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Hi folks, my cousin and her three teenage sons just moved into smaller place than they were in before and two of the boys are sharing a small room. They each have a twin size bed which, together, take up almost the whole bedroom. I was asked to come up with the cheapest possible solution that would give them some extra room. The caveats are that the house is a rental and that it is built like a mobile home. My idea is a freestanding bunk bed made with OSB and 2x4's for a total cost of around $30. Tell me what you think. Do you see any glaring defects and/or places that could be improved without becoming much more expensive? Also, how much weight do you think it would be able to support if I used 7/16" OSB? Thanks for any input. :)

 

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IF the OSB is totally cleated all the way to the floor with 2x material and you use 3 1/2" deck screws to attach everything then I'd guess the top bunk should hold 200 lbs. I'd add a 45° brace across the back for lateral stability.
 

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Why include the OSB at all? The bunks we have are entirely made from 2x4 and 2x6 material and are plenty strong enough for me (~170 pounds) and my children (~60 pounds) to play on together. You'd need a couple more lateral braces but other than that 2x4s should be more than sufficient. Or, you could go with 4x4 corner posts if you're really worried. That's how we made our loft beds growing up with only a single 2x4 lateral on 3 sides (not counting the mattress torsion box area) and it literally held an entirely family of 5 people... no wrestling with that many of us on the bed though.
 

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just use 1/2" plywood instead

I see a problem with racking...that is repeated end to end or "back and forth" movement. Screws in OSB will not hold if there is any movement at all. Just my opinion.
Actually it's a not a bad looking design....just my opinion. I would lower the top bunk down enough so there is 18" of height at the corners, just to give an added sense of security to the top bunker. My bed was elevated 8 ft off the floor when I was a teen and I kept my workshop underneath. I never fell out/off but that was me. I'd be concerned with younger children.
 

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I am not an engineer, but I agree that I would avoid the OSB. My husband constructed a platform for my youngest son to go in his dormroom. Most people in the dorm had their beds lofted, but instead my son and his roommate put the beds UNDER the loft that my husband constructed out of 2 X 6's because that is what we had on hand. It was a large platform - 12 X 12 I believe..... but when he was finished they placed a dorm refrigerator, a couch, and a host of college boys on the top with no problem! My husband has a tendency to overbuild everything, but the bunks they have have in the dorm rooms don't even have cross braces - although most people usually add them and I would definitely recommend it. I would think 2 X 4's or 2 X 6s would be the way to go.......
 
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