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Time To Invest In A Garden Room Gym?


2021 is behind us, and many people are hoping to reattain a bit of normality and consistency in their day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, Covid has thrown a spanner in amongst the works concerning people's gym routines over the last two years, with complete gym closures, limited capacity, and reduced opening hours. In addition, many people out there simply no longer feel as comfortable training in a communal gym and having to rely on others to clean down equipment, etc.

Woman wearing face mask which would not be required in her own garden gym room

As a direct result of the previously mentioned reasons and many others, people are looking at other options instead of using a traditional commercial gym, for example, converting a spare room into a makeshift gym, while others have converted a garage into their new training area. Many want a gym or exercise area; however, they do not necessarily have a spare room or garage, but they do have the space in their garden and have opted to have a purpose-built garden gym. If you are in this category, you are in the right place, as this article is jam-packed with information to help and guide you when choosing your home garden gym.

Woman exercising in living room as she does not have a garden gym

Considerations When Weighing Up Your Garden Room Gym Options


Often the location of your garden gym is one of the first things you will decide upon; however, have you given the decision enough thought? For instance, if your garden gym will be south-facing, what type of doors will you be choosing? Many people opt for bi-folds due to their aesthetic appeal but do not consider that a large proportion of their garden gym will be glass-fronted, receiving direct sunlight. This can cause your garden gym to heat up quite dramatically. If this is the case, then it may well be worth considering either integrated blinds or an air-conditioning system to maintain a pleasant ambient temperature.

Internal Dimensions

When designing your room, you must take note of both the internal and external dimensions. For example, the Walls of an OffPOD tend to be about 175mm, which creates a difference of 350mm regarding the internal and external width and depth. Ensure that you are taking this into account; it is always a good idea to map out where you intend to have your gym equipment located throughout the room. Ensure you leave a reasonable amount of space between equipment for access when doing so.

Outdoor Garden Room Technical drawing to demonstrate layout

The most overlooked consideration for a gym is internal head height. Our standard buildings are built to meet the 2.5m typical permitted development requirements needed if the building is within 1m of a boundary line. This will provide you with a 2.1m internal ceiling height. While this is sufficient for some equipment and exercise, generally, 2.4m of ceiling height is required to ensure adequate clearance for most. We recommend an overall roof height of 2.8-3m, which means your garden gym would need to be at least 2m away from any boundary line.

Plumbing for water and toilets

If you require plumbing in your garden gym to accommodate fresh running water or a toilet, we at OffPOD can most definitely facilitate for you. We can cost a sink and toilet without a site survey; however, the main costing implications will come into play when plumbing these, which will depend on how far the room is from the nearest water supply and drainage. When access to drainage/sewage is not straightforward, it may be worth considering installing a soak way and septic tank. in some cases, this can work out to be the more cost-effective option

Type of Flooring

The two most commonly chosen gym flooring options are durable, hard-wearing laminate, or heavy-duty gym mats. If you are going to be using free weights, then heavy-duty rubber flooring may be the best option for you, as this type of flooring is not likely to mark or become damaged due to impact. There is no reason why a combination of laminate and heavy-duty rubber flooring cant be incorporated into your build.

Garden Room Gym Flooring being laid


Ventilation is an essential consideration for you when designing your garden gym. While often overlooked, it will have a significant impact on how comfortable your home gym is and contribute to the overall hygiene of the building. Due to OffPOD being more than aware of the importance of good ventilation, we include a heat recovery system as standard across all our builds to ensure optimum levels of air quality which will ensure you get the most out of your workouts. Check out our article on garden room ventilation to dive deeper into this aspect of your build.


LED downlights are the most common choice when it comes to lighting. These are a great option as they give fantastic light coverage without compromising the internal head height. However, it may be worth including a dimmer switch to achieve optimum lighting levels. Other lighting options are available, too, such as standard ceiling lights and wall lights; it all comes down to personal preference.


When it comes to the foundations of your garden room gym, you need to make sure they are up for the job. Ground screws are more than up for the job when providing the foundations for a standard garden room or garden office. They are also used by many for the foundations of Garden gyms. At OffPOD, we always advise an insulated concrete slab for the foundation of our garden gyms; due to the nature of the high levels of impact the floor will encounter, we feel that it is best to air on the side of caution for guaranteed prolonged use.

