7 Things To Do Before Turning Your Garage Into a Gym

Have you ever wondered how people turn their garages into a gym while still having room for their cars? 

Do you want to do the same with your garage? 

In this article, we’ll show you how to transform your garage into a gym you can be proud of. 

To turn your garage into a gym, sort through the clutter in the garage and clear out the area. Next, draw up a plan that maximizes the space available, and do not forget to include the walls. Proceed to get quality equipment and machines. Finally, with comfort and safety in mind, arrange all equipment and exercise machines according to the plan.

With your garage transformed into a gym, lame excuses for missing workouts are reduced. Read on, and you will be well on your way to being one of the few people who’ve mastered the art of working out on your schedule.

Garage gym

7 Steps to Turn Your Garage into a Gym

Transforming your garage into a home gym can be a fun DIY project, and the best part is that you do not need to break the bank while at it.

The garage is most likely where holiday decorations, car accessories, maintenance tools, and several old or unused items are kept. Some of these classify as junk and need to be cleared. 

Clearing out the junk in the garage to create space will give you an idea of what you’re working with and how to maximize it. Fitting your equipment might be challenging if you don’t prepare ahead.

Here we’ll elaborate on things that must be put in place and done in your garage-to-gym transformation.

Remove The Clutter

To start, you have to take out everything in the garage. Once you do this, you will know the total available space.

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Once the items are out, sort through the clutter. Separate them into piles labeled To Dispose of, Keep, and Sell/Recycle/Donate. 

Check out my guide on where to donate your garage items for more details on what can and cannot be donated.

Afterward, return items in the “to Keep” section to the garage and ensure they are organized. This reduces the number of stored items and creates room for your fitness equipment.

Alternatively, if you have one, you can move these items to an alternative location, like the basement or attic.

Plan How Your Garage Gym Will Look

Now you have an idea of the total available space. The next step in the preparation stage is to draw up a plan. Your goal is to factor in and make the most of every open space, including the walls.

Draw up a floor plan and a plan for the walls. Metal pegboards and Slatwall are excellent organization options for the walls. You can install hooks and pegs for hanging items and proceed to fit rails and shelves for additional storage.

Also, do not forget to factor in your style of workout.

Ask yourself if you do more jumps, squats, or other functional exercises? If you do or plan on, you need ample space to fold and stretch without accidents. It is essential to design the room based on how you plan to use it.

Don’t Cheap Out on Equipment

This is a critical part of the entire process. There are various pieces of equipment available at different prices. Crucial questions you should ask are:

  • What workout routines do I enjoy doing?
  • How much space do I have?
  • What is my budget?

Quality Fitness equipment is expensive, don’t forget that. So, buying sets of equipment you would rarely use would only take up resources and space that you would have utilized on other essentials.

You have to get the essentials based on your style of workout. Whether cardio, weightlifting, or training regimens, get quality materials. Risks of accidents are reduced when you do this, plus you’d save more in the long run.

Ensure Proper Ventilation & Insulation

Sufficient airflow is another essential factor. This may be expensive, but you can install temperature regulation systems. If you live in a hot, humid place, you might also need to install air conditioning or cooling systems.

You may wonder why this is essential.

Well, first, you’d most likely spend a decent amount of time in your gym, and as you know, weather conditions aren’t static all year round. So you want to ensure that temperature extremes do not put a damper on your workout. 

Besides, extreme temperatures can damage your equipment, shortening its lifespan. Proper insulation maintains a reasonably constant temperature in your garage, making your workout experience more enjoyable.

Invest in Quality Flooring

The gym flooring can either make your workout experience pleasant or frustrating. Garages initially have concrete flooring, which is not ideal for a fitness space. You need easy-to-clean and maintain flooring that’s suitable for intense activities.

Surfaces like carpet, tiles, foam, epoxy, and rubber are better suited than concrete. They are also good sound-insulators and shock-absorbers.

Add Stereo and TV

The next step is to make it feel like an actual gym and add music, like installing a sound system. 

You can take it further and set up a stereo, DVD player and TV in your garage. This way, you can exercise with your favorite music playing in the background. 

Also, you can customize the look and feel to suit your taste. Hang up some favorite items. Make a mural of your favorite inspirational quotes. The point is to make it a part of your fitness place.

Don’t Forget About Safety

Safety is another crucial factor to consider when setting up your gym. Working out at home and a paid or public gym are two different experiences. 

At home, you are solely responsible for ensuring that injuries and accidents are as minimal as possible.

However, if an accident occurs, help may not be near if you exercise alone. 

So, exercise caution and follow some of our garage safety tips.

The floor must be clean, dry, and clutter-free to reduce slips and falls. Install equipment with safety accessories. Check and maintain your equipment regularly, fix any damage, and do not forget to replace worn-out parts.

Also, keep a first aid box handy, easily accessible, but out of the reach of children. A complete first-aid box must have the following items. 

  • A first aid manual
  • Disposable gloves
  • A pair of scissors
  • Sterile wipes
  • Sterile gauzes and wound dressings
  • Some bandages
  • Ice packs
  • Chemical hot/cold packs
  • Thermometer
  • Eyewash
  • Nasal plugs/sponges
  • Cotton swabs
  • Antiseptic
  • Heat/freeze spray
  • Triangular bandage
  • Foil blanket
  • Tape to secure dressings or tape fingers/toes 

Challenges You May Face When Setting up Your Garage Gym

There are a few constraints to setting up a garage gym. Available space and budget are the most crucial of the lot. 

Available Space

The size of your garage and the total space available, including the walls, can be limiting. You may find it hard to fit several machines in a small garage. And there’s also a limit to the hanging capacity of the walls. To circumvent this:

  1. Work towards maximizing the entire space.
  2. Organize your machines and materials to fit the area.
  3. Install panels that provide extra storage. 


Another challenge is the matter of cost. You’d have to work on the flooring, insulation, lighting, and other conditions. It can be pretty daunting if you are starting from scratch. Setting up the gym in stages is a smart way to work around this constraint. Start with the basics and then add more features later. 

Additionally, you’d find that fitness equipment is relatively pricey. You have to be careful here as attempts to cut costs may get you poor quality. So, take care to buy from trusted dealers. Inspect items thoroughly before payment, especially when purchasing used equipment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Essential Fitness Equipment can I get to Set-up my Home Gym?

For starters, you can get a bench press, dumbbells/kettlebells, resistance bands, yoga mats, weight plates, and a jump rope. Getting a pull-up bar can help add more exercises to your range. If your budget permits it, you can purchase a cardio machine.

Q: Do I Need to Get Cardio Equipment?

If you enjoy cardio regimens and can afford to get one, you can. A cardio machine is one of the most expensive gym equipment around. Several types, like the stationary bike, treadmill, and rower, each for various purposes and results.

Final Thoughts

Now you know there’s no need to put your fitness goals on hold, and all you need to do is transform that extra garage space into a gym. With this, you can finally say goodbye to costly gym memberships and having to wait your turn before accessing the equipment you want to use. 

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Tim Wells

Tim Wells, the founder of Garage Transformed, has been featured in dozens of home renovation publications, including BobVila.com, Home Stratosphere, House Digest, Livingetc, and SFGate. Since 2018, he has helped over two million people transform their everyday garages into something they can be proud of. He lives in Central Florida with his wife and bulldog.