I'm building a lofted structure that includes a queen bed, storage stairs, and some storage space over my door. Here is a rudimentary mock-up I made in PS.

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All the vertical support beams are 4x4s and the outside frame of the bed will be 2x6s. Like this: I will be replacing the wooden grooved pieces with metal L beams and adding a support rail down the middle of the frame. Also I'd turn the 2x4s onto the broadside.

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The brown colored pieces in the mockup are for support. Using this design what would be the best way to secure the joints from shear force (add metal brackets, mortise and tendon the joints etc..)? I want this thing to be solid.

  • This thing is rather overbuilt. The notched 2x4s arent necessary -- you could use joist hangers, and no need to mortise and tenon the joints either. Adding some cables with turnbuckles will keep the whole thing tight
    – gbronner
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 5:01
  • Looks stout but what keeps you from rolling in bed and falling from the loft? Usually it's the barrier rails that are most difficult to secure and solidify but you have haven't included them in your design here.
    – Matthew
    Commented May 9, 2018 at 9:47

2 Answers 2


The design you have looks quite solid. If you really wanted to add a touch more, you could mortise and tenon the joints. That would give it a nice look and add a lot of strength (meaning that you wouldn't see fasteners). I would certainly glue the joints as well. I like the notched 2x4 boards. Keeps you from using metal hardware or trying to toe-nail them in.

If you can fasten this to the walls of your room, that would add a significant amount of strength to the structure. Obviously, make sure to fasten it to the studs in the wall and not just drywall.


The triangle braces in your original image will add significant rigidity, although may detract from the aesthetics. I see no mention of them in your expanded drawing though.

If the triangles remain, having likewise overbuilt a loft bed, experience tells me you will have a harder time getting the bed to shift than getting it to remain still.

To add to the information about securing the frame to the wall (in a different answer), filling the available space completely - as it appears you plan to do - will likely eliminate shear/shift in that (filled) dimension. The combination of triangle supports, filling one dimension, and securing the structure to wall-internal studs would give a structure that for all intents and purposes could be considered integrated with the building in terms of stability.

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