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First let me start by saying I am in the very early planning phase and I intend to bring in an engineer who can help make sure we are OK based on the forces involved. This is mainly just to get a picture of what I am looking at before I start talking to people in earnest.

I am wanting to build a climbing wall on the side of my two story home. I have a section that has no windows and would be perfect for this. I imagine bolting the climbing wall through the exterior fiber siding to the studs behind it. I am mostly concerned about penetrating the siding and how that handles water. What kind of concerns do I have there? Feel free to mention any other concerns you have that I may not have had or pitfalls I need to watch out for.

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  • Some information about the structure you have planned would be very helpful. The question is either very narrow or very vague as it is, depending on whether it's just about sealing holes or "other concerns".
    – isherwood
    Jul 6, 2023 at 20:50
  • your plan is a bad idea for your home. Build a free standing wall that you could disassemble and take to another home or sell. Trying to sell your home in the future with a climbing wall on the side would be a big turnoff to most all buyers.
    – RMDman
    Jul 6, 2023 at 21:42

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I don't love the idea of risking your siding and the structure beneath (due to water damage) for this. I'd build a freestanding structure instead.

However, here's what Hardie has to say about the matter:

PENETRATIONS

WIRES, CONDUIT OR OTHER FIXED PIPES

For small penetrations such as wires, electrical conduit, and pipes less than 1½ in. in diameter (excluding hose bibs) no blocking is necessary. The circumference of pipe or wire should be sealed with a barrier foam and/or caulked.

https://www.jameshardiepros.com/getattachment/d24d99fd-89c1-4fca-9756-d0aa0c33c4d9/intro-tools-hz10-us-en.pdf

If you go this route I'd use standoffs so you're not pinching the siding. This may mean putting ~1" holes in the siding (or blocked penetrations as described for larger holes in that document), but you're likely to crack it up if you mount directly to it. The force should be applied to the sheathing instead.

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    Agreed. If you decide to do this, make sure your mounting hardware all goes in a direction that makes water run away from the house (i.e. runs downhill toward the climbing structure) and use high quality flexible caulk (since it will go through more wiggling than usual). I don't think this is an awful idea, it's just got some risks.
    – KMJ
    Jul 6, 2023 at 21:21

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