A father-daughter project turned into a rad training space for Jen F. and another activity for her 5-year-old son. Working with a limited space, Jen and her dad managed to leave room in the garage for one car and a bike storage/repair area for her husband. It’s a win-win. Check out past HWOW here.
When did you build your wall? Was it a COVID baby?
Covid baby! Built in sping/summer 2020.
How long did it take you to build and what did that time look like?
Right around the time our town went on lockdown my friend Chad gifted me a couple crates of climbing holds.. so the timing was perfect and I immediately said “this is happening.” I couldn’t stand to not be in the gym and knew in the long run I wouldn’t regret having a training option at home. It took me about a month just to clean out the garage space in order to make it work. I needed a win-win for my husband, so built him a bike storage/repair area first, which involved removing tons of shelves and adding peg board etc. to conserve space. Once the garage was organized, my father and I built the climbing wall together, which ended up being a lovely way to get to know my dad a bit more. He’s got a lot of building know how, but he knows nothing about climbing walls so most of the planning and prep was on me and we worked together to determine how it would best fit in my garage. He’d come over at 8:30 or 9am every morning and leave by lunchtime. We worked probably every day from mid April to mid June.
Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build? Any surprises there?
Maybe $500. No surprises. I’d hoped to get screw-in t-nuts but ended up going with the pronged due to expense. Turns out most people have since encouraged me to skip the t-nuts and just screw the holds in.
What are you doing for padding?
I had actually managed to get a huge foam pad with an asana cover that was used at my gym for comps but it ended up being WAY too big for the space. So, I purchased a larger folding mat from Megalith, because it was so much more affordable than buying a large crash pad. I also have an older crash pad I use. My hope is to have at least one more crash pad in the future.
What was your primary incentive for the wall? Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?
My primary incentive for the wall and the garage space was to have a workout/training area for myself, and a fun place where my son could climb/play while I train. We also have a very small house and one car garage… so, I needed to create a situation where I could still fit a car in the garage– AND as mentioned above, I needed to make it a win-win situation for my husband, so I built him a bike storage and repair space on the other side of the garage.
What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?
Determining the best angle for the space and my training goals… which led to having to remove ceiling insulation and add braces to the ceiling rafters. I also needed to add drywall to one wall to make the space work for other gym/training equipment.
What would you do differently?
If I had endless resources I would’ve insulated our garage better, and maybe put in some sky lights or something to get more natural light in the garage during the winter…. well, if I had truly endless resources I would’ve built onto the back of the garage and built more walls at various angles.
Did you make any mistakes along the way or choose to re-do any aspects? If so, what?
There was a point when we didn’t get the wall frame lined up with the ceiling beam and we had to adjust to get the boards level. Ultimately it wasn’t a big deal. Also, I chose a 4×4 grid spacing… which ended up being a lot of holes to drill and t-nuts to hammer.. not sure I needed this many and maybe would be just fine with less if I were to do it again.
What is your favorite aspect?
I’m just grateful I have a wall! I’m also glad I chose the angle I did, as we have storage space and a fun area set up for my son to climb up into behind the wall.
How often do you use the wall?
I used it more often in warmer months, maybe 2-3 days a week, and then when the gym opened, I’d just use it once a week for specific training. I’ve had an arm injury that’s kept me from using the wall currently because it’s so steep and not easy climbing… plus heating the garage takes some time in the winter, but ultimately I’d like to be out there at least 2x a week.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?
Follow your impulse and just do it!
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