Several years ago when I was still designing homes for a living, I work for a builder to design homes with Gyms in the basement large enough to play basketball inside them. This really wasn’t all that hard to do. In fact, one of the first that I designed had a gym in it because the lot it was built on sloped so much, it just made sense. To accomplish this, we basically just dropped half of the foundation another 9′ on one side of the home. If you look at the floor plan below, there is a concrete wall down the center of the basement. Basically, everything to the right was a standard basement with 9′ ceilings. Everything on the left was about 9′ lower than the family room in the basement. This made the overall height of the gym around 18′. Two steel beams set horizontally (shown in floor plan) supported the floor above. One disadvantage do doing a gym inside your home is the noise. In this case the builder lined all of the walls with sheathing and used sound board on the ceiling of the gym. The floor joists above were also insulated to further deaden the sound. Just click on the image to see the complete plan. This house plan is available for purchase.
Main Floor Plan
Basement Floor Plan
Another way to incorporate a basketball court into your home is to use a suspended slab over the garage. In the house plan below, the builder dug down about 17 or 18′ and used precast suspended slabs for the garage floor. This method is a bit more costly as the engineering for foundation walls that large supporting a suspended garage floor can add some additional cost. It turned out pretty cool though because from the street you would never know this home has a big gym below. Another advantage is the concrete walls cut down on sound transfer to the home. The disadvantage was that when you were in the gym, there were no windows and the sound was amplified as if you were in a cave. To counteract this, the homeowner used bright commercial lighting, and installed sound deadening panels on the interior walls.
House Plan with Basketball Court Under the Garage
Main Floor Plan
Basement Floor Plan
There are many ways that you can design a home plan with a basketball court or gym in side it. I actually just recently design a home with a 20′ tall climbing wall inside of it. There are just a few things you need to remember.
- make sure the overall height of your gym is tall enough for the activities you plan to use it for. You’d hate to get your gym finished only to find its not high enough to shoot a basketball.
- make sure its large enough from side to side. Plan out how much room you want and maybe add a couple of feet for elbow room. You can’t improve your 3 point shot very well if you have to practice in a gym where the 3 point line is up against a wall.
- get your gym engineered. You’ll want the gym to be safe and your home surrounding it strong and lasting. Most cities require house plans to be engineered anyway… but if yours doesn’t at least have a structural engineer review the gym portion of your home. It’s worth a few hundred bucks for the peace of mind that its done right. Especially if you choose the suspended concrete slab type gym.
- Plan ahead for sound deadening and lighting.
- planning a closet area or extra space in a stairwell is worthwhile. You’ll have toys and balls and other gear you need to store when you have a game going on. The homeowners of the homes above didn’t plan a lot of space, i think if i were doing a gym in my home i’d do a nice walk in closet for storage.
That’s about it. Having your own home gym can be really convenient and fun. Especially if you have kids or grand kids that can enjoy it.