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    Kid-friendly renovations: Building a rock wall - Part 1

    Published on 14 April 2015, Tuesday, 3:36 AM

    Sometimes we renovate for profit, other times to make our homes more livable. And there are even occasions when we simply renovate for fun. Creating an attic-office for your hobby or building a shed to cater to outdoor past times can infinitely increase the ways in which you enjoy your home. But what about a renovation just for the kids?

    Building an indoor rock climbing wall is a great way to keep children and even teenagers entertained, all year round. Climbing is also great for strength and conditioning, so you may find it's something you enjoy too! In this two part series, we'll take a quick look at how to build a small bouldering wall in your garage, rumpus or child's bedroom.


    A climbing wall is technically a vertical wall that is scaled by climbers using ropes and harnesses - something you probably don't have space for at home. A bouldering wall is a vertical face that is not very high, where the object is to move horizontally across the face of it.

    Creating your frame

    The first thing you need to build is the frame. Rather than attach anything directly to your walls, you're going to build a structure that will attach to studs (and even ceiling joists) onto which you can place a climbing surface. You'll need a stud finder from Kennards Hire. Once you've found out the distance between studs, you can create a frame with identical spacing, which can be bolted directly to the stud.

    Of course, this does mean drilling some fairly large holes in the gib, so this isn't an ideal project if you're renting. If you're planning on angling your bouldering wall at less than 90 degrees (which would increase the difficulty), you may need to attach to ceiling joists as well.

    Try and create a structure that will allow you access to the rear of the climbing face as well, perhaps with a door at one end - you'll see why in the next part of this series. If you're unsure about what you're doing or where you should be attaching things to keep your structure sound, consult a builder.

    Ordering your parts

    Once your frame is built, you're going to need the following to finish the job:

    • sheets of plywood
    • protective coating
    • climbing holds - you can order these from specialist climbing retailers
    • fastening hardware

    There are a vast range of climbing stores that will be able to advise you on the right holds for your project. If you're doing something for the kids specifically, nice big, easy-to-grasp holds will be best. If you're trying create a challenge for yourself, smaller holds could be what you're after.

    When it comes to tools for fastening, measuring or sawing, Kennards Hire has the equipment and advice you need.

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.