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Sauna Kits or Prebuilts

Would you like to have a sauna installed in your house? Put off by the high cost of hiring a contractor? You can save more than half the cost by installing a sauna kit or prebuilt sauna yourself.

Installing a sauna kit or a prebuilt sauna in your home is easier than you may think. If you have basic tool skills you should be able to handle this job without difficulty. Prebuilt saunas are much easier than kits - they fit together in a few minutes using just a simple Allen key.

What's the Difference?

A sauna kit is a package containing all the precut pieces necessary to build a sauna. Assembling a kit is usually straightforward and can be accomplished with a few simple tools. A prebuilt sauna is even easier -- it has already been assembled into two or three large pieces that simply need to be connected together.

Since a prebuilt sauna has already had most of the assembly work done, it is usually more expensive than a comparable sized sauna kit. The additional cost may be worth it if you have limited time - prebuilt saunas can be up and operating in half an hour.

Sauna Kits

Sauna kits require more of your handyman skills than prebuilt saunas but they represent a big savings in labor when compared to building your own sauna from scratch. All the wood and other material has been precut, so it's simply a matter of reading the instructions and fitting the pieces together correctly.

An advantage of sauna kits over prebuilt saunas is that sauna kits can be installed in a pre-existing space like a closet or small room. Prebuilt saunas are usually too big to manoeuvre in small spaces -- they are more commonly used as freestanding saunas.

Sauna kits are available in almost any size and shape imaginable. You can even get custom-made sauna kits if you have an unusual space that you want to use for a sauna installation.

Most sauna kits require you to provide the framework and wiring necessary for the sauna. If you are converting a small room into a sauna, for example, you could begin by stripping the existing wallboards off the frames. Once that is done, you should insulate the framework and install a plastic vapour barrier over the insulation.

You may also need to call an electrician to provide wiring for the sauna heater. Once this preparation work has been done, the sauna kit is simply attached to the existing framework and the heater is hooked up to the power supply. Depending on the size of the sauna and your inclination, this could be a day's work.

Prebuilt Saunas

Prebuilt (or modular) saunas are very easy to set up. They consist of two or three sections which attach together. They are freestanding units and can be placed anywhere. The wiring and lighting are already installed, and some companies even include the heater and all the accessories needed for your sauna.

When buying a prebuilt sauna, make sure that the individual pieces will fit through your doorways. Most companies selling prebuilt saunas specify the minimum size of doorway required.

One of the big advantages of prebuilt saunas is their portability. You probably won't want to take it with you on your weekend outing, but if you ever sell your house you can take your sauna along with you.

On the other hand, a permanently installed sauna may add to the resale value of your house when it comes time to sell, and the extra money may allow you to install a new sauna in your new house.

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