Cost Breakdown Of a Garage Gym

garage remoddeling costs

According to a recent study, the average American spends $58 on a gym membership each month.

Although this amount doesn’t seem like much, in another study, it was found that Millennials spend an average of $140,000 over a lifetime on health and fitness. This is more than the cost of 4-years at college!

The prospect of this kind of expense is making people consider building a gym at home. However, a lot of people don’t know how much they need to spend to create a home gym and if the cost is even worth it.

Building a home gym can have a pretty high initial investment; however, over the long run, it will save you tens of thousands of dollars in money.

So let us take a look at the breakdown of a garage gym at your home.

Gym Membership Costs Vs Home Gym Equipment Costs

idea for garage gym

A traditional gym membership in the United States can cost you an average of about $700 per year.

However, here is something many of you won’t have considered: these numbers do not include additional costs like the gym registration fee, annual fees, cost of transportation to and from the gym, and the cost of accessories you take to the gym, including apparel, water bottles, gym mats, and more.

So, if the cost of a traditional gym membership is $696 per year, how does it compare to a home gym cost? Let us find out. But first let us look at the numbers of a traditional gym, CrossFit gym, and home gym.

Traditional Gym Cost

As we mentioned above, the average gym cost in 2020 in the U.S. was $58 per month. This means an expense of $6,960 in 10 years. Keep in mind that this amount does not include the inflation factor, which would make your expense even higher.

CrossFit Gym Cost

Boutique and CrossFit gyms are way more expensive than your basic gym. You must have family and friends who spend between $100 to $200 a month on a CrossFit membership.

In fact, according to a recent survey, the average membership of a CrossFit Affiliate in the United States costs about $155, which translates to about $1860. If you multiple this amount by 10, that’s a whopping $18,600 for a 10-year membership — without calculating rise in cost!

As inflation increases, this cost is expected to rise every year.

Home Gym Cost

costs of home gym

Unfortunately, not much accurate data has been found on people who have built gyms in their home. However, the research we conducted suggested that most people spend within a range of $1000 to $10,000 with the average home gym cost around $4000 on a basement or garage gym set up.

If you work out regularly, having a gym at home can cut your costs drastically.

Although you can always join a gym, these memberships are not just expensive but also limiting in term so the time of days and the equipment you want to use to work out. Additionally, if you use a home gym regularly, it will pay off its cost and the cost of the equipment in the form of saved gym fees.

Comparison Table

 Total Average Cost  After 1 YearTotal Average Cost  After 10 Year
Traditional Gym$696$6960
CrossFit Gym$1860$18600
Home Gym$4000$4000

Additional Hidden Costs

If you want to turn your garage into a gym and require remodeling, this will require further investment on your part. You can expect to pay about $6,000 to $11,000 to remodel a garage, including finishing the space, and installing heating, electricity, and plumbing.

This cost is excluding the cost of equipment.

Home Gym Lighting

The best place to create a gym is where you can have plenty of natural lighting. However, if your garage does not have that much natural lighting, or if you want to exercise during the night, we recommend that you install lighting fixtures at your home gym.

If you want to go cheap, you can add some 500k LED lighting, which mimic natural sunlight, for under $100. Even a minor upgrade like this can make a huge difference in the ambience of the garage.

If you want to really brighten things up, you can make an added budget of $300 to $800 for recessed lighting. If your garage is being remodeled from scratch, this is a good route to take.

Home Gym Flooring

flooring for homegym

The very first option for flooring is to do nothing at all. An excellent home gym can be built on bare cement or wooden floor your garage. If you take this route, it will cost you approximately $0.

However, if you do prefer some sort of flooring, then the next most cost-effective option are carpet remnants. You can buy a full carpet remnant at around $100 and there are hundreds of gyms in the United States that use old carpet to cover their floor.

If you require some traction for your gym shoes and a degree of resilience and resistance from your flooring, you can opt for a rubber floor. Rubber flooring is also durable, soft, and safe, so you can prevent injury if you fall on it.

