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If lockdown has you longing to be back in the gym getting a sweat on, you might want to take inspiration from a couple who created one in their own back garden - for a knockdown price.
Mum-of-one Jodie Foulger, 34, was originally given a quote of £12K to build a state-of-the-art gym, but she and her partner Andy, 32, managed to save a whopping £11K by doing the job themselves for just £900.
Complete with a chic painted exterior, mirrored wall and weight lifting equipment, it's everything the couple wanted for a fraction of the cost.
The pair began planning the project when Andy - who is a gym fanatic - was left without his usual fitness refuge during the pandemic.
Luckily, the pair already have plenty of gym equipment at home. What they needed was a separate, welcoming space for it.
Jodie, who works in the scientific and medical research industry, 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!'"
The pair had added motivation to use the gym for their "pre-wedding build-up" too.
"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," explained Jodie.
At first, the couple looked at pre-built options online.
"They were ridiculous prices ranging from £5k up to £10k for the same sort of height and size," said Jodie.
In the end, the dynamic duo designed the gym around the height of the gym equipment that Andy had purchased.
Jodie insists there wasn't "a huge drawn-out plan" and that she and Andy simply "measured as we worked".
All-in-all, it took the family two to three weeks in total to complete the project, working between Andy's shifts, Jodie's home-working, and home-schooling their daughter.
"Teamwork was certainly important - thank goodness Andy's strong!" said Jodie.
"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, the pair measured out a space to fit specifically to their garden, that would be tall enough to house Andy's weight lifting equipment.
To create the structure, they used recycled doors and windows from a local scrapyard along with wood from Maplin.
"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."
Final touches came in the form of giant mirrors and gym mats.
"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 4x2 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."
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.
"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!?'The couple are thrilled with the money they've saved along the way, too.
"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!"
What an incredible result!
Can we have one of these installed in our back garden?
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