Free plans to build a bunk bed

Bunk beds are two beds stacked one above the other. Bunk beds are popular for sleeping areas with limited floor space, as two beds take the footprint of one. Bunk beds can be purchased or built. The handy person who prefers to build basic furniture has many free plans available for a bunk bed project.


Numerous free bunk bed plans are available on Internet websites, in handyman magazines and in home improvement and craftsman books. Look for plans with clear step-by-step instructions and illustrations. Choose plans suited to the materials. For example, if plywood is the material of choice, select plywood-specific plans. Free plans are available for types from cheap temporary beds to permanent bunk bed centres with desks and storage. Choose a plan suited to your skill level.


Free bunk bed plans show how to build a complete bunk bed set. A bunk bed typically has four posts, one at each corner of the bed. The head and foot crosspieces with the long stretchers make the bed frame. The frame contains the mattress. Slats or cross wires keep the mattresses from falling out of the frame. Crash barriers around the top bunk keep the sleeper in the bed. A ladder provides access to the upper bunk. Sometimes safety bolts anchor the bunk bed to a wall for stability.


Free plans often provide simple, sturdy designs that are inexpensive to build. The builder can choose features or fit the beds to a space. Materials may include lumber at hand or be chosen for price or durability. A DIY bed can be detailed with design cut-outs or personalised crash barriers. For special physical needs, the bed may be built to fit a specific mattress or to accommodate grab bars.


Bunk beds should be built to suit the occupants. Some plans offer more height and extra support for the weight and size of adult sleepers. Others are designed for children and have added safety features such as wraparound crash barriers for top and bottom beds. Choose plans detailing the required materials and hardware. Match the plan to available mattress sizes.


Children under the age of 6 should not be allowed in the upper bunk due to the height and safety hazards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that children have been trapped under bunk bed rails. Be sure that mattresses or foundations cover the frame space so that a child's arm or leg cannot slip through. Mattresses or foundations need slats, cross wires or other supports to prevent them from falling or being dislodged. These supports should be securely fastened with screws or bolts to the ledges of both beds.

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About the Author

Phyllis Benson is a professional writer and creative artist. Her 25-year background includes work as an editor, syndicated reporter and feature writer for publications including "Journal Plus," "McClatchy Newspapers" and "Sacramento Union." Benson earned her Bachelor of Science degree at California Polytechnic University.