How to Build a Loft

  • All beds in residence halls and apartments can be bunked in order to allow for a more efficient use of vertical space in the room. Occasionally, residents elect to customize their room by utilizing a loft system. Although the Office of Housing and Residence Life allows residents to purchase or build a loft, IUP endorses no specific brand of loft, design, or type of loft construction (aside from the safety guidelines listed below.) In addition, IUP assumes no responsibility for damages or injuries caused by the improper construction, assembly, or use of the loft by the resident or a third party.

    1. Since all university furniture must remain in the room, it is highly recommended that the loft incorporate the existing bed springs and mattress into the design. The bed ends must remain in the room. (Note: For planning purposes, the mattress size is 36" by 76" and the springs are 36¼" by 78".
    2. The loft must be sturdy and must be designed in a manner sufficient to support the intended weight it will hold.
    3. The loft must have sufficient horizontal or diagonal bracing on the sides and rear to prevent the unit from swaying.
    4. Lofts must be free-standing and not fastened to the walls, floor, or ceiling in any manner, and they must not rest on or be supported by any university furniture.
    5. The loft must be designed so that the top of the mattress is no more than six feet from the floor. Additionally, there must be at least three feet of space between the top of the mattress and the ceiling.
    6. The loft must not obstruct or block access to or egress from the room via the room door or window.
    7. The noise policy must be adhered to during the construction/assembly and disassembly of the loft. It is highly recommended that all cutting and sizing of material be done in advance of the resident’s arrival so as to minimize noise and dirt.
    8. For safety purposes, guard rails or border edges should be incorporated into any open sides of the sleeping area.
    9. Lofts must not interfere with the functioning of the smoke detection system and the sprinkler system in the room/apartment, and must be at least 24” away from each device.
    10. The use of flammable decorative material (fabric, netting, etc.) attached to or above the loft is highly discouraged. However, if it is used, it should be treated with a flame-retarding substance.
    11. Ladders are encouraged and, if used, must be securely fastened to the loft structure.
    12. Due to off-gassing and possible allergic reactions, the use of pressure treated wood in the construction of the loft cannot be used. Likewise, the use of any construction material that discharges toxic fumes when ignited cannot be used.
    13. Any damages to the walls, floor, ceiling, or any university furniture as a result of the construction, assembly, use, and disassembly of the loft will be charged to the resident.
    14. All lofting material (excluding university mattress or springs) must be disassembled and removed from the room and taken with the resident upon termination of the housing contract. The loft must not be left on university premises, including hallways and trash rooms, and cannot be stored in university facilities. Residents will be charged an improper check out fee (currently $25) for the removal and disposal of any non-university furniture, including loft material, left on university premises after the resident has checked out.
    15. University personnel reserve the right to confront violations of the above guidelines and enforce said guidelines if and when violations are noticed. The university assumes no responsibility for assuring or guaranteeing that any or all of the above guidelines are enforced, and assumes no liability for the consequences of the failure of the resident to adhere to any of these guidelines, or any other reasonable safety guidelines and precautions not included in the above list. In short, the resident is responsible for his/her own safety related to the construction, assembly, use, and disassembly of any loft units.