Monday, May 12, 2014

The great triple bunk bed build

I just wanted to take a moment to talk about one of my projects this year. I had a client contact me to build a triple bunk bed for his three little girls. He sent me a couple different photos he had found online and we discussed everything from style to method of construction to material used. Each of these thing not just effect the bottom line but also the finished product. So armed with this information I started to draw up some plans. The design the client wanted was found online and has been used by several people. I'm not sure who originally came up with design but my hats off to them. I made some changes so that the bed would fit the girl's bedroom.
I use google sketch up to draw up my plans. I am still new to the program but there is a plethora of YouTube tutorials available. It really helps to have a scale drawing to help figure out how much material you need to purchase and how everything hopefully will look when I'm finished. Stability and strength were the clients biggest concern and to match the other decor that was going in the room they wanted the bed painted white. To keep the price in their goal range and keep structurally sound we went with dimensional construction grade lumber. 
  The first step was to build the three identical frames that the mattresses would sit in. I know a lot of beds use slats but as a child that survived a bunk bed collapse because of a sibling jumping on the bed above me I suggested a solid bottom. Now here is where I came upon my first little bump in the road. Since I wasn't installing the bed in my own house and I really couldn't build it in the clients home I had a little bit of a available room issue. Luckily for me I have a completely supportive wife who let me take over the living room for awhile. 
From there I was able to start cutting and constructing the vertical supports. I started from the floor and built my way up to the top. This way each piece was cut as needed and I wasn't relying on a cut list or plan. Not there is anything wrong with either of those but in my experience a plan is only as good until the first problem or issue. 
In the picture you can see how each bed is not only secured by lag bolts but a physical joint for added strength. 
By building from the ground up it allowed me to be one step ahead of adding an additional level with structural support. 
Building a triple bunk bed in the middle of your living room sure does make the space seem much smaller. I also made sure that as I built the bed it was designed to be able to be taken apart first so that I could deliver it to the client but then also down the road if he wanted to move he could take the bed with them. But first I had some painting to do. 
The living room once again prove very useful in this part of the build. I did a good deal of the painting outside but as it started getting dark we had to move it inside. Once the paint was dry it was time to deliver and set up. 
There is every so often a moment when I question my decision to downsize to a smaller truck... but them she pull through for me and we make it happen. This was one of those moments. I recruited the help of one of my friends and we loaded up the bed and headed out to set up the bunk bed for the client. 
The client was very pleased with how the bed turned out and so was I. I hope those girls get many years of enjoyment out of this huge structure that they will share nightly as they go through their childhood. I still have many fond memories of playing on our bunk beds as kids with my brothers. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions with this or any other project. I enjoy building, sharing, teaching, and learning and make time to do all of them. You can read about my other projects HERE or follow me on facebook at www.facebook.com/MerzkeCustomWoodworking. Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to hearing from you. 

***********************************UPDATE************************************
You can now purchase the plans and SketchUp file for the Triple Bunk Bed from



49 comments:

  1. This is awesome! I have a very similar layout pinned (maybe the one you were talking about) to someday do in my boys room! Great job!!

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    1. Thanks Mindi, It was a fun project to build. There are so my options to customize this design. Post a picture of your bunk bed after you build it.

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  2. This is so cool! I love it! I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams on Fridays :D Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party.

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    1. Sounds like a plan. I'll definitely stop by on Friday!!!

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  3. I want a bunk bed like that! Those kids are going to have sooooo much fun playing on there!!! Perhaps they'll even fall asleep..... :)
    hugs x, Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

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    1. I wish I had a bunk bed like that when I was a kid!!!

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  4. I was going to say I'll bet your wife was happy to let you take over the living room to have such a fantastic set of beds for the kids, but then I saw that it was for a client! Oh, well, I'm sure they were thrilled with it, this is really fabulous. A great way to cover three beds in a small amount of space. I'd love it if you'd share at my link party this week or next - Next one starts next Tuesday morning. Take care - Dawn @ We Call It Junkin.com

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    1. Dawn, I'd love to drop by and share it at your site. Thanks for the invite.

