DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Twin House Bed with Platform + Chimney

11.13.15 By //
You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Twin House Bed with Platform + Chimney

At long last, we have the plans for another version of the twin sized house bed playhouse! You all loved the original twin sized version so much that I am rolling out the other requested sizes and each will have a slightly different variation in style, from the last. Hopefully this will let you choose your own adventure with this project, depending on your needs and how it will function.

Psst… we now have plans for a toddler sized house bed and a full sized version too that sit on the floor with a platform base and a chimney, as well as a toddler size bed rail to help keep those little in the bed!

With all of our plans, you are building at your own risk and you should have a firm understanding of building in general before you attempt many of our plans (some are easy as pie and perfect for beginners). With that, go forth, have fun, take lots of pictures and share them in a showcase or on social media with the hashtag #builtTDCtuff and we will share our faves! Be sure to tag @thedesignconfidential on Instagram / FB and @thedesconf on Twitter / Pinterest. Don’t forget… for all of our newer plans, clicking on the images will let them expand to enormous sizes with much greater clarity. The older plans may need updating so please let us know if you need one fixed!

You Can Build This! The Design Confidential DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Twin House Bed with Platform + Chimney

  • 7 – 1×4 at 10′ – can sub for 1 sheet of 3/4″ plywood
  • 6 – 2×4 at 8′
  • 4 – 2×3 at 6′
  • 1 – 2×2 at 6′
  • 20 – 1×4’s at 39″ – Slats (Can sub for 3/4″ plywood at 39″ x 72″)
  • 2 – 2×4’s at 75″ – Lower Side Rails
  • 2 – 2×4’s at 39″ – Head and Foot Rails
  • 4 – 2×4’s at 36″ – Posts / Legs
  • 2 – 2×4’s at 29 3/4″ – Roof
  • 2 – 2×4’s at 31 1/4″ – Roof
  • 1 – 2×4 at 5 1/2″ – Chimney
  • 1 – 2×4 at 8 1/2″ – Chimney
  • 1 – 2×4 at 4 1/2″ – Chimney
  • 3 – 2×3’s at 72″ – Center and Side Boards
  • 2 – 2×3’s at 68″ – Upper Side Rails
  • 1 – 2×2 at 68″ – Pitch Rail

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Cut all 6 boards to size and then bevel the 4 posts at a 45° angle, on one end, making sure to keep the length of your original cut. You will be making 2 units here and you can drill your pocket holes in the bottom rails as shown, and set your Pocket Hole Jig for 1 1/2″ material. Attach your posts to your Rails using glue and 2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws. Your posts will sit with the longer edge on what will be the inside and the same side as your pocket holes.

** When you bevel, you are simply cutting your board at an angle with your board laying flat and your miter saw tilting 45° rather than being turned at a 45° angle as it would be when you miter.

Create your inner frame by cutting your boards to length and attaching them to your Head and Foot Rails. If you prefer for your slats to sit flush with the rails, secure the Center and Side Boards 3/4″ down from the top edge of the Head and Foot Rails and 1/4″ up from the bottom edge. Secure the Center and Side Boards in place using your Kreg Jig set for 1 1/2″ material and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and glue. Attach the center board first for ease of securing with pocket hole screws and you can place the pocket holes on the outsides of the Side Boards since they won’t be seen.

Now you will attach the 3 units you have built by securing the Side Boards to the Bottom Rails with 2″ wood screws and glue. Use your countersink drill bit to pre-drill for screws that will sit flush with your boards. Since you will secure the Side Boards directly to the Bottom Rails, you can simply glue the Head and Foot Rails to the Side Boards if you wish, but there is no need to worry about securing these with screws or pocket holes.

Fasten your slats in place using 1 1/2″ brad nails or finish nails. If you don’t have a nail gun at your disposal, you can opt to use 1 1/2″ screws, just be sure to countersink them using your countersink drill bit to pre-drill and then fasten your screws with a phillips head drill bit. The slats should fit perfectly with no spaces between them, but it would be wise to dry fit just to be sure!

Now for the fun part! This looks so much more complicated than it actually is – promise! Cut your boards to length and note that you will be creating 2 units for the pitch of your roof and that the 2 boards that form one unit are not the same length. One side is going to be 1 1/2″ longer than the other. Once you have them cut to length, bevel one end of each board at 45°. Be sure to keep the length as directed when you do this. Once you have beveled the end of each board, you will create your pitch by securing the straight cut end of one long and one short piece together. Please be sure to set the short piece to the inside edge of the longer piece as you see in the diagram.

Once you have your 2 roof units created, you can secure them to your posts using glue and 2″ wood screws, downward from the top edge of your bevel down into your posts. Be sure to countersink and pre-drill so your screws are flush.

**Note that these pieces will sit flat for beveling as well as when you secure them to create your pitch. The face of your roof boards should match that of your posts and both will have the face side of your board (the 2 1/2″ side) run the length of the bed (the longer sides) rather than the width (the shorter head and foot). This means that when you look at your bed from the side, your boards will appear slightly bigger than they do when you look at your bed from the head or foot, but all should match.

