Over the course of two weekends we disassembled the boys cheap bunk beds (and by cheap I mean in both price and quality- why we thought a set of $200 bunk beds would be able to stand up to our boys is nothing short of a complete brain fart on my part), emptied out the room, mashed together Ana White loft bed plans, shopped for supplies, and constructed two loft beds that meet together in a L with a bookshelf supported loft shelf. It has been a busy two weekends and we are not done yet. However the progress we made is so exciting that I couldn’t wait to share it.
We based our plans off of two Ana Loft plans can be found here and here.
image from And-White.com
image from Ana-White.com
And by “based” I mean we looked to them for inspiration and for weight load, structure support and general assembly information. I am sure Ana would laugh at the design we ended up with, but we worked with the dimensions we had. I don’t know how many times I
shouted muttered under my breath “Why can’t this room be 8 inched wider?!” We built some solid, custom loft beds that Tim and I are both proud of. Last night, Tim Said, as he took a big (and well earned) swig from his Corona, “That was probably the most complicated project we have built because every measurement had to be exact or it wouldn’t fit in the room.” He was right, but we both agree it was the most fun we have ever had on a project too.
I don’t have a cut list or plans with exact dimensions to share with you because as much as Tim hated it, a lot of this project needed to be measured and cut one 2×4 at a time. We literally had no room for error. Add an extra 1/2 inch on Michael’s loft and Patrick’s mattress wouldn’t have fit on top of his loft.
There were a few cuss words, a lot of coffee and even more “back to the drawing board” moments.
I measured and taped off everything with painters tape to try to visualize the scale of things. This was necessary for me because knowing what 71 inches is and seeing 71 inches is very different for me. If we wouldn’t have taped off the height we would have ended up with beds that were unnecessarily tall or a loft that was so short that the boys wouldn’t have been able to walk under them. We found a happy medium between the two Ana plans above, which (by a moment of unusual foresight and planning on my part) left enough head room for Tim or I to sit on the “reading couch” comfortably without hitting our heads.
Here you can see the supports Kreg Jigged together waiting for Tim and I to grow an extra set of hands so we could hold up all four corners and piece it together. We didn’t grow the extra hands but Tim’s logical mind was able to figure out the best order of assembly without compromising any of the support by putting pressure on the boards at the wrong angles. Even typing that out didn’t make sense to me but I didn’t pay attention in Physics… come to think of it, I am not sure I ever took physics.
I took a coffee break and worked on my photog skills while he figured that out. Check out the depth of field while dealing with extreme mid day back lighting. I am getting better folks!
I think this is the first photo Tim has ever taken with the camera. Not bad for a newbie. And yes, we work with power tools around our kiddos all the time. They love it, we are safe (except for the large support beam lazily resting against the wall above my 2-year-old)
Once we got going, things went together relatively quick. I am positive we could have finished the construction in one weekend if we didn’t have three kids to get to swim lessons, feed and put to bed. Not a lot of progress can be made past 7 pm in our house.
The boys were kind enough to share a room with Elise for the night and Elise was beyond excited to have some sleep over guests in her pink room. Notice all the stuffed animals. I don’t think she needs any more. We have a full-on plush zoo happening at our house.
We made it to this point and I sanded the wood with 80 grit paper to get it to a safe-to-touch level of smooth, and the boys slept with their mattresses under their unfinished lofts for the week with a promise from Dad and Mom that they would be sleeping on top of the lofts by Sunday the following week.
Patrick was involved with as much of the construction as we would let him. He helped Kreg Jig and even helped vacuum up after I sanded so the boys would have a clean dust free room to sleep in for the week. The kid is never volunteeringly helpful, so this is a rare moment and needed to be documented.
We went from this point on Saturday morning (after I cleared out the room again)
All of the in between pics are on my awesome new phone, and as soon as I figure out how to get them from phone to blog I will share Part II with you. We couldn’t have made as much progress as we did this weekend without Beth. She played with the kids all weekend so we could work guilt free.Thanks Beth! More pics here.