Bunk Beds! (and there was much rejoicing!)
(from wikipedia): A type of bed where one bed frame is stacked on top of another.
Like Minivans, the more children you have the better bunk beds start to look. And unless you are lucky enough to live in nice big house where everyone gets their own room, the ability to stack your children at night provides more floor space for things like desks, couches, and toys to trip over.
Unfortunately, bunk beds can be pretty pricey - putting them out of reach for most people. Worse than that, most of the production bunk bed frames on the market that I've seen are pretty flimsy - and I just couldn't justify spending $1,000 to have my kids spend 8 hours a night, 5 feet in the air, worried they were going to come crashing down every time they rolled over!
The good news is, you can pretty easily build a bunk bed that is rock solid, looks great, breaks down easily for moves, and is completely modular - and for only $125 - $200 in wood and supplies.
What do I mean by modular?
Once built, this bunk bed can be assembled as a traditional stacked, one-over-the-other bunk bed frame; as an L-shaped bunk bed, where the bottom bed is only half covered by the top bunk; or even as two separate beds sitting on the floor - all with minimal effort to change around once the pieces are built.
The only power tool you absolutely need is a drill, but having some kind of saw and a hand sander will make your life easier. I'll go over the materials in the next step.
I have 4 kids, and made two sets of bunk beds. There are some style differences in the two (see pictures above) but the one big lesson learned from one to the other was to incorporate that safety bar on the top bunk.
All of the instructions in the guide are for version 2 (with incorporated safety bar)