If the worst part of lockdown for you has been the closure of gyms, you might want to take a leaf out of this creative couple’s book.
Jodie Foulger, 34, a mum of one who works in the scientific and medical research industry, brought the gym home by building her own state-of-the-art creation in her garden.
Jodie, who shares her interior creations on Instagram at @the.white.house.sparkles, managed to save £11k on the price of a home gym, building her own for just £900 together with her partner Andy, 32.
Jodie told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: “We decided to build the gym because my partner Andy is a huge gym fanatic.
“When lockdown hit and the gyms were closed he was not pleased. So I said ‘let’s build one!’
“I also wanted to use the gym for our pre-wedding build-up. We were meant to be getting married in Greece on the 2nd July 2020 but unfortunately, our wedding is postponed until next year now due to Covid-19.
“We initially looked online at pre-built ones and they were ridiculous prices ranging from £5k up to £10k for the same sort of height and size.
“We designed the gym around the height of the gym equipment that Andy had purchased.
“There wasn’t really a huge drawn-out plan. We discussed it and came up with a shape and style. We measured as we worked.
“It took us approximately two to three weeks in total to complete as my partner works shifts. So we’d fit it in around both our jobs, me working from home and home-schooling our six-year-old daughter.
“It’s cost us approximately £900 to build. I looked online and similar sized summer houses and outbuildings range from £5k up to £12k!
“Teamwork was certainly important – thank goodness he’s strong!
“I have a really good idea eye for design and I deal with all of the details. Andy is most certainly the muscles behind everything we do!
“Together we agreed on the size and height and we made it fit specifically to our garden. Andy wanted to make sure he could fit all of the gym equipment he needed in there.
“We purchased all of the wood and screws from our local wood yard called Maplin. The UPVC windows and doors were only £80 from our local scrapyard.
“They were originally brown and white but I painted them grey with Rustoleum universal slate grey paint.
“The external paint used was Cuprinol Dusky Gem and was from B&Q. The gym mats were £10 a pack from B&Q also. The huge mirrors were from IKEA for £100.
“I then added all of the added finishing touches outside too.
“The 4×2 wood cost around £300, the shiplap wood cost about £350 and the paint cost £60.
“The roof felt was £60 and the facias were free from a roofer friend.
“We already had the gym equipment – it was just in the garden with a rubbish tarpaulin over it. It certainly needed a home!”
Jodie and Andy are delighted with their new summer gym and found the project to be a great distraction from the stresses of lockdown.
“Building this in lockdown gave us a welcome distraction from all that was going on outside our home, especially for Andy being a very busy key worker,” Jodie adds.
“It was also a great distraction from the worry of our beautiful Greek wedding having to be postponed.
“Our daughter Ariana also helped me paint – she’s actually really good! Teach them young, I say – I’m certain it counted towards her homeschooling.
“I absolutely love home interior and garden design – my Instagram account is my hobby really.
“After receiving extortionate quotes, we thought ‘why not do it ourselves – what have we got to lose!?’
“To be able to do it for only £900 was crazy. The end result was beautiful and it was a great learning curve for us both!”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “Fitness enthusiasts will have been hit hard by the closure of gyms for the last few months.
“But now Jodie and Andy have their own incredible home gym – and at such a bargain price – they’ll be able to save on the expensive price of gym memberships forever!
“It’s amazing that they saved over £11k on the cost of a store-bought one and just shows how valuable DIY really is – this project will have added thousands to the value of their home.”