Garage Conversion to a Gym - are there any shortcuts?
Most garage conversions that add value are those that are expertly converted for full
compliance under Building Regulations for use as a habitable room (bedroom, study, kitchen extension etc.)
However, some people (the keep fit sort) often simply require a basic dedicated space to house gym equipment and
do not require a high specification level of conversion. So, is there an alternative to a habitable room conversion
and the added costs all that involves?
Yes. Provided the garage does not receive any heating (well formally speaking and as a fixed installation such
as radiators) other than for say frost protection, then to use a garage space as a gym should be acceptable without
the need for Planning permission or Building Regulations approval.
It is clear that the garage can still be used as a garage in most cases. You may want to replace the garage door
to something containing windows and is perhaps better insulated and sealed to the frame to retain its comfort
levels and draft proofing.
The only real issue relates to the installation of any new internal door from the main dwelling into the garage
conversion for use as a gym. As the official use of space will still be a garage it is vital that Building
Regulations approval is sought and obtained for this single item and this can be completed under a Building notice
to save on design and drawing costs. The new door will need to be a half hour fire door and fitted with a self
closing devise and located in a position that does not interfere with the bottom landing area of the existing
Should you require a more ‘upmarket’ gym for your garage conversion and to be able to use it for alternative
habitable room space as well, then a formal change of use Building regulations application and compliance will be
required as for any other formal garage conversion. You should also check whether formal Planning permission is
required or whether it can be constructed under permitted development.