How Much Does It Cost to Build a Gymnasium?
Building a gymnasium takes a lot of work and can be much more complicated than constructing a home. You have to find commercial land, meet zoning requirements, and design the facility with your customer in mind. Do not let the challenges that come with building a gym deter you from starting your dream business.
The average cost to construct a gymnasium starts at $826,000 for a 4,000-square-foot facility made of steel. On the other hand, a 4,000-square-foot facility made of brick costs $854,000. This is the cost to build the gym from scratch and own the land that it sits on. Keep in mind, that various factors could change this price. Keep reading to learn more about what you will pay to construct a gymnasium.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Gymnasium?
Based on our research and the pricing of various construction components detailed in our guide below, here are lists of the recreational steel building’s costs and brick costs.
Average Costs of a Steel Gymnasium vs. a Brick Gymnasium
Notes: the minimum size is based on 2,000 square feet, the average size is based on 4,000 square feet, and the maximum size is based on 15,000 square feet.
The cost to install steel is slightly less than the cost of brick. Steel siding is an attractive option because it’s available in a variety of finishes and colors. You can even get finishes that resemble vinyl and wood siding.
Steel is superior to other metal exteriors, such as tin and aluminum. The downside of steel is that it can take longer to install compared to comparable siding options. Here are the pros and cons of steel:
- Cheaper than brick
- Easy to maintain
- Maintains its appearance
- Resistant to many types of damage
- Can rust
- Poor insulation
- Installation takes longer
Without a doubt, brick is the most expensive siding option. However, brick tends to last for a long time and hold its value. Compared to steel, a brick gymnasium costs roughly $7 more per square foot. Both the materials and the labor drive the price of brick up.
Another factor that affects the price of bricks is the type that you use. Nowadays, there are various types: clay, sand lime, engineered, and concrete bricks. Here is a list of the pros and cons of brick siding.
- Durable and lasts for a long time
- Easy to maintain
- Holds its value
- Resistant to fire
- More expensive than steel
- Can break down with exposure to the elements
Expensive repair costs
An In-Depth Look at the Specific Costs to Build a Gymnasium
From purchasing a plot of land to installing the siding, there are various costs associated with building a gymnasium. The below prices are based on a gym with a size of 4,000 square feet. We also provide a cost per square foot so you can determine how much it will cost based on the size of your gymnasium.
Purchasing the Land ($400,000)
Before you start constructing your gymnasium, you need to purchase commercial land. The average gymnasium ranges in size from 3,000 to 4,000 sq ft., depending on the types of facilities it has. In general, the size of your land should be three times the size of the building to allow space for parking. Therefore, you will need around 12,000 square feet of land.
The price of land will vary significantly depending on where the parcel is. For a low-traffic area in a low-cost-of-living town, you may only pay $50,000. On the other hand, in an expensive city with high traffic, you could pay a few million dollars. A conservative estimate of the land cost is around $400,000.
Alternatively, you could lease a building and then build out a gymnasium inside of it. Essentially, the space you rent would be an empty shell, and you would need to completely renovate it. Retail space typically ranges from $10 to $30 SF/YR. So, if you rent a 4,000-square-foot space, you would pay between $40,000 to $120,000 per year.
Hire a draftsperson and Get Permits ($16,000)
According to HomeAdvisor, average drafting fees range from $.40 to $3 square foot. Because a gymnasium is a commercial project, you are looking at a total cost of $12,000 for a 4,000-square-foot building. The cost to print the blueprints is minimal and will have no overall impact on your budget.
Like the cost of land, the cost of building permits depends on the municipality that you are in. Commercial building permits are typically more expensive than residential permits. As a gymnasium owner, you may also need to budget for a health permit. For both permits, plan to pay at least $4,000.
Preparing the Land and Constructing the Foundation ($64,000)
Let’s consider the land you purchased for the gymnasium measures 12,000 square feet, just over ¼ of an acre. The first pre-construction step is the land excavation – essentially grazing everything on the land to prepare it for construction. The average cost is about $2 per square foot or $24,000 in total.
After preparing the land, you will need to construct the foundation of the gymnasium. The total cost of a concrete slab and footings, including materials and labor, ranges from $6 to $10 per square foot. For a 4,000-square-foot gymnasium, you should expect to spend at least $40,000.
Framing the Gymnasium ($48,000)
Depending on the labor market and costs of materials, framing can run from $2 to $12 per square foot. For commercial property, you should expect the higher end of that range, $12. For a 4,000-square-foot building, the cost of framing would be $48,000.
The $2 to $12 price range is calculated based on the cost of wood framing. There are alternatives, such as engineered wood or structural steel. For steel framing, you can expect to pay at least $25 per square foot and at least $30 for engineered wood.
Constructing the Exterior of the Gymnasium ($40,000)
Most commercial gymnasiums are made from one of three materials: stucco (in dry climates), brick, and steel. Deciding what material to use will depend on your budget, where you live, and any city building ordinances that require you to use a specific material. Luckily, gymnasiums do not have many windows except for at the front entrance, so that helps cut costs.
A gymnasium with a square foot of 4,000 will also need roughly 4,000 square feet of siding. The cost to install stucco ranges from $6 to $9, with $9 being a more realistic price for a commercial building. The total cost to install stucco siding would be $36,000. Again, stucco is better for drier climates because it does not hold up well to precipitation.
Brick is a more popular siding option, especially in the northern United States. The cost for the materials and installation of real brick ranges from $5 to $15 per square foot. To budget for the installation of your gym, you should budget around $15 per square foot.
