Like any furniture purchase, buying the right bunk bed requires a lot of thought and preparation. There are many factors to consider before making a final decision. Unlike other furniture purchases, however, buying a bunk bed will often involve a third party: the precious cargo that it carries -- your children. While you might see a bunk bed as an economical and space-saving solution to your children's slumber needs, your kids will undoubtedly view it as their own private abode. This Step-by-Step Buying Guide is here to help you choose the bunk bed that makes both you and your children happy.
Step 1: Determine your space needs
If you are already thinking about buying a bunk bed, space is most likely an issue. Small rooms benefit greatly from a bunk or lofted bed, but there are plenty of benefits for large rooms, too. First take some measurements to figure out how much space is available. It is extremely important to measure the ceiling height. All bunk beds vary in height, but the average bunk is going to stand between 5? to 6 feet tall. You want to make sure there is at least two feet of space between the bunk and your ceiling. This will cut down on unnecessary bumps and bruises. Standard bunk beds usually won't take up more space than a twin bed, but not all bunk beds can be considered standard. Bunks with pull-out beds, desks, or an L-shape design will surely require a greater sacrifice in living space.
Step 2: Which type of bunk bed will fulfill your needs?
Bunk beds have evolved over the years, and there are now many different types to choose from. From a basic, no frills design, to an elaborate combination of features, we offer bunks that cover this whole range of styles. The classic Twin-over-Twin design is still as functional as it always was, and can provide exactly what you need. If you are looking for something with a little more to offer, check out the different types of bunks that we carry:
Basic - The original bunk bed design. Available in Twin-over-Twin, Twin-over-Full, or Full-over-Full.
Loft - This style is becoming quite popular. The loft design consists of one bed suspended over either another perpendicular bed, or an open space occupied by a desk, drawers, or shelves. A versatile design with countless possibilities.
Futon (see right) - One lofted bed over a futon. The futon can be used as a couch during the day, and then converted to a full size bed at night. Creates a casual atmosphere for popular rooms known to attract guests.
Pull Out - Another space-saving design that stows a bed in the space beneath your bunk. Simply pull out the bed when extra sleeping space is needed. Also known as a trundle bed.
Step 3: Which features should you look for?
If you want to provide a room's worth of furniture with just one purchase, that is entirely possible with the array of features available for today's bunks. Many bunks have desks incorporated into their design. The desk is either placed under a lofted bunk, or attached at the end of the bed. As a supplement to a desk, storage drawers are often built-in under the bottom bunk or found in the form of a dresser on either side of a lofted bed. It is common for bunks with a desk to have bookshelves as well. With a desk and plenty of storage space, you can create a nice little "home office" for your child. These features can greatly enhance your bunk bed's functionality, and should be considered when deciding upon the perfect set up. Many of these features are available separately and can be added to your bed later on.
Step 4: Choose a style that fits
We offer bunk beds that fit any taste. Once you decide on the form of construction that you prefer (Wood, Metal, Wood/Metal), you should observe which style is a good match for you and your children. While it is ultimately your decision on which bed you purchase, it can't hurt to ask your children's opinion. Here are a few of the different styles we carry:
Casual - These beds are very traditional in their styling. Featuring darker wood grain finishes and overall simple designs, casual bunks create a comfortable atmosphere for your children.
Contemporary/Modern - These beds feature smooth lines and a clean-cut appearance. They don't rely on fancy carvings or detail to get noticed. Solid colors and subtle designs often define these pieces.
Cottage (see right) - Inspired by the architectural styles of the French countryside, these beds feature soft finishes, distressed woods, and fence-like characteristics. They carry a light and authentic charm.
Safety tips and precautions, laws and regulations, and equipment for boating safety.
Every summer, many people are injured or even killed because they fail to follow proper boating safety tips. If you are a new boater, you should be sure to take a boating course, and you should read your boat manual carefully. Check the requirements in your state in case there are specific laws regarding owning and operating boats.
1. Always wear a life jacket. Have enough life jackets for everyone in the boat.
2. Always keep small children in their life jackets. It can only take a second for a small child to disappear overboard when someone's back is turned. 3. Instruct all the people who ride in the boat with you about proper safety techniques.
4. Once on the lake, observe posted speed limits, and right-of-way marker buoys.
5. Drive defensively. Don't cut in front of others.
6. Show courtesy to other boaters.
7. If you are going boating alone, be sure to tell someone what lake you will be on, and what time you will return.
8. Have an easily accessible fire extinguisher available in case of a fire.
9. Don't drink and drive.
10. Obey all lake rules, such as no-wake zones.
11. Make sure you have a tow rope on board in case your boat breaks down. That way, if another boater comes along, he or she can tow you back to the boat dock.
12. Have emergency devices such as a flare gun and an air horn on board.
13. Most people these days have cell phones for emergencies, so don't forget to bring yours along. Be sure to put it somewhere safe in the boat, though. You don't want it to fall overboard.
14. Have your keys on a floating keychain in case you accidentally drop them into the water. You should remember to store all your valuables in a safe place, because, again, you don't want them to fall into the water.
15. When driving, watch for waterskiers, tubers, and jet skiers. A lot of times, jet skiers zoom all over the lake and they can cut right in front of you before you know it. In addition, jet skis (and tubes) can carry more than one person, often children, and they may not understand all the rules of the road, especially since parents let their young children drive jet skis (even if they are not supposed to).
16. After unloading your boat into the water, be sure you tie it securely to the dock. You do not want to come back from parking your trailer to find that your boat has drifted out into the lake.
17. When loading your boat, be careful when putting your boat onto the trailer. Make sure all latches and tow ropes are properly secured before pulling the trailer out of the water.
18. After loading the boat onto the trailer and pulling it out of the water, make sure that all unsecured items such as trash, fishing poles, and tackle boxes are secured. You do not want to be driving down the road and have something fly out of the back of your boat into following traffic.
19. Be sure to check the boat trailer lights and tires before setting out on the road.
20. Carry a paddle in the boat in case of an engine breakdown. Sometimes you might want to carry more than one paddle. It is not unknown for paddles to break.
21. You might also want to carry a spare battery in case the regular battery fails for some reason.
22. Before leaving the dock, make sure you have enough gas in the gas tank, and that all engine fluids have been properly maintained.
23. Wear sunscreen.
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