Project: garage to man cave

Burgundy

Forum GOD!
I’ve been hankering to turn our single garage into a home gym and figured now’s as good a time as any. It’s too small to fit a family car and my wife can’t/won’t park her supermini in there so all it’s used for to date is to store a bike, car and bike maintenance and cleaning stuff, the previous owner’s forgotten crap - oh, and spiders.

The garage is single brick to the one side and rear and breeze block to the other where it adjoins a neighbour’s. It’s boarded out to create ‘attic’ storage space. There’s damp coming through the rear wall and there’s no power to it. It’s a bit of a pig - clearly built to a price - but I’m excited to have a crack at it. On the plus side, I replaced the garage door last year.

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I’m off work tomorrow so will have a bit of a crack at it. I’ve got a timeslot to do a tip run in the morning and then I’ll have a look at the water ingress. I’ll ask the neighbour if I can have a look behind (drainage) to see if I can get to grips with the cause. I’m thinking I’ll slop on some tanking slurry to the interior - unless a better idea comes to me.

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Plan is to then remove as much dust as possible, apply a couple of layers of concrete sealant, and then spray on some cheap white masonry paint to the walls and some grey garage floor paint to keep the dust at bay. From there, fit and cut in some horse stable mats as protective gym flooring, source and put up rechargeable lighting, sort out racking, decorate, kit out, and wait for the damp to reappear...
 

Boycie83

Forum GOD!
I can't believe she can't park that cozy coupe in there!

Joking aside, looks like a good space for a gym.
 

Burgundy

Forum GOD!
I can't believe she can't park that cozy coupe in there!

Joking aside, looks like a good space for a gym.
She would probably struggle - and her Fiat 500 isn’t much bigger!

It’s not the best time to buy exercise equipment, as everyone tries to do what they can while the gyms are shut, but the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago and all that. My initial thoughts are a power cage, barbell and plates, a couple of kettlebells, speed rope and then go from there. I might build a lifting platform out of some spare MDF and any leftover stable mats.
 

Grarea

Forum Plod
I would suggest getting some insulation in there. (You are obviously dealing with the damp probably a leaking gutter or something)
I have worked a number of winters in an outside workshop and a thick pair of wool socks and thermal vests are just the start.
If you can keep some warmth in there, you are more likely to use it for much more of the year.

Maybe some battening on the walls with something screwed to it and any sort of insulation behind it.
Just look out for some free stuff on freecycle etc polystyrene, off cuts of loft insulation etc

If on a budget, it really isn't the time to buy equipment.
But, boy it will be plentiful and cheap when things get back to normal.
In the mean time, make do with home made stuff made from concrete or buckets of sand etc etc.

Or.
You can work most muscle groups with a pair of hand dumbells.

It looks fun whatever you do.
 

Rowlers

Massive Member
Staff member
As @Grarea has said try and insulate if you can. My garage is similar, and I have put off/given up a couple of training sessions as it was just too fekkin cold. My feet were like blocks of ice after my last session and that was giving it some!
Gym equipment of any kind is like rocking horse shite, and when you do find it it is very expensive.
Good luck, it will be great when you get it sorted.
 

Burgundy

Forum GOD!
Not sure on the insulation front. It’s a single skin garage meant for storing stuff at the end of the day - not for human comforts. Short of digging drainage, repointing, insulating, plasterboarding, re-replacing the garage door, and installing electricity for heaters and dehumidifiers, it’ll always be a garage...

Now, I’d be up for that if this were our ‘forever home’ but our medium term plan is to start last looking to move in about 5 years or so.
 

Missoni

Fellow Traveller
Not sure on the insulation front. It’s a single skin garage meant for storing stuff at the end of the day - not for human comforts. Short of digging drainage, repointing, insulating, plasterboarding, re-replacing the garage door, and installing electricity for heaters and dehumidifiers, it’ll always be a garage...

Now, I’d be up for that if this were our ‘forever home’ but our medium term plan is to start last looking to move in about 5 years or so.
...but would you not get your money back and much more when you came to sell?' or at least it would presumably sell easier than a similar home...
 

Burgundy

Forum GOD!
...but would you not get your money back and much more when you came to sell?' or at least it would presumably sell easier than a similar home...
Possibly? I doubt it’d add much more than just tidying it up. I reckon more would be made by putting the difference towards replacing the very-knackered and occasionally-leaking conservatory!
 

Northam Saint

Forum GOD!
Only a little tip here but here goes.

to help cut down on draft at the top and bottom of an up and over garage door. Go to your local plumbers merchant and buy some of that grey pipe insulation, only a couple of quid a strip. You’ll find it has a slit down one side, use that slit to fix and stretch over the end of the door (inside). When you open and close you will notice a slight resistance that’s just the seal you have created. Done mine a while ago, and it stays in place and works well enough to reduce that wind blowing through the gaps.

Should of added I got 15mm pipe insulation.
 
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Nishy

Forum GOD!
Staff member
Hi Ben we are lucky to have a summer house and about 3 years ago I turned it into a games room/gym. Saved me a lot of money on gym membership if nothing else. I bought a fairly cheap multi-gym £449 (delivered), which didn't take long to build. Also bought a second hand cross trainer and a pull-up/chin-bar. Mounted a TV on the wall so I can stream YouTube (fitness videos and music). A few yoga mats, table tennis table and resistant bands are my only other purchases. I also bought an electric radiator which is fine for winter months.
I have to admit I haven't used the set up as much as I should but before lockdown it was saving me £70/month on gym membership and travel. Toying with the idea of buying a punch bag.

The biggest battle is protecting it from becoming a store room, I found a way to circumvent this recently :)
 
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vartik

Head shaver
I'm so envious! The only place that I can workout is the children's room and there is not much room, so I can not have a barbell, weights a squat rack there 😕
 

Missoni

Fellow Traveller
Guttering is the culprit for both the front and rear water ingress. The rear is blocked by a neighbour’s rose bush which has got out of control and the front by their bodged guttering when installing a water butt against the exterior wall - which is itself leaking.
...at least that is a relatively inexpensive fix...neighbours are not being very neighbourly me thinks...
 

Driftwood

Forum GOD!
Guttering is the culprit for both the front and rear water ingress. The rear is blocked by a neighbour’s rose bush which has got out of control and the front by their bodged guttering when installing a water butt against the exterior wall - which is itself leaking.
The heavy moss build up on the roof tiles has be the cause. I suspect that the drop pipe/s are also choked. When you have cleaned out the moss and debris from the rhones/gutters water test test to ensure they are fully operational running free also there is no leaking at joints.
 

Burgundy

Forum GOD!
The heavy moss build up on the roof tiles has be the cause. I suspect that the drop pipe/s are also choked. When you have cleaned out the moss and debris from the rhones/gutters water test test to ensure they are fully operational running free also there is no leaking at joints.
I’m sure you’re right.

That side (and particularly that corner) of the garage being out of our sight, I hadn’t really twigged it - though I’d made a mental note to ask them if I could take a look when I cleared out the front gutter this summer.

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Anyway, I’ve fixed their side guttering and will sort out the back on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning when, hopefully, it’ll be better weather to be up the ladders.

I’ve decided against tanking the internal walls. Hopefully I’ll have sorted out the cause so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the weather dries up a bit and see how it dries through.
 
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