When we moved into a new house, it had more space, a semi-finished basement and a great back yard. Unfortunately, the kid's bedrooms were a bit smaller than at the old house. This posed a particular problem for my daughter, since the geometry of her room and the placement of the vents dictated that the bed be placed in a rather awkward position.
The solution was to build a loft bed that would open up floor space and create an ideal location for a desk and dresser.
The bed is built out of 2" lumber, with 1" slats for the mattress. First, 3 2X4 cleats were lag screwed into the studs on the back and side walls. Next, the front board was attached to the side cleats with heavy duty angle brackets. A 2X2 cleat was attached to the back of this board, and the slats were attached to it and to the back wall cleat. The desk is made of 3/4" plywood, and is attached to cleats on the walls, and to an oversized step on the ladder.
The ladder is notched to fit snugly under the front board and act as a brace, and is attached to the floor by means of pins made of 10 penny nails that fit into pre-drilled holes in the floor. The steps are attached by four 4" screws. I'm sure the bed is overbuilt, but I wanted her to be able to use it for years, and I didn't want to have to worry when she and her friends are playing up in the loft.
Safety was a prime consideration, and since the mattress is over five feet above the floor, a sturdy railing was a necessity. 2X4 vertical posts fit tightly in brackets from the deck hardware section, and 1X6 and 1X4 rails prevent her from pitching out. All corners on the bed were rounded and sanded smooth.
Believe it, or not, the entire construction was accomplished with a DeWalt 18v cordless saw and drill, and a Craftsman 5" random orbit palm sander! There are parts of the bed that would have been much easier if I had a table saw or a chop saw, but it worked out.
The initial impression of the bed is that it is floating over the floor, suspended only by the ladder. Everyone who sees it comments on it's unique design. My daughter and her friends love the bed, and now the floor space is clear for all of her toys (and clothes, and paper, etc.).
August 2008 - If you want the loft bed plans, all I ask is for a small donation. You can use this link:
or you can email me to request mailing instructions. I have received hundreds of emails asking for my loft bed plans. I am happy to provide them, but I do want folks to realize that my plans do require drilling holes in the wall. This is unsuitable for dorm rooms or apartments or other situations where you can't make modifications to the actual room. However, there are many plans for free-standing loft beds available. Check with your local hardware store, home improvement center or lumber yard for plans (Menards, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.), or check out the OP Loft Bed Plans online. Most plans can be had for $10-25, and include a materials list.