Home Gyms – Build a Gym in Your Garage!

Gardening equipment, DIY stuff, painting and decorating equipment, bikes, scooters. These are all things that are stored in the average British garage. One thing that only about 25% of people in the UK store in theirs is a car.

This is partly because cars are much harder to steal or damage than they used to be, so it’s safe to park the car on the street or in a driveway. But it’s also because the modern cars of today are considerably bigger than they were when most of our housing stock was built (back when Minis really were … mini). Consequently, garages represent a great space to be repurposed for something really useful.


When garages are repurposed it’s often into an office, den or granny annexe. But a fast-growing trend is to convert your garage into a fantastic home gym.

Why convert your garage into a gym?

  • Saves money. Over the last few years, gym fees have increased dramatically. Now, in the time of Coronavirus, gym prices are all over the place, with many gyms slashing fees and some increasing them! Either way, it’s hard to predict what you might be paying a year from now.
  • Saves time. Journeying to-and-from from your local high-street gym every day can really eat into your time. Wouldn’t it be better if you could roll right out of bed and straight into the gym?
  • Personalisation. High-street gyms have a very wide range of equipment, which is fantastic. But, in reality, most of us only use a fairly small fraction of the equipment. And normally we stick to preferred gym routines. Whilst we recommend mixing up gym routines as far as possible, chances are you’ll never need everything your gym actually offers. So why pay for it?
  • Social distancing and cleanliness. At the time of writing, gyms are exploring new and innovative ways to keep their spaces clean. However, it’s not yet clear how effective these measures will be in controlling germs.

How to convert your garage into a gym

There are as many ways to turn your garage into a gym as there are definitions of “gym”. We believe there are a few main “types” of gym, which can be mixed and matched to any degree.

  • The “classic” gym: this is most people’s idea of a gym. It has exercise machines including cross-trainers, bikes, treadmills and often a free weights area.
  • The “functional” gym. Moving beyond the traditional setup, the functional gym focuses on full-body workouts.
  • The “holistic” gym. This is a gym that’s designed as a sanctuary to decompress and unwind from busy lives. It will focus on yoga space, Pilates equipment and energising design to bring balance, harmony and boost mental health.

How to design a garage gym

The first thing to do is find out who will be using the gym. It need not just be for the adults. Kids and senior family members should be fully taken into account too.

Here at motive8, when we start to design a gym, we first find out all about the family that’s going to use it. Which family members will use the gym? Kids? Seniors? Anybody with any special requirements including disabilities or sport rehabilitation needs?

We try to discover if there are opportunities for providing a gym that’s ideal for all family members who might not normally use a gym. We want the gym to be as inclusive as possible, whilst at the same time ensuring it is a space that will be used every day.

Is my garage big enough?

Surprisingly, garage gyms can fit into quite small garages. The size of British garages ranges from 2.4m x 4.9m on the smaller end to 3m x 6.1m on the larger side.

If your garage is on the smaller end of the scale, then you will still have enough room to convert your garage into a gym.

Of course, if you are lucky enough to have a double garage that is available for conversion, then you will certainly have ample space for a garage gym.

How much does it cost?

The answer, of course, is it depends. At motive8 we specialise in high-quality conversions with equipment that has been tried-and-tested, combined with expert, experienced consultation. Our garage gyms range from £10,000 upwards.

Do I need planning permission?

Providing the conversion does not alter the shape or size of your garage space, it’s unlikely that you will need planning permission for the project as it will be classed as a permitted development. If it does alter the footprint of your garage, then, although planning permission is most likely not needed, it’s best to consult with your local planning officer.

Is it a noisy, messy process?

Inevitably there will be some disruption, as often garage conversions require the installation of flooring, fixed equipment and lighting. However, it’s usually a less disruptive process than other conversions such as loft conversions or extensions.

How do I keep my garage gym in tip-top condition?

As with all gyms, garage gyms will need some maintenance. We would recommend a thorough clean-down of the whole space at least once per month and wiping of equipment touch points after each use. Use an anti-bac spray to clean each piece of equipment. If you use motive8 to convert your garage, we’ll provide advice on how to maintain your equipment to ensure it lasts for years.

Will a garage gym add value to my home?

The simple answer is: don’t think of a gym in your home as a “value-add” when selling. There are other improvements that can be made that will add more value. However, there is of course a certain pool of buyers that will be impressed by a well-designed gym. So, whilst the garage gym won’t add value to your home, it could tip the balance if a specific buyer is interested.

How to get started

Have we whetted your appetite to turn your garage into a gym – whether it’s a holistic relaxation space or a full-body functional workout space? If so, please do contact us on 0800 028 0198 to get a free consultation with our expert home gym installation team. And don’t forget to take a look at our previous projects.

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest


Elena Musgrave

Gym & Spa Area Manager

After several years in the fitness industry, both as a Personal Trainer and in Operations, Elena has joined motive8 as a Gym and Spa Area Manager and looks after the day-to-day operations of two Motive8 sites, ensuring we maintain the high brand standards expected by the residents and motive8’s clients. Away from work, Elena enjoys spinning and running as well as long hiking adventures, preferably in hot, tropical destinations.

