Our first apartment was in a house that was built sometime in the 1890s. It was one level and that level was divided into 4 apartments. Our apartment was roughly 365 sq feet and heated by a gas heater in the corner of the bedroom. The heater did a fantastic job of heating the top quarter of the apartment (we had very tall ceilings). We had single pane windows and a poor seal on the door. I found myself baking a lot to keep the apartment warm.
Sometime in January, I decided I just couldn't take it anymore. We had no space and I was always cold. So, we came up with a great solution: a loft bed. Since we didn't have a ton of money to spend and queen size loft beds are not exactly really easy to come by, we arrived at the decision to build one. We attempted to design one, but I was not very sure of what we were doing, and as neither Patrick nor I had ever built furniture before, I was uncomfortable with our first piece being something that put us 6 feet in the air while we were sleeping. Thus, I found a website that sold plans here and we purchased them for $10.
When I was 6 months pregnant (and having a rather rough time getting up the ladder) we moved to our current apartment and left the loft bed behind for Patrick's sister to use (she and her husband moved in when we moved out). Our bed was back just on a box spring.
I figured out everything for the bed would cost me roughly $30. I got help from a friend, Celeste, to go get the boards and that Saturday, we built it.
I must note at this point that I actually purchased about 7 feet of extra 2 x 4. This was because Patrick told me that my design would not be stable and would need a lot of extra cross braces. Suffice to say, I was right and he was less right. We built it almost exactly like the picture.
Something that will help with understanding the instructions for building anything with 2 x 4s is that a 2 x 4 (and a 2 x 2, 4 x 4, and any other board measured like this) is not actually 2" by 4". It was 2" x 4" and then approximately 1/4" is cut off of each side as it is processed, so a 2 x 4 is actually 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" and so on.
Next, the 4 shorter 2 x 2s were glued and screwed to the 83" 2 x 4s (Figure 3). Each was placed far enough from the edge to allow a 4 x 4 and a 2 x 4 (the short way) to sit tightly next to it and not hang off the edge (roughly 5" from the edge of the 2 x 2 to the edge of the 2 x 4). There was a space in between the 2 x 2s big enough for a 2 x 4 to sit the longer way (roughly 3 1/2").
Once this was done, we screwed the longer four 4 x 4s into the spaces we left at the end of each 5' 2 x 4 (Figure 4). The top of the 4 x 4 is even with the top of the 2 x 2 so that the box spring can sit on it evenly.
We used 3 screws (Figure 5) on this side in an L shape in order to allow us to screw in the other side with another 3 screws without the screws potentially hitting one another.
We then screwed the 83" 2 x 4s into the 4 x 4 with 3 more screws and the end of the 2 x 4s with 2 screws to make a rectangular frame (Figure 6).
The remaining 5' 2 x 4 was put across the middle in the space left between 2 x 2s and screwed in with 2 screws. The shorter leg was then centered on this 5' 2 x 4 and screwed in from the top of the 2 x 4 with 4 screws to make it like Figure 1.