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I'm trying to assemble a double loft bed from Ikea (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80160867/), but the problem is that it's 80" wide and the room is 80" wide. This means that there's no space to reach around and put in the very long screws from outside the bed frame, to secure the horizontal pieces to the 4 vertical posts. (Nor is there enough space to put in the screws on the vertical pieces, and then fit the horizontal pieces so they slot into the screws.)

Here's what the loft bed looks like:

ikea stora loft bed

It's steps like this one, connecting the 76" long horizontal pieces, that are impossible to do in this tiny room, there's simply no space:

impossible step

One solution would be to not use those screws that come in from the outer side of the frame in the above illustration, and instead manually screw in a bunch of heavy-duty corner braces to join the horizontal and vertical pieces - something like these:

corner brace

1st concern: Any reason this would not be safe?

2nd concern: It might be hard to get all the pieces flush together (the whole thing is somewhat bendy and needs tightening pretty hard to stay tightly flush) and I want to avoid unsightly and wobbly gaps. Is there some piece of hardware I can use here that would let me tighten these pieces together from the inside?

A custom loft or securing the loft directly to the wall would obviously work instead, but either of those options is going to be significantly more expensive and/or time consuming (and I'm not sure the studs in my 100-year-old house would need reinforcing or anything) and I already have this bed.

Any thoughts/advice appreciated.

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    A 100 year old house is probably stronger than any new house today. The 2x4s are actually 2x4 and they are made out of dense old-growth. Be careful with that Ikea stuff, they often use manufacfured "wood based composite" that only has strength where they intend you to put fasteners. – Harper Jan 6 '17 at 14:31
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I'd be cautious with anything holding up the top level that's not a bolt going all the way through the wood. The Ikea stuff tends not be overbuilt at all, so the wouldn't be a lot of extra wood to screw into to get a good hold. The extra braces are fine, but if it was my kid sleeping in the bed, I wouldn't want to rely only on some screws in <= 1" thick particle board.


My gut reaction is this can probably be built largely as-designed in an 80" room (so long as the other dimension is at least as wide, anyway), though without actually seeing it in person it's hard to say for sure.

Here's how I'd do it, and for reference, I'll label the corners A,B,C,D:

enter image description here

  1. Throw away the instructions. Or at least, don't follow them in order.
  2. Build the longest edges first -- A--D and B--C -- by building them at an angle in the room. Basically any screw that go into the narrow sides need to be installed first.
  3. You'll also have to assemble the piece you showed from the instructions running across the middle of the bed, even though the cross-braces it's screwing into aren't attached yet.
  4. Now, with the frame in the middle of the room, do the remaining connections, attaching the A--D and B--C pieces together.
  5. Push the bed back against the wall

enter image description here

I have no doubt it'll involve some head scratching, coercion tools (aka hammers/prybars/etc) and some swearing, but it's a relatively simple design so it should be possible.

Good luck!

  • Oh man you are absolutely right! I had assembled another one of these in a only-slightly-larger room and it was a nightmare because we followed the instructions and built the shorter sides first, and that pigeonholed us into that approach. I'm pretty certain your method will work! I'll report back. – tobek Jan 6 '17 at 10:41

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