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Matt Kenagy’s Homewall in Bellingham, WA

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Matt Kenagy’s Homewall in Bellingham, WA

Matt Kenagy

Matt Kenagy // Bellingham, WA

When did you build your wall? Was it a “COVID baby”?
I built it 5 years ago, when our daughter was born for ease of access.

How long did it take you to build and what did that time look like?
It took a couple weeks as I’d sneak out when my wife and daughter were sleeping. Sometimes I’d install a small portion of framing or a couple panels before needing to head back into the house.

Not including holds and padding, how much did it cost you to build? Any surprises there?
A few hundred dollars. Over the years, it’s evolved and had a number of remodels. To be honest, I’ve lost track of the total cost, though I used to keep records.

What are you doing for padding?
Mattresses. Nice to be able to stow them up against the wall as the shed is used for other things beyond daddy’s jungle gym.

What was your primary incentive for the wall?
Did anything in particular inspire your wall design? The main motivator behind the wall was new parenthood and needing to stay close to home.

What was the most difficult aspect of the design and build?
The main challenge was attaching to the existing structure. It wasn’t the most confidence inspiring shed to begin with. Also, no two surfaces/beams were parallel or square so just about everything was cut to fit. It was a process to build.

What would you do differently?
I would have made the kick board shorter and the wall just a hair steeper to get more climbing surface.

Did you make any mistakes along the way or choose to re-do any aspects?
I added a number of things and remodeled a few times over the years. I found that rather than creating more smaller features like bulges/roofs, having a larger continuous surface to work with has been greater in the long run.

What is your favorite aspect?
The accessibility and ability to adjust/change at my whim has been the best part. Want a slab? Shim out that Vert wall. Want to work tiny, terrible feet? Take anything useful off the wall and put only the worst things you can get your hands On up there. (Shout our to Escape/power company climbing for creating some tough jibs).

How often do you use the wall? Do you think you’ll still use it as much when the gyms fully open back up?
A few times a week. Dealing with an injury now so it’s become where our daughter gets her energy out during long days stuck at home. Setting for a 5 year old has been a fun adventure.

Any words of wisdom to aspiring homewallers?
Just go for it. It won’t be perfect the first time around, but half the fun is being able to change things up when you get inspired.

Do you have any connection to climbing brands or gyms?
Not beyond supporting our local gym Vital Bellingham.

Matt Kenagy

Matt Kenagy

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