Rubber flooring can be rolled out or it can be installed in the form of tiles.

Typically, the cost of rubber flooring per square foot is anywhere between $2 to $12, depending on its quality and type of installation. If you want to remain on the cheap but good quality side, you can get a nice, low-odor rubber flooring for just $4.

If you order roll-out rubber flooring, you will also not need to deal with the installation cost. You can just roll it out on your gym floor and be done.

Another cost-effective option is foam tiles that can be quickly installed over all kinds of flooring including cement, wood, and tile. Foam flooring can cost anywhere between $0.50 to $5 square foot and it has a DIY installation.

Vinyl flooring is another material which is resilient enough to handle most workouts. Plus it comes in a variety of colors and patterns and cost an average of $2 to $8 square foot.

Polished concrete is also a good option and can cost you anywhere between $1,500 to $3,800, depending on the size of your gym. However, keep in mind that although his flooring is very durable, it does not make for a soft fall.

Electric Wiring

If your garage does not have enough power to operate all your gym machines, you can upgrade your electrical panel which can cost your anywhere between $500 to $2,100. You will also need to hire an electrician to install additional outlets and get sufficient amperage. This can cost you a further $160 to $500.

Air Circulation and Ventilation

Garages can be stuffy place so it is important that you add some air circulation and ventilation to your gym. Typically, the price of an HVAC unit is around $2000 to $5000. If you don’t want to pay that much, you can simply install a ceiling fan for between $140 and $350.

If your garage has the tendency to get humid, you can also install a dehumidifier for the price of $1,300 to $3,800.

Average Costs of Equipment

costs of equipment for home fitness

Aside from the cost of your garage remodeling, you will also need to consider the cost of the equipment for your gym.


A squat rack is essential to your gym and if you are a regular gym user, this rack will be one of the most used equipment in the room.

The squat rack can help you squat safely when you are using barbells. The rack allows you to move the weight up and down easily and allow you to shift your bar on the rack once you are finished.

On average, a squat rack can cost you anywhere between $200 to $400. If you are on a budget, you can try a rack that falls on the lower side of this range. However, steer clear of $50 or $100 racks as they won’t hold up and are an injury risk in the gym.

If money is not an issue though, you can get top quality racks for $600 to up to $2000.

If you want professionals to assemble your squat rack, you have to pay further $70 to $90.


The barbell is another very important piece of equipment in your gym and it can be sold for a wide range of prices, starting from as low as $100 and going up to $1,500 and even more.

Most people go for low-priced barbells and have a good experience with them; however, you need to make sure the manufacturers are reliable and the barbell has adequate tensile strength. Otherwise, they are a safety risk.

If you are beginner user, you can start with a basic bar that comes around $100 with a low load capacity. However, you may want to upgrade to a better bar in a few months, which can cost you around $300 to $350.

If you want to compete, you should start saving up since a competition barbell can cost you around $1000.


Plates are the weights that you stack on your barbell, even though you can use them independently of it as well. Most commonly, plates come in sizes ranging from 3 pounds to 25 pounds or even more. On average a set of iron plates can cost between $100 to $150.

However, bumper plates can be more expensive with a medium-prized 300lb to 400lb bumper plates costing around $450 to $700. If you want to go to the high end, you can also find plates for as much as $1,500. However, we believe when it comes to plates, the lower the price the better since plates are still plates and their low quality does not pose cause for concerns.


You can use bench in conjunction with racks to perform exercises like the bench press. Benches are also useful for dumbbell and barbell exercises and well as for bodyweight exercises and come in a variety of forms, including flat, inclined and adjustable. A basic bench can cost around $50 but you can also get a good quality bench at $200.

Buying a quality bench is essential for your safety; having said that, it doesn’t mean you should spend a fortune on one either. There are benches in the market which cost anywhere between $800 to $1,000, but a reasonably prices bench will serve you just as well.