External Finish

The external finish of your home gym is always a big decision. Many different factors come into play, such as the theme or style of your garden. You may want a building that contrasts its surroundings or blends in. Do you require something maintenance-free such as composite cladding, or do you want a more natural wood finish that may require annual treatment, etc.? Fortunately, OffPOD is at hand to help with such decisions; it can be hard to visualize how your building will look in your garden with your choice of external finish when all you have to go by is a small sample piece of cladding. Because of this, we create 'to scale' digital renders of our client's garden room projects and superimpose them into the garden space they will occupy, giving a true-to-life illustration of how their build will look.

garden Gym Room With Bifold Doors and a rowing machine


There are many different options when it comes to heating your gym, and again like most things, it comes down to personal opinion and budget. If you have air-conditioning installed, you may not need additional heating because most air conditioning units also have a heating function. Smart panel heaters are another good option; you can operate them from a smartphone. These are great as on those cold winter mornings, you can set the temperature in your home gym, so it's not cold when you enter to start your session. Finally, if you want an invisible heating source that is extremely efficient to run, then Infrared surface heating may be the best option. This type of heating is set within the plaster of the ceiling of the building, evenly heating the whole room.


Once your Garden gym is built, are you going to need to have a path providing direct access to it so you aren't walking over grass? Will you need a small decking area to take off your shoes outside when accessing the room? When budgeting for your garden gym building, additional elements may need to be costed into your budget.

Electrical Points

It's always a great idea to have a 'to scale' technical drawing created of your garden gym pod, including your equipment. By doing this, you can ensure that all of your electrical points are optimally positioned. By taking such measures, you can avoid ending up with a cramped training area or something much larger than what you needed. OffPOD offers technical drawings across all of our products as standard. Investing in a garden gym room is a big decision; we want to ensure you get it right by leaving nothing to chance.

Garden Room Gym technical drawing pack sample image

Future Building Use

When designing your garden room gym, it may be worth considering the room being used for anything else in the future, or if it will only ever be used as a gym. We always advise our customers to bear this in mind when designing a garden gym as one day in the future, the use case for it may change.

Garden gym Questions

Will my gym need planning permission?

Most garden rooms don't require planning permission. They are classed as outbuildings, so you're allowed to build one without planning permission as long as you comply with specific rules. That's as long as you have permitted development rights at your home or the area you live in. Not everyone has permitted development rights; if your home is a listed building or in a designated area (e.g., a National Park, area of outstanding natural beauty, conservation area, or World Heritage Site.

How well insulated is a garden gym room

This depends on the company you chose for your project; not all garden rooms are built equal. OffPOD understands the importance of a well-insulated garden gym; therefore, we insulate our garden rooms to the same levels required under building regulations for new build housing.

How long until you can start building my garden gym

We like to offer our customers an install date of no more than eight weeks from when they pay their deposit. However, demand can impact this, so it may be worth asking us the question to get a current real-time answer.

Can I have air conditioning?

Air conditioning, integrated speakers, alarm systems, underfloor heating; the list goes on! OffPOD has no limits in terms of what can be incorporated into our buildings. Just ask and the likelihood is that we can do it!

Can I have dividing walls?

Yes, dividing walls and partition doors are not an issue for us to cost into your build. We can incorporate pretty much any design element you can think of into our OffPODS

How are the internal walls finished?

Given that OffPOD luxury Garden Rooms are designed and engineered to feel like a disconnected extension of your homes, all of our builds are both plastered and painted as standard to achieve a genuinely premium finish.

Garden gym Interior imagery

We really hope this article has helped answer some questions you may have had about garden room gyms. If there is anything we haven't covered, why not check out our website here or give us a call; we will be more than happy to help.

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As the founder of a construction company specializing in steel-framed garden rooms, extensions, and annexes, I have dedicated myself to delivering bespoke, high-end products tailored to each customer's unique needs. My role encompasses a broad range of responsibilities, from conducting site surveys and closing sales to managing SEO and website design, all aimed at ensuring operational excellence and driving profitability.

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