How to Convert a Garage to an Exercise Room

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A home gym is an attractive investment for homeowners. It saves on gym fees, transportation and time. A commitment to fitness is easier to keep when your exercise equipment is in your home. Converting the garage to a gym allows you to use an ideal space – large and square – and does away with the need to build an addition or convert another room that is better used for other purposes. Whether you decide on the most basic of garage conversions or a state-of-the art gym, the basic steps are the same.

Review housing codes in your city or county to learn the requirements for converting your garage to an exercise room. Some municipalities apply building codes to a garage conversion for use as a home gym.

Plan your garage conversion and make a list to guide your efforts. Your list should include all aspects of the conversion, including room measurements.

Install insulation in the garage. The type of insulation you need depends on the climate where you live.

Hire a licensed electrician to expand the electrical wiring in the garage to accommodate exercise equipment, heating, cooling, lighting and other electrical needs based on your plan. For instance, if you plan to install a ceiling fan or have a small refrigerator in your gym, the garage will need wiring for those items.

Extend heating and cooling vents to the garage or install an air conditioner and ceiling fans for proper ventilation.

Hang Sheetrock. After completion of insulation and wiring, finish the walls for your home gym.

Lay the flooring. You might choose wood flooring or garage floor tiles or mats. Add rubber exercise mats to provide soft workout areas where needed.

Purchase exercise equipment that meets your fitness needs and fits the space. Metropolitan Builders Association recommends 30 sq. ft. for a treadmill, 20 to 50 sq. ft. for free weights, 10 sq. ft. for a stationary bike, 10 to 20 sq. ft. for a stair climber and 35 sq. ft. for a single-station gym. Leave enough room around the equipment for movement and maintenance.


Some homeowners remove the garage doors and create a windowed wall in their place. You might choose to install a lower, insulated ceiling with Sheetrock or ceiling tiles for energy efficiency, whether or not you choose to remove the garage doors. The ceiling should accommodate the height and use of your exercise equipment.