Dear readers, I would like to invite you to visit the basement of our (not so) Little House on a Hill.  The picture below does NOT do it any justice as this is after we cleaned it to make it more presentable for our inspection.  See those shelves in the right hand corner?  They weren’t there…and the stuff that’s on them, it was EVERYWHERE.  That basement I did not dare to take any pictures of…but this one is one step closer to where it is now, the home gym the husband has been waiting for since the day we started demo.

The clean before

During the demo phase, we were converting the house to gas heat/hot water/etc. and so we had to get rid of the old oil drum that was in our basement.  And of course, being who we are, we decided to just do it ourselves with no help!  Long story short, we ended up with a pretty large oil spill in the basement that needed to be caught in MANY buckets (which we did not have and needed to call for help) and then cleaned up with cat litter and lots of ZEP spill absorber.  Luckily enough, we weren’t living there yet and the house was mostly open and studs so the smell dissipated throughout the house and then went away relatively quickly (if you call a couple of weeks of construction dust smell covering up oil quick).

Because of this unfortunate situation though, it meant that turning that half of the basement into our home gym would require much more of a deep clean than we would have liked.  I SCRUBBED the floors with some heavy duty brushes, Mr. Clean Multi-Purpose cleaner and a LOT of elbow grease.  What actually seemed to work the best (after scrubbing a few times) was pouring soapy water on the floor and vacuuming it up with the shop vac.  That seemed to get rid of a lot of the grime…at least enough to lay our flooring on top of it!  As the floors were drying, I started painting 1 of 3 REALLY HEAVY coats of paint (cinder block seriously soaks in paint!) and then it was time to start working on the floor!

Our good friends recommended a wood-look foam floor tile that they bought on Amazon to us (they’re using it in their kid’s playroom) and since we wanted to keep it nice and bright we definitely didn’t want to go with a traditional black gym mat floor.  It took me a while to put the floor tiles in since I was determined to get the grains to match from tile to tile and for everything to go the same direction.  For future reference…these kinds of tiles are NOT made to do that, much to my dismay, so I had to suck it up and accept that it wouldn’t look perfect.



Once the flooring was in I “passed off the baton” so to speak to the husband since this was really his baby.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard variations of “I have wanted a home gym my whole life” but let me tell you, boy did he want a home gym!  We’re working on getting the equipment that makes the most sense for us and the space but we’re getting there!

There was an almost-major complication with our first piece of fancy equipment when the husband realized that the online specs said you needed one height floor to ceiling but the instructions that came in the box said you needed more.  This did put him in a mild panic since the thing was not cheap.  It was late at night so we took a step back and decided he would call the company in the morning.  Sure enough, we’re not the first people this happened to and they had a solution – install everything an inch or two lower and it’ll be fine!  Super easy 🙂  The install took FOREVER and it was so late at night one night after work that I legitimately fell asleep on our new foam floor on a gym mat.  What else are gyms for!?


The other piece of equipment we have so far are some TRX straps attached to the ceiling.  The husband bought these for me and not gunna lie, I’m pretty excited to start playing with them…I meannnnn, working out with them 😉  You can be way more brave about potentially falling on your face at home, alone in your own gym compared to in a gym class.


Now all that’s left to do is put in some sound-proofing material in the ceiling, some better lighting and eventually a wall of frosted plexi-glass and door to separate it from the rest of the basement (for now it’s just laughing while the other, unfinished, terribly dirty half looks on jealously).  Anyone want to join a new gym?  We promise the price will be reasonable 😜

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