Bed Building 101

I built a Murphy bed this weekend! OK, I actually put one together. There's a big difference.

by Jim Ruen
Jim Ruen assembles a Murphy bed
Photo courtesy Jim Ruen
We’re building a Murphy bed for our guest room using a complete kit.

I built a Murphy bed this weekend!

OK, I actually put one together. There’s a big difference. The former requires skill, possibly some talent and a lot of time. My way required that I be able to read. As it turned out, it would have been nice if I had mixed in a bit of common sense, as well.

I’ve been lobbying for a Murphy bed in our guest room for some time. The idea sounds great. Use a room for other things 95 percent of the time, and lower the bed on those occasions it’s needed. We found we could buy just the hardware and build the bed ourselves (lowest price), buy a complete kit (mid-price) or buy a bed already put together (highest price).

My wife wanted one that didn’t take months to complete, and we both wanted one that looked nice but didn’t cost an arm and a leg. We opted for a complete kit with oak veneer and a solid frame made in Indiana.

The company suggested we inspect the packaging before accepting delivery (which we did) and note tears or breaks on the receipt. We then had 24 hours to inspect the various parts and report any problems. Given that the largest package was the full-size bed frame, it seemed to make sense to inspect it in the garage rather than in the downstairs bedroom in case there was a problem. Big mistake.

Once we cut the bands that held the cardboard package together, we could no longer use the nice handholds on the end that were part of the packaging. We also could no longer easily move the heavy bed frame on edge in its carefully wrapped package as was recommended.

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Next week, we’ll put it together.

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