Make loft bed taller?
February 17, 2012 9:50 AM   Subscribe

Loft bed alteration question (am NOT handy).

We built from a kit and painted an adult-sized (full) loft bed in our junk room for guests. Unfortunately we ordered the regular-sized legs and not the tall legs. Now we wish we had ordered the tall legs. Is there any way to safely lengthen the legs or heighten the bed? The legs are made of wood about 5&1/2 inches by 1&1/2 inches. The bed is very sturdy (it advertises as holding several hundred pounds) with four cross beams on each side (along the "head" and the "foot" sides of the bed) made out of wood about 3&1/2 inches by 1&1/2 inches. Am trying to make the bed taller without dis-assembling and re-assembling (there are a bazillion bolts and screws and hours of work).

I was thinking that if there was some way the legs could be inserted into four (wider) base pieces to add about 6 or 8 inches of height ... This could be a really dumb idea plus I don't know how I would get the base pieces made. Any other suggestions?
posted by ClaudiaCenter to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you have a picture? I imagine the best bet is replacing the legs completely with pre-fab legs or calling the manufacturer and getting the tall legs instead. I wouldn't shim up the existing shorter ones. You never know what may be going on up there with guests (or their kids).
posted by LeanGreen at 9:55 AM on February 17, 2012

If you're not handy, I think you're better off getting the long legs and re-assembling.
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:56 AM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oh, sigh, I thought that's what you'd all say. We'll probably just leave it as is (too short) then.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:01 AM on February 17, 2012

I agree, if you're not particularly handy, just get longer legs from the manufacturer.

If you are a bit handy, cut wooden extenders to the same width and thickness as the original legs and whatever length you'd like to add on to them. Then attach them on to the ends of each leg with a scab that is double the length of the extension. Make sure the scab is through-bolted in at least four places.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 10:03 AM on February 17, 2012

Well, you could get some bed risers. I'd get the wood ones, not the plastic ones. I am not sure how sturdy you'll find it, but you could try it, anyway.
posted by kindall at 10:04 AM on February 17, 2012

The trivial solution is to put something under the legs. This would likely be impossible due to the conflicting needs for it to be safe, elevated, easily done, and appealing.

Perhaps try calling in an experienced carpenter/handyman for a novel solution, if you're not against paying for that type of thing.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:04 AM on February 17, 2012

This sounds like a bad idea. Having a bed collapse is not fun. Especially a bunk bed. (Unless you're having sex on it at the time in which case it can make for a great story. If no one actually gets hurt which is very possible.)

You can raise a normal bed 4-6 inches with those truncated pyramid bed raisers, but I would NOT recommend that for a bunk bed.

Getting the longer legs from the manufacturer is probably the best approach. If that isn't possible I would dissassemble the bed, remove the leg, take it to a hardware store or someplace that can do a little basic carpentry and ask them to replicate it, but longer. Those are standard dimensional lumber sizes 4x4s and 2x6s. Or hire a handyman to do all this for you.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 10:06 AM on February 17, 2012

It depends just how averse to disassembling and reassembling you are. The legs are standard 2x6's and the cross-beams are 2x4's. If they're not too modified (with specific bolt holes or additional supporting cuts), it sounds like it may be feasible for you to just buy new 2x6's to your desired length, and attach those to use those as the legs.

If that's not feasible, though, it sounds like you may be stuck with a slightly-shorter-than-desired bed.
posted by BevosAngryGhost at 10:13 AM on February 17, 2012

I bought what is probably a similar kit, and the legs are not just stock 2x6's. Mind had notches cut in them for the 2x4 "ladder rungs" which contributes to stability, and of course bolt holes. They aren't tough to make, but you'd still have to disassemble and re-assemble the whole thing anyway.
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:36 AM on February 17, 2012

Maybe this fits in with your aesthetics: landscape bricks are available in a 12x12 inch size; they're typically about 2 inches thick. This sort of thing. Stack four of those under each corner and you've got your 8" rise. They'll be stable and the legs aren't going to slip off them. In MN they're < $2 each. Maybe squirt some construction adhesive between them for good measure and put a thick towel or some low felt feet on the bottom to protect the floor.
posted by chazlarson at 11:04 AM on February 17, 2012

Seconding the handyman idea.

Might also try adding a second set of legs from IKEA.
posted by just sayin at 12:09 PM on February 17, 2012

If you do the land scape brick thing, I would suggest anchoring the bed to the wall, just in case any of your guests get up to the kind of activity that tends to move the bed.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:37 PM on February 17, 2012

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