When you're finished, check and tighten every spot the on bunk bed before the kids hop on.
Assembling a bunk bed takes time and patience--and at least two people working together. You only have one set of hands, and you'll find it can be hard to hold up a piece of wood and use a screwdriver at the same time. Along with getting help, remember to set up the bunk bed in the room where it will reside. Once it's assembled, it may not fit through the bedroom door.
Make space for the job. Clear an area in the bedroom, unpack the bunk bed boxes and take the packaging outside.
Locate the instructions and the hardware. They're often in a plastic bag taped to the railing of the bunk bed. Separate the pieces of hardware in small bowls so they're easy to find when you need them.
Read the instructions, especially noting what the different parts are used for and in what order you'll assemble them. Some people find it easiest to line up the parts in that order so you don't have to go searching during each step.
Assemble the lower bunk first by attaching the side rails to the foot board and headboard. The bunk bed usually comes with the nuts, bolts and wrench you need for this process. Tighten the bolts in all four corners. Place the unit in its final resting spot.
Insert the lower bunk slats into the side rails. Many beds have predrilled holes into which you can screw the slats.
Assemble the top bunk while it's on the floor. Again, do this by attaching the side rails to the top foot board and headboard. Insert the slats, and use nuts and bolts to attach guard rails to the top bunk.
Work with your helper to lift the top bunk into position. Many lower bunk posts have predrilled holes for connector pins to attach the two units. Lower the top onto the bottom.
Assemble the ladder and attach it between the head and the guard rail.
Barbara Dunlap is a freelance writer in Oregon. She was a garden editor at "The San Francisco Chronicle" and she currently specializes in travel and active lifestyle topics like golf and fitness. She received a master's degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has been a Knight Foundation Fellow.