If your bedrooms are small, you might consider a loft bed as a space saving solution. By elevating a bed above the floor, you can place a chest of drawers, a desk or other furniture underneath the bed and save valuable floor space in a child's room or a bedroom for a teenager.
And, you don't really have to spend a lot of money to buy a pre-built loft bed set up. If your child or teen has a standard twin mattress, you can build your own loft bed with a little planning and ingenuity and a few supplies from your local hardware store.
You will need a circular saw, a hammer, socket wrenches, an electric drill (or access to these tools).
To build this loft bed, you will need ceilings that are 8 feet or higher, and about 45 inches of width, approximately seventy eight to eighty five inches in length and three feet of ceiling clearance to give your child the space to sit up, turn around and get in and out of bed and to allow for air circulation above your child's head when they are sleeping.
If you are going to build this loft bed in a dormitory room at a college or university, first be sure the university will allow you to construct this structure and THEN determine the length of the mattress the dormitory provides (most college mattresses are not standard twin mattresses, but long twins, so you'll need to measure appropriately.
If you do not plan to buy a bunk or loft bed ladder, you will need to build one. We recommend that you anchor this ladder to the bed with screws so that your child does not slide or tilt the ladder when he/she is climbing or descending.
For the ladder, use wood that is 1" thick, and space the rungs of the ladder ten to twelve inches apart at a 60 degree angle. This angle is purposely steep, so that the angle of the ladder does not sit out too far into the room.
For the loft support, you'll need to construct a rectangle measuring 40" x 78", using two foot by six foot pieces of wood. You will use plywood, cut to four feet by eight feet (3/4" thick) to create the base of the platform. If the mattress is a standard 28" x 76", you will cut two of the two by six lengths to 78" each, and the other two to 37".
The posts are constructed from four pieces of 4' x 4' by 8' posts. Do not use nails to fasten the pieces together. Instead use screws and bolts to be sure that the fasteners hold and the bed does not fall apart. You'll need a set of 3" screws to connect the sides of the bed to one another, and a set of 1 5/8" screws to fasten the plywood base to the box you have built out of the two by six lumber.
The platform is attached to the support posts using 4" inch bolts, and there you have it.
Let's go over those supplies again:
Set of 3" screws
Set of 1 5/8" screws
Set of 4" bolts
Sheet of plywood 4' x 8' (3/4" thick)
Four 4' x 4' by 8' posts
Six 2' x 6' pieces of wood (for platform rectangle) and ladder
8-10 pieces of 1" thick wood (depending on height of ladder)
Set of Socket Wrenches