DIY Network

How to Build Custom Bunk Beds

These custom-built beds are incorporated into the wood paneling on the walls and secured to the wall with wood cleats.

More in Home Improvement

custom built bed is incorporated into wood panel
  • Time

    Weekend

  • Price Range

    $1,000 - $2,500

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Remove the Baseboards

Begin the process by removing the baseboard molding (figure A) from the walls where the wood cleats will be attached. The headboard and sideboard of the bed are to be flush with the wall. Remove the molding using a pry-bar, saw and chisel.

remove molding using pry bar, saw and chisel

Step 2: Attach the Cleats to the Wall

Measure out from the wall paneling and mark for the placement of the wall cleats. Placement of the cleat closest to the paneling should allow for a 3/4" gap between the cleat and edge of the paneling. The gap will allow room for the decorative post that will be added later. Fasten the cleats to the wall using construction adhesive and finishing nails. Repeat the steps on the opposite end of the bed.

attach cleats to wall

Step 3: Attach the Headboard, Molding and Footboard

With the cleats installed, position the headboard unit in place and attach it to the cleats (Image 1). Corner molding can be added where the bed meets the paneling (Image 2). Install the molding with finishing nails to achieve a clean, decorative finish. Attach the foot-board section to the cleats at the opposite end by toe-nailing with finishing nails. With the headboard and foot-board in place, position the center panel (Image 3) and attach it directly to the wall using finishing nails.

Step 4: Install the Side Rails

Position the first bottom side-rail on the center panel, and use a carpenter's level to ensure that it is perfectly level. Use wood shims to hold the side-rail in position and level, and attach the side rail to the frame of the bed using a surface-mounted bed-rail bracket (Image 1). Fasten the bracket to the frame and rail using wood screws. Repeat the process for the second (outer) bottom rail, taking into consideration the width of the bed slats (Image 2). Repeat the steps for installation of the two rails for the top bunk (Image 3).

Step 5: Add the Trundle and Mattresses

With all of the fixed components in place, the sliding trundle can be installed under the bottom bunk. Add the plywood supports and install the mattresses on the upper and lower bunks.

sliding trundle installed under bottom bunk

Step 6: Add the Ladder

Finally, install the ladder at the foot of the bunks. The finished bunk beds, with the pull-out trundle, offers flexibility. The side rails are removable in case you ever want to convert back to a single bed.

install ladder at foot of bunks

Was this project helpful?

Don't forget: Read comments and leave your own

Advertisement

COMMENT ON THIS PROJECT

    

Sign in

All fields are required.

E-mail Address:

Password:

Remember me on this computer

Signing in

Please enter your email address and we will send your password

E-mail Address

Your password has been sent and should arrive in your mailbox very soon.

Not a member?

Sign up with DIY Network to share tips with other do-it-yourselfers and comment and ask questions on projects.

It's free and easy.