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Building a lofted platform in a studio apartment - where to start, who to ask?

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  • 08-04-2021 9:52pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 22


    Hi everyone! :D

    Me and my partner just went sale agreed on a small studio apartment in Dublin, and I'm starting to think about how to best plan this (small!) space. The place is 32 square meters with a main room, kitchen, bathroom, and entryway.

    I would like to install a lofted platform for the bed in the main room. I think it would help us preserve floor space for dining, working, etc. and the platform would allow for moving around/hanging out better than a smaller ready-made Ikea-style loft bed.

    I am envisioning something like this, basically a giant metal "table" with some stairs/ladder:LOGIA_01.jpg

    Extra picture: t8-structure-in-white-front-view.jpg

    I have no idea where to start, or what kind of professional could help build and install this, though!

    Could anyone please 1) tell me if this is a stupid idea, and 2) point me towards professionals who could build and install such a structure and ensure it's safe and solid?


    Thanks very much in advance!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,283 ✭✭✭✭fits


    Why metal? Would wood be nicer? I’d ask a carpenter. They should be able to build something for you. Have you a good ceiling height?


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 IRCStressAcct


    Thanks for your reply! I agree that wood would look nicer, I suppose I assumed metal would be sturdier but maybe I'm wrong. The room is a good height as it's a period building (converted into apartments). Thanks again for the recommendation, I'll gather some details (exact ceiling height, which relevant walls would be partition vs. load bearing, etc.) and contact a carpenter. :-)


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,571 ✭✭✭✭banie01


    Ceiling height is crucial here, do you have sufficient height to allow for such a frame to be used practically?
    Standard ceiling height is only 8ft, a frame like the one pictured at anything below 6'4" on the bottom side is going to be very low and intrusive.
    Then let's assume 1ft bed width, that would leave 1'6" for you and your partner to squeeze into.

    I'd agree with fits that a carpenter would be a good option but to my mind your idea is a great one if you 12' ceiling heights, but if it's a standard height construction I think it might end up being quite intrusive rather than a space multiplier.

    Good luck with it, and congrats on your purchase.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 IRCStressAcct


    Thanks a million for the specific info!! I'm going up there this weekend so I'll measure the exact ceiling height. It's the middle floor of a converted period building so ceilings are a good height, but I haven't measured everything or gotten a sense of how it'd "feel" to crawl up there yet ;-) I'll use your recommendation to determine if a lofted platform would be feasible / comfortable at all!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,324 ✭✭✭JustAThought


    Congratulations on your new apartment!!
    I used live in an apartment abroad with aloft bed and I loved it.

    There were some pros and cons to it and one of the unexpected ones was drinks, alarm clocks, condoms and things falling off the edge onto the couch below! Also chopping your spine up when ehem otherwise engaged on our low wooden bone chopping half foot ’wall’ - it really needed to be higher & softer/rounded!!!
    I’d also say to get an electrician involved and to think about your rechargers/adaptors etc - out big issue was always not any sockets up there and we had black cables trailing up walls and across windows to get power and mood lighting up there which didn’t look great in the daytime & kept getting dragged/kicked apart!!

    If you’re a smoker you’d also need be wary of ashtrays up there and smouldering butts - especially with mattress/duvets/ humans about - it became an unexpected big issue for us.

    I’d google Loft Appartments or Studio in AirbNB and you will get some fabulous working examples of how other people in countries use their spaces intelligently. I’d also have a look at tinyspaces and tinyhouses online as the devil really is in the planning detail. Clever space users like RV’s and boat design might also be of interest.

    Small storage space that is recessed is really helpful as you’ll need somewhere up there to put your ‘stuff’ so you can find it quickly at night or in the morning without having to shake duvets and look under matteses or kicked/tossed onto the floor a level down!

    I also had issues with draughts between the wall and the pillows as the building was a period one too - but if I’d owned the place I could have fixed it!!

    Have fun!! I covet your project!!

