How To Build Your Own Sofa Pit

A sofa pit is perhaps one of the most comfortable pieces of furniture to have, especially if you have a big room which it will fit perfectly in.

They are a great choice for rooms which you want to be able to lounge and have a good relaxing time in, this is why they are so popular for media rooms.

How To Build Your Own Sofa Pit

But sometimes, getting a piece of furniture like this can be absolutely extortionate with how much they can cost, and sometimes if you are shopping for one, finding one with a design you like can be difficult, especially if you have a specific price range.

This is why so many people want to be able to make one of these super cozy sofas themselves so they can relax and snuggle up on a sofa they know they have made themselves.

The great thing about making these sofas yourself is that you can customize it as much as you want, whether that be size or aesthetically. The dimensions for the one we will teach you to make in this guide will be a whopping 62 square feet.

If you are changing the dimensions, make sure that you are confident in your math before you change anything, and you will want to make sure that you are able to get cushions that will be able to fit it properly.

But if you want to recreate our amazing massive sofa pit, you are in the right place.

We will go through everything you need to know about making your own sofa pit, and how confident you should be in your carpentry before you decide to make one yourself.

This can be quite an undertaking so you will want to be sure in yourself before you start making it. So if you have any interest in making your own sofa pit, keep reading!

Reasons For Wanting A Sofa Pit

So what kind of criteria should your sofa pit be fulfilling, and what makes a sofa pit different and better than other options for different categories?

  • A sofa pit can be longer to fit your room, this makes it perfect for lying on, and will also be able to fit more people when you want to watch something with a group, but can also be slept on if you need a bed replacement.
  • You want the sofa pit to be deeper than a standard sofa which means it will give you the maximum comfort you are after. This is why our DIY is designed to be extra deep to keep you relaxed!
  • You can also design the seats and cushions of your sofa pit to be whatever fabric or material you want. This is perfect if you or your pets have any allergies, or greatly dislike certain materials. For example, some people love fabric sofas, while other prefer leather.
  • Sofa pits are a great statement piece of furniture to invest in. Sometimes a standard sofa can feel like a big waste of space. So having something more multi-functional is often preferred!

Why Choose A Sofa Pit Over Other Options?

So, why choose to make a sofa pit over a different type of chair, or seating arrangement?

In this section we will go over all the other options we considered, and why they did not work for us, and why we ended up thinking that a sofa pit would be a better choice.

If you need to convince someone to make a sofa pit instead of something else, this is the section to refer to.

  • L-shaped sofas, these can be a great idea, but with the occasionally awkward size and shape, it can be hard to get them to feel right in the room, and there aren’t as many cozy options for putting your feet up.
  • U shaped sofas, these are also sometimes perfect, but you have to be very confident and careful that they will perfectly fit your room, otherwise they can throw off the whole feel of a room. Also, the middle seats are often not deep enough and not as cozy as the edges leading to an unbalanced feel.
  • Buying a sectional, while this can be a great idea if you are not committed to a certain style or shape, these can also be pretty pricey if you keep adding pieces, and for an option to match the size of a sofa pit, you will need to invest a hefty sum. On top of this, finding a sectional which could recreate a sofa pit and its comfort will be quite hard to find at an affordable price.

Because of all of these issues with other types of sofas, this is why we recommend making your own one if you have the right skill set.

This can make finding a sofa which is perfect for you and your house significantly easier and way more fun. Also being able to tailor the sofa to exactly the requirements you are looking for.

Problems With Creating A Sofa Pit With Sectionals

Problems With Creating A Sofa Pit With Sectionals

You might find that a furniture supplier you like is selling a set of sectionals which you could put together to be a sofa pit. This is great, especially if you like the look of the set.

However, before jumping right into purchasing these, there are some considerations you should make:

  • Make sure to check how many of these sectionals are designed to be attached to one another. You want to make sure that you will not have any unnatural gaps in your sofa where pieces have not been attached properly due to the design. There is nothing less cozy than a limb getting stuck in a gap, or losing your phone in a hard to access crevice.
  • There will often be some pieces which will have unfinished sides due to being arranged in a way which was not originally intended. Since a sofa pit design will probably use a less conventional set up of pieces, there is a good chance that a piece which would usually not have its sides exposed, will end up with exactly this. While this could still be comfy, having ugly exposed sides is by no means preferable.
  • Attaching many of these units together, again, maybe not like they were originally intended to, could lead to the legs of the sofa looking incredibly cluttered, and not very aesthetically pleasing.
  • You want to make sure that you really like the design of the sectional and are happy to be stuck with it. When making your own you get free reign with customization, and switching out cushions and fabrics is not that hard, but with sectionals you will not have this choice, so you will need to be confident that you will not change your tastes, or be getting something that may not fit the room.

