Garage Gym: How To Turn Your Garage Into A Gym

Would you like to add a gym area to your garage? Follow these steps to create a functional and comfortable garage gym.
Garage Gym: How To Turn Your Garage Into A Gym

Creating a mini fitness studio in your garage has numerous benefits. You can save money on expensive gym memberships, avoid having to drive to and from the gym, and work out anytime, without travelling anywhere. Having your own favourite equipment at home will encourage you to exercise more often. 

In this article, we explain the steps to converting your garage into a gym. But first we look at some of the most asked questions on the topic.

Do you need planning permission for a garage gym?

If you are simply adding the equipment and comforts to the interior of an existing building, you do not need to ask for planning permission

However, if you’re starting from scratch with the build or you plan to make any significant changes to the structure (such as changing the doors), you should contact your local council to check.

How much does it cost to turn your garage into a gym?

Your final bill can be as little as the cost of the machines you buy, if you don’t mind working out in the cold and heat. However, if you plan to install comforts such as electricity, heating and/or airconditioning, it could amount to a few thousand pounds. 

What do I need to turn my garage into a gym?

It depends on how luxurious you want your at-home fitness studio to be. Here are some of the items you might want to purchase or install:

  • Insulation
  • Lighting and electricity
  • Flooring
  • Heating
  • Storage
  • Gym equipment

Converting your garage into a gym in 7 steps

Converting your garage into a gym is rather simple and uncomplicated. Below, we cover all the steps necessary to make your outbuilding a comfortable fitness studio you can use year-round. However, bear in mind that you can skip one or more of these steps in order to keep your gym simple and affordable. 

1) Plan a layout

First of all, you will need to draft a plan for the garage gym, based on your budget. Think about the equipment you want to buy, the space you have available, where to place machines that require electricity to work will go, and more. 

You will be able to amend or define the plan in more detail as you look into the next steps.

2) Add electricity

Many people choose to have lighting installed when they build a garage. If yours doesn’t have electricity yet, you will need to add it to your plan and budget. Lights will be essential in the early morning and afternoons for much of the year. Moreover, some of the equipment, such as an elliptical, may need a power supply. 

When it comes to adding an electric supply to an outbuilding, you have two main options: connect the garage to your house’s mains, or install a solar system on the roof. A solar installation is self-contained and economical, although you need to calculate your energy needs accurately in advance. Connecting to the mains likely involves some groundworks, but you will have a much bigger power output.

Alternatively, you can attach rechargeable lights to the walls and ceiling of the garage. These can be charged either via a USB cable or batteries. In this case, you will need to get equipment that doesn’t require any power to work, such as an indoor bike or a power tower.

3) Install insulation

If your garage doesn’t have insulation yet, you want to invest in this step as a priority. Good-quality insulation will keep the outbuilding warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. A gym at a comfortable temperature to work out in is essential. If it’s too cold or hot in there, you will likely skip countless workouts. 

Line all walls and the floor with insulation. You can cover the insulated walls with a drywall or plywood. 

4) Install a heating system

Next, you will likely need a way to heat the garage in the winter. Luckily, there are various options to heat up a small building - underfloor heating, portable radiators, convection heaters, electric radiators, and tube heaters. A wood stove could be a nice option, but you would need to light it up well before a workout. A pellet stove requires power to function.

If you want to save some money and avoid installing heating, go heavy on the insulation and mainly buy cardio machines. Rowing, cycling, and running will keep you warmer than lifting weights or doing pull-ups. Many people do cardio workouts outdoors in winter.

If you have a higher budget, consider installing a small AC unit for those summer heatwaves.

5) Lay the flooring

Once you know what kind of heating you will use and have installed the insulation, you can lay the flooring. You will likely have a concrete base in your garage which makes a solid and flat surface to lay rubber matting or puzzle mat pieces, both of which are practical and hard wearing.

6) Build and put storage in place

You can now buy, assemble, and fix to the walls any storage you want to add to your garage gym. Think of shelves, racks, or cupboards. These will help you keep the gym area tidy, so you can use the whole floor to exercise at all times. If you skip this step, you may end up moving plates, dumbbells, and other pieces of gear often.

7) Move in the gym equipment

Finally, when everything is in place, buy and build the equipment and place it where you planned to locate it. Choose machines you will likely use regularly and check the dimensions well before you buy them - for example, is the roof high enough for you to stand on a mountain climber?

Make sure there is enough room for you to use all the machines, even when the car is parked inside the garage. To do this, buy the equipment in stages, in order of priority. This will allow you to maximise the amount of room you have. Check that all gear rests evenly on the floor before you use it.

If you do not already have a building to convert - it may be less expensive than you think to add one at home. With 20% saving on DIY kits for the intrepid home builder getting a new garage or workshop to covert to a gym may well be cheaper than you expect. Build a quote for a garage here or for a workshop here (similar building which often has smaller doors and can be placed without a driveway).

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