    Have you considered hiring a builders scaffolding platform to try the idea of sleeping up there before you spend a lot of money? I have a conversion with a styra still up to it (long story!) and you be shocked how many people are totally uncomfortable or unable to make the journey both ways - especially when there is/was drink involved!

    Also the ladder/structure up is important - so its attached properly at the top and not too steep to do when pissed or half asleep and needing to go to the toilet in the middle if the night in the dark!!!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,296 ✭✭✭✭lawred2


    Great idea with high ceilings

    Or in a space for children

    Not sure otherwise


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 IRCStressAcct


    Thanks so much for all this info @JustAThought! This is exactly the kind of stuff I was hoping to hear about - real lived-in experiences to tell me if it's a good idea or not :-)

    Good point about testing out the loft first before going for it permanently. I'm no stranger to being stuck in a bad sleeping situation as me and my partner are staying with his mom right now, in a bed that's barely 130cm wide and is pushed against a wall to fit in a box room. Oh and did I mention my partner is 6'4"! All in all very uncomfortable lol.

    I think some of the issues you mentioned can be resolved if we build up a proper platform as opposed to a loft bed (that is, the space on the platform would be a mini floor we happen to plop down a mattress/bed, but there'd ideally be extra "floor" space around the mattress for moving around, leaving books and other essentials nearby etc).

    I'll have a proper think about storage space, ladder etc and look around for tiny house inspiration as well, thank you for the tip!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 IRCStressAcct


    Thanks @lawred2 for your reply! Yes vertical space seems to be key here - I'll go and measure ceiling heights as soon as I have access to the place, and try to see if a platform loft would make sense, or if t would look too cramped.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,324 ✭✭✭JustAThought


    Thanks @lawred2 for your reply! Yes vertical space seems to be key here - I'll go and measure ceiling heights as soon as I have access to the place, and try to see if a platform loft would make sense, or if t would look too cramped.

    Don’t forget you’ll need to have space to change or put your clothes/ /things from pockets/ coins etc - so it needs to be much bigger than just the matress to be useable as an adult! Also shelves for glass of water/ wine / iphone charger etc. Plus getting in and out space - you don’t want your 6’4 other half to have to stomp on you or crawl over you to get up & out before you in the morning - or when he wants to go to the loo in the middle of the night - or vica versa! (Or to have to adapt to constantly crouch or walk-crawl like a chimp!!!)


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 IRCStressAcct


    I laughed at the mental image of "walk-crawl like a chimp" !! Thank you very much for all the tips. I have a few other ideas to carve out a bedroom space in case the mezzanine/loft doesn't work out, so I'll try to be as objective as I can when assessing the space we have to work with.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,324 ✭✭✭JustAThought


    I laughed at the mental image of "walk-crawl like a chimp" !! Thank you very much for all the tips. I have a few other ideas to carve out a bedroom space in case the mezzanine/loft doesn't work out, so I'll try to be as objective as I can when assessing the space we have to work with.

    !!!! 😂

    I looked at fold up into the wall beds ( the laurel and hardy type!) - at the time I was looking they were quite pricey but some if them were really comfy and creative - and had surround built in feature shelving and presses and space to stuff duvets - again - look at studio appartments in NY and Amsterdam and San F. on airbnb for how they really work small spaces imaginatively. There is some great stuff on pininterest too!!


    This is the kind of bed I mean but there are seriously creative things done with this kind of model that could make studio living really snazzy and grownup!

    https://wallbeds.ie

    And some great furniture concepts here: ( as well as the name!!!)

    https://bigmickey.ie/product/horizontal-wall-bed-storage-cabinet-c-2/

    Have a ball!!! ( or two!!)

    & congrats again!!!


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 79 ✭✭JohnMcm1


    That looks fantastic congratulations. Did it take long? And do you mind me asking the cost roughly?


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,617 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    OP I lived in a bedsit for about a year with one of these loft type beds. Would agree with JustaThought that you need more space up there than just the size of the double mattress. Space for things like a lamp, book, your phone, glass of water, etc. I didnt have an electrical socket up there as it was the time of the Nokia mobile phones which lasted 3 or 4 days before needing charging, however modern smartphones need to be charged a lot more often so important to have a power supply. In a jam you can get 3 metre long USB cables to run from below but if you can get a sparks to make a new socket up there then do.

