Instructables
This will give you an overview of how to make a sturdy wooden deck inside your apartment. Yes, you read that right, *inside your apartment*. We didn't have enough common area space, so we decided that this was the way to get more - build a deck out over our entry stairwell. It was really wasted before, so just like the wetlands in the Bay area, we "reclaimed" some space....
 
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Step 1: Rule #1: Get your roommates to do all of the hard work

That's Nathan, chiseling a piece to fit. And in the second picture, he's attaching 2x8 boards to the 2x8 pieces that we sunk into the wall with masonry bolts. The third shot is from earlier, when we had only attached the 2x8 to the wall. Go Nathan!

The long pieces are hung at the ends with sheet-metal braces.

Step 2: Rule #2 Use 4x4's for vertical supports

These 4x4's are standing on a 2x4 that's screwed into the floor. Screws at a 45-degree angle keep them in place just fine, since most of the force on them is downward.

Step 3: Detail of the 2x8 ends, bolting to the 4x4's

You can see the long bolts, washers and nuts that are used to keep all of the large pieces of wood together

Step 4: Rule #3: Always wear eye protection when using a skil-saw in precarious situations

'nuff said.

also, see the other picture for my best Megaman end-level boss impersonation.. It's SAWMAN!

Step 5: The nearly-finished deck!

You can see the plywood covering the rear part. It's 5/8-inch, which is pretty strong. We cut an odd-shaped piece of the plywood to extend all the way to the front too. The roll of carpeting was also cut to size, to fit the deck shape.

Step 6: Rule #4: Stain the deck with a dark color, so the landlady thinks it's been there all along

This is critical. If it looks shoddy, you run the risk of having to take it down. However, if you make it look professional, and build it well, you're actually *improving* the place! Tell 'em I told you so.

Step 7: Enjoy the comfort of your new deck

aah, time to relax. wasn't that worth it??!
bumpus6 years ago
hahaha, the guys face in the last picture is hilarious
jojo7 years ago
Hi, Very nice job.....Question....how did you anchor the 4x4s to the subfloor...I'd like to build one but 8-10 ft off the ground....but im not sure how to anchor the 4x4s....or just free stand it...thx...jojo
davidmerrill (author)  jojo7 years ago
I have 2x4's running along the floor, and I sunk long screws through them into the floor. Then, the 4x4's are cut very flat so that they sit on top of the 2x4's, and I put some nails through them at an angle down into the 2x4's, to keep them in place. Nearly all of the load-bearing is in the downward direction, so the nails are really just to keep them from slipping side-to-side if they get kicked or something.
Nice construction. Makes me wish I had taken pictures of all of the lofts and decks we built while attending univeristy for our dorm rooms and then in our apartments when we lived off campus. Also, I'd call this more of a loft than a deck since it appears you're building out over a large height. The third story apartments in our current apartment complex all have lofts to reclaim the space left with raised ceilings.
pmetro7 years ago
DUDE ! I hope you put some railings up along the side so you don't fall off your bed and down the stairs !!!!
davidmerrill (author)  pmetro7 years ago
nah, no railings.. we used it more like a couch, so most of the time there was nobody sleeping on it anyway. I don't think we had any falls, even at parties!
tonyperry7 years ago
very cool. You've got me feeling a bit inspired.
mercury7 years ago
Wow, this makes me want to build a loft in my bedroom! Very nicely done!
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