On the classic television show “Home Improvement,” Tim “The Toolman” Taylor had a laughable habit of upgrading everything in his house to be far more powerful (and often dangerous) than necessary. Super powered toilets and overpowered power tools were fun for the viewing audience, and they had the unique appeal of making potentially boring chores more fun. Why just install a new toilet, when you can make it flush with the force of a waterfall? Real life homeowners can take a similar approach to home improvement renovations on their own property. Here are a few creative upgrades that provide opportunities for fun.
Why jog down the stairs every morning when you can install a fireman’s pole in your own living room? This system saves time for firefighters in an emergency, so it makes sense that would save time in getting you from bed to work. The morning commute is a precious time to add a little efficiency. Of course, adding a fireman’s pole would not save time in a single-story home, but climbing up and sliding down could be an energizing way to start the day.
Compare the wood and metal options available. Wood grain has greater aesthetic charm than metal, but it requires a little more maintenance and comes with risks. Splinters are not a major consideration when choosing cabinets, but they are a distinct possibility on a regularly used fireman’s pole.
Rock Climbing Walls
While installing a proper rock climbing wall is more complicated than the typical home improvement project, the finished design can improve health for the whole family. Since drywall is not made to support human weight, and studs are often spaced far apart, it will be necessary to replace much of the wall wherever climbing surfaces are desired. Rooms with vaulted ceilings and second-floor landings are best. If you choose not to replace your stairway with something like a wind tunnel, then you could also have a bouldering style challenge wrap around the stairwell.
Indoor Rope Swings
If sliding down a fireman’s pole isn’t enough to wake you up, try a full-throated Tarzan yell before you swing up onto the breakfast nook. Think of all the money you’d save on buying alarm clocks for the other family members. While not all layouts have an appropriate space for this home improvement project, the biggest challenge is securing the anchor point in the ceiling. Few rafters are intended to support the weight of a 200-pound pendulum, so consider speaking with an engineer or architect if you have any doubts.
With any of these home improvement ideas, safety is incredibly important. Padding should be installed in any areas where falling may be likely. For added safety, the room with a rope swing could be converted to a ball pit. There are even special landing pads made for use with fireman’s poles, providing cushioning to relieve stress on the knees. Many homeowners insurance policies include exclusions for liability around trampolines, but it’s unlikely that your insurer has considered these creative upgrades.