    Otherwise as said ceiling heights are important both up there and down below it. Below my sofa was up against the corner wall of the room with the facing the tv on the other side of the small room. I liked it that way as it felt pretty cosy under the structure of the loft above. But as someone a little over 6 feet tall I would have to crane my head slightly when walking underneath it. It wasnt that big a deal because you were bending down to sit in the sofa anyway but just something to bear in mind when doing your measurements, if there is enough space for a tall person to walk underneath it without having to crane their neck then use it. Up above in an ideal world there should be enough head space so that when you are in bed you can sit upright and read a book/work on a laptop without your head hitting the ceiling. I didnt have that in my place, you had to be always lying down and couldnt sit fully upright. Because there will be two of you living in such a small space its important that both can sit somewhere separately from time to time so Id see the ability to sit upright in the bed as important.

    One problem though that I dont think can be solved is one person having to climb over the other to get out to the toilet, get a glass of water etc. Unless you had two ladders, one at the side of the bed and the other at the end but that would be overkill. I was single-ish when living there so it was only a problem when Id someone back. You get used to it though. Another problem and not to be crude but forget about doggy style up there and also when calculating heights do think about sex and positions. Also this structure will have to be secure enough to handle the rigours of sex, the last you you need is the whole thing collapsing during the deed!

    One other thing is about getting out of bed and down the ladder is to make sure you are fully, fully awake. I found this out early in my stay there when I was going down the ladder still half asleep, missing a step and falling flat on the floor.

    And finally if you do measure up and you find it would be too tight for space either up top or down below then you could consider a good fold out sofa bed. I say a good one because lots of them are cheap and only intended for sleeping on the very odd night for visitors staying over. But you can get good quality ones designed to be slept in every single night, more expensive of course but something to bear in mind. The downside though with a couple is you would both have to hop into bed at the same time every night once its converted from a sofa to a bed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,296 ✭✭✭✭lawred2


    Muahahaha wrote: »
    OP I lived in a bedsit for about a year with one of these loft type beds. Would agree with JustaThought that you need more space up there than just the size of the double mattress. Space for things like a lamp, book, your phone, glass of water, etc. I didnt have an electrical socket up there as it was the time of the Nokia mobile phones which lasted 3 or 4 days before needing charging, however modern smartphones need to be charged a lot more often so important to have a power supply. In a jam you can get 3 metre long USB cables to run from below but if you can get a sparks to make a new socket up there then do.

    Otherwise as said ceiling heights are important both up there and down below it. Below my sofa was up against the corner wall of the room with the facing the tv on the other side of the small room. I liked it that way as it felt pretty cosy under the structure of the loft above. But as someone a little over 6 feet tall I would have to crane my head slightly when walking underneath it. It wasnt that big a deal because you were bending down to sit in the sofa anyway but just something to bear in mind when doing your measurements, if there is enough space for a tall person to walk underneath it without having to crane their neck then use it. Up above in an ideal world there should be enough head space so that when you are in bed you can sit upright and read a book/work on a laptop without your head hitting the ceiling. I didnt have that in my place, you had to be always lying down and couldnt sit fully upright. Because there will be two of you living in such a small space its important that both can sit somewhere separately from time to time so Id see the ability to sit upright in the bed as important.

    One problem though that I dont think can be solved is one person having to climb over the other to get out to the toilet, get a glass of water etc. Unless you had two ladders, one at the side of the bed and the other at the end but that would be overkill. I was single-ish when living there so it was only a problem when Id someone back. You get used to it though. Another problem and not to be crude but forget about doggy style up there and also when calculating heights do think about sex and positions. Also this structure will have to be secure enough to handle the rigours of sex, the last you you need is the whole thing collapsing during the deed!

    One other thing is about getting out of bed and down the ladder is to make sure you are fully, fully awake. I found this out early in my stay there when I was going down the ladder still half asleep, missing a step and falling flat on the floor.

