Installing a slide inside a home?

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coalcracker
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Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by coalcracker » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:46 pm

I will be closing soon on a new home which is a beautiful home and property in great structural shape, but one which needs some "spiffing up" in the form floor refinishing, carpet removal, and bathroom updating. It won't be a complete gut job, but we want to get the house as close to our ideal home before we move in.

The house is in an old neighborhood, but the interior has a contemporary design (the seller is an 80-year-old architect who designed the home). Long story short, I am considering installing a slide from the second floor to the first floor during construction. I have 2 young children and we plan to live here for a long time, if not forever. I have no doubt the kids would love the slide. Heck, I think I might use it too. It would not be out of character with the design of the home, in my opinion. This is not a 120-year-old Victorian we are talking about.

The current plan in my head would be for the slide entrance to be hidden in an upstairs closet, and the exit in the corner of a large great room downstairs, near a planned kids play area. The slide itself would be enclosed inside the walls; one would only see the entrance and exit.

If we do end up selling at some point in the future, would the presence of a slide be a non-starter for some? Should I take pains to ensure it could be easily removed in the future? Is the fun of this playful addition not worth the potential headaches years down the line?

Thanks for your honest opinions, as always.
Last edited by coalcracker on Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

stan1
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by stan1 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:51 pm

If the slide entrance is hidden in an upstairs closet do you want the kids going through the closet to use the slide? The slide will take up space in the closet (floor, wall) that could be used for storage. Does the house have plenty of storage? Do you want your kids friends using the slide when you aren't home? Kids will probably try to climb up it as well as slide down it and it would be become a play item (kids being kids).

To me it would be more trouble than it is worth, but I usually choose simple over complicated when given the choice.

moneyman11
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by moneyman11 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:55 pm

Like stan1, I usually side with practical, but I have to admit it sounds like fun!

My only hesitation is that I feel like it is something that is likely to be fun while it's new, and then just become a conversation piece when the novelty wears out.

Something that's removable would probably be best.

In any case, congrats on the new home!

renue74
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by renue74 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:55 pm

The presence of a slide would be off putting to me. You'll probably alienate at least 2 groups of people: #1 people with very small children who are afraid they will slide down unexpectly and #2 sensible people who have no children and don't see the fun in a slide.

If you do install a slide, it should be removable...even if you never sell and you grow out of it....almost like the outdoor play set that tons of families have. My neighbor had one, she was selling her house (divorce) and her kids were older. She gave it to us. We moved it with 6 men. Eventually, my 2 boys grew out of it and I gave it to an employee.

To me, your slide idea reminds me of a pool or colorful wall paint....some people love them, but many do not.

Put the slide in the back yard!

coalcracker
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by coalcracker » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:56 pm

stan1 wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:51 pm
If the slide entrance is hidden in an upstairs closet do you want the kids going through the closet to use the slide? The slide will take up space in the closet (floor, wall) that could be used for storage. Does the house have plenty of storage? Do you want your kids friends using the slide when you aren't home? Kids will probably try to climb up it as well as slide down it and it would be become a play item (kids being kids).

To me it would be more trouble than it is worth, but I usually choose simple over complicated when given the choice.
The house is large enough that storage is not an option; I wouldn't consider something like this is we didn't have plenty of space.

Liability is an issue I have considered. But how it this any different from kids's friends falling while running down the stairs, for example? I ask because I honestly don't know. Perhaps an unusual architectural feature such as a slide would not be covered under a standard homeowners policy.

EddyB
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by EddyB » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:59 pm

If you reasonably expect to live in the house for a long time, make it what you want, enjoy it, and know that buyers in the far-off future can make it suit their lives, too.

stan1
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by stan1 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:00 pm

Now if it could double as a laundry chute that might help get more people on board with the slide.

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Pajamas
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by Pajamas » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:01 pm

What does the building code say about something like this?

A secret room would probably be more appealing to your children and for a longer period and more useful in the long run, so you might consider that instead. I don't know anyone who wouldn't like having a secret room in their house.

ResearchMed
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:02 pm

coalcracker wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:56 pm
stan1 wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:51 pm
If the slide entrance is hidden in an upstairs closet do you want the kids going through the closet to use the slide? The slide will take up space in the closet (floor, wall) that could be used for storage. Does the house have plenty of storage? Do you want your kids friends using the slide when you aren't home? Kids will probably try to climb up it as well as slide down it and it would be become a play item (kids being kids).

To me it would be more trouble than it is worth, but I usually choose simple over complicated when given the choice.
The house is large enough that storage is not an option; I wouldn't consider something like this is we didn't have plenty of space.

Liability is an issue I have considered. But how it this any different from kids's friends falling while running down the stairs, for example? I ask because I honestly don't know. Perhaps an unusual architectural feature such as a slide would not be covered under a standard homeowners policy.
Liability could be quite different, depending upon how it is designed.

