Spa Vacation Articles

How to Build Your Own Sauna - Part One

Installing a sauna can be less complicated than you may imagine. You can buy pre-built saunas that can be installed in less than half an hour or if you have some woodworking skills you can buy a kit and assemble it yourself. The ultimate challenge, of course, is to build your own sauna from scratch. This is a project that could be undertaken by anybody with basic carpentry skills.

The most important consideration when building your own sauna is location, location, location. Your sauna design will depend a lot on whether it will be in the city or the country, whether it will be freestanding or installed in an existing room, and whether it will be inside the house or built as an exterior building.

Once this basic decision has been made, you have to decide what kind of stove you are going to use. You have a choice of electric, wood-burning, gas, or oil. If you're building your sauna in the countryside, a wood-burning stove would be the obvious choice. A city sauna, on the other hand, would be better off with an electric, gas or oil heater. Electric is the most popular choice for saunas in the city.

Finally you need to decide how to integrate washing and changing facilities. Ideally, there will be a shower just outside the sauna for people to wash before they enter the hot room. The shower will need hot water so your plumbing facilities will play a big part in deciding where to build the sauna.


The best location for a sauna would be in the countryside close to a lake or river so that you can jump in the water after a sauna. Next to a swimming pool would also be a good spot. If neither of these are possible, you should plan on having a shower installed next to the sauna.

Saunas that are built in the countryside are almost always a separate building from the house. If your sauna is going to be in the city it is more practical to install it inside the house. It should be close to a bathroom so that bathers can wash before the sauna and take a cold shower afterwards.

If you plan on converting an existing room into a sauna, you have to take into consideration the moisture that will be present from the sauna. The room will have to be insulated and have a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from damaging the structure of the house.

Sauna Heater

Most sauna enthusiasts agree that a wood-burning sauna heater provides the most satisfying sauna experience. This is the obvious choice for saunas in the countryside. If your sauna will be in the city, a wood-burning stove is probably not practical, so the next best choice is an electric sauna heater. You could also use a gas or oil heater, but many people complain about the odor that these heaters give off when they are being used.

No matter which kind of heater you decide on, it has to have the proper connections. This might mean hiring an electrician or plumber. Installing the connections is one of the first jobs that should be done when building your own sauna.

Next article we will take a look at the actual construction methods.

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