Secure the rails in place using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and glue. Cut your rails to length, noting that the top rail that runs the between the 2 roof units is a 2×2 while the Upper Side Rails are 2×3’s. The 2×3’s will sit with the face of your boards (the 2 1/2″ side) facing outward. Place pocket holes for 1 1/2″ material on either end of one face of the 2×3’s and secure to the Posts and Roof Units from the inside of your bed. Note that the top edge of your Rails will actually sit flush with the top edge of your roof board bevel. Place your pocket holes for 1 1/2″ material on either end of your 2×2 Pitch Rail and secure this sitting flush to the very top of the pitch of your Roof. Place your pocket holes on the underside of your Pitch Rail so they aren’t visible.

This last step is optional, but pretty adorable. To create a chimney, you will simply cut all 3 pieces to length, and then bevel the legs at 45°. Secure all 3 pieces together using 2″ wood screws and glue and be sure your beveled edges face the same direction and note that this chimney unit will also sit with the face of your board (the 2 1/2″ side) sitting the same way your posts and your roof sit (along the sides) with the sides of your board (the 1 1/2″ side) facing the front and back.

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired.

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36 comments on “DIY Furniture Plans // How to Build a Twin House Bed with Platform + Chimney”

  1. Found a small mistake in your plan. The measument for the Upper Side Rails and pitch rail should be 70 not 68 if using 2×3 instead of 2×4.

      1. done and done! plans are fixed and the dimensions are correct, it was actually an error in the size of lumber to be used for certain pieces. eek. sorry about that! it would work with 2×4’s or 2×3’s, structurally, but you are correct that if using 2×3’s the dimensions would be ca-razy!

        1. Is the plan fixed? It still looks like the dimensions for the upper side rails and pitch say 68″?

          1. yep, it sure is! the rails should indeed have been 68″, it was that I accidentally labeled the legs as being 2×3’s when they should have been 2×4’s… fixes everything right on up when I give you guys the right lumber list (eek, sorry)!

  2. Really quick observation regarding step 1.. I’m just getting to know how to do all this pocket hole joinery stuff, and I watched a Steve Ramsey video where he points out that the screws should technically be driven from the post into the base, not viceversa.. The type of join I just described would be stronger (according to him at least). Thoughts?

    1. hmmm ya, in some instances i can see that would be helpful, you wouldn’t have the issue of the strength pulling away from the support. you most often see the opposite however, including most of the kreg jig videos that show the pocket holes placed in the rails and the aprons, for instance. so i’m thinking it probably depends on the piece and the size of the lumber. i can certify that this one works as it is, but since the legs are of 2×4’s, the pocket holes would fit perfectly well in the legs so i say give it a go and if you are experimental by nature, perhaps put the pocket holes in the header leg on one side and the footer leg on the other. this will give you one of each on either side, in opposing positions. then you can let us know if you see a difference between the placements and if you think it actually matters! we would love to know!

  3. What do you think about building and adding storage spaces underneath the platform? Do you think that work would be do able?

    1. Absolutely! Would be a fabulous addition and would work beautifully. You can raise the height of the slats up so you have more space there as well!

  4. Hi! Just finished our son’s bed last night and looks great!
    Few suggestions:
    – show on the pictures where you put the screws 🙂 in some instances we were not sure where to put it.
    – Add a list of cuts by piece, so which cuts should go in a 2×4 at the time to same the most wood

    I have pictures of our final bed if you want

    1. I’d love to see some pictures of where you screwed the roof in regards to the bevels! I’d appreciate it!

  5. I’m a bit confused… You call for 5 total 2×3 cut pieces, yet only 4 2x3s on the lumber list.. Am I missing something? I also had to get an extra 2×4 to accommodate the cuts, and I’m hoping I don’t have to turn around and go back yet again. Please help!

    1. You’re absolutely correct.. if using the 2×3’s as upper side rails and center/side boards for the inner frame, they total 5.

  6. So this might be a stupid question but I’m struggling with how to get this in my daughters bedroom ??‍♂️. The hallway is 42 inches, the doorway width is 31 inches, and the doorway height is 80 inches. I would like to paint the bed and move it inside in one piece but I just don’t think that is possible. I feel have a normal size hall ways and doorframe. Am I missing something or should I build the frame and then build the rest in the bedroom, then hand paint it?

    1. I’ve been building step by step separately and assembling in my daughters room. Takes a bit longer, but it’s more feasible to move around.

  7. Am I the only one who sees an issue of screws intersection at both where the posts connect to the arch and the top of the arch, versus the screws to secure the three rails.
    Including a diagram of where to drill would go a long way in helping amateurs such as myself

  8. How are the screws for step 6 long enough to go through the bevel and into the vertical? 2″ don’t seem long enough

    1. I’m completely confused about where the screws go in steps 5 and 6. They just don’t seem right as described. Can someone please draw a diagram showing the screws? Please

  9. The materials list says 4 2×3’s, but it should be 5. I had to go back to the store to grab another. You may want to correct the materials list.

  10. Gonna build this next week. Any tips on adding rails? Trying to figure out the measurement on the inner sides so I can build the rails separately.

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