A “weekday warrior project” and pandemic boredom turned Scott Harder’s garage in Mill Creek, WA, into the perfect home gym and hangout space for him and his family. Check out past HWOW here.
When did you build your wall? Was it a COVID baby?
Heck yeah it was. I ordered lumber on August 5th and nailed the last board on September 10th.
How long did it take you to build and what did that time look like?
Just over a month. I spent a few hours after work every night but our family was climbing every weekend so it was a “weekday warrior” project.
Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build? Any surprises there? Most/Least expensive part?
$450 for lumber, paint and hardware. No real surprises, although Timberloks are damn spendy.
What are you doing for padding?
I was able to acquire some remnant foam from
Vertical World North that was just adding on the 2nd floor bouldering area during lockdown. Like a game of Tetris, I used spray adhesive to create (2) 4” layers that were 5’ x 5’ that were then covered by a custom cushion cover. I also found some athletic foam pads on craigslist for $15 each that were from an indoor soccer business that had to close.
What was your primary incentive for the wall?
After a 10-year hiatus from climbing, my teenage daughters both started climbing with me and then the local gym shutdown. I didn’t want to lose this – plus I needed a hobby during lockdown.
Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?
Vertical World was my inspiration. Their colors and paneling are the best around – no wonder they were America’s first climbing gym!
What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?
It was all above my pay grade. I had never done anything like this before. What better project for an OCD person like myself? Getting the angles and measurements as close to perfect was quite the challenge. I also built it all by myself – which was difficult some of the time.
What would you do differently?
Probably would have laid it out differently. The original design was only going to be 12’ wide and 8’ tall. Once that was completed, I continued to expand out and up and design wise was not as consistent with the original design.
Did you make any mistakes along the way or choose to re-do any aspects? If so, what?
Numerous mistakes. That’s what you get when you don’t hire a licensed contractor 😊.
What is your favorite aspect?
I love that it has so many uses. I can still park the car in the garage if I want to, but it’s also a home gym. That was the first COVID conversion after cancelling my fitness gym membership. It’s a gathering space now, complete with TV, super cool lighting, music and more.
How often do you use the wall?
Someone is out there every day for one reason or another.
Do you think you’ll still use it as much when all of the gyms open back up?
Our gym opened up at the end of August but this has become training for the gym and an easy way to stay strong between visits to the gym. It’s much closer!
Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?
The Interwebs can guide you, but nothing will show you what you want. Find something inspirational and then make it bigger and better.
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