Don’t we all love a little luxury?
And what is more luxurious than reclining on a gently swinging day bed on a lazy afternoon with a good book or your special someone.
If you have the location, and a day or two to spare, for just a modest outlay you can build this beautiful day bed and enjoy that kind of comfort for years to come.
Our structure was designed around a standard king single mattress, which can be sourced easily and cheaply.
This size is enough for two to stretch out on and relax in comfort.
The broad arms are ideal for resting a cuppa, glass of something fizzy, or even a snack plate.
Best of all, we employed easily obtained materials and simple construction techniques, so anyone with even moderate handyman skills and a few tools can have a go.
Woodhouse Weatherproof timber was used.
This is an engineered pine that is easy to work with, structurally very sound and will withstand whatever the elements throw at it.
It is available at your local Bunnings.
When it comes to hanging the finished day bed, you can either modify an existing structure or build a dedicated frame or pergola.
The bed itself with mattress weighs approximately 80kg. With two adults on board, this could be as much as 300kg.
We reinforced an existing awning by adding an additional beam to carry the extra weight; some knee braces were added to post-beam junctions to give extra stability to the entire structure.
If you are in any doubt about the integrity of the structure, seek advice on the design, reinforcement and bracing of the frame that will carry the new day bed.
Finally, the Suntuf polycarbonate roofing on our pergola was extended by 900mm to provide weather protection for the day bed.
This was done by extending the existing rafters with 1.8m lengths of 90 x 42 Weatherproof.
We simply lapped the first 900mm of the extension and screwed it to the existing rafters with batten screws and added an additional outside batten to fix the polycarbonate to.
A quick word on method
The general method of assembling the bed was to clamp the work securely before fixing joints, and/or tack the work with glue and brads before checking for square and then fixing more securely with batten screws.
When fixing with batten screws, it is important to first drill 4.5mm pilot holes.
In some cases, particularly when fixing material close to its ends, it is also advisable to countersink the hole and drill 6mm clearance holes through the material being fixed in order to avoid splits.
Don’t overtighten the screws!
Build the day bed - Assemble the lower frame
Cut the lower frame sections to length ensuring your cuts are square and accurate.
Loose assemble the frame and clamp the work securely, ensuring the frame is square.
Drill 4.5mm pilot holes and countersink to a depth of around 40mm before securing with two 125mm batten screws at each butt joint.
TIP After Woodhouse Weatherproof timber has been cut, it is important to refinish the exposed areas in order to maintain the integrity of the material and ensure that the structure remains weatherproof and will last for years.
Simply apply a wood preservative to the cut and then refinish with a quality wood primer.
Cut and fix the ledgers, slats and lower brace
Cut the ledgers to length. Mark the frame 36mm below the top and fix the ledgers with 5 x 75mm batten screws after drilling 4.5mm pilot holes.
Cut seat slats to length and fix with 3 x 64mm brad nails and PVA adhesive at each end.
Flip, cut the brace, and fix lengthways down the centre to the frame ends with batten screws, and to the slats with brads and adhesive.
TIP When repeat fixing the base and back slats, cut spacer blocks to ensure your work is consistent and tidy.
Beware of accumulating errors: a few millimetres here and there can add up to glaring errors if allowed to accumulate.