Monika Blaziak

Gym Maintenance Co-ordinator Manager

Monika is the Gym Maintenance Co-ordinator Manager for all gym and pool/leisure equipment and has a background in maintenance and accounts administration for property development companies.

Monika’s skills include accounting, IT and of course the backbone of all busy administration roles, multi-tasking!

In her spare time she likes to spend her free time with her dog Cezar, walking through parks and forests and also likes to relax with a good book at the end of the day. Monika is also interested in psychology, which she is currently studying.

Nick Sadler

Managing Director

Nick Sadler is the Founding Director of motive8 and has worked in the industry for 18 years. He has worked as the lead Gym and Spa consultant on projects across all sectors on a number of prestigious schemes with developers, architects, interior design agencies and managing agents. His expertise and consultancy on projects have ensured that the original design concepts are always met or exceeded whilst maintaining the future operational efficiency of the facility.

Jenny Cromack


Jenny’s specialism’s are fat loss and endurance training, she has a proven record in helping clients to lose weight, change their body image and simply feel amazing about themselves! Having seen what we can achieve with clients on a 1:1 basis, Jenny transfers these skills to be able to impact the health and wellbeing of corporate clients and groups.

A keen duathlete and triathlete, Jenny has recently started representing Great Britain for her age group. So, if she isn’t at work she will be cycling, swimming or running somewhere!

Sarah Cleland-Smith


Sarah has worked in the fitness industry for 17 years and is a co-owner of motive8. She has worked across all areas of the business, predominantly the day to day operations of the Gym and Spa facilities we currently manage on behalf of our clients. She has a key understanding of how design must meet operational requirements, ensuring the client and end user receive the best possible service and ongoing running costs are considered in the design. Her current focus is project management and financials.

Richard Moon


Richard has headed up the motive8 maintenance team for the past 12 years and became a Director and co-owner of the business in 2016. He provides service contracts and maintenance for all motive8 equipped facilities to ensure longevity and value for the client. The maintenance department currently services in excess of 200 sites in the UK. He works with the client and their onsite team to provide H&S best practice which includes daily checks of the facility. Richard also manages motive8 gym installations, ensuring equipment and design are delivered on time, safely and to a high standard.

Rob Clarke


Rob has worked in the leisure industry all of his working life and brings with him a huge amount of experience from the commercial leisure sector. He has provided consultancy to the majority of the country’s leading developers, architects and property management companies and is widely considered as one of the leading experts in residential leisure facilities.

Rob’s role at motive8 is a varied one and involves business development, overseeing the maintenance and management departments whilst also consulting on a variety of client projects.

Outside of the office, you will often find Rob walking his beloved Labrador in Windsor Great Park. Rob also enjoys travelling and spending time with his family.

Nikki Spratley

IQ coordinator

Nikki has always had a passion for helping people and after spending a number of years working in and running the Gym & Spa department, an opportunity to develop and grow motive8’s training division presented itself and so Nikki moved from overseeing the Gym & Spa team and managed sites to developing the training of our own team along with those from outside of motive8.

Outside of motive8, Nikki continues to work at a sports massage clinic helping her clients with various injuries along with making time for her own fitness and wellbeing.

Margaret Hamya


Margaret is our bookkeeper and joined the company in March of 2017.
She enjoys working on multiple projects within the finance department and uses her professional qualification in Finance and Accounting to generate the financial reports used by different stakeholders within the company.

In her spare time she gets involved in different life activities like spending time with family and friends and enjoys cooking.

Rolstone Langmead

Logistics & Gym Install Manager

Joining motive8 back in 2013 with the Gym & Spa department, Rolstone brought his experience from the customer service industry as well as 8 years’ experience as a personal trainer, the knowledge of which was spread into the department.

Rolstone now manages motive8 gym installations, ensuring equipment and design are delivered on time, safely and to a high standard. Providing H&S best practice and service support to our customers for all our products with the aid of our team of engineers. Rolstone is also working with our Maintenance team that currently services in excess of 200 sites in the UK to ensure longevity and value for the client.

Albert Spangenberg

Refurb and Technicians Manager

Albert started his career in facility maintenance and operations; he is now motive8’s Refurb and Technicians Manager. Albert launched a new department providing refurbished gym equipment to rent or buy which his background in mechanical engineering and manufacturing perfectly suits. He has worked in the fitness industry for the past 17 years. Albert is meticulous about how the equipment is maintained and is always looking at ways to improve the service motive8 can offer to their clients.

In his spare time he likes spend quality time with the family and work on mechanical projects.

Kamil Reyad

Maintenance Admin Assistant

Kamil is a recent law graduate with a background in customer service and sales, working within the maintenance administration team. His skills include IT, Multi-tasking and customer service.

In his spare time he enjoys going to the gym, boxing, practicing MMA, playing guitar, reading and gaming.

