The technical team behind Modulr Space share some valuable insights in this guide to buying a garden gym:
Over the last few months, about 90% of enquiries to Modulr Space Ltd have been to discuss the possibility of using a Modulr Space unit as a home gym. This indicates that even with the prospect of restrictions easing soon, people are still nervous about the possibility of exercising in a commercial gym environment. Instead, they are considering utilising part of their garden to create a gym at home.
There is a lot to think about when buying a garden room, particularly when buying one to be used as a gym. When we are working with clients, we encourage them to think about these key aspects to ensure they end up with a building that works for them:
1. How tall should your garden gym be?
- What exercise do you like to do?
- Do you want to be able to lift your arms above your head?
- Are you tall and want to use a treadmill?
Most garden rooms are designed to fall within Permitted Development, which means that they can only be 2.5 meters tall if sited within 2m of any boundary. If you have more space – as long as your garden room is positioned at least 2 meters from any boundary, you can increase the ceiling height by building a dual pitched roof building that can have a maximum ridge height of 4m under the Permitted Development rules.
The height of the building is important when buying a garden gym. A 2.5m high building offers not much over 2m of internal floor to ceiling height. So, if you intend to lift weights above your head – you will need to do that outside. If you are over 6ft – even running on a treadmill will be tricky because of the head height when you take into account the raised running platform.
Here at Modulr Space Ltd, we work with Structural Engineers Perega, and we have come up with a structural solution that offers the opportunity of creating a taller garden gym building. Our structural solution means that customers looking for more height can consider excavating the ground and effectively increasing the height by digging down. The building remains within 2.5-meter height allowance, but the overall height inside the building is taller. This is a more costly option – but an effective one – unless you want to go down the planning route for a taller building.
2. Do you need the floor reinforcing?
If you are planning on adding a lot of equipment to your garden gym, you should consider whether you might need the floor reinforcing. At Modulr Space Ltd – like several other garden room companies – our structures are made from SIPS panels to ensure the best insulative performance. If a very heavy weight was dropped on a SIPS floor, not only would it damage the underfloor heating (if specified, as is standard in Modulr Space units) – it would also potentially damage the structure of the floor. We have developed some simple yet highly effective solutions for reinforcing the floor structure of our gym buildings. Ensuring that it will withstand heavy weights and impacts.
3. Ensure your gym can be used all year round
Let's face it, going outside to exercise in winter is not a great deal of fun! Having a purpose-built room at the end of the garden that can be comfortably used all year round is a much nicer option!
You want to buy a garden room building that is going to be warm in winter and cool in summer. This means it needs to be well insulated. Not all buildings marketed as garden rooms are exceptionally well insulated.
We take insulation levels seriously, so our Modulr Space structures have insulative U-values that exceed those set out by Building Regulations for new build dwellings. This means that they are energy efficient and warm in winter, but they are also cool in summer. We can also specify Kvadrat Shade blinds which reflect solar gain helping to keep our units cool and comfortable in the summer.
4. Think about how the building will look in your garden
If you are going to sacrifice part of your garden for a garden room, no matter what you intend to use it for – it needs to look good and fit in with its natural surroundings. At Modulr Space Ltd, we use sustainable, natural building materials, including Expanded Cork (Carbon Negative) and Accoya, which look stunning in any environment.
5. One building can serve different uses
Many of the people we speak to are wanting to create a garden building that can be used as both a gym and home office. This is relatively easy to achieve with a large garden room but is a little more tricky for smaller ones. Our H+H M7 unit would be ideal for this type of dual usage. With two rooms, you could have a gym on one side and an office on the other.
6. Garden gyms don't have to be big buildings
If you have a couple of pieces of equipment, our My Space M3 would be an ideal solution. The wall of floor to ceiling glazing offering you great views of your garden as you work out! We have had several queries in relation to Peloton bikes and reformer pilates bed combinations.
7. Future proof your investment
Consider other uses for your unit. Just because you want it to be gym now – doesn't mean that you can't consider using it further down the line for another purpose. Modulr Space units are built with a 20-year structural warranty, and though they are an investment – they are built to stand the test of time and look beautiful and work well for several years. Installing a decent garden room can add real value to your home when you come to sell.
8. Specialist gym advice
If you would like advice about the equipment for your gym or its layout, we work with a specialist gym equipment supplier and can often organise a discount on items.
However, you decide to use a Modulr Space unit – you can be assured that you have invested in a functional, beautiful, warm and built-to-last garden building. We do not use concrete foundations (unless you decided to dig down into the ground, see point 1) and use only recyclable and sustainable materials where we can.