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6 Minute Read

How to Turn Your Garage into a Gym in 9 Easy Steps

man using garage as a gym

Wouldn’t you love to have a personal gym at home? Traffic, crowded weight rooms, and expensive gym memberships would be a thing of the past. If there isn’t extra space in your home or basement to work out, turning your garage into a gym is the next best thing.

The best thing about revamping garage space is that your garage is versatile, and you can use it for more than just parking and storage. Learn how to convert a garage into a dream gym with these clever tips and ideas.

1. Declutter and Clean 

If your garage currently serves as an extra storage room for holiday decorations and other household items, the first step is to clean it out. Sort out everything you need or plan to keep for your gym from what you don’t. Once sorted, consider selling and donating items to eliminate as much stuff as possible.

Next, you’ll want to start with a clean, fresh space. Give your garage a good and thorough cleaning from the inside out, including sweeping out debris, mopping, and power washing.

2. Create a Floor Plan

Now that the garage is clean, you can easily plan the space. Depending on your garage size, decide whether or not you’ll be using a partial or entire garage for your gym. For example, if you have a two-car garage, you can reserve one side for parking and the other for the gym. Alternatively, those with a one-car garage can get a carport to create space for the garage gym they want.

Take measurements of the area you plan to set up your workout equipment so that you can determine what sizes of machines are ideal and practical. Creating a floor plan will help you take note of traffic flow, electrical outlets for plugging in machines, and ways to maximize the space. 

Below is an example floor plan for inspiration:

illustration of a garage gym floor plan

3. Upgrade the Flooring

Typical garage floors are concrete slabs. While great for parking heavy vehicles, hard concrete is not ideal for a gym floor. Consider changing your garage flooring to rubber mats or foam tiles for something less prone to stains and more supportive for exercise. 

These mats will make your garage look and feel more like a gym, provide joint comfort, and absorb sound while you work out.

You can also  add epoxy paint to seal and protect the garage floor from stains and moisture. This gives it a nice polished surface and a waterproof layer, helping reduce the risk of slips and falls.

4. Add Insulation

interior view of garage with insulation on walls

Since you’ll spend more time in your garage, insulation will help keep it comfortable inside. Most garages don’t have insulation, so you’ll need to buy and install it. 

You can add different types of insulation to your garage door, ceiling, and walls, including double bubble, woven, and spray foam, for moisture control and blocking drafts.

Not only does insulation create a barrier between the air outside and inside, but the extra padding also helps absorb sound—which is great when using loud exercise equipment. 

5. Install Heating and Cooling

Once you have proper insulation, you can install heating and cooling units to help with temperature control. This way, you can keep the garage nice and cool when working out during the hot summer months. 

Mini-split systems are popular for small spaces like garages, as they’re energy-efficient and help control heat and humidity. Some cooling units will also help ventilate the garage if you don’t have a window to promote airflow.

6. Invest in Storage Solutions

organization bins on a storage rack

There are plenty of garage storage hacks to keep your personal gym organized and hazard-free. Storage bins and cabinets can serve as a place for gloves, jump ropes, sneakers, and other smaller accessories. Use shelving racks to place free weights, balls, and heavier sports equipment. 

Slatwall panels are also increasingly popular for garage walls, allowing you to take advantage of vertical storage solutions. Use slatwall panels to hook and hang towels, bikes, mirrors, and more.

7. Choose Good Lighting 

Traditional garages usually aren’t well-lit, so you’ll want to install ample lighting for your workouts. Garage lighting, such as LED and fluorescent light bulbs, are energy-efficient and bright, perfect for gyms. Windows and skylights will also let in a lot of natural light.

8. Buy Fitness Equipment

fitness equipment inside a garage to use as a gym

Choose quality equipment that lasts long but is also what you will most likely use. You don’t want to invest in expensive machines that will just collect dust over time. Think about what aligns with your fitness style, goals, and budget. 

For example, to focus more on cardio at home, consider a treadmill or stationary bike. Also, look into options that can easily fit in your garage, such as compact or portable equipment. 

9. Personalize Your Gym

Once all the appliances and equipment are in place, you can add personal touches to make your garage feel more like a gym. Draw inspiration from different garage designs to help you choose themes, colors, and accessories that match your style.

Think of what keeps you motivated during a fitness session. You may like posters, framed quotes for the walls, and a water cooler to keep you hydrated. Consider mounting a TV as entertainment while exercising, speakers to play workout music, and mirrors.

Now that you have expensive equipment inside, it’s also a good idea to strengthen your garage door security with a smart door opener or security camera. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a permit to build a garage gym? 

You most likely won’t need a permit to turn your garage into a gym unless you will be making structural changes. For example, knocking down a wall or building a garage extension for the gym will require permission from local building authorities.  

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

The average cost of building a gym at home is $2,0001, depending on what you decide to purchase and do yourself. For example, hiring a contractor to modify your garage will cost more.

Is it safe to exercise in a garage?

Yes, it’s safe to exercise in your garage as long as you have proper ventilation and temperature control (to prevent mold or fungus growth), and you don’t store hazardous items in your garage like gasoline. 

If you live in an area where radon is common in the soil, it’s a good idea to have your garage tested for radon before converting it into a gym.

Customize a Garage for the Perfect Gym

If you want to reserve your attached garage just for car parking, a detached garage is the best alternative. This way, you can set up a gym and enjoy intense workouts without disturbing the rest of the household. 

Skip the expensive fitness membership and use one of our quality metal garages for your new personal gym. Durable and quick to build, you can customize the garage gym design to be the space you need.

Sources

  1. Wentland, Meghan, and Meghan Wentland. “How Much Does a Home Gym Cost?” Bob Vila, April 11, 2023. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/home-gym-cost/.
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Alan Bernau Jr

Alan Bernau Jr. is the founder and owner of Alan’s Factory Outlet. He has helped more than 75,000 homeowners design and install custom carports and garages over the last 20 years.

Alan Bernau Jr. is the founder and owner of Alan’s Factory Outlet. He has helped more than 75,000 homeowners design and install custom carports and garages over the last 20 years.

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