    And finally if you do measure up and you find it would be too tight for space either up top or down below then you could consider a good fold out sofa bed. I say a good one because lots of them are cheap and only intended for sleeping on the very odd night for visitors staying over. But you can get good quality ones designed to be slept in every single night, more expensive of course but something to bear in mind. The downside though with a couple is you would both have to hop into bed at the same time every night once its converted from a sofa to a bed.

    that conjures up some hilarious images of the OP trying out his moves while checking for head clearance :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 IRCStressAcct


    !!!! ��

    I looked at fold up into the wall beds ( the laurel and hardy type!) - at the time I was looking they were quite pricey but some if them were really comfy and creative - and had surround built in feature shelving and presses and space to stuff duvets - again - look at studio appartments in NY and Amsterdam and San F. on airbnb for how they really work small spaces imaginatively. There is some great stuff on pininterest too!!


    This is the kind of bed I mean but there are seriously creative things done with this kind of model that could make studio living really snazzy and grownup!

    https://wallbeds.ie

    And some great furniture concepts here: ( as well as the name!!!)

    https://bigmickey.ie/product/horizontal-wall-bed-storage-cabinet-c-2/

    Have a ball!!! ( or two!!)

    & congrats again!!!

    Thanks very much for all these tips/ links! I'll make sure to update on here once we've settled on a solution and implemented it!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 IRCStressAcct


    JohnMcm1 wrote: »
    That looks fantastic congratulations. Did it take long? And do you mind me asking the cost roughly?

    Sorry that's just a picture I found on the internet :-( I haven't actually done anything to my own place. But I'll make sure to post back on here once I've figured out what I'll do to my place and how much it costs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 IRCStressAcct


    Muahahaha wrote: »
    OP I lived in a bedsit for about a year with one of these loft type beds. Would agree with JustaThought that you need more space up there than just the size of the double mattress. Space for things like a lamp, book, your phone, glass of water, etc. I didnt have an electrical socket up there as it was the time of the Nokia mobile phones which lasted 3 or 4 days before needing charging, however modern smartphones need to be charged a lot more often so important to have a power supply. In a jam you can get 3 metre long USB cables to run from below but if you can get a sparks to make a new socket up there then do.

    Otherwise as said ceiling heights are important both up there and down below it. Below my sofa was up against the corner wall of the room with the facing the tv on the other side of the small room. I liked it that way as it felt pretty cosy under the structure of the loft above. But as someone a little over 6 feet tall I would have to crane my head slightly when walking underneath it. It wasnt that big a deal because you were bending down to sit in the sofa anyway but just something to bear in mind when doing your measurements, if there is enough space for a tall person to walk underneath it without having to crane their neck then use it. Up above in an ideal world there should be enough head space so that when you are in bed you can sit upright and read a book/work on a laptop without your head hitting the ceiling. I didnt have that in my place, you had to be always lying down and couldnt sit fully upright. Because there will be two of you living in such a small space its important that both can sit somewhere separately from time to time so Id see the ability to sit upright in the bed as important.

    One problem though that I dont think can be solved is one person having to climb over the other to get out to the toilet, get a glass of water etc. Unless you had two ladders, one at the side of the bed and the other at the end but that would be overkill. I was single-ish when living there so it was only a problem when Id someone back. You get used to it though. Another problem and not to be crude but forget about doggy style up there and also when calculating heights do think about sex and positions. Also this structure will have to be secure enough to handle the rigours of sex, the last you you need is the whole thing collapsing during the deed!

    One other thing is about getting out of bed and down the ladder is to make sure you are fully, fully awake. I found this out early in my stay there when I was going down the ladder still half asleep, missing a step and falling flat on the floor.

    And finally if you do measure up and you find it would be too tight for space either up top or down below then you could consider a good fold out sofa bed. I say a good one because lots of them are cheap and only intended for sleeping on the very odd night for visitors staying over. But you can get good quality ones designed to be slept in every single night, more expensive of course but something to bear in mind. The downside though with a couple is you would both have to hop into bed at the same time every night once its converted from a sofa to a bed.