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  5. My husband will be thrilled we are building a triple and haven't been able to find even scant details on the particulars. Thank you

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    1. Let me know if you guys have any questions or would like a copy of the sketchup file I did for the design. I was surprised how little information I found.... well unless you paid for it.

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  6. Haha! I love that you built it in your living room. Your wife rocks.

    Turned out great, I bet those girls loved loved loved it when they saw it.

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  7. Looks like a great plan for fitting more beds into a room! Do you have a plan available?

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    1. I have a Google Sketchup drawing of the build.

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    2. Any chance I could get a copy? :D

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    3. Sure, it will be about a week since I'm out of town right now. Just send me message with your email and I'll send you the google sketchup file.

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    4. Sounds great! Just sent you a message. Let me know if it didn't go through. :)

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  8. This is such a great idea and you did a fabulous job! Thanks so much for sharing them with Share Your Cup.
    Jann

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  9. Congratulations! You've been featured on Wicked Awesome Wednesday! Please stop by the website and pick up your "I've Been Featured!" button! These bunk beds are a work of art!

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    1. Thank you, I enjoyed building them and hope my clients get years of use out of them.

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  10. I agree. Awesome beds. I plan to make something similar for my three girls. I would love a copy of the plans/sketch up file myself.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, just send me a message with your email and I'll send you a copy of the sketchup file.

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  11. Dear Mike, I really like you job. I plan to build triple bunk bed for my three boys. I'd really appreciate it if you could kindly send me a copy of the plans.
    Thank you in advance,
    Shahar

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    1. Shahar, send me a message with your email.

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  12. Hi Mike, my e-mail is shahard@hotmail.com
    Thank you very much!

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  13. Dear Mike, I really like the triple bunk bed as well, and was wondering if I too could be sent a copy of your plans. I am wanting to build a bunk bed for three of my four boys.
    Thank you kindly in advance,
    Diana- dsgjackson@yahoo.com

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  14. Would you be willing to send me the plans as well? I would really appreciate it. My e-mail is derekbc2004@yahoo.com. Thanks!

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    1. Not a problem!!! I'll shoot you an email later.

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  15. If love a copy of the plans too!!! I am trying to figure out if it would be with it to try to build the bottom bunk more off the ground. I love this configuration but my girls are getting a little older and they don't want to feel like they are laying on the ground. Any recomendatuons? Also my email is bjaazam@yahoo.com

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  16. This is exactly what I want! Love that yours has more safety rails! Can you please send me the email as well. Kjm25bball@msn.com

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  17. Those are so neat! My kids would love them.

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    1. So sounds like a project in your near future!

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  19. Hi mike

    I was wondering if you would be able to email me your plans for the triple bunk. My dad is going to have a go and build it for my the boys.

    My email is jenny@leighandjenny.co.uk

    It would be very much appreciated.

    Kind Regards

    Jenny

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  20. Mike, wtpuld you be willing to share the bunkbed plans with our family? If so it would be greatly appreciated..

    Thanks in advance
    The Moore Family

    lerette.moes@att.net

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    1. I don't have plans for the Triple Bunk Bed but I do have the SketchUp file available for free download at the project page on my website at www.merzkecustomwoodworking.com

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  21. This idea is very cool !. and this is a good start to begin build a triple bunk bed for my son.

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    1. Thanks Adela! I have the SketchUp file available on my website at www.merzkecustomwoodworking.com I'd love to see pics of your bed when you finish!

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  22. Mike,
    What kind of paint did you use for the bunk beds and did you prime before? I have used this blog as a guide every step of the way and all I need to do is sand and paint. Thanks for the great info,
    Pat

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    1. Pat,

      I used standard indoor semi-gloss paint for the bunk bed. The one I used was a paint/primer mix. I'd love to see a picture of it when your done. Email me at mike@merzkecustomwoodworking.com or send me a message on my facebook page!

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  23. Do these bunk beds fit a standard twin mattress?

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    1. Yes, the bed was built to fit standard twin size mattresses.

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  25. May I get a copy of your plans please

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    1. You can purchase a copy of the plan in PDF format at https://merzkecustomwoodworking.com/store/

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