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How to Plan a Home Gym

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Article_ScottTip home gym

 

Thinking of putting a gym somewhere in your house? Don’t just toss some equipment into an empty space and call it a home gym. There are a few special considerations to keep in mind to minimize risk and maximize your return on investment.

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The Basement is Best

The basement is the best place for a home gym in order to reduce noise transmission from the equipment. If you’ve got a treadmill or other noisy machine there’s less chance the rest of the household will hear it while it’s in use if it’s in the basement rather than upstairs – particularly if you’ve soundproofed properly with two layers of Roxul.

 

Ceiling Height

Ceilings need to be high enough for gym equipment and whatever you might be doing on it (i.e. running or jumping). A minimum of  8’ is highly recommended.

 

Flooring

Flooring is very important in home gyms. Heavy equipment can mark floors; there’s a good chance sweat or water drips will make their way onto it; and there will be times when you want to lie on the floor to stretch (or rest!). So both comfort and practicality are key.

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‘Reno to Reveal Callout’

Since Andrew may want to convert the space into a home office or bedroom in the future he opted for something that can stand up to the wear and tear inflicted by a home gym, but will still look good when the space gets converted. Vinyl plank was the obvious choice for practicality and longevity. The DryBarrier subfloor underneath can also withstand weight up to 11,500 lbs per square foot.

R2R Gym 2

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Power

Depending on the amount of power equipment and the sizes of the pieces you might need to consider dedicated electrical circuits. Consult your contractor and/or electrician during the planning process to make sure you’ve addressed this issue.

 

Size

When planning a home gym it’s important to know how many pieces of major equipment you’ll have along with their sizes. Create a floor plan to make sure you’ve got enough room for all the pieces and clearance space around them.

 

R2R Gym Plan

 

Ventilation

A room without ventilation isn’t a great idea for a home gym. Since it tends to get hot and humid as you work out you ideally want a room with at least one window that can be opened to allow air to circulate, or air conditioning to keep you cool. If that’s not possible a ceiling fan can also do the trick.

 

Storage

Make sure to incorporate storage for small pieces of equipment like dumbbells, skipping ropes, or  workout videos – whatever may be a part of your fitness plan. You also want somewhere to put down drinks. And include some hooks for towels, jackets and robes.

 

Mirrors

Mirrors in gyms aren’t just for admiring your physique  – they’re important for helping the exerciser to stay balanced and work on their form. Ideally you want a mirror that covers an entire wall from floor to ceiling.

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‘Reno to Reveal Callout’

In Andrew’s basement a frame was installed around the mirror. This was done not just for decorative reasons, but so that if something hits the side of the mirror it would ding the the frame instead of the glass – which could be costly to fix or replace.

R2R Gym Mirror

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Lighting

Lighting plays an important role in home gyms. You need to have enough to make it bright and safe, but it’s also nice to have the option of dimming the lights for more relaxing activities like yoga. Pot lights with dimmers is a nice way to get the best of both worlds.

 

Style

One of the most important things to do when designing a home gym is to make it a space you want to be in. Keep it in the style of the rest of your home and add the comforts and conveniences that will make you want to spend time there. For some people that means a big TV and great stereo system, while for others it’s a more soothing, spa-like environment.

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‘Reno to Reveal Callout’

Putting art on the walls in a small home gym can be risky as it can get knocked around or even fall off the walls. In this case a vibrant colored mural was painted on the walls in place of art in order to liven things up and energize the space.

R2R Gym Mural

 

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Don’t put too much stock in trades who give free estimates over the phone. A plumber or electrician can’t properly diagnose an issue unless it’s in person. A free estimate given over the phone is likely to go up significantly once he or she is on-site.