    This is all super valuable info, thanks a million for taking the time to write it up! Also thanks for giving me a laugh as I tried to explain to my bf why we might want to hire a builder for a more "sturdy" loft rather than trying to DIY it...


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭kadman


    With basic arrangement of the floor section raised up to maybe 6'-7', plus
    the mattress thickness, you are looking at a minimum of 7" plus the mattress 8".

    So say 15". Approximately 7' to the bottom of the section, 15", and another 5' from the top of the mattress,
    grand total of about 13' ceiling height minumum.

    Have you got that??


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 IRCStressAcct


    I just measured it and it's about 11'5" high :-/


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,617 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    Its tight but I think it is still just about do-able. But it sounds like you would have to compromise on being able to walk under the structure without craning your neck. I had to do the same on mine but I didnt feel it being that big of a problem because I was going to sit down in a sofa anyway. The added space you get in the room from having the bed up on a loft was worth it as the bedsit was only about 20 or 25sqm.

    Also as you're getting it custom made by a builder/carpenter it gives you the opportunity to think about other things underneath it. Im sure theres lots of ideas/examples on Instgram/Pintrest, Ive seen them before with a wardrobe built in underneath the structure. A carpenter could also make ladder steps up to it.


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  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭kadman


    Too tight.

    You would surely need to be able to sit upright in the bed. Which would need
    3'6" above the mattress. 15" and then 6' from the platform base, to the floor.

    Right on the limit for comfort, but doable.Light weight steel design for the bed platform
    would save another few inches.

    One option is to design a raise/lower bed platform, and no need for the builder.
    But thats gonna eat into a budget.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭kadman


    A lot also depends on the area of the studio you intend to place this platform.
    If you can incorporate 3 walls, you could get something like this,

    550418.png

    It probably measures in somewhere near to whats being discussed, and looks airy and not claustrophobic.

    Or if you are into the industrial look, hubby could assemble tower scaffold section, or aluminium quick and cheap. Many neat forms of platform sections available.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,868 ✭✭✭tabby aspreme


    Do you have any pictures of the room, you want to fit the loft in OP


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭kadman


    It sounds as though you may have the ceiling height, but do you have the footprint area to make it happen.

    If your bed were on the floor, what area do you need around it, if any. And then you need either a ladder,
    or stair. Personally I would go with a stair. No fun climbing a ladder after a few beers:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 IRCStressAcct


    Thanks so much for the replies everyone! I appreciate them much, as I have never designed my own space before and I am a bit overwhelmed by the responsibility :p

    Here is a floor plan of the flat, and some pics of the room. These are the previous owner's pictures - we plan to repaint, install laminate wood flooring etc.

    I am VERY open to any suggestions (loft or non-loft!) to accommodate living, eating, working, and sleeping comfortably in this room for two people!

    Basically I want to get rid of the current bed "frame"/structure and use a loft instead. A low-ish loft on the same footprint area would allow for more headspace, but if we go higher we could incorporate 3 walls by using the space above the door. Alternatively, as suggested by kadman, we could do a platform/raised bed with storage underneath.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 IRCStressAcct


    PS: in case the pictures are confusing, the big wooden thing with stairs is a built-in bed frame/area with storage. I don't want to keep it because it's a somewhat shoddy-looking DIY job in person; the aesthetics is not at all my taste; all the space under the bed itself is wasted; and I think a loft type of structure would make the room feel bigger as we'd be able to view below the loft etc.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭kadman


    Use the 3 walls for the platform size.

    Move the stair to the right wall, starting around the end of the radiator.
    Open tread stairs, maybe galley style. Would give a narrow steeper stairs, but with
    handrail on outside.

    Lose all the closed panels up top, to give it an airy feeling. Your room would suit this.

    Come into the room, open stairs in front of you, and no partitioning on the right hand side.

    Looks like a good size platform area.


  • Registered Users Posts: 714 ✭✭✭charlesanto


    Could the lofted bed be above the hall and bathroom :cool:


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