How to build your own bunk bed loft

How to build your own bunk bed loft

When space is at a premium in a room a bunk bed loft can be a much-appreciated addition to the room’s layout. Not only do bunk bed lofts offer better space utilization, but they also provide a sense of uniqueness and privacy that is not afforded by other bedding choices. While bunk bed lofts are easily constructed, however, safety concerns should determine the specifics of that construction.

Bunk bed lofts are distinguished from full-sized lofts by their size and function. Typically a bunk bed loft is built just big enough to accommodate one or two persons, the bedding, and a few personal belongings. While a full-sized loft might be large enough to walk around in, a bunk bed loft is designed primarily for sleeping. The building materials and techniques that are utilized in bunk bed loft construction must be suitable to allow for occasions when more stress will be put on the structure than was originally intended. Consider a situation where a child, regardless of instructions to the contrary, might view the bunk bed loft as a jungle gym or a situation where the loft might be converted to a storage area as opposed to a sleeping area. The framework must be designed so that it could support even unanticipated weight and stress.

The upright verticals of a bunk bed loft should, at a minimum, be constructed from 4 x 4s. The horizontal load-supporting members of the framework would be best constructed of 2 x 6s and the plywood decking of a minimum of three-quarter inch plywood. The ladder should be constructed of 2 x 4s.

The framework of the bunk bed loft should be assembled using nuts and bolts as opposed to nails since that will offer the most strength. That framework should feature side bracing provisions that will prevent the legs of the bunk bed loft from folding out from under it and a safety barrier that will prevent the sleeper from falling out of the bed but at the same time not prevent ease of entry and exit.

The bunk bed loft should be constructed at a height that will not only allow its user easy access and room to sit up in the bed but also to easily move about in the bed and to quickly exit it at will. The plywood decking should be securely nailed in place and care should be taken that the ladder is not only well constructed but secured in a manner that will prevent it from detaching from the bunk bed loft.

Serious attention needs to be paid not only to the bunk bed loft’s dimensions and construction details but also to its position in the room. Obviously, a bunk bed loft should not be constructed so that it blocks passage to a door or window in normal everyday activities or in the event of an emergency. Each room should be equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and the bunk bed loft or its use should not interfere with their function.

It is important as well that the bunk bed loft not interfere with the function of the room’s light fixtures. Bunk bed lofts that are constructed too near the ceiling and wall light fixtures might not only block the light from portions of the room but might also prove a safety hazard if the user hits the light fixture either while in the bed or entering it or exiting it. Finally, if the bed is constructed in a manner that will make accessing light switches and electrical plugs difficult it is likely to become more of a nuisance than a useful room addition.

When properly constructed, bunk bed lofts can be a valued addition to the home, apartment, or dorm. That construction, however, entails careful attention to both function and safety.

When properly constructed,

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