If you had a bunk be when you were a child, you probably have fond memories of playing up on your bed, climbing up the ladder to jump off of it, and being able to touch the ceiling with your feet. Bunk Bed are a great space saver, giving you options on furniture placement, and the ability to sleep multiple children in one room. However, these beds are expensive. Building them your self, however, does not cost much.
Basically, all you are doing is elevating a twin mattress frame. The only difference is that the mattress goes inside the frame. Build the frame for the mattress out of 2x6s by measuring the dimensions of the mattress building a square frame 1/4 inch larger both ways to allow for a little clearance. Use self tapping bolts on the corners on the top and bottom of the boards to keep the frame together. Screw 2x4s on the inside of the 2×6 bed frame for the mattress to rest on. Screw 2x4s that run across to the perimeter 2x4s to help support the mattress further. Install these every 12 inches o.c. (on center).
Cut four 4×4 posts exactly 6 feet tall. Cut a 1 1/2 inch deep notch in all the posts for the bed frame starting at 5 feet and going to 5′ 5 1/2″. Use a skill saw and a reciprocating saw to make these cuts. When finished, attach the posts to the corners with lag bolts.
Cut 2×4 pieces to attach the bottom of the posts along the sides and the back. Leave the front open. Sand and stain the bunk bed and the bunk bed is complete. Now all you need is a ladder.
Construct the ladder out of 2x4s. Cut a 5 to 10 degree angle on the bottom of two 6 foot 2x4s. If you do not like the angle, cut on that you feel comfortable with your kids climbing. Cut enough 2x4s 16 inches to go from the bottom of the ladder to the top, every 12 inches o.c.. Start with the first step being around 8 to 10 inches off the ground so it is not hard to get on the ladder. The ladder steps only have to go as high as the bottom of the bed frame. After that, the children should easily be able to climb into the bed.
Sand and stain and attach the ladder to the bed with screws to one of the posts.
This is a great weekend project that you can work on even with your children. Let them help you stain it, or add cut out pieces that mimic objects from their favorite sports or shows. This type of project is one that can be passed down between generations.
If you want to add a bottom bunk to the bunk bed, simply notch out for another frame and construct the frame the same way as the top bunk bed frame. Stay at least 16 inches off the ground so that they can easily get in and out of bed. Install a 2×4 across the top of the front posts as a roll bar if you are concerned about your child rolling off the bed.