Because of all these reasons, we think it is more efficient to end up making and designing your own sofa pit so you do not have to worry about any of these concerns and instead getting to have complete control over the project yourself.

So moving on from this, let’s look at how to design and make the sofa pit!

Designing The Sofa Pit’s Platform And Its Armrests

The design and layout of the sofa pit which we will be teaching you how to make in this guide works as follows. The sofa pit will have a basic frame underneath it, and to either side it will have its armrests.

There will also be some trim in front of this as well at the front. Now we will go over the raw materials you will need as well as all the other materials that will be necessary to put this piece of amazing furniture together!

What Materials You Will Need For Your Sofa Pit

Raw Materials You Need For A Sofa Pit

For The Raw Materials You Will Need

  • 2 pieces of 3/4x4x8 plywood which is cut to 4×22 1/4×61 which will be used for the armrests on the sides
  • 8 pieces of 1x8x8 mdf, 6 of these pieces are used for the armrest trim, and the other 2 will be for the front trim
  • Finally, 7 pieces of 2x8x10 lumber which is of course going to be used for the frame

Other Materials You Need For A Sofa Pit

The other materials which are going to be used for this sofa pit are:

  • Good quality wood filler
  • Good quality sandpaper
  • Powerful construction adhesive
  • Around 10-20 smaller L brackets
  • Around 40-50 1 inch wood screws to fit the L brackets
  • 30 3 inch wood screws that are used on the under frame
  • 10 half inch by 3 inch hex through bolts
  • 10 half inch nuts to fit the hex bolts
  • 25 half inch by 1 inch hex bolts which are for decorating the armrest and functioning on the front trim, about 11 are used on the front trim with 7 for each armrest
  • 65 washer to for your bolts, buying a box will be more cost-effective in the long run
  • A matte top coat of your liking
  • A matte metal paint
  • Paint of your liking
  • Chaise units, this design will fit the Morabo or older Landskrona chaise units from IKEA, but if you find a different brand with the same dimensions, feel free to use them, and if you change the dimensions, make sure to find chaise units which will fit, otherwise you will need to buy or create custom which is either expensive or way more work requiring a whole different skill set.

Tools You Will Need For A Sofa Pit

On top of the materials you need for the sofa, you will also need some tools which are:

  • A good quality miter saw
  • A drill
  • A socket wrench
  • A putty knife
  • A measuring tape
  • You might also want to have a table saw, but if you do not have one, it is not worth buying just for this project, for the specific cut needed, a jig saw, or just a circular saw will work fine, but more on that when we get to the specific stage.

Building Instructions For Your Sofa Pit

Building Instructions For Your Sofa Pit

Before making any steps, you will want to closely read through these steps so you are fully prepared and know everything which you will need to do.

You should also make sure that you have the skill level required to be able to pull off this project, as well as the time it takes.

Of course, you can teach yourself the skills to make this, but with the time it would take to build up the foundational skills needed might not be worth it.

So, once you are sure that you have the skills and time you need to do the project we can get to making it!

But, first a couple notes. You will want to make sure that you are making this sofa pit in the room where you want it to live once it is done. This project will be incredibly heavy once it is put together, and we say heavy.

And as well as heavy, it is also massive, so it will not fit through pretty much any doors, so starting this project in the wrong room can be a pretty massive problem.

You will also want to bolt all of your chaise units together before you have actually built the frame just for the sake of convenience, but this is something it will be preferable to do.

Finally, you want to make sure that all the materials, measurements, and cut lengths, are specific to requirements which we have put in the materials section, as this is what we will be working from in this guide.

Of course, you can adjust measurements, but this will mean that you will have to reconfigure quite a lot, and this guide will only be helpful for some techniques, so make sure you are confident in your math before making any changes like this.

With that out of the way let’s get building.