For example, in the upstairs "closet/slide entrance", would the slide start right away, or would there be at least be a small landing, and *plenty* of light? Otherwise, someone unfamiliar with what is "really" behind that door could take a small step, and... whooooosh! :shock:

When we were building a large vacation rental lodge, we wanted to be able to separate one of the floors from the other two floors just in case it were ever to be used as two separate places.
The building inspector refused to allow a door right at the top of the stairs for this reason. We had to have a tiny "hallway" first, before the stairs actually started. And the same thing at the bottom.

RM
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coalcracker
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by coalcracker » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:03 pm

stan1 wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:00 pm
Now if it could double as a laundry chute that might help get more people on board with the slide.
Or a garbage chute. Just make sure there is not a trash compactor on the other end, a la Star Wars. :wink:

coalcracker
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by coalcracker » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:06 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:01 pm
What does the building code say about something like this?

A secret room would probably be more appealing to your children and for a longer period and more useful in the long run, so you might consider that instead. I don't know anyone who wouldn't like having a secret room in their house.
I would have to check on the building code.

A secret room does sound like fun. Or maybe a secret staircase behind a faux-grandfather clock. But now we are moving toward haunted castle territory :D

coalcracker
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by coalcracker » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:09 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:02 pm
coalcracker wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:56 pm
stan1 wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:51 pm
If the slide entrance is hidden in an upstairs closet do you want the kids going through the closet to use the slide? The slide will take up space in the closet (floor, wall) that could be used for storage. Does the house have plenty of storage? Do you want your kids friends using the slide when you aren't home? Kids will probably try to climb up it as well as slide down it and it would be become a play item (kids being kids).

To me it would be more trouble than it is worth, but I usually choose simple over complicated when given the choice.
The house is large enough that storage is not an option; I wouldn't consider something like this is we didn't have plenty of space.

Liability is an issue I have considered. But how it this any different from kids's friends falling while running down the stairs, for example? I ask because I honestly don't know. Perhaps an unusual architectural feature such as a slide would not be covered under a standard homeowners policy.
Liability could be quite different, depending upon how it is designed.

For example, in the upstairs "closet/slide entrance", would the slide start right away, or would there be at least be a small landing, and *plenty* of light? Otherwise, someone unfamiliar with what is "really" behind that door could take a small step, and... whooooosh! :shock:

When we were building a large vacation rental lodge, we wanted to be able to separate one of the floors from the other two floors just in case it were ever to be used as two separate places.
The building inspector refused to allow a door right at the top of the stairs for this reason. We had to have a tiny "hallway" first, before the stairs actually started. And the same thing at the bottom.

RM
Yes, it would definitely need to be clearly marked and safely thought out. I'm not looking for a trap-door style slide to surprise anyone like an episode of Scooby-doo!

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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by bob60014 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:26 pm

CRITTERS!! It will be a haven for them.

DarthSage
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by DarthSage » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:32 pm

We never got around to installing a slide, but one house we had, had a great rec room over the garage. It had a loft, so there was room for a slide. Instead, we put in two swings, a rope ladder, and an inside sandbox. DH is an engineer, if I want something, I mention it...and then say it probably can't be done! Works like a charm!

We removed these items before we sold the house, but it really made for a great playroom for the kids. We literally had friends cry when they had to leave our house.

I say, do what makes you happy. I would give some thought to making it removeable or repurposeable (that's probably not a word, but you know what I mean). I would probably go with a twisty slide that took up a smaller footprint.

staythecourse
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by staythecourse » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:32 pm

Honestly, this falls into the category of very cool to see in Houzz.com or interior design/ architectural mags but totally useless in real life. Your kids and everyone else will be sick of it in less then 6 months. The next set of folks you sell it to will view it as a HUGE downside. They will be worried about cost to remove themselves, their kids getting hurt if they have very little ones or are expecting, or what will it cost them if they want to resell in the future. I really don't see any upside benefits outside of it will be cool to enjoy for the first 6 months, it will be cool to show off to friends, or I have millions and just want to spend coin to make my property original/ unique.

Good luck.
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scorcher31
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by scorcher31 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:40 pm

I know it would be a turnoff to us. I would certainly make sure it is easily removable and easily cleaned/repaired. I would make sure whoever put it in made sure everything was code.

tim1999
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by tim1999 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:01 pm

I'd imagine you would want it to dump out onto some kind of unusually soft flooring to reduce the possibility of injury if someone does not come down it properly or a small child accidentally gets into it.

