When looking to create a home gym, a garage is a great space that you can use. Garages are often under-used spaces that end up being used for things like storage. So why not make this space into something you can really benefit from?
When looking to build a garage gym it’s important to think about the cost. Home gyms come with an upfront cost of sorting the space and purchasing any equipment that you’re going to use.
The cost of building a garage gym varies significantly depending on how much you need to do to your garage, such as installing power and ventilation. It also varies a lot depending on what equipment you plan to buy.
So if you want to know how much does it cost to build a garage gym then check out the rest of this article!
Is a Garage Gym Worth It?
A garage gym is worth it. Although it takes an initial investment of money and time to convert the space and buy equipment, it’s cheaper than paying expensive gym fees in the long term. Home gyms are also more flexible than regular gyms, so you’ll probably get more use out of the space.
To expand on this a bit more, garage gyms and other types of home gyms are cost-effective in the long term. There is an initial cost of sorting out the space and buying all the necessary equipment that you’re going to use. This upfront cost can end up putting a lot of people off investing in a home gym.
However, this initial cost works out a lot cheaper if you’re currently paying out each month for a gym membership. Over the course of a year, monthly gym fees add up. So why not invest in your own space rather than paying out for a gym membership?
The average lifespan of most gym equipment (if buying decent quality) is 15+ years and a good setup can be built for less than $1000. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can easily build a solid gym for less than $500 like in the example below.
With the average cost of a gym membership being $30-$50 per month as a minimum, you’d really benefit financially from building your own home/garage gym after just 2-3 years!
The reasons for this vary, but the top reasons include that they don’t have a lot of spare time and don’t like it being busy. If you find that you don’t have a lot of free time and don’t want to deal with other people in the gym, then a garage gym is perfect for you as it’s totally flexible and yours to use alone!
How Much Does It Cost to Turn Your Garage Into a Gym
The cost of turning your garage into a gym varies depending on how much you need to change the space, as well as what equipment you buy. Including equipment, a decent garage gym costs around $1000 although it can be done more cheaply or expensively depending on what you buy.
In the next section, I’ve broken down these costs so you can see exactly what you can expect to spend on your garage gym.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Garage Gym
When thinking about a garage gym then two important things to consider are the equipment that you’ll be buying, as well as the space itself, which I’m now going to expand on:
The cost of a home gym varies significantly depending on what equipment you buy. In terms of what you purchase, it’s a good idea to think about what your goals with your home gym are.
For example, if you want to focus on building muscle then you need to buy equipment to suit this goal like weights and a squat rack. Likewise, if you’re only looking to work on cardio then you’d want to look into a treadmill or spin bike.
If you’re looking for a general gym set up, with the flexibility to work on different things and do different workouts then a basic set-up for your garage gym will usually involve:
- Weights and dumbbells: $150-$250
- Barbell: $100
- Adjustable bench: $100
- Pull up bar: $75
- Squat rack: $300
- Treadmill: $1,000-$1500
- Exercise bike: $850
Obviously, you might be able to find cheaper options for these products, especially if you wait for sales. Equally, you might find that the prices are higher, especially depending on what brand you look at and the quality of the product itself. For example, exercise bikes vary in price from around $350 to $1500.
So these figures really are just an average estimate of how much you would expect to spend.
If you have the space available and are able to spend more, then you could also add a rowing machine which usually costs around $1,000, as well as any other equipment you think you will use such as a punching bag which usually costs about $100.
However, before you start thinking that the equipment is the only thing you need to think about, read the next section which explains the cost of potential changes to the space you’re using.
As well as the equipment, it’s important to think about the space itself when building a garage gym as converting the space also comes with a cost. Obviously, a garage isn’t designed to be a functional gym space, so it takes some effort to get this space to work well.
For strength training, you’ll need as a minimum a 7ft barbell and squat stand (though a power rack would be better). This means a minimum space of 10ft x 10ft is required for a power rack and barbell setup – which equates to a single car garage.
When building a garage gym some important things to think about include heating, ventilation, power, and flooring.
Garages often aren’t insulated spaces. This means that they’re usually colder than houses. Although this isn’t a big deal in the summer, in the colder months this is going to make a big difference.
The bottom line is that no one wants to work out in a freezing cold space. Not investing in heating is going to impact your motivation and make it hard to stay focused when it’s cold.
