Picture of How to Build a Lofted College Bed
Do you have someone you know who that is moving into a dorm room at Iowa State? In this age of crowded space, it seems that there isn't enough room for everything! Lofts provide a convenient way to maximize the space in your room, lifting your bed off of the floor to create usable space for other furniture and accessories. This loft is tall enough to comfortably accommodate an average adult seated in a desk chair.
Lofts are permitted in all residence halls where a loft bed is not already provided as part of the standard furnishings. Currently, the halls at Iowa State University where a loft bed is provided are Barton, Birch, Buchanan, Eaton, Freeman, Linden, Lyon, Martin, Maple, Roberts, Wallace, Wilson and Welch.
For building purposes, bed frames are typically 80" long x 36" inches wide and will fit a twin XL mattress. This can be made for under $100 which is cheaper than renting!

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Step 1: Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Step 1: Gather Materials
You will need the following set of tools, hardware, and lumber before you begin building the loft.


Power Saw
Cordless Drill with Screw bit
Torx Wrench

18 3/8” Carriage Bolts
18 3/8” Flat Washers
18 3/8” Lock Washers
18 3/8” Nuts
Small Box of 2-1/2” Deck Screws
(torx optional)


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Step 2: Step 2: Measure and Cut the Wood

Picture of Step 2: Measure and Cut the Wood
I suggest cutting all of the wood before you start building, it will make the building process more smooth. Use some logic with the wood, if there is a big crack, it should be cut off.
A good suggestion is to also cut off a half a centimeter before measuring so you have a nice good end on the finished product. Also, if you want a finished look to the loft and with smooth edges, see image below to chamfer the edges.

8 @ 72" uprights (6')
1 @ 88" back bottom brace
2 @ 78" inside slat rest
4 @ 44" ladder/ side brace
6 @ 44" Slats (can replace with 2x6)

2 @ 88" main horizontal support
2 @ 44" top end braces

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hcasarrubias2 months ago


I allready have a basic pine wood bed base and my son has been pushing me to buy him a loft bed, instead I can use his allready existing base, make the frame with lumber and VOILA!!!! will post pictures once i make it, as a 2 job DAD will take more than one weekend but i will make it.

hcasarrubias - I'd love to see pics & instructions when finished. My daughter has a wooden twin bed that she wants made into a loft. She desperately needs more floor space.