Building Loft Beds

Loft beds are practical, and necessary in a variety of situations. A student living in a dorm room will often need a loft bed in order to have enough room for a study desk or other furniture and personal belongings. A child with a small bedroom may also benefit from having a loft bed.

Building lot beds is not just for experts, and the results will be something that changes the utility of the entire room. When building loft beds, you need to know the specific measurements that you need to make the bed in order to have the maximum usefulness. Most loft beds are made to fit a twin size mattress.

Lumber and Materials

If you are making a standard twin sized loft bed, they are generally 76 inches long and 38 inches wide, and are about 8 inches thick. When building loft beds of this size, it must be made to accommodate these measurements.

Materials Needed

  • One piece of A/C plywood that is 4 ft by 8 ft and is ¾ inches thick
  • Four 4 x 4s that are 8 inches long
  • Three 2 x 6 x 8s (two of them cut to 78″ long, and one cut into two pieces that are 37″)
  • Three 1 inch thick 3.5 inch wide finished lumber boards that are 8 ft long.

You will also need some screws and lag bolts for assembly. These will make the bed easy to assemble and disassemble when needed, such as taking the bed to a dorm room and back home again.

Assembly of Your Loft Bed

When building loft beds, think of the loft part of the bed as a large wooden box. It will be made out of the 2 x 6 pieces. The large piece of plywood is then used to cover the box. With the dimensions listed, the platform of the loft will have an extra inch all the way around the mattress for easier changing of linens. The long pieces will overlap the shorter pieces at the corners. The box will have a measurement of 40 inches by 78 inches, and will be 5.5 inches tall.

Three 3 inch long drywall screws should be used to connect the 2 x 6′s at the corners. Then, cut the plywood piece to fit the size of the box. Use 1 5/8 drywall screws, each spaced at 2 feet apart, to connect the box and the plywood.

When building loft beds, the amount of clearance below the bed should be decided, and the 4 x 4s will have to be cut to that length. Posts that are 8 inches long will give a good height beneath the bed so that a desk, shelves or other furnishings can be put under it.

The posts can be attached in several different ways; with the quickest assembly being standing the posts up in the positions they will be on the finished bed, and tilting the bed up and on the top of the posts.

Two or more people are needed to do this, but the assembly is the fastest and easiest this way when building loft beds. Attach the bed box to the posts using lag bolts that are 4 inchlong and 3/8 inches in diameter.

Building the Ladder

A ladder will be necessary to get up and down from the loft. One inch thick lumber will build a good, sturdy ladder for this purpose. The slats will be spaced at about 10 to 12 inches apart. A 60 degree angle is fairly steep for a ladder, but is a good angle for conserving space, which is the general reason for building loft beds.

When the ladder is finished, it should be attached to the loft with screws- not nails. The screws ensure that the ladder will not fall away from the bed when the user is moving up and down from the bed.