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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:06 pm

Fire safety? Does it meet requirements for being able to escape? Is there any risk that a firefighter might not know the slide was there and miss a frightened kid hiding there?
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:17 pm

If the building department gets into it, probably a huge thing. Then, possibly, homeowners insurance. Think, dumbwaiter, elevators, etc.
Liability issues? Huge. Your children. Friends. Et al. Because there is no precedent. IE: swing set in the backyard. Trampoline in the back yard surrounded by netting. Swimming pool. And so forth. Then, structural considerations. Designed for children. How big. 180 lb junior in high school. So safety and structural issues. Access in case of emergency. Injured or stuck child. Can a fireman get in there in full gear.
That's one side of the coin.
On the other side. . . huge cool factor. Every adult is going to want to get on this as well as children.
As for resale. I would think potential buyers, unless they have little children, or especially if they have little children, are going to see it as a liability and a costly "redo" to get it back to "normal".
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Pinotage
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by Pinotage » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:21 pm

OP : Worst possible place to ask about this.

If you like it, and have the money to do it/undo it, do it! Yes there will be some downsides.

It sounds like a blast. Congrats on being a fun person!

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steadyeddy
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by steadyeddy » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:26 pm

This quirky idea does not have broad appeal, so polling a large group like this is going to get you overwhelmingly negative responses. This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do it. Just know most people will never see the appeal.

I recently looked at a very expensive house for sale that had neon green countertops. Anybody who buys the house will tear them out immediately, but presumably they made the owner happy.

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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by jabberwockOG » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:39 pm

Get an engineer or an architect to draw you a plan to scale with dimensions. Likely would be fun but it may turn out that something fun but safe and usable may be larger than you think in terms of required size. A fireman's pole might also be fun and would be easier to install but also subject to risks/liability.

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Watty
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by Watty » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:45 pm

I was trying to picture what this would look like and one mental picture was that it could basically be a hidden staircase with a slide on top of the stairs. That could be designed so that the slide could eventually be removed with minimal costs since the stairs would already be under the slide.

Having been a kid once though I think that it is likely a bad idea since the kids will likely do things like roll a bowling ball down the slide and that could really hurt someone at the bottom. Riding a skateboard down the slide would also be tempting even if you had to sit or lay on it.

For the cost of building it into your house you could likely get a monster play structure built outside.

davebo
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by davebo » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:49 pm

My mother in law briefly entertained the idea of a slide off their back deck, but the price was really really high because the height was not standard. I would imagine you would run into something similar.

Personally, I think the idea of a secret room is way way more appealing. You put a bookshelf there and make it into a cool homework room and lounge area. The room would be useful and both adults and kids would love it. I think this is a super cool idea that would have broad appeal.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:03 pm

coalcracker wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:56 pm
Liability is an issue I have considered. But how it this any different from kids's friends falling while running down the stairs, for example? I ask because I honestly don't know. Perhaps an unusual architectural feature such as a slide would not be covered under a standard homeowners policy.
I think it's different because it could be considered an attractive nuisance. Seeing a slide in a home is certainly not an everyday occurrence and what child could resist trying it out?

I wouldn't put it in and I wouldn't buy a house with a slide due to possible resale problems.
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WaffleCone
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by WaffleCone » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:18 pm

Parent of 4 kids here. Our house has a slide built-in as part of its original code compliant construction. We call it a railing. Kids climb up, one leg over each side, and wheee! Fun for ages 3-8, no sign of them losing interest despite our best attempts to get them to stop.

Slide or no slide, they'll find all kinds of creative and make-you-cringe ways of going up and down steps. I'm sure mine aren't alone in this. Much easier and more beneficial in my opinion is to leave an unfinished space or crawlspace for them to make their own and have a feeling of independence.

Keep the slide for the outside. If you want a real conversation piece, get one of the old school cool metal ones that are fast and hot.

Mingus
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by Mingus » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:19 pm

How large is each floor of the house?

What's the vintage of the home?

Without knowing what your floorplan looks like... I'll have to use my imagination. I think if the slide was not visible in the main public spaces of your house, this could be pretty cool. Especially if doors could close it off, so it wasn't visible at all. Then it turns into a really really unique esoteric feature of the home, that can be hidden away.

Imagine your running from the cops and you get to the upstairs, and hide behind the door to the slide. While they are looking for you, you slide to safety.

NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:22 pm

Ol buddy Phil Galfond did this a handful of years ago to connect his two floors in a NYC apt. Google "Phil Galfond Slide" and I think you'll be convinced to do it yourself OP!!

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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by HIinvestor » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:46 pm

Our tenants asked our permission and built a treehouse in the backyard of the house we rented them. Right after they moved out, our property manager had it removed due to liability concerns.

My cautious young niece fell off a slide when she was in grade school and ended up in the ER, so I’m pretty hesitant about slides myself. That said, it’s your home and you can make choices that please you and your family.

Me being risk adverse I’d spend my money elsewhere.

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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:57 am

The only way I can visually see a slide going from the upstairs to the downstairs with only the entrance and exit being visible and not huge portions of your interior house being boxed in to hide the thing is for the slide to actually be attached to the outside of the house. I then see an ugly protrusion attached to the outside of the house and a money pit when it comes to offsetting thermal loads that it would add to the house.

