When designing a home gym there are critical steps that need to be followed to set yourself up for success. There are many parts of building your gym that can be a DIY project as well and done quickly to transform your basement into a gymnasium that the whole family can use. Here is a nice checklist to start you off on the right track!

Creative ways to clear areas – Overhead Garage Storage
For many homeowners we will need to figure out where to relocate items that are being stored in the proposed gym area. For our home, there was a large storage area that we thought would be much better suited as a gym, but we needed to find another place to store all our holiday decorations and larger bulky items. One solution that worked perfectly was building overhead heavy duty bulk storage in our garage. A room that is approximately 360 square feet was able to fit all into this over head garage space, giving us our basement back for a much more functional use. Take a look at our blog on how to create overhead heavy duty storage at paramountgroup.co to find ways to create more functional space in your basement.

Functions your gym will perform
Once the space is cleared, function of the room and equipment needs to be taken into account. There are many pictures on line for home gyms to find inspiration. For our home gym, we wanted to focus on cardiovascular work by having an elliptical and tread mill side by side with a large TV for viewing. We also wanted to have an open area to focus more on stretching, yoga and tumbling for the kids. We researched equipment and found two pieces from Life Fitness at ABT that were amazing as they were commercial grade models and were clearance marked so we were able to buy the equipment at half the cost, but we held off purchasing until we evaluated this next critical element.

Tape off all equipment before buying to understand the radius of usage and walkways
An important note before purchasing equipment…. Make sure you get spec sheets for dimensions and use blue tape to tape off the floor to understand the radius of the equipment’s use.  There is nothing worse than buying equipment that does not fit, takes away a critical walkway, bumps into walls or is a hazard hitting people when in use! This is also critical in placing electrical outlets in the floor or wall next to the equipment.

TV and Stereo placements
You will also want to consider TV and stereo locations so that electrical can be brought to this area as well. Wireless options for the TV can easily be considered if bringing cable wire is a challenge, which was in our home. For sound we chose Sonos for its sound quality, wireless options and ease of use.

Use of Mirrors and Glass
A great way to open up a basement is to make use of glass and mirrors. Where there once was dry wall, we decided to create a very open feel by framing and putting glass in its place. We then placed mirrors on the opposite wall, creating the feel of further depth and dimension. One splurge that was done was adding a custom glass door with heavy hardware to set the pace for the entry, enhancing the open feel to the basement. Looking at the pictures I think you will find that the feel, depth and finished look using glass and mirrors is a big difference maker.

Flooring – Rubber, interlocking, light in color delivers the best results
Choosing the right flooring is critical to make your gym safe and allows for all types of use. Do not choose carpet as it absorbs moisture and will show wear quickly, and do not choose tile as it will damage from weights dropping and can become slippery with basement moisture. Interlocking rubber mats are the best choice. Choose at least 3/8 inch thick rubber for your floor for durability purposes.  Rubber gym tiles can be found online at many sites and have incredible ability to take on all types of wear and tear. Color wise we recommend choosing a tan color, as it brightens the room, shows less dirt and less wear than black or grey floors. This project is easy to install as well, making it a DIY project.

Ventilation – a must that many forget
It is important to address ventilation in a gym so that it doesn’t end up smelling like one! Installing proper ventilation is relatively inexpensive and something we highly recommend to have installed.

We hope this gives you some good ideas in starting to plan your home gym and that our storage solution can bring out new possibilities to your basement! Feel free to reach out to us for any of your consultation needs in designing and building!