If your city’s ordinances allow it, steel siding is another option. On average, you will pay around $8 per square foot to install steel. There are also other metal alternatives, such as tin, aluminum, and copper.
Installing Electrical ($44,000)
Because most gymnasiums lack windows, they are full of lighting, increasing the cost of electrical installation. Also, treadmills and ellipticals will require more electrical outlets.
Since a gym needs a large number of electrical outlets, you should expect to pay around $11 per square foot. The $11 includes the cost to lay the electrical wire, install service panels, add outlets, and the cost of labor.
Installing Plumbing ($60,000)
A standard gymnasium has a woman’s and men’s locker room with toilets and showers, as well as drinking fountains scattered around the floor.
The cost to install plumbing in a commercial facility is around $15 per square foot. Because gymnasiums have more plumbing needs than most commercial buildings, we recommend budgeting at least $20 per square foot. So, for a 4,000-square-foot gymnasium, you are looking at $40,000 in total plumbing installation costs.
When you prepare your budget for plumbing installation, you should also consider the costs of showers, drinking fountains, toilets, and urinals. Depending on the size of your gymnasium, a reasonable estimate is at least $20,000, including the materials and cost of labor.
Finishing the Inside of the Gymnasium ($80,000)
Finishing the interior of the gymnasium includes installing flooring, drywall, ceiling tiles, doors, mirrors, and all of the other components needed for the final product.
This also includes installing counters in the bathrooms and a front desk. A conservative estimate for all the interior finishes is $80,000 for a 4,000-square-foot facility. For every 1,000 square feet of additional space, you should add $20,000 to your budget.
Constructing the Parking Lot ($33,000)
For a gymnasium, you will want at least ten parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of space. So, for a 4,000-square-foot building, you should have 40 parking spaces. The average parking space is about 76.5 square feet. We will round that to 120 square feet to include the driving space in the parking lot. For a 4,000 square-foot building, you would need to pour 4,800 square feet of concrete.
The average cost to pour the concrete for a parking lot ranges from $4 to $7, including materials and labor. After all, is complete, you should expect to pay at least $33,000. Again, this is based on 4,800 square feet. You can use the calculation above to determine how big your parking lot should be.
The Final Touches ($30,000)
The last step of constructing the gymnasium is the final touches – paint, fixtures, decoration, landscaping, and exterior additions (such as a patio). The exact price depends on the size of your gymnasium and the feeling that you are going for. We recommend budgeting $30,000 for the final touches.
Measuring the Cost of a Gymnasium By its Size
Throughout our guide, we have used 4,000 square feet as the basis of our calculations. Let’s summarize the costs by square feet and then look at how much it costs to construct a gymnasium of varying sizes. Note: the below costs are based on the square feet of the gymnasium.
- Land: $100 per square foot of gymnasium space
- Drafting fees: $3 per square foot
- Permits: Fixed fee of $4,000
- Land preparation costs: $6 per square foot
- Foundation: $10 per square foot
- Framing: $12 per square foot
- Siding: $15 per square foot of brick or $10 per square foot of steel
- Electrical: $11 per square foot
- Plumbing: $20 per square foot
- Inside finishes: $20 per square foot
- Parking Lot: $8 per square foot
- Final touches: $7.50 per square foot
All of the costs total $212.50 per square foot for brick or $205.50 per square foot of steel plus a $4,000 fixed fee for permits. Now, let’s take a look at how much it would cost to build a gymnasium of different sizes.
|Size (Square Feet)||Cost of Brick||Cost of Steel|
Why a Gymnasium Could Cost Less or More Than Planned
There are several reasons why a gymnasium could cost more or less than planned. One of the most common culprits is the cost of building materials, especially wood. The price of wood can fluctuate greatly throughout the year. Depending on when you construct the gymnasium, you could end up paying more or less than planned.
A gymnasium could cost more if you are building it in a city with strict ordinances. For example, some cities require you use certain exterior materials to match neighboring buildings. Moreover, the lot of land you buy could lead to increased costs. Hilly lots will increase the cost of construction because you have to pay more to flatten them.
Lastly, the cost of a gymnasium could cost more if you do not use the right contractor. A bad contractor not only causes a headache but significantly increases the cost of construction because you have to pay another contractor to fix their errors. For this reason, it’s critical to vet all your contractors before signing a contract.
How to Finance a Gymnasium
The most common ways to finance a gymnasium are either through conventional loans are SBA-backed loans. To determine which route is the best for you, the first step is determining how much money you need to borrow. Should you need more than $5 million, you will need to pursue a conventional loan.
For both lending options, you need a good credit score (over 700) and a solid business plan. The interest rates for conventional and SBA loans are fairly similar. The Interest on an SBA loan ranges from 6 to 13% and the interest rate on a conventional loan is between 5 to 10%.
You typically need to repay a conventional bank loan quicker than you do an SBA loan. The repayment period for a conventional loan ranges from 5 to 25 years and the term for a conventional loan ranges from 1 to 20 years. If you need the money as soon as possible, you may want to pick a conventional loan. An SBA loan can take up to 6 months and a conventional loan can take up to 4 months to process.
Is Building a Gymnasium the Right Choice for you?
There’s no doubt that building a gymnasium is a capital-intensive venture. To construct the gymnasium, you are looking at $400,000 plus the cost of exercise equipment. While there is a lot of competition in the fitness sector, you could turn a good profit if you can differentiate yourself from competitors. The average gym owner makes around $75,000 per year.
The alternative to building a gymnasium is to lease a commercial space and then build out the gym in the leased space. However, with this route, you do not have as much control over your property and you do not build equity. Regardless, it is still a good option for those who cannot raise the capital to build a gymnasium from the ground up.