Posted on October 30, 2020 by Gordon Smith

Gardening equipment, DIY stuff, painting and decorating equipment, bikes, scooters. These are all things that are stored in the average British garage. One thing that only about 25% of people in the UK store in theirs is a car.

This is partly because cars are much harder to steal or damage than they used to be, so it’s safe to park the car on the street or in a driveway. But it’s also because the modern cars of today are considerably bigger than they were when most of our housing stock was built (back when Minis really were … mini). Consequently, garages represent a great space to be repurposed for something really useful.


When garages are repurposed it’s often into an office, den or granny annexe. But a fast-growing trend is to convert your garage into a fantastic home gym.

Why convert your garage into a gym?

  • Saves money. Over the last few years, gym fees have increased dramatically. Now, in the time of Coronavirus, gym prices are all over the place, with many gyms slashing fees and some increasing them! Either way, it’s hard to predict what you might be paying a year from now.
  • Saves time. Journeying to-and-from from your local high-street gym every day can really eat into your time. Wouldn’t it be better if you could roll right out of bed and straight into the gym?
  • Personalisation. High-street gyms have a very wide range of equipment, which is fantastic. But, in reality, most of us only use a fairly small fraction of the equipment. And normally we stick to preferred gym routines. Whilst we recommend mixing up gym routines as far as possible, chances are you’ll never need everything your gym actually offers. So why pay for it?
  • Social distancing and cleanliness. At the time of writing, gyms are exploring new and innovative ways to keep their spaces clean. However, it’s not yet clear how effective these measures will be in controlling germs.

How to convert your garage into a gym

There are as many ways to turn your garage into a gym as there are definitions of “gym”. We believe there are a few main “types” of gym, which can be mixed and matched to any degree.

  • The “classic” gym: this is most people’s idea of a gym. It has exercise machines including cross-trainers, bikes, treadmills and often a free weights area.
  • The “functional” gym. Moving beyond the traditional setup, the functional gym focuses on full-body workouts.
  • The “holistic” gym. This is a gym that’s designed as a sanctuary to decompress and unwind from busy lives. It will focus on yoga space, Pilates equipment and energising design to bring balance, harmony and boost mental health.

How to design a garage gym

The first thing to do is find out who will be using the gym. It need not just be for the adults. Kids and senior family members should be fully taken into account too.

Here at motive8, when we start to design a gym, we first find out all about the family that’s going to use it. Which family members will use the gym? Kids? Seniors? Anybody with any special requirements including disabilities or sport rehabilitation needs?

We try to discover if there are opportunities for providing a gym that’s ideal for all family members who might not normally use a gym. We want the gym to be as inclusive as possible, whilst at the same time ensuring it is a space that will be used every day.

Is my garage big enough?

Surprisingly, garage gyms can fit into quite small garages. The size of British garages ranges from 2.4m x 4.9m on the smaller end to 3m x 6.1m on the larger side.

If your garage is on the smaller end of the scale, then you will still have enough room to convert your garage into a gym.

Of course, if you are lucky enough to have a double garage that is available for conversion, then you will certainly have ample space for a garage gym.

How much does it cost?

The answer, of course, is it depends. At motive8 we specialise in high-quality conversions with equipment that has been tried-and-tested, combined with expert, experienced consultation. Our garage gyms range from £10,000 upwards.

Do I need planning permission?

Providing the conversion does not alter the shape or size of your garage space, it’s unlikely that you will need planning permission for the project as it will be classed as a permitted development. If it does alter the footprint of your garage, then, although planning permission is most likely not needed, it’s best to consult with your local planning officer.

Is it a noisy, messy process?

Inevitably there will be some disruption, as often garage conversions require the installation of flooring, fixed equipment and lighting. However, it’s usually a less disruptive process than other conversions such as loft conversions or extensions.

How do I keep my garage gym in tip-top condition?

As with all gyms, garage gyms will need some maintenance. We would recommend a thorough clean-down of the whole space at least once per month and wiping of equipment touch points after each use. Use an anti-bac spray to clean each piece of equipment. If you use motive8 to convert your garage, we’ll provide advice on how to maintain your equipment to ensure it lasts for years.

Will a garage gym add value to my home?

The simple answer is: don’t think of a gym in your home as a “value-add” when selling. There are other improvements that can be made that will add more value. However, there is of course a certain pool of buyers that will be impressed by a well-designed gym. So, whilst the garage gym won’t add value to your home, it could tip the balance if a specific buyer is interested.

How to get started

Have we whetted your appetite to turn your garage into a gym – whether it’s a holistic relaxation space or a full-body functional workout space? If so, please do contact us on 0800 028 0198 to get a free consultation with our expert home gym installation team. And don’t forget to take a look at our previous projects.