Mali V. // Littleton, CO
When did you build your wall?
Like many others, my wall was a COVID creation. I started building in early June and finished mid-July.
How long did it take you to build?
About a month and a half in total. I had a little bit of help from my awesome friends and family but built most of the wall as a team of one, which was definitely challenging as someone with no prior construction experience. The room is also a super weird shape–there are 7 walls and a 37 degree vaulted ceiling, so I also spent a decent amount of time just measuring and calculating things.
Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build?
$700-800 for a roughly 18×12′ wall. Most of that expense was for tools, lumber, and metal framing brackets. Buying things in bulk and online seemed to be the most economic route.
Did anything in particular inspire your wall design?
I have several friends from my college climbing team that built pretty cool home walls, which is what gave me the initial inspiration to build one myself. From a design perspective, I was mostly just trying to accommodate the strange shape of the room while also creating something that would give me different climbing angles.
What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?
Definitely the shape of the room. It was the only space in the house where it made sense to build, but it was really hard for me to find information about how to build a stable wall in a room with no right angles. I ended up reading a house framing book which helped me a lot with designing the structure of my wall.
What would you do differently?
This is actually such a long list. I’m quite happy with how everything turned out, but it was a huge learning process. I will say that a few game-changing moments for me included buying a nice dual-bevel saw, marking the exact location of every wall stud (not evenly spaced), discovering that some wood glues can oxidize t-nuts, and predrilling everything.
What is your favorite aspect?
I really like having different angles to climb on, and I think it’s going to really help me develop my technique in different areas. The wall ranges from vertical to 45 degrees, and so far has been fun for both my non-climber family, climber friends, and everyone in between.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?
I would encourage anyone who is considering building a home wall to do so! You don’t have to be a pro climber or a pro carpenter (I am neither) to make something cool.