Part 1 – Making The Armrests

The best stage to start with will be to build the 2 armrests which will be used on either side of your sofa pit.

These armrests are composed of 3 layers, there will be 2 identical inner and then middle layers make from the ¾ inch plywood for the sake of strength, and then there will be the outer layer which is a decorative trim to improve the aesthetic, so what do you need to do to make the armrest?

  • First you want to cut your 3/4x4x8 plywood to the right size being 4 pieces being 22 ¼ x 61 inches
  • Then you will cut the 1x8x8 trim into the right size being 6 pieces which are 61 inches long each
  • After this you want to glue then nail your 2 pieces of plywood to each other and make sure that they are perfectly aligned, this is easier to do while using clamps
  • Then you want to glue and nail the 3 pieces of trim onto each of the armrests having a quarter inch of a gap in between your boards. This will be an almost perfect fit. You want to start with the two top and the two bottom pieces and make sure they are perfectly aligned with the edges of your plywood and then nail and glue these into the correct position. Then do the same with the middle trim piece, and then the other two in the middle of this. You can eyeball this if you are confident enough, but generally you will want to measure to keep even length between the pieces.
  • After this you can sand the outermost edges of the armrests at the point where the plywood and trim meets
  • After use your wood filler to fill any spaces which may be uneven, and to be generous but careful with this process. Using a layer of this filler over all of the exterior seams and nail holes is a good idea.
  • After the filler has properly dried you should sand the filler until it has gotten completely smooth. 
  • Then you should paint your armrests your desired color and let them dry for a full day.
  • After fully dry give them a top coat and once this has dried you can seal the armrests.

Part 2 – Making the Frame Of The Sofa Pit

So instead of the legs a standard sofa will stand on, a sofa pit is supported by a frame to make it generally more comfortable than a normal sofa would be and a bit closer to a bed.

This design used 2x8s as these are high enough off the ground for how we wanted the sofa bed to feel.

You can make it a bit higher or a bit lower using different cuts of wood if you desire, but if you do this make sure to adjust your armrests to make them higher or lower to match.

Just like a framing for a wall, it is composed with a header, a footer, supports, and of course, blocking.

  • Firstly you will want to cut all your pieces of 2x8s to the lengths in this list:
    • 2 pieces 73 inches in length (header and footer)
    • 2 pieces 73 and ¾ inches in length (header and footer)
    • 6 pieces 57 and ¼ in length (support pieces)
    • 3 pieces 34 and ½ inches long (blocking)
    • 1 piece being 35 inches long (blocking)
  • Then you want to assemble these pieces into 2 boxes using the 3 inch wood screws
  • Attach the 2 boxes together using your screws to make it the longer rectangular box frame.

Part 3 – Assembling The Sofa Pit

So, now all the individual parts of your sofa pit have been made, all you have to do now is make sure that they are put together properly!

  • Firstly you want to tilt the sofa up onto its back make the underside vertical and accessible and make sure they are close to where you want it to end up.
  • Align your frame boxes to the underside and back of your sofa and attach to the bottom of the frame using the small L brackets, this is a little shorter than your sofa to allow the trim to be attached
  • Pre drill about 12 pilot holes an inch deep in the armrests 
  • One at a time you want to place the armrests onto the sides of your sofa and align them with the bottom and then re pre drill 5 holes which are for the through bolts which will be to attach the armrest using a 6 inch drill bit
  • Attach the armrests using washers and bolts
  • Cut the 1×8 trim to the right size to make sure it fits the front of the sofa and then paint them
  • Then paint the top of the 2×8 the same color as the front of your sofa so it will look seamless.
  • Now the frame is attached to the chaise, flip it down.
  • Fit your seat cushions into the right place
  • Fit your back cushions into the right position
  • Finally, add the 1x1x8 trim onto the front using some lag bolts

Once this has been done, you will be done and have a completed sofa pit. As you can tell with the final product, it is incredibly big and heavy, so make sure that you make it in the place where you will want it to stay.


As you can tell, this project is a massive undertaking, and should not be done if you are not confident in your skills to do it.

While it can save you some money from either investing inn sectionals, or getting a professional to do it, if you are not confident, there are plenty of ways this can go wrong and be a waste of money and time, so ensure that when you do this project, that you have the ability to be able to finish it properly!

Maisie Park