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  1. #1
    Registered User Acton67's Avatar
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    Home gym in basement vs garage?

    Hey guys, closed on my first house 2 weeks ago. My basements ceiling is 6'6", I'm 6'1". The basement is finished. Was considering setting up a home gym down there but I'm concerned about the lack of head space. All I want is a treadmill, elliptical, a bench with a rack and some free weights. The only lift I feel like I couldn't do is a standing military press, but I figure I could possibly do these seated? My biggest concern is the elliptical. I want to use this for interval training. In regards to the treadmill I think I might be able to get one that's only 1-2" off the floor possibly? Anyone have any ideas on how to make this work?

    The other idea is to set everything up in the garage but the garage is only partially insulated and humidity is a concern. Would a space heater and a dehumidifier work? I've got more headspace in the garage, around 8'. Thanks!
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    Registered User Murser's Avatar
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    That’s really short. You won’t be able to use a treadmill or an elliptical, and a stationary bike will be tight. You could use a rower though.
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    temporary illusion supramax's Avatar
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    Acton67,

    Is the garage attached to the house or is it a separate structure? If attached;use it and get a portable unit that has heat, cool, dehumidify and fan options. They're a bit more expensive than the ones that don't heat, but they're worth it.

    EDIT: When they're in heat mode, they suck a ton of water out of the air, so drainage is something to consider.
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    That's really low. The treadmill and elliptical would be a no go. Heck, a high bar squat could be iffy with some plates. I would go w/ the garage and the dehumidifier/heater. Heater choice would depend on your ventilation, how involved you want to get,etc. I just put a Comfort Zone CZ230ER up in my basement gym. Insulation in the ceiling, but that's it. I'll know in a month or so how well it really works (usually doesn't hit the 20s during the day until January).
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    I have a low ceiling in my basement and initially set up my gym down there. While there are lots of alternative exercises that can be done with a low ceiling, it does tend to take some of the enjoyment out of working out. I move to garage and it's a real pleasure to enter a space that removes the height restriction.
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    Originally Posted by Murser View Post
    That’s really short. You won’t be able to use a treadmill or an elliptical, and a stationary bike will be tight. You could use a rower though.
    Pull-ups also
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    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Even with regular height in the basement, I’d take the garage option for the weights!

    I have had basement wt rooms and garage wt rooms….the garage is superior because opening the garage door on a nice day or night is amazing for training.

    Now a finished basement with mirrored walls….that’d be different .
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    Cut 2 holes in your basement ceiling where you want to put your elliptical & treadmill so your head can go through. If safety in the living room above is an issue you can put a porthole over each hole which can double as seats or side tables, and will also make a great conversation starter when you have company over.

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    I've debated this myself. All of the basements near where I live have similar height basements as yours. The garage has clear benefits. But given it gets really freaking cold where I live, the prospect of simultaneously needing to control the temp in the garage and also then needing to leave my car sit outside in the cold/snow/ice made the short ceilinged basement not seem so bad after all. But I'm also a half foot shorter than you, lol.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Even with regular height in the basement, I’d take the garage option for the weights!

    I have had basement wt rooms and garage wt rooms….the garage is superior because opening the garage door on a nice day or night is amazing for training.

    Now a finished basement with mirrored walls….that’d be different .
    Humidity in my garage can reach 90%; the basement never breaks 55%. The garage can break 90F in the summer; the basement hasn't broken 72F in 15 years (even with outside temps above 100F). I hike 1,000+ miles per year so I get plenty of time outside. I'll take the better climate in the basement over the garage any day.
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    Low ceiling height is a deal breaker. Not only does it prohibit movements such as box jumping, pull ups, muscle ups, treadmill, etc but you also lose storage/shelf space along walls. To combat temperature issues in the garage I workout early am in summer and just add a space heater in winter. Being able to open up garage door and use a leaf blower to "sweep" out the gym is a great plus as well as your equipment choices not being limited by a small entry door.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Cut 2 holes in your basement ceiling where you want to put your elliptical & treadmill so your head can go through. If safety in the living room above is an issue you can put a porthole over each hole which can double as seats or side tables, and will also make a great conversation starter when you have company over.
    Alternatively, demo the basement slab in the gym area and take out 2' of dirt underneath. If you hit water, just remind yourself that some people pay a fortune to have an indoor pool.
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    Originally Posted by Duplicitous View Post
    Humidity in my garage can reach 90%; the basement never breaks 55%. The garage can break 90F in the summer; the basement hasn't broken 72F in 15 years (even with outside temps above 100F). I hike 1,000+ miles per year so I get plenty of time outside. I'll take the better climate in the basement over the garage any day.

    You’re in Pa, you probably have radon in your basement ha ha.

    Just kidding, like I said, personally, my preference is having that door open…humidity aside, cold aside…I like that fresh air.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Cut 2 holes in your basement ceiling where you want to put your elliptical & treadmill so your head can go through. If safety in the living room above is an issue you can put a porthole over each hole which can double as seats or side tables, and will also make a great conversation starter when you have company over.

    Great post!
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    Originally Posted by Duplicitous View Post
    Humidity in my garage can reach 90%; the basement never breaks 55%. The garage can break 90F in the summer; the basement hasn't broken 72F in 15 years (even with outside temps above 100F). I hike 1,000+ miles per year so I get plenty of time outside. I'll take the better climate in the basement over the garage any day.
    This. If you want fresh air, open a window
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    You’re in Pa, you probably have radon in your basement ha ha.

    Just kidding, like I said, personally, my preference is having that door open…humidity aside, cold aside…I like that fresh air.
    We do have a radon vent pipe. We had one way back in the day when living in NJ also.
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