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!
Before.
  I'm six months pregnant.  Can you see me laying on top of that bed to tuck my daughter in?  No way. 
After.
I can fit up top easily.  The bed is much easier to change the sheets on and looks fantastic at this height. 

13 comments:

  1. THANK YOU FOR posting this! Been looking all over the internet to figure out what tool to use to cut the legs on our kids' Ikea loft beds (same as you have). Nay sayers told me it couldn't be done (which made me try even harder....) Husband was hesitant to use a hack saw, but seeing what you did on your own, I know I can do the same. From another busy Mom who doesn't have time to wait and wants it done ASAP, before the kids bonk their heads on the ceiling any more, thank you! ~Mary B.

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  2. Do you remember what kind of hack saw blade you used? I know the 18 teeth per inch blade is for heavy metal, and 24-teeth per inch for medium...

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    1. Sorry to keep you waiting, hopefully you've chopped the bed down by now but I used the 18 teeth per inch blade. It specifically said it could cut metal as well as wood etc...

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  3. Awesome Mary, I knew I couldn't be the only one. Honestly my daughter still doesn't sleep in her bed and as soon as I get around to it I'm taking it down half way so I can kiss her goodnight while standing on the floor. I'll post a pic when I do it! I'm sorry but I don't know what size saw blade I used. I'm on a mini vaca this week but I'll post that when I get home!

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    1. Hiya hope you had a great vacation. I second what kind of saw blade you used. I'm an absolute novice and have never touched tools before. Do you think I should attempt to do this or should I leave it for a dude-friend? Thanks!

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    2. Hi Nida, I had a lovely time away (I left the family home!), thank you. I used an 18 teeth per inch blade. There is nothing about this task that a dude could do better or more easily than you so just go for it! You will feel great before, during and after it's done, I promise.

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  4. Oh!my goodness,This is absolutely awesome post.Its looking so gorgeous and cool.i think my should attempt to do this.Thanks for share this post.

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  5. Thank you so much for posting this. I have been planning to do this for a couple of years but worry about mess up. You gave me COURAGE. It is done now I cut down 8 inches also change the height of the table to fit without problem. Big improvement of my son and my life. He won't like the guest room bed better than his bed anymore. Thank you a million.

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  6. So glad this worked for you and thank you for sharing this information along with photo's. I am going to do this for my daughter's room. Will let you know how I make out with this project. Better get painting first ;-)

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  7. OMG!!!! so glad I came here,I am grandmom and my 14 year old grand daughter is now on the floor as she does not fit in that bed any longer,so seen she is gone on vacation I am cutting that dang bed down to size.....Thanks for your post and pics,Love it greatdana....going to start cutting now,wish me luck ...lol

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  8. We ended up buying a Milwaukee reciprocating orbital saw, using a 14 teeth-per-inch metal blade. Glad we bought the saw, it made the job a lot easier, particularly since we had two Tromso loft beds to cut. We weren't able to salvage the castors to use at the bottom, but I ended up cutting up some old flip flop soles into squares and the flip flop was dense enough to even out the slightly uneven cut edges as the feet rested on the floor. The kids LOVE their new modified beds, we use the space below as storage. Our son pitched his dresser and decided to store his clothes in easy slide in and out storage totes!

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  9. AnonymousMay 26, 2014

    Appreciate this, can stop toucing the ceiling now.

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  10. Who knew how many of us were in need of chopping down our kid's beds! Hello IKEA - you could probably sell quite a few adjustable loft beds, just saying. But in the mean time, thank you all for reading and commenting! I'm glad I'm not alone and that this was helpful!

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