Monday, January 28, 2013

How to shorten a non-adjustable metal IKEA loft bed.

In a perfect world I would buy a high quality wooden, fully adjustable or customized loft bed from a local store.  I would also have tall ceilings in my house.  But I live in the real world where like millions of other parents when considering how to fit a desk into my seven year old daughter's filled to capacity bedroom I look to IKEA knowing this bed will be temporary and that I will not have to take out a loan to afford it.

I recently bought IKEA's $119 metal loft bed frame and it solved every space problem I had and for a whole week I convinced myself that the bed was not indeed too tall and that it would work.
The next week I tried to convince my husband to let me try to sell the twin mattress we had just bought six months ago and buy a cheap super skinny mattress from IKEA to try and add a few inches between the mattress and the ceiling.  That was the week my daughter started sleeping on the floor.

The next week I decided to cut the legs down, a move of sheer brilliance that I fully recommend for all the rest of you cheap asses who have turned to IKEA's metal loft bed.

It is easier than you think.  All you need is a hack saw.  You don't have to take the bed apart, buy an expensive metal blade for a hand saw or any other expensive tools.  A good hack saw will cost you less than $20 and you should have one on hand anyway so consider it an investment.  I had to go buy one after I tried a few other methods that were not so successful.  It is my husband and then dad who recommended the hack saw which cut the metal brilliantly!
Measure and mark the length you want to take off.  I took off six inches.  Eight would have worked too.
I measured a paper, taped it on and marked the leg with a permanent marker.
I propped the bed up with a long 2X4 which was probably not necessary but made me feel safer while sawing away.  A second person to help spot the bed would have worked but I wanted to do this NOW and my husband was not home NOW.
Start sawing away!  Your arm might burn if you are not used to working a manual saw (mine burned) but I couldn't believe how easy it cut into the metal.  It took me five minutes with several breaks to cut one leg!

Once the leg is cut pop out the plastic foot piece and put it on new shorter leg.  Prop the leg up with some 2X4's while you work on the other legs.

I cut the leg that had the ladder rope last and inserted the rope in the base just like it was before.  After checking to see how much I thought I should cut off the ladder I decided to go with six inches just like the legs of the bed and that worked out.  Just prop the ladder up starting the base where the rope ends and measure how much excess you have up above.

It's that easy.  My buyer's remorse is GONE.  I'm really happy with the shorter loft bed.  Phew!
  I'm six months pregnant.  Can you see me laying on top of that bed to tuck my daughter in?  No way. 
I can fit up top easily.  The bed is much easier to change the sheets on and looks fantastic at this height.