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Making a simple do-it-yourself (DIY) bed frame requires only basic carpentry skills, such as reading a measuring tape and operating various saws. Builders can choose to use a purchased bed frame plan or design a unique DIY bed frame. No matter whether a purchased or a customized plan is used, certain tips apply to building any size of bed frame. Tips include measuring mattresses and foundations to ensure proper fit, considering any needed framing supports, and choosing quality lumber or other materials. Additional tips cover using the proper tools — all in good working order — for the job at hand.
Although most mattresses and foundations come in standard sizes, ensuring a good fit for a DIY bed frame is advisable. Some mattress brands may have slightly different dimensions than others, allowing for more shift between bed components. Consult a variety of mattress dimensions from several manufacturers to determine the general sizing dimensions required. Carpenters should consider that, while a DIY bed frame might be constructed for a particular mattress set, the mattress will likely wear out before the bed frame. When determining exact dimensions for the frame, some balance between custom fit and the ability to accommodate replacement mattresses must be struck.
Careful consideration is also required for frame supports when building a DIY bed frame. While four corner posts and two horizontal mattress beams might seem sufficient to support a mattress, an unsupported frame will bend or sag over time. Cross supports and stabilization beams are needed for most bed frames, regardless of the material used to construct the frame. Specific support considerations depend on what material is used to build the DIY bed frame.
Choosing material to build a bed frame is a matter of personal preference. Certain purchased plans call for specific materials, while custom designs can use wood, metal or composite materials. Choice of material will influence the finished product and may, depending on the material, require additional steps to complete the frame. For example, dimensional lumber comes in different qualities, depending on if the finish product will be stained, painted, or left in its natural state. Factors such as final appearance require consideration when choosing building materials.
Most DIY bed frame projects involve using dimensional lumber to build the frame. As such, builders should be comfortable using common carpentry tools such as circular and table saws. In addition to understanding the use of such tools, builders should also ensure these tools are in good working order, with proper safety features and sharp blades. Dull saw blades will make cutting custom wood pieces difficult, as well as dangerous. Before cutting any piece of dimensional lumber, measure the piece several times for accurate fit.