Alice Ward


Alice has been in the fitness industry for over 15 years, one of her first places of work being motive8! Since then, Alice has gone on to work for some of the leading U.K gym providers and most recently managed a large corporate gym in Surrey, implementing innovative fitness trends and overseeing the health and wellbeing of the clients, alongside opening a second corporate club and managing a team of personal trainers and instructors. A keen interest in health and fitness drives Alice outside of work, spending regular time working out in the gym, outdoors or at home.

Kim Mead

Gym & Spa Design

Kim’s career began in the property industry, where she spent a number of years working for both estate agents and developers, giving her a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge of how the industry functions.

Kim has worked alongside Nick for the past 11 years and transforms his ideas & designs into 3D visuals and 2D floor layouts via CAD & Visio in line with the architect’s requirements. She brings together all project documentation including equipment specifications, quotes & project drawings. Once finalised and agreed, Kim procures all the required equipment.

In her spare time, Kim loves playing tennis, cooking and travelling.

Sally Ottewell

Gym & Spa Consultant

Sally has over 10 years’ experience in sales. She has worked within the communications industry for 12 years and made the move to motive8 because of her love for all things fitness.

Sally is passionate about gym and spa design and takes pride in each individual project, whether that be residential, corporate, commercial or within the hotel market. She consults, designs layouts and provides product advice on schemes nationwide with a range of developers, designers, project managers and private clients.

She enjoys being active, is a regular gym goer and has practiced yoga since being a teenager, qualifying to teach it in 2014.

Emma Jackson


Emma has recently joined the Gym and Spa Team, after graduating from the University of Nottingham with a masters in Product Design and Manufacture Engineering.
She is experienced in CAD, creating 3D visuals and has extensive design knowledge, which she’s now using to design gym and spa facilities.

In her spare time Emma enjoys travelling, cooking and spending time with her family and dogs.

Ashley Wright

Head of Gym & Spa Management

Ashley moved back to the UK after working as a singer in production shows around Europe. Starting in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer, Ashley joined Motive8 as an Area Manager in 2019 before moving into the role of Head of Gym and Spa Management. Ashley oversees the Gym and Spa Department ensuring a high standard of service is met for the residents and motive8’s clients.

Away from work, Ashley still teaches spin classes at a number of gyms across London and enjoys cooking and travelling.

Josh Remedios

Gym & Spa Area Manager

Josh has worked for motive8 since 2013 after graduating from University of Portsmouth. He has worked his way up through the gym and spa department from Spa Operative, to Supervisor, Manager and now Area Manager. Josh works with the managers he oversees to provide facilities residents can enjoy as an extension to their homes as well as working closely with the estate management companies to ensure the standards at all sites remain high.

Outside of motive8 Josh is a keen on his travelling and adding to a growing list of countries he has visited as well as being passionate about his own fitness and football.

Lauren Alford

Gym & Spa Area Manager

Starting in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer with a specialism for pre and post-natal exercise, Lauren moved into management and now oversees the running of several of motive8’s fully managed gym & spa contracts. Lauren deals with the day-to-day operations of these sites whilst ensuring a high standard of service is met for the residents and motive8’s clients.

Away from work, Lauren is a holistic therapist and yoga teacher. Having previously competed in multiple martial art disciplines, she still enjoys practicing them as part of her weekly workout routine.

Will Thompson


Will has worked in the leisure industry for 12 years. During this time, he has held many different roles all over the country in many different sectors of the leisure industry.
Will joined the motive8 team in August 2019 as Gym and Spa manager where he excelled and has since been promoted into the area manager role.

In his spare time Will enjoys spending time with friends and family and open water swimming in Shepperton lakes.

Kate Halsall

Personal Trainer & Biomechanics Coach

Kate is an enthusiastic personal trainer, and qualified biomechanics coach, who specialises in posture and back care. She has worked in the industry since 2009, and her other specialisms include weight/fat loss, group exercise and working with specialist populations.

On top of that, Kate loves working with groups of pregnant ladies as she is also pre and post-natal qualified! Exercise is a real passion of hers, and she can often be found riding her bike, going to fitness weekends, walking in the lake district – and she’s recently started participating in cycling sportives.

When it comes to advice, she claims “give it a try – what’s the worst that could happen?” is her greatest piece.

Emily Forbes

Personal Trainer

Emily is motive8’s in-house nutritionist, and doesn’t stop at just being a great personal trainer. Her effective programming and nutritional advice is highly popular and aimed at helping clients achieve a variety of fitness goals.

Not only is Emily passionate about nutrition though, as she also loves strength training and Yoga. She takes a holistic approach to exercise, nutrition and health as a whole, which no doubt makes for a recipe for success across the board.

Her greatest piece of advice is simply “consistency…this will help you achieve your goals for the long term.”

Warren Killeen

Head of Maintenance

Warren started his career as an Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration engineer servicing a wide range of commercial and industrial systems. He has over 20 years’ experience in the FM industry working for major players across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. With his technical and hands-on experience, Warren has always been happy to roll his sleeves up and get involved with works on sites when needed. In Warren’s spare time he enjoys DIY, quizzing and country walks. He is also involved with helping at his local Irish club organising charity fundraising nights and other events.