How we built an automated elevator bed for a tiny house for about $500 - tutorial by Ana-White.com
I love working on tiny houses because they force me to be creative with space. In our latest tiny house build, to maximize space and keep the open feel, we decided to try DIYing an elevator bed.
The space was originally designed for a loft bed. Originally I had planned on just having the bed lower and rest on cleats on the wall, but the client wanted to be able to lock the bed in place at a "bunk" level to allow guest to sleep on the convertible sofa underneath. And I was also concerned as the bed raised and lowered it might scratch up the walls.
So I decided to try using heavy duty sliding door hardware, but vertically instead of horizontally. Then I could drill out pins in the hardware to lock the bed in place.
So we screwed the sliding door hardware to the walls through the back, using big screws every 8" or so. On the back corners, I left an inch or so gap so the bed could slide past artwork on the walls.
We did this for all four corners with the sliding barn door hardware. The overall size is bigger than the queen mattress lengthwise, but right at 60" wide (the width of a queen bed).
Then from there we attached 4x4 beams to the sliding door hardware rollers.
The beams will support the entire weight of the bed.
There are other options out there, I liked this one because it picks the bed up at the four corners and is rated at 250 pounds. The lift just has to bring the bed up and down - it never supports the weight of someone actually sleeping on the bed (the sliding hardware does that).
The lift didn't line up with our ceiling stud pattern so I mounted it first to a 1x6 boards. Regrets ... I wish we'd used a 2x6 for added security.
Then we mounted the lift to the ceiling, screwing the board to the ceiling joists. I also replaced the screws mounting the lift to the 1x6 with bigger screws that grab the ceiling tongue and groove too. It's pretty heavy, this isn't something you want to skimp on.
We did the same with the pulleys so they are mounted to the ceiling joists.
We then drilled holes through the sliding hardware for locking pins. The bed rests on the pins, not the lift system. The lift system is only used to move the bed up and down.
Notice there is slack in the cables with the bed in the lost position. We could have brough the bed even lower, but it was a compromise where the pillows on the couch won.
For more details, check out the video that we did on this bed -
And see it in action in the final reveal -
We were very happy with how the bed turned out and will definitely be building again at some point!