I needed to build a loft bed for a small room that has a nine foot ceiling, I wanted to have ample storage room below, but was concerned about a ladder that would stick out at an angle taking up a little too much precious real estate in the small room. Using Ana's great Sketch Up plans, I modified the design by incorporating a fifth leg as a permant addition to attach the ladder to. Part of the appeal of Ana's design was the ability to take apart the bed if it ever needed to be taken out of the room it is installed in, and the ladder became a part of the foot board end, perhaps a little unwieldy, but still able for two people to lift and move.
As a self-taught woodworker, I wanted something a little nicer than standard pine boards, and since we have a nice local hardwood supplier in our town, I was able to buy some nice red oak in a 13/16" thickness. This project gave me the opportunity to use the planer that I bought some time ago but hadn't really used very much, so I ended up milling all of the wood to bring all to a uniform thickness. In gluing up the legs, I used a spreader and a lot of clamps so that there are no screws, staples or nails joining the boards, just a lot of Titebond II.
For the ladder itself, I cut dados in the upright edges of the ladder and attached the treads with 2" wood screws along with a liberal amount of glue. I had a slight miscaculation on the width of the ladder, so in order for it to fit in between the two legs, I had to plane away a small amount of wood, which you can see the end of in the last picture, the close up of the ladder.
After a fair amount of sanding and a round over bit in my palm router to break all the exposed edges, I finished with three coats of polyurethene. The bed was assembled in the room using 2" wood screws which I had pre-drilled when I dry-fitted the bed out on my driveway. There are three screws in each corner of the mattress board and two screws in each corner of the railing. The short section of the front rail is also attached with screws so it can be removed as well if the bed is ever moved. I finished the installation with three, six inch lag bolts, two higher up going into wall studs, one near the bottom bolting into the wall plate on the floor. The bed was very solid, but has been made even more so with the addition of a bookshelf spanning the width of the footboard, and it is as deep as the ladder is wide. I offset the side of the bookshelf on the ladder side to allow for a two inch gap so your toes can overhand the ladder treads when climbing up or down.