As kids head to the dorms and people try to make the most out of their limited space, learning how to build a loft bed with a desk is one way to make the most of what you have. It’s not hard, and it’s very economical. You might even have some of the materials at home already. Here is basically what you need and how to do it:
Step 1 - Build the Bed
Take the four 4 by 4 posts. Go down a foot from the top and mark post. That mark will help you know where to secure the pieces for the side of the bed, the 2 by 8 boards. Drill holes under the marks large enough to put washers and bolts through both boards. Connect the side boards to the posts. Also attach any headboard or footboard once the rectangle is secure. Stand the frame up and lay the piece of wood that is 39 by 75 inches to be the base of the bed. Use the drill and screw the bottom in so it is secure.
Step 2 - Build the Desk
Underneath the bed, on the inside of the posts, go up 2 feet, 4 inches from the floor and mark the posts. Here, on each end (under the head and foot of the bed) attach a 2 by 8 foot board for support. Drill holes and use bolt, washes and nuts to attach as you did with the bed. You should drill at a diagonal angle for the most security. Put your plywood on these supports, use a saw to trim the edges and either screw or drill and bolt into place.
Step 3 – Build the Ladder
A ladder will be the easiest and safest way to get up and down from the bed, especially if you end up making it higher than the 6 feet described, which is possible if you know the dimensions of the room ahead of time. Use the 1 by 3 1/2 by 8 foot lumber pieces to be the sides of the ladder Take the 2 by 6 by 8 inch boards and attach them at 3 evenly spaced intervals to the bottom of the front of the bed. Again, drill and bolt these pieces in and you have a solid ladder.
Be sure not to use nails to connect any of the boards. Test all of the joints and supports for weight and balance. If you know the dimensions of the room, you may be able to make it higher, upto 8 feet (10 foot posts) would be fine in most dorm rooms. Make sure you have all of the tools with you at moving time in case anything seems weak or need minor adjustment.