3 More Vital Considerations for Your Climbing Gym Fit-Out

After sharing our top tip for your climbing gym fit-out, we’re back with more valuable insights gathered from Ian at Will & Co Construction. Amidst the myriad of considerations, these three points will greatly facilitate your fit-out process.

  1. Find a Reliable Building Surveyor or Certifier.Locating a dependable building surveyor or certifier can be a daunting task. While there are many options out there, selecting the first one you find online is usually not the wisest choice. “Seek advice from individuals who have set up a similar business to gain insights into their experiences and cost estimates,” Ian recommends. A building surveyor or certifier primarily assesses plans and existing conditions to ensure compliance with current building codes. It’s not their responsibility to educate you on building codes or identify defects in the builder’s work – their role is solely to inform you of any outstanding non-compliance issues. While this can be challenging, a good surveyor or certifier will collaborate with both you and your builder to resolve these issues.
  2. Choose a Trustworthy Builder.Selecting a reliable builder is our top recommendation for a smooth fit-out process. It’s essential to choose a builder who can work effectively with your building surveyor or certifier. “Obtain builder recommendations from those who have completed fit-out projects and inspect their previous work. The builder doesn’t need to be familiar with climbing; rather, evaluate the level of detail in their past projects,” Ian suggests. Typically, a competent builder understands the necessary building codes and can work within your budget.
  3. Establish a Realistic Budget.Thinking of making mid-project changes? Think again. Ian emphasizes that gym owners are passionate about climbing and strive to provide the best experience for members. However, it’s crucial to consider that altering wall designs or internal fit-outs during construction can impact the timeline, costs, and opening date. During the design phase, gym owners should have a clear vision to save time and money in the long run. While some changes may occur during construction, as long as the general wall layout and operational functionality remain intact, alterations should be minor. Climbing wall expenses are the most predictable costs, but fit-out expenses, such as permits, change-of-use fees, and the fit-out itself, can escalate if not adequately researched. It’s advisable to allocate a contingency fund of 10-20% of your total expenses, just in case. Ian also suggests, “Conduct your own design research and share plenty of photos and ideas with your designer. Designers may prefer high-end finishes, but ensure they align with your budget. There are cost-effective materials to achieve the desired look.”

The process of building a climbing gym can be challenging, especially given the complexity of the construction industry and the numerous building codes and regulations to follow. Thus, finding the right builder is crucial. If you can secure a builder with the right skill set, whom you trust to bring your vision to life, it will minimize the challenges along the way. The fit-out phase is the culmination of your hard work, so savor watching your dream project become a reality.

We extend our gratitude to Ian for sharing these valuable insights with the climbing community.