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Dorm Life: How to Build a Loft Bed

Dorm Life

You probably have heard of all the benefits of lofting your dorm bed. The main thing a loft bed will do for you is it will give you a lot more space for storage. You could put a futon, dresser, mini fridge or almost anything else under a loft bed. Even if you don’t loft a bed very high, the extra space created by a low loft bed can still be used to store laundry baskets or books. The unfortunate thing is, everyone is quick to say why you need a loft bed, but they have no advice on how to build a loft bed. Many schools will do the work for you and if you request a loft bed ahead of time, you’ll arrive on move-in day to see your dorm bed already lofted. But many other schools don’t have this option, forcing you to build a loft bed on your own. But it isn’t as hard as you think to build a loft bed! Just follow these simple instructions and you’ll have the best loft bed in the dorm!

1. Figure out the room dimensions

You need to know the length, width and height of the dorm room. You should also have an idea of the size of the dorm bed mattress-usually they are Twin XL. You can usually find out the dimensions of the dorm room inside the information the college sends you about college housing and residence life. If not, find the phone number or website for the college housing department and be ready to ask for the room dimensions. There’s no way you can build a loft bed if you don’t know much space you have to build the dorm bed in.

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2. Decide where you want the loft bed

Hopefully you’ve already visited your dorm room or one a lot like it. If you know the basic layout and dimensions, then you and your roommate can discuss where you might want each dorm bed and where the rest of the furniture should go. If you want certain spaces left open and free of a loft bed, you’ll need to let your roommate know. For example, if you want a lot of natural light, you shouldn’t have a lofted dorm bed in front of the window. Other areas to leave clear: in front of the door and in front of the closet.

3. Materials

Once you figured out the dimensions and layout, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate materials with which to make the loft bed. This example will be for a dorm bed with the typical measurements: 38 inches wide, 76 inches long and 8 inches deep. First, you’ll need 4 pinewood posts that are 4X4 and 8 feet long, as well as three 2X6X8 posts, and three 1X3.5X8 boards. You’ll also want a piece of plywood with the dimensions 4X8X ¾ inch and an assortment of screws and bolts.

4. Constructions

Now you can actually build a loft bed! I like to leave an inch or two of extra space around the dorm bed mattress, which is why I cut the 2X6X8 to 78 inches long. Then cut the other @X6s to 37 or 38 inches long. The long and short loft bed pieces will overlap leaving you with a box the dimensions of 40 by 78 inches and 4.5 inches tall. Use drywall screws to connect the 2X6s at each corner.

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Make sure all the 4X4 posts are the same length. Now, position two of the posts 78 inches apart (the length of the loft bed). Tilt the loft bed platform on top of these posts and drill two small holes through each 2X6 and halfway into each 4X4. Use 4 inch long bolts to attach the dorm bed platform to the posts. Repeat this process with the other side as you build a dorm bed.

5. Ladder

If you build a loft bed, you’ll want a ladder to get up and down. Use the 1 inch thick wood to construct a ladder with steps every 10 to 12 inches-the dorm bed ladder should look like a ladder used for a fire escape. After constructing a ladder, attach it to the loft bed platform with screws so that it won’t fall down from the dorm bed.

That’s all there is to it! It really is easy to build a loft bed and you’ll love the extra storage space it gives you!