If you have bunk beds then you need a bunk bed ladder. Unless you have ample room in the bedroom that’s going to mean a vertical, rather than an angled, ladder. Not only does it take up less space, it also looks better. Building a modern style bunk bed ladder isn’t complex; you don’t even need to be an accomplished carpenter. The main thing to remember is that it has to be safe.
Step 1 - Measuring
The most important measurement is from the top of the base of the top bunk bed to the floor. This will be the height of your bunk bed ladder. Measure the distance several times to be certain.
Step 2 - Ladder Sides
Once you’ve established the height, cut 2 pieces of 2 by 4 inch lumber to that length. These will be the sides of the ladder. Once cut, prepare by sanding on all sides until smooth. Decide which end of each piece will be the top of the ladder. Draw an arc around that so the top will become curved and cut then sand until both pieces of wood are the same and sand smooth.
Step 3 - Rungs
The number of rungs you need will be dictated by the height of the bunk bed. Generally you’ll need to cut 5 of them. These should also be from 2 by 4 inch lumber and each one should be 18 inches long. After cutting and checking that they’re all the same length, sand them on all sides until they’re completely smooth.
The rungs need to be between 10 inches and 12 inches apart to the easiest climbing. To space properly, start from the top, with the uppermost rung place just below the curve at the top of the sides. Measure down from there and mark on the sides.
Step 4 - Securing the Rungs
The rungs for the bunk bed ladder will need to be very secure to carry the weight of the climber. To do this they’ll need to be bolted in place on each side. Drill through the sides placing two holes on each side for each rung. Each of the holes should be ¾ inch in from the edge of the wood.
With this done, put the rung in place and drill into the end of it as a guide before putting in lag bolts. Tighten all the bolts in place making sure they’re all countersunk, giving a smooth appearance to the sides of the bunk bed ladder.
Step 5 - Finishing
Sand all the surfaces lightly and wipe clean of sawdust. Apply a light coat of varnish and leave to dry. Repeat until you’ve built up a good coating on the wood to protect it. To secure the bunk bed ladder to the bed, put in place and drill through from the side of the base of the upper bunk to each leg of the ladder. Use lag bolts, tightening into the wood.