What to Consider When Turning Your Summerhouse into a Home Gym

If keeping fit is your thing, there really isn’t a better way to stick to your fitness regime when your workout space is on your doorstep and literally in your back garden.

A quick trip across the lawn to an area of your very own to exercise, as and when, to your heart’s content.

Just think…

* No membership fees
* No commuting
* No sweaty bodies
* No prying eyes
* No waiting for the cross trainer

Throw open the windows and doors of your summerhouse and enjoy the fresh air, the view of your garden and getting back to nature. You really can’t beat that for a fantastic mood booster. So much more preferable than the view of a line of wobbly butts on exercise bikes in front of you.

Granted, some initial outlay will be involved with the cost of the summerhouse and equipment. But this really is balanced out when you think of the money you will be saving in the longterm on expensive membership fees and the cost of commuting.

And you really don’t have to spend a fortune. You can tailor the space to your needs, from the full monty with all the latest equipment to just a few mats and weights to spend time doing yoga or pilates.

So, what are the things to consider when turning a summerhouse into a gym?

Size of Summerhouse

Obviously budget is a consideration and this will determine the size of the summerhouse and how much equipment you plan to use in it.

Check the proportions of the equipment you are wanting to give you an idea of the floorspace you will need. And don’t forget to consider the headspace too if you are planning on getting taller equipment like steppers.

For example:

Mercia Vermont Summerhouse with Bi-Folding Doors 3m x 2.4m – tall apex roof with plenty of height for a stepper and good floor space for a selection of equipment. The full length, wide bi-fold doors across the front are great to throw open to give you sense of being outside while you work out.

Do consider a summerhouse with double doors – it will make life a lot easier when getting the equipment inside!


Having plenty of windows to help ventilate the summerhouse while you are working is always a good idea, especially as the temperatures rise in the summer.

And air vents are also worth considering to help the air circulate in the summerhouse. Two need to be installed towards the top of opposite walls – one to draw cool air in from outside and one to dispel the warm, moist air, creating a drier atmosphere.


If you’re wanting to use your gym all year round – which, to be honest, you really should if you want to maintain your honed physique! – you need to think about insulating your summerhouse to maintain a pleasant temperature.

It’s worth remembering that up to 70% of heat is lost through the roof and the floor. So fitting roof insulation above the roof boards and floor insulation under the floorboards and joists is definitely worth doing.

See my blog How to Insulate a Log Cabin for advice on how to do this.


It’s important to ensure the summerhouse is built on a solid, flat concrete base or paving slabs that will take the weight of both the building and the gym equipment.

It would also be worth adding additional wooden floor bearers under the summerhouse to compensate for the extra weight, especially if you are going to be using heavy equipment.

And don’t forget to protect the wooden floor boards inside from damage. Heavy duty rubber floor tiles are just the job to add additional insulation and absorb the shock of weights that are dropped, preventing dents and damage.


Having an electricity supply in your summerhouse gym is a must if you are wanting to add heaters, lighting, a music system and tv and to run any electrical gym equipment.

See my blog How to Run Electricity to your Log Cabin Summerhouse for advice on this.


With your summerhouse now housing a lot of expensive gym equipment, security is important.

Window and door locks – ensure they met your insurer’s standards (BS 3621 is usually cited)

Solid weatherproof padlocks

An alarm linked to your house

Blinds or curtains to keep prying eyes out when the gym is not in use

How to Deck Your Gym Out

Obviously, it’s entirely up to you how you want your gym to look and what equipment you’re going to use. You can tailor it completely to your needs with as little or as much as you want.

This could include:

* Mirrors on the walls
* Clocks for timing sets
* Music system
* TV screen
* Small fridge to keep cold refreshments or energy drinks
* Yoga mats for stretching and floor exercises

And it’s worth remembering it doesn’t have to cost a fortune investing in equipment – you can be economical by checking out Ebay, Facebook or plenty of other second hand sites!

With all things considered, what’s not to like about having your very own gym in your garden!

About the author

Jo is the face of Jack's Garden Store and has led our customer service for more than a decade. If you have a garden product question, she's got the answer! Unless she hasn't, in which case she'll call you back when she does...

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