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November 13, 2010 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Help me find someone to build me a loft in NYC

Hey askme-

I just moved to a new apartment with very high ceilings. I'm talkin like 18-feet.

 In the bedroom there are two windows on one wall; one is about 8-feet long and then there's a maybe two foot gap, and then there's another 8 foot window above that. Both of these windows open inward. 

Now we were hoping, in order to maximize space, to loft our bed. But in order for these windows to open, the loft has to be at a fairly exact height. We've looked online and haven't really found anything pre-fab that fits our specifications.

So we're Lookin for someone to build one for us. We're willing to shell out between $500-1000.

Also, I'm hoping that since we're willing to spend some money, to make this thing a little bigger than the bed so we can put stuff up there like a lamp or two and maybe a place to keep simple things that would be handy next to a bed.


1. Who can do this for us in NYC
2. How much do we offer them?
3. What am I not thinking about here?
4. Is 9 feet too high for a loft?
5. Is there any way I can create some kind of cat-access ramp?

Thanks for your help
posted by orville sash to Shopping (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I researched this a couple of years ago (so have no current info), but here are a couple of leads for you:

MCLoftWorks - they offer custom work and modifications, etc (I never ended up buing a loft bed, but I probably would have gone with this company to get everything to my specifications)
Good Question: Loft Beds? @ Apt Therapy - check out the comments too

Good luck!
posted by hansbrough at 7:42 AM on November 13, 2010

2. How much do we offer them?

Your budget sounds tight, esp. for what I imagine NYC prices to be like, but I don't really know much about what you're envisioning. It would be no problem to make a utilitarian structure that would hold your weight quite inexpensively, but something that looks like decent furniture, with better wood, rounded corners, paint or stain and a clear coat is a taller order. Anyhow, I'm not sure you need to offer anyone anything, so much as describe your needs to a couple different carpenters and see what they suggest and how much they'd charge for what they're suggesting.

4. Is 9 feet too high for a loft?

Well you don't want to risk falling out of a 9' loft, so incorporate some sort of safety rail. Structurally it's no problem.

5. Is there any way I can create some kind of cat-access ramp?

Maybe some boards zig-zagging up, perhaps covered with carpeting?
posted by jon1270 at 7:54 AM on November 13, 2010

As a little bit of precautionary advice, make sure your lease doesn't prohibit this (and also make sure that you're not going to want to move out anytime soon -- by their very nature, lofts are a huge PITA to disassemble).

My place came with a loft that was left there by the previous tenant. I eventually got rid of it, because it made the room seem claustrophobic (probably not a problem for you), and I hated climbing down a ladder every morning. Also, nothing says "sexy" like a bunk bed.

Not to talk you out of it (and completely dodge your question), but I felt like giving an alternate perspective, given that I just went through the exact opposite experience.

You'll probably want to put the lamp, alarm clock, and any related paraphernalia on a shelf next to the bed (and bolt the lamp to the shelf).
posted by schmod at 9:08 AM on November 13, 2010

I don't have any advice for you about the loft, but what about a cat ladder for the kitty? They're fairly simple to make - this one leads to a sleeping loft. And look! Video.
posted by mewithoutyou at 9:15 AM on November 13, 2010

1. Who can do this for us in NYC

These guys do custom ones in NYC, while these guys are in Colorado and ship everywhere, but it depends somewhat on:

3. What am I not thinking about here?

What do you want the loft to look like? You can buy the wood - I use 4x4s for the legs, 2x4s for bracing, 2x6s for the frame under the bed platform, and higher-grade plywood for the platform top - for something in the neighborhood of a fifth to a tenth of your budget, and anyone who is decent with a circ saw and a drill can put this sort of loft together. It will, however, look like it was put together with wood from Home Depot (surprise!) unless you sand, paint, or stain it yourself. Obviously, going with a company or carpenter (rather than a friend with tools) will give you more furniture-like results. You can also look at other materials. I've known people who made perfectly good lofts out of pipes, for example.

Additionally: If you have the space, you want a good angled ladder setup rather than an end-climb or straight ladder. At 9ft, you might want something more like steps or stairs than a normal ladder, since the distance will be relatively large. Ease of access can make a big difference in how much you like your loft. (Bonus: your cat will be able to use the stairs to get up too!)

4. Is 9 feet too high for a loft?

Structurally? No way, and the extra height will make the space underneath fully usable in a way that isn't the case for, say, a 6ft loft in an 8ft tall room (since tall people can't stand under those lofts, and many average people will still bump their heads on the platform frame.) Safety-wise? I've never fallen out of my (6ft) lofts, but with a bigger fall, why not be a little cautious? Add some sort of rail, and put the mattress on the wall side (since you're going to have extra non-bed space up there.)

5. Is there any way I can create some kind of cat-access ramp?

Like I said, depending on the angle of your stairs/ladder, the cat might be able to use the same stairs you do. (Otherwise, cat ladder.)
posted by ubersturm at 10:58 AM on November 13, 2010

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