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Home woody in first floor flat

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 ClimberSteve 12 Jan 2021

Hi,

I live in a first floor flat in London and want to build a woody in a spare room but it's on the 1st floor. Has anyone else don't this before?

It is a usual terrace house built in 1935 and converted into 2 flats (upstairs and downstairs) in 2010. 

I am in the upstairs flat but I am concerned whether the floor joists will hold the weight of a small wooden framed woody.

I found this online but not sure if a house counts as modern when it was built in 1935....

"A modern house is designed to support a floor load equivalent to 150kg per square metre (1.5kN/m2). That's a maximum, but permissible over the whole"

Any help/advice would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks!

In reply to ClimberSteve:

I built my woody in a first floor room in my house (probably similar age terrace). I just spread the load over as many joists as possible (ie building it 90° to the floor joists, and spreading the weight above with headers), and it seems totally solid. 

 JMarkW 13 Jan 2021
In reply to ClimberSteve:

I can send you a couple of photos of what i did if it helps. Not first floor but still on joists above a cavity. Old terraced house.

 PaulJepson 13 Jan 2021
In reply to ClimberSteve:

Spare a thought for the people who live underneath you, not just for the floor joists. 

 Trangia 13 Jan 2021
In reply to ClimberSteve:

If you are in a leasehold flat check the terms of the lease first, it's very likely that you will require the freeholder's consent. 

 ClimberSteve 13 Jan 2021
In reply to Luke Brooks:

Okay thanks for your reply. 

 ClimberSteve 13 Jan 2021
In reply to JMarkW:

That would be great , thanks! 

 Johny_Johnson 13 Jan 2021
In reply to ClimberSteve:

I agree, l love it

 jkarran 13 Jan 2021
In reply to ClimberSteve:

Unless your floor has been seriously butchered by a jackass plumber or woodworm itvll be absolutely fine. A bouldering board done right weighs no more than a full wardrobe and it spreads the load better.

I'd be much more worried about your relationship with your neighbours if you spend hours falling on their ceiling. You'll have to use it with care.

Jk

 ClimberSteve 13 Jan 2021
In reply to jkarran:

That's brilliant, thanks for your response. 

 carr0t 13 Jan 2021
In reply to ClimberSteve:

I'd echo what is being said regarding the loads. A wall is heavy, but it's not that kind of heavy. I would be more concerned on what you are connecting into, as you would definitely want to tie in with the structural members. An alternative to consider is a freestanding design, but having vertical posts is much more intrusive to the space and nasty to fall into.

How much headroom you've got as this might limit what you can achieve. Also and should be taken into consideration.

​happy to chat if you want more info.

 ClimberSteve 13 Jan 2021
In reply to carr0t:

Thanks for your reply. I was thinking a freestanding structure, but haven't put to much thought into the design yet. I don't think I'd want to be attaching anything to the walls. Although that looks like it would probably be the better option in terms of amount of wood needed and spread of the weight.

Theres plenty of space in the room and high ceilings. 

 joem 13 Jan 2021
In reply to ClimberSteve:

Ive got a free standing 30 degree wall in my loft, its not very high but I don’t see why you couldn’t make it higher. Not had any issues so far, built it in lockdown #1 and use it 2-3 times a week. 
 

I used an A frame structure but in hindsight a vertical support would have been fine.

also my girlfriend claims not too hear lots of crashing and banging when i fall off. But it’s not very high so I’m just hopping down rather than falling a long way.

 jkarran 14 Jan 2021
In reply to ClimberSteve:

> Thanks for your reply. I was thinking a freestanding structure, but haven't put to much thought into the design yet. I don't think I'd want to be attaching anything to the walls. Although that looks like it would probably be the better option in terms of amount of wood needed and spread of the weight.

A climbing surface completely supported by the house doesn't need to be screwed to it. You can easily use the floor and the house wall facing the climbing surface rather than the wall behind it for support.

In it's simplest form consider a single supporting upright behind the climbing surface: rising diagonally at say 30deg over vertical from skirting board to ceiling. That bolts to a second timber, touching and parallel to the ceiling spanning the whole room (perpendicular to the wall behind your climbing surface, not parallel). Once a couple (or more) of those are locked together by the climbing surface so they can't fall sideways that's completely locked in place with just that single bolt per frame, no fixings to the room (and it can be padded at contact points to protect the finish).

Also remember home climbing walls don't need to be massively stiff, most people hugely overbuild them resulting in needlessly heavy and expensive structures.

One thing to be wary of, particularly upstairs, is that the top course or two of bricks in a wall often isn't that stable and walls are strongest, most resistant to being pushed or pulled down in the corners where they lock into other walls. Most of this only matters where the building is shoddy or degraded or your climbing wall is absurdly designed.

jk

 timparkin 14 Jan 2021
In reply to jkarran:

> Also remember home climbing walls don't need to be massively stiff, most people hugely overbuild them resulting in needlessly heavy and expensive structures.

> jk

I'm always quite surprised at the number of recommendations for 2x8 2x10 or even 2x12 I see... Our moonboard has four 2x5's and a central 2x6 member running vertically and three 2x4 noggins spanning the 18mm plywood front. It's supported at three points at about 3/4 the height up the wall (an electric winch cable to the central 2x6 and chains either side to the outside 2x5s). It flexes a bit (a cm or less of movement at the very top on jumpy moves? some of that is chain pulling tight too) but nothing you actually notice when you're climbing it. 

 jkarran 14 Jan 2021
In reply to timparkin:

> I'm always quite surprised at the number of recommendations for 2x8 2x10 or even 2x12 I see... Our moonboard has four 2x5's and a central 2x6 member running vertically...

Yep, overbuilding abounds, I suspect lots of folk just copy what they see at commercial walls. 2x5 is still seriously beefy in my book!

The cleverest home wall I've seen had no frame to speak of, it mostly hung from chains and hinged creases in the ply surface (very rigid edgeways) provided all the stiffness.

jk


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