (end) pieces are inside the long (side) pieces. With 3-inch drywall screws, assemble the body (use at least 2 screws at each corner). With tape, make sure the body is square (diagonal measurement both directions should be equal).
Step 3 - Measure, Cut and Attach Mattress Platform
With tape measure, determine the exact size of the body from Step 1. Measure from the outside-to-outside of the frame for both width and length. Cut 3/4-inch plywood to size just determined. With 1 5/8-inch wood screws set on 2-foot centers, attach the plywood to the bottom of the body fabricated in Step 2. The mattress will sit inside this body. Finish wood as desired, sanding, staining, painting, etc.
Step 4 - Assemble Loft
Cut 4 by 4-inch posts to about 6 feet long. Measure and mark each post at 44 inches from one end, where the bed frame will attach to each post. Lay 2 posts 78 inches apart (out-to-out) on a hard flat surface, place the frame body (edge) on top of the posts. Drill a 1/4-inch hole through the 2 by 6-inch at each end of the frame and halfway through each 4 by 4-inch post. Using 3/8 by 4-inch lag bolt, attach frame to posts. Repeat process with remaining 2 posts. Now to continue to build a loft bed, stand it up, and place the mattress in to assure fit.
Step 5 - Fabricate Ladder
Build a ‘ship’s ladder’ as one of the last steps to build a loft bed. Using the 1 by 4-inch lumber, cut 2 pieces to create the sides of the ladder. Cut the rungs out of 1 by 4-inch lumber and attach at 10 to 12-inch centers between the ladder sides with 3-inch drywall screws. Finish with stain or paint to match or complement the loft, allow to dry 24 hours. Attach to bed frame with 3-inch drywall screws. Your loft bed is complete.