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I'm finally starting to set up my own gym at home. I got really cheesed over Easter as my gym shut for 4 days right in the middle of my cycle. So I decided to just get some weights and some simple apparatus and then I can get the job done whenever I fancy.

I'm in no rush as I still have my gym membership until the end of the year but I would like to hear from any of you who have gone this route.

So far I have 2 x Oly dbs which I can load up to nearly 80kgs each!

Oly bar and 160kgs of bumper plates so I can try some Oly lifts.

I have a chinning bar but no way to do dips (which I love) as yet.

I reckon a good power rack is a must.

Is it worth designing my own power rack and getting it made/making it myself or should I just opt for something like this?:

Powertec rack

A bench suitable for some pretty heavy lifting is essential too. I guess I should get a bench that allows for flat, decline and incline use?

Any advice gratefully received.
Get the fitness-superstore glossy brochure, checkout the dims of the equipment; then setup some searches on ebay...

I picked-up a Keys Fitness VKR off a personal trainer in Sheffield, practically brand new (It'd only been in the country 3 months) for £82 (was approx £300 odd retail) He must have had tears in his eyes - I had to remind him I hadn't paid! Be warned though - my VKR is 82" tall and I had to barrel vault my new gym roof to accomodate it...

Oh & whilst I'm on; don't get a bench with the seat higher than 17"
I thought the dip bars were weak also. For dips, that's pretty easy if you're not hanging much more than a 45 from your belt: the corner of railings, two stools, two pickup truck beds, parked closely. (I got caught using that one...)
I'm using a pair of antique York squat stands for now, until I get my rack. I could've built a set with wood if I needed to.
Yes on the bench. I love my bodysolid unit and will keep it when I sell my machine.
Thanks for the tips guys.

I think I'm going to have to build a dip stand or make a custom addition to whatever rack I get (like Sci has done).

I really like the ueska rack and floor set up. I think I will make something like that and just buy a bench.
Can you do the welding or will you just make it out of wood? I like my Powertec rack, but I have often thought I could do nearly as well with some 4x4s and some stock rods for spotters. J-hooks would be a little more work, but if you rip the 4x4s to 3x3 there are plenty of spare power rack parts available on the web.
Excellent links Quad. Thanks man.

Ruthenian: I'll probably let someone else do any welding but I can handle all the woodworking side of things. I'm thinking that a nice oak frame would look great but would probably end up costing more than a Powertec rack!

All in all I think I'm going to be spending about £1500 just on a basic set-up for power training and Oly lifts. Bearing in mind my gym membership is £300+ per annum that's around 5 years training investment. I'm justifying it cos my lad hits 13 this year and will be able to train with my weights too. I'm really hoping he'll take to Oly lifting and make it a part of his life but who knows? At least he can get a good grounding in the basic lifts with some decent kit. My deal with him is that if he wants to play World of Warcraft he has to train three times a week and do some drumming practice everyday! What a tough life kids have these days.  

The other big plus for me is I'll get to play my music or have no music depending on my mood at the time. I have a new Rush album to enjoy right now so I can't wait to get this project sorted.
Don't forget that you'll need at least a 200 watt RMS amplifier, four speaker towers, an EQ, a remote, noise padding, CD racks, tuner, and monster wire. $1,200.00.

Oh, waitaminnit - Rush? That's soft pop isn't it? You just need a table radio. $25.00

How cool it that, to train your own kid! I hope he takes to it, and that's 2 gym memberships saved. I'd watch the papers and local thrift shops as well before buying new. A can of spray paint goes a long way - you should have seen my ugly plates when I got them! For rust, scrape off the worst and coat it with Phospho - (at your paint shop) - which turns rust into black phosphorus, which you can paint right over: no work!
Yeah, rock-on! Didn't even know Jennifer Rush was still around...

Don't let your kids anywhere near ya weights - you'll be back inline; waiting for your turn!
Get your hands on a FID bench and a rack and it would appear you'd have an effective home gym.

Not sure of availablility across the "pond" but Seems the popular FID bench right now is the ironmaster super bench. (1000 lbs capacity)
another option might be body-solid power lift bench FID46 (1000 lbs capacity)
another cheaper one, is the marcy AB-4050 (600 lbs capacity)

Definitley search your local classifieds, it unreal the kinda deals that pop up for racks.

Good luck
Took delivery of my new babies today. I'm supposed to be taking some SD time but, as you can see from the chalk marks on the bar, I couldn't resist giving them a hearty welcome!

There's 140kgs on the bar and I have another 50kgs (2 reds) on the way for a total of 210kgs (462lbs) plus I have a pile of 5s, 2.5s and 1.25s for some extra topping up.

The bar has a much nicer feel than the one at my gym – plus it's not bent. I've always hated deadlifting with a bent bar and those non-rolling, octagonal plates.

Just a bench, rack and a few accessories to go now. I'll definitely be checking the local classifieds for the rack.

Looks colorful, olympic DB handles, now I'd like to have those.  

I was looking on ebay, they shown a couple "racks" that were rated I believe at just under 1000lbs and they were under $200U.S.

Anyone use, break or see one in person?  Seems a little, unbelievable.
I bought a nice rack from a guy over ebay, he was just in Indiana, which was about a 3 hour drive from where I live. Worth it though. My rack looks like it was homemade. It's old and everything is welded together, no bolts or anything to get loose on it. This thing is tough as hell!
More specific, I was looking at this one:

<a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/DELUXE-POWER-CAGE-RACK-Home-Gym-Fitness-Equipment-NEW_W0QQitemZ260114910466QQihZ016QQcateg
oryZ62135QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem" target="_blank">EBAY RACK</a>
At the current exchange rate that would be about 90GBP! Fantastic value need2eat. Does it look a tad spindly to you? Wouldn't complain for that money though. Be great if I could find something like that in the UK. Save me a lot of bother making one.