Not insulating your home gym can also lead to equipment getting damaged or becoming faulty if it gets really cold as freezing can impact electrical items.
So it’s a good idea to invest in heating your home gym. The cost of heating varies depending on what technique you go for and how big the space is. For example, if you have a two-car garage then the average cost for insulation alone is around $800.
A cheaper option than insulation is getting a space heater. These can be transported in and out of your garage gym for when you’re in there working out. Small space heaters generally cost around $80.
Related – How to heat a garage gym
As well as heating you should also think about how you’re going to ventilate the space. Ventilation is really important in a gym as poor ventilation can lead to health problems.
If your garage gym doesn’t have good ventilation then there are different options. Installing an air conditioning unit, the type that you would find in houses comes with an average cost of $1000. This cost varies significantly depending on what product you’re using as well as how big the space is.
A cheaper option is to use a portable air conditioning unit. Instead of being installed into the garage, this just stands in the space. These vary significantly in price, but some cheaper options are around $100.
The only thing to remember with this is that if you get a portable air conditioning unit then you’ll have to account for the space of this and leave clearance around it.
Further reading – How to ventilate a garage gym (improve air quality)
Having power in your home gym is important as some equipment may need to be plugged in, or may need to be charged in order for you to use it. Having power outlets is also something to think about if you want to put a fan into your home gym, as well as things like speakers.
Unfortunately, garages aren’t always wired for power in the same way that other rooms are. As a result, you may need to budget for getting power into the space. To run electricity into a detached home gym can be expensive and cost around $1000 to $2000.
This price will also vary depending on how much work needs to be done to make the garage accessible for wirings, such as cutting into brick or drywall, the distance between the garage and your power supply, as well as your electrical needs. There is also an added cost of labor to think about when it comes to electric works.
If you aren’t looking to spend this much money then a cheaper alternative is to use extension cords from other areas of the house that have power. Although they’re not visually appealing, extension cords are a much cheaper option at around $50.
However, if you do choose to use extension cords then you need to be careful about where they’re located as they can pose a trip hazard.
A final option is to use a generator. Many people have a portable generator as a backup power supply for areas impacted by blackouts frequently. These can definitely be an option for a temporary solution and good options include:
Having the right flooring is important if you’re going to use your garage as a home gym. Most garages have hard flooring like concrete, although some might have wooden floors.
This kind of hard flooring isn’t ideal in a gym because it can get damaged by equipment, especially if you’re dropping weights on it.
Related: Garage Gym Flooring (what flooring do you need for a garage gym and how much will it cost).
Your equipment can also become damaged by the flooring. Dropping weights onto concrete for example can cause them to crack.
It’s also potentially dangerous to have this kind of flooring because it can get slippy which poses a risk when doing things like weights, as well as other exercises like stretching.
The best option when it comes to flooring in a gym is rubber. Rubber floors are great because they protect the flooring underneath as well as your equipment from getting damaged. This is because rubber is shock absorbent.
Rubber is also a great option for flooring in a home gym because it’s anti-slip, meaning that it’s safer to use when working out than regular flooring.
Covering your entire garage in rubber flooring can be expensive if you have a large garage, as rubber flooring costs around $10-20 per square foot. This price doesn’t include the potential labor costs of hiring someone to install it either.
A less expensive but equally effective option to go for is rubber mats. These can be placed under equipment and in areas you’re using to workout rather than over the whole space. Rubber mats are around $5 per mat.
These won’t have the same shock-absorbing properties though so we’d still recommend getting dedicated gym flooring.
It’s easy to think that building your own gym at home won’t be cheap. If we’re honest, in most cases it won’t be cheap.
When you factor in equipment needs and structural work needed to make it usable, you’d be looking at an upfront cost of $1,000 – $1,500. This can be done cheaper but equally, don’t be surprised if you’ve underestimated this initial cost.
Cost aside, it’s almost always worth building a garage or home gym from a financial perspective. Most people spend $400+ on a gym membership each year which means that if you build a home gym, you’d save money after just 3-5 years.
The lifetime value of a home gym could easily be $20,000 that you’d otherwise spend on a gym membership so just think of the quality gym you could have if you used that money to instead build your own gym…