How to Build Bunk Beds

Bunk beds are a great way to save space. They are fun for kids and help you keep a small space organized, even when two children are sharing the area for sleeping and playing. If you are trying to create space in a room for only one child, you can make a loft bed. A loft bed is made the same as a bunk bed, but the bottom bed is left out of the design. This means your child can sleep on an elevated platform and still have floor space beneath the bed. If you need sleeping space for two children, the bottom bunk is necessary. This still saves space because one of the beds is elevated, using up the same area a single bed would.

Determine the Size of the Bunk Beds

Building bunk beds is relatively simple. Most people build twin-size bunk beds since the bunk system is for children. Begin building the beds by making two boxes from plywood and two by four boards. These boxes will house the mattresses on which the kids will sleep. Most twin mattresses are standard size, so you should make the box 78 inches long and 42 inches wide. The depth of the box should be slightly less than the depth of the mattress to avoid bumping the wooden sides when climbing into and out of bed. Use a nail gun to secure the four sides to the bottom of the box.

Next, reinforce the bottom of the box with support boards. Support boards should be laid horizontally under the bottom panel of the box. Place the first about three inches from the head of the box, the next 40 inches from the top, and the final three inches from the bottom. Secure these support boards with screws on the sides and bottom of the box.

Install the Legs on the Bunk Beds

Now you can install the legs to the bottom box. The bottom bunk’s legs should be about a foot from the floor. You can use solid wood posts and metal L-brackets to attach the legs. The top bunk’s legs will be installed in the same manner, but should measure about four to five feet from the floor. You can center the bottom bunk directly beneath the top or set it off to the side to create storage space for a bedside table.

Build the Bunk Bed Ladder

Finally, build the ladder to assist with climbing to the top bunk. Cut two by four boards to reach the top bunk. Create steps with one foot two by fours laid horizontally and attached with nails. You can increase the stability by using two sets of nails per step. The ladder can then be directly attached to the top bunk and secured to the leg boards of the bed. For extra climbing security, handles can be installed on the ladder and at the top base of the top bunk. Before installing the ladder, ask your child if they would rather access their bed from the top or bottom. Once the ladder is installed, all that is left to do is add the bedding and get ready for a great night’s rest. You might want to introduce the bunk beds on a Friday or Saturday night in your home. Chances are there will be several hours of fun before any sleeping occurs.