Take your kids to a playground with a really cool slide. The novelty wears off after about thirty minutes. For a simple slide in a house, I would expect less time for the novelty to wear off.

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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:13 am

Be sure to ask your insurance agent and fire department. We have a spiral staircase in an addition that required a smoke detector installation on both floors.
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new2bogle
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by new2bogle » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:17 am

Pajamas wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:01 pm
What does the building code say about something like this?

A secret room would probably be more appealing to your children and for a longer period and more useful in the long run, so you might consider that instead. I don't know anyone who wouldn't like having a secret room in their house.
I opened my mouth to my 6 year old about this and how it could work in his room. Now he won't stop asking me when I'm going to build it.

I think that while the slide will be fun up until age 6 or 7, after that through high school it will take up space that older kids could otherwise use. Make it so that it is removable in a few years.

avalpert
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by avalpert » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:23 am

I'm in the camp that the slide idea is unlikely to recoup its cost and hassle in enjoyment - it will get old quickly for the kids and will take up a lot of space at a big cost to install and remove.

Maybe consider something like a climbing wall on the exterior of the house or a shorter bouldering wall inside - that is something that I think will give more lasting enjoyment, the difficulty level can adapt with the kids (modular paths, different types of holds, etc.) and all for less cost, easier maintenance and much easier reversal when it comes time to sell or the kids just tire of it.

wolf359
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by wolf359 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:05 am

We actually had one of those backyard-sized slides (made of plastic) in our house until our youngest child was about 8. The novelty of having a slide in the house never got old, until the kids got too big to use it. Eventually we folded it up and put it into storage.

An indoor slide is a fun concept, but one you can do without making structural changes to the house. Of course, what you're proposing is way cooler for a kid.

If you do it, plan ahead for ten years from now when they've outgrown it. What will you do then?

One of our friends deployed one of those indoor commercial bounce structures in their basement; another set up a climbing wall.

The one with the bounce house actually had a new baby just as their youngest was turning 7, so their window of usage just extended. That type of event might change things depending on how long you're in the house.

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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by mrsytf » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:29 pm

I would buy your house if it had a slide. I wouldn’t incorporate it into the main area however. From possibly the main floor to the basement or in a back part of the house that went into a family room. But a slide would not turn me off at all as a potential buyer. Be aware than kids always want to climb up a slide (or at least mine do) so make sure the sides are secured in some way or that the slide is somewhat shallow.

hightower
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by hightower » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:00 pm

Sounds freaking awesome to me! I would have loved this as a kid. I love it now

pwill112
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by pwill112 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:57 am

Any non standard improvements to a home have the potential to lessen the breath of potential buyers. An extreme example is a million dollar home in $500,000 neighborhood. The breath of buyers is smaller.

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celia
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by celia » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:49 am

WaffleCone wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:18 pm
Parent of 4 kids here. Our house has a slide built-in as part of its original code compliant construction. We call it a railing. Kids climb up, one leg over each side, and wheee! Fun for ages 3-8, no sign of them losing interest despite our best attempts to get them to stop.

Slide or no slide, they'll find all kinds of creative and make-you-cringe ways of going up and down steps....
The part about the enclosed space makes me cringe. What if a kid put his feet in a weird position or was carrying some toys and got stuck in the hidden area? The next kid assumed he was out and went in and landed on top of him. And the space isn't big enough for the fire department rescue team and their equipment.

Then there is the kid with sticky food or whatnot that leaves sticky handprints in the enclosed area (even on the slide ceiling). Pretty soon nothing is sliding down very easily (except for the critters that it attracts).

Then, why not let the pets go down the slide too? Can't leave Fido or Kitty outside during bad weather, so let's give them a ride...

Then you will have the kids running through the house to go back to the top of the slide. Might as well take the long way through every room while they're at it...

munemaker
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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by munemaker » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:11 am

An inside slide might have been an economical alternative to the stair lift we bought for my MIL.

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Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

Post by mmcmonster » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:13 am

Pajamas wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:01 pm
What does the building code say about something like this?

A secret room would probably be more appealing to your children and for a longer period and more useful in the long run, so you might consider that instead. I don't know anyone who wouldn't like having a secret room in their house.
We built our current house a few years ago. Because of the layout of my daughter's bedroom, she ended up with a humongous closet. We joke around that it's a live-in closet as it's big enough to hold a twin bed plus still have space for her clothes. In fact, the closet has it's own closet with it's own door and light inside it.

My daughter loves it. She's 13 now and she still sometimes sits in there to read or play.

I have another neighbor who just built and put in a secret room in their den, behind a sliding book shelf. The use it to store a small bar.

And then there's this: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/real ... rooms.html

I would vote for secret room.

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