DIY Elevator Bed for Tiny House

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 03/30/2017 - 10:28
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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.  

From there we attached 2x4 joists in between using our Kreg Jig HD with HD screws.  You could also use 2x4 joist hangers.

We left room at the front so the bed would pass over the tv.

We decked the 2x4 frame with 1x6 tongue and groove boards, but you could also use plywood or other materials that can span your joist spacings.

 

Now on to the mechanics.  We purchased this garage storage lift system from Amazon for $199 with Free Shipping (but the price seems to have increased) -

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!

XO Ana

 

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Comments

kathyclarkej

Thu, 03/30/2017 - 10:52

two questions:

1. What size truck is needed to move this?

2.  Are there plans for the whole tiny house from start to finish or are there only plans for pieces?

Thanks, Kathy

Gcatalon

Mon, 12/25/2017 - 13:59

Hello there, I love the elevator bed diy. Few questions:

1. Garage lift system says it’s 4x4, I can’t really tell in the pictures or video, but the width of a queen is 60” and the length is over the 4x4 window of the lift system. So are the lifting pulleys inline with the lift system or mounted slightly outside of the 4x4 footprint?

 

2.  How are the safety pins engaged when bed is fully raised. I can understand the bottom pins as a stopping point, but don’t see how to do the top ones for safety from bed falling. 

 

Thanks. I really want to do this diy