What was once an unfinished storage room in the corner of our basement is now the ideal fitness room for us to use as a home gym! There’s a video of the space at the bottom too!
Our basement fitness room is now complete!
Never did I dream it would turn out this nice. That’s because I didn’t really want it to be nice! Here’s the story of how it came to be…
Before: A Storage Room
Before this room was an unfinished corner of our basement with no heating or AC. We used it as a giant storage room where we piled everything from home supplies to holiday decorations.
Note I took this photo the day before work started, so a true before wouldn’t have necessarily had everything piled up in one corner!
It was actually once used for Matt’s beer equipment, which is why it has the big utility sink. The only real purpose it served in recent years was for our alcohol fridge, which holds extra beer and wine.
We needed space for our Peloton and Treadmill
When we bought a Peloton bike this year, it landed in our family room. We knew that would be a temporary spot but we weren’t sure where its final spot would be.
We considered making the kids’ Lego room into a fitness room. (They wouldn’t have liked that.)
I suggested we put the bike in our master bedroom. (Not ideal.)
The storage room seemed like the best option for both the bike and the tread, but the only problem was that it wasn’t heated or cooled.
In the spring and fall it would be fine, but that room would be in the 40s in the winter, and no one wants to shiver through a workout!
We decided the best long-term solution was to add heat and AC
Our basement already has two mini splits that do a great job of conditioning the space, so a third seemed like the best plan.
Thomas then told me we’d need to insulate the whole room, although this was a silver lining because it would help seal the envelope of our house.
Our to-do list grew: add air and add insulation.
I wanted to stop there to save money, but Thomas, as a general contractor, only does things the RIGHT WAY. He said we would definitely need to drywall, paint, and add some kind of floor.
At this point I stepped away from the project and let him do his thing.
I am SO GLAD I did because it turned out way better than I could have imagined!
Here’s what Thomas did to create the fitness room:
- Framed the two exterior walls
- Insulated the two exterior walls
- Hired an industry friend to drywall them (this took 3 days!)
- Painted the whole room, including the back wall with a moisture seal
- Added floor trim
- Hired his electrician to help extend outlets and add a wire for the mini split
- Hired his heating and air company to install the mini split
- Installed the floor (I HELPED!!!)
As you can see, he did some of the work himself and hired out when he didn’t have days to devote to the project. It definitely paid off to have him do some of the work and act as contractor for the project. The whole room cost us about $5,000, with the air being about half of that. Retail value of the room would be around $10,000.
Fitness Room: In Progress
Here’s what it was like each step of the way!
Framing + Insulation
Paint + Trim
We debated various flooring options and ultimately went with a puzzle-style gym floor. (I wanted to skip a floor to save money – I’m glad I got overruled!!)
Thomas researched quite a few options and decided on these BounceBack Rubber Tiles from American Floor Mats in Black. The tiles themselves were about $600 and shipping was $250!!!!! But that’s because they were delivered freight on a palate. Thomas assured me that the tiles themselves were less expensive than others and that made up for the lack of free shipping.
Installing the floor
The floor tiles were easy to install (and actually pretty fun!)
We used a hammer to knock the puzzle pieces into place. I did most of the middle, and Thomas was in charge of measuring and cutting the ends.
We actually hadn’t planned to do the whole room since the back would still be for storage, but we had enough tile to finish the whole space, and I’m so glad we did!
The only con to the floor (so far) is that it had a quite a bit of off-gassing.
We had to keep the windows open and the air purifier on for about a week to get some of the fumes out. That was not something we had through of before choosing this floor, but something to consider! Hopefully the worse fumes are now gone.
We brought the equipment in and had it arranged like this for a while. We considered where to put the fridge and shelves and decided on the best fit for optimizing floor space.
The After Photos
It is SO NICE to keep this door open now that the entire basement is climate controlled! The natural light is a huge bonus for the basement.
We hung this mirror from Target for use during weight lifting.
The equipment arrangement
We stacked the equipment along the back wall to maximize floor space. Plus the treadmill can see the Peloton screen if I ever want to do tread workouts! The red mirror opens the room up and you can see it from both machines.
Here’s the view when I’m doing yoga and weights!
The way the bike is positioned I can see the screen for weights during the class.
We originally had a smaller shelf and the fridge over here but realized how much it was crowding the weights area. So we moved those around and are very happy with how much floor space we now have.
I honestly didn’t think about weights when we planned the room, but that’s another bonus of having a nice floor!
Fridge + Storage
You can see the drink fridge and our coffee table in storage in the back. That coffee table will hopefully move back upstairs someday when our toddler is a little older!
Note the new mini split on the wall!
Standing at the back of the room near the fridge –
We have tons of storage shelves to grow into!
On the left we have our weights and mats, some cleaning supplies to wipe down the bike, face towels for sports, and extra paper towels for the kitchen.
On the right we have household tools, batteries, and odds and ends. Cords. And extra paint cans for our walls.
I am finally using my foam roller on a regular basis! We have also used this space as a family for some group meditation – more on that in a separate post!
Before + Afters
Note the gold-dipped light bulbs. The gold bottoms help keep the bulbs from hurting your eyes (without us having to replace all 3 lights with light-filtering caps.) Here is a link to them: Globe Electric Bulbs.
Here’s the video to see it live!