If you want a professional to assemble your bench, it can cost a further $50 to $60.


Dumbbells are smaller weights which are designed ot be held in each hand and work smaller muscles groups in the arms and upper body. Dumbbells sizes start from 1 pound and go as high as 50 pounds. These are some of the most affordable gym equipment you can buy and can cost anywhere from $2 to $50 for a a set of two.

You can also buy a full set of dumbbells for as much as $150 to $300 depending on how many pieces are in the set.

For recreational gym users, though, a set of standard dumbbells retailing at $0.10 per pound are a good investment. However, if you can afford to spend a little more, you can find an adjustable set between $100 and $150.


kettlebells in a row

Kettlebells are balls of weight with a looped handle. These can be lifted, swung and curled and they offer versatility when it comes to weightlifting. They come in the same sizes as dumbbells though you can purchase them as a single item, in pairs, or in sets.

They can cost anywhere between $20 to $200, depending on their weight.

Cardio Machines

Cardio machines come in a wide variety of forms. You can choose not to include cardio machines in your gym; however, if you do want to get them, they can range in cost anywhere from $20 to over $1500.

Treadmill: Treadmills come in powered form as well as manual which simply consist of a belt on a set of rollers. Treadmills can come with a lot of setting and options which is why they are offered in a wide range of costs. A basic treadmill starts around $400 and its assembly can cost a further $125 to $200.

Elliptical Machine: Elliptical machines are equipped with pedals and levers that you can operate with your arms. Like treadmills, they can also come with a lot of settings and programs or just be very basic. Elliptical machines usually start around $300.

An elliptical machine’s assembly cost is around $90 to $150.

Exercise Bike: Exercise bikes come in many forms. There are exercise bikes which allow you to lean back or sit upright. There are some which also come with resistance wheels or hand pedals. A basic exercise bike starts around $300, but can cost a whole lot more depending on the features you want in it.

An exercise bike’s assembly cost is around $90 to $150.

Battle Rope: The average cost of a battle rope is around $75.

Speed Rope: A speed rope is a very simple and effective way to get some cardio done. The starting price of speed rope is around $20.

Air Rower: Air rowers are typically equipped with a sliding seat and a pulley or chain that turns a tub of water or a fan. However, some less expensive models come with stationary seats and handles that can move against different resistance. Basic air rowers start from around $250.

Used vs New

Sometimes, you may be lucky enough to get good quality second-hand gym equipment online from places like eBay and Craig’s List. This equipment is listed  by people who don’t need to use it anywhere and are looking for ways to recoup some of their cost.

However, there are some things that you are better off getting brand new, like your barbells. However, there shouldn’t be an issue getting all your weights second hand.

Just make sure the equipment you buy is in good condition.

Where To Find Gym Equipment?

dumbells for home

Thanks to the spike in fitness at home, there are now more and more places to buy your gym equipment. These include:

Amazon: Amazon is a great source for buying gym equipment and offers products for every budget. Although they do not have a lot of very high-end equipment, you can still find thousands of types of gym equipment from good quality brands.

Premium Gym Equipment Makers: There are dozens of brands which offer top quality gym equipment across the US. These include RogueFitness and Global Fitness.

Cheap Equipment vs Quality Equipment

Even though you do not have to bust the bank to get quality gym equipment, very cheap gym equipment tend to be low quality.

There are some equipment that can cost you in the long run if you buy them cheap like your squat rack and barbells. They can result in injury and wastage of hard-earned money. However, equipment like plates and dumbbells can be bought cheap.

Just make sure that if you buy cheap equipment, it is from a reputable company and has all the features you need.

Bottom Line

When you compare the yearly cost of a home gym to the yearly cost of a traditional or CrossFit gym, you can see why the former is worth it.

You may find the initial investment to be a bit daunting, but remember that this is a one-time cost and once your home gym is ready and all the equipment bought, you will need to spend virtually $0 for several years, if you use it right.

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