"Homes-for-the-Homeless ‐ built by the homeless"
A design for small, low-cost demountable homes with full facilities (cooking, washing, shower and toilet).


•   Original Concept
•   Basic Layout
•   Prelim. + Planning

Main Panels
•   Floor Panel
•   Side frames
•   Bed-side fit-out
•   Table-side fit-out
•   Roof details
•   Front Panel
    • L Bed-support
•   Back Panel

•   Water Closet/toilet
•   Divider Cupboard
•   Hot-Water tank
•   Electrical/safety

•   Erection sequence

•   Major variations
•   Materials



© Plateau Group


This H4H design is available to any volunteer groups for non-commercial use, but please make a formal request.

L-shaped Bed Supports

This is a split unit which forms the under-bed support and creates a bulk storage box accessible by lifting the bed lid. It was originally proposed to hinging together two light-weight ply panels (both 450mm high: one 1.8m long, the other 0.7m) and carry them as a single unit which would then be unfolded on-site and erected upright under the bed.

We now recommend that the bed-support panels can add considerable strength and rigidity to the whole structure, especially during transport. It can protect both front and side panel ply during transit if the two panels are hinged onto their adjacent walls. However it is important that the hinges are carried on some vertical battens, added outside the ply, because the bed itself is carried on battens and these panels need to fold back over the support battens.

The bed needs to be pretty sturdy. It serves as seating, for sleeping, and possibly for sex.

Light-weight L-shaped Support Unit:

The Bed plank is cut to 1950 x 900 and made from medium weight ply.

We support the bed with
  a) the hinges on to wall studs
  b) horizontal supporting battens along both side and front walls, and
  c) with vertical L-shaped panels to create an under-bed storage box.

  • The support needs two pieces of medium-weight, (say 8mm) ply cut to 450mm in width. The Longer of the L-shaped supports (hinged to the front wall) will initially be 1800mm in length and then cut again into 775 and 1025 (1.0m + 25mm batten width).
  • The shorter L-shaped support (hinged to the side-wall) should probably best be 850mm in length.
These support dimensions shift the supporting strength back from the edge of the bed, on both the long and short sides.

A couple of extra vertical battens will both stiffen the ply structure and make sure that it can be firmly attached to hinges. Battens attached to the walls as hinge-point are also important to make sure the folding elements close back evenly against the walls. We suggest that 75mm "T-hinges" are used here. By using this approach, we can increase the width of the under-bed storage box to 800mm, and put the bed support much nearer (but not too close) to the sitting edge.

Note that the 1.8 m length is the distance along the side wall to allow a batten over Stud 3 to be used for fixing the shorter support. This piece can then be attached strongly to the wall itself (leaving an end-of-bed overhang of 150mm).

There is no appropriate Stud on the front wall to attach hinges at a distance of 800mm from the corner, so a vertical batten has been glued on to the ply on the front-wall to provide a fixing point for the hinges. It's door-side edge should be at the 800mm mark from the corner; the hinge is screwed to the batten under the bed, and to the L-panel outside so that it allows the panel to fold across the doorway.

The batten here can be screwed to the bottom plate inside the wall cavity, but needs to be glued outside to the ply since there is no solid fix point higher up behind (unless you have added one in the cavity). That isn't a problem in fact, because the top hinge can bridge the T-junction between the horizontal and vertical batten timbers.

We want the front-wall hinge pivot to be 800mm from the bed-corner ... and since the whole unit is 1.8m wide, the pivot should also be exactly 1000mm from the outside edge of Stud A. This Stud would normally fragile, since it is relatively free-hanging during transport -- so we use the long L-shaped support panel to lock it temporarily in place.

The formula for determining the cut point of the 1.8m panel, is to make it 1 metre + the width of the locking batten you plan to use; it will then span the doorway and the locking batten will be outside the Door Jam. Fit this tightly in place, and then screw the hinges to the wall batten last.

Lock for transport

The table, bed, shelving and both L-shaped support panels would be locked to the walls during transport. This is just a matter of drilling a hole through the panels into studs and using long screws.