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Tips on Building a Home Sauna

Aug 17, 2007
You have been saying for a long time you would really like to build your own home sauna and have decided the time is now. So give me the hammer. Hold on, not quite that fast. Remember the saying that anything worth doing is worth doing well? Basically it is saying to take your time and research what you are planning. This holds as true for your home built sauna as it does for any other project. This article is intended to discuss the different type of saunas, the different various components that make up a sauna and also address some of the decisions needing to be made. If you do a good job researching your project and stick with a plan, you will find building your home sauna a very satisfying and rewarding project.

There are a couple important decisions that must be made before going too far. Something not often thought about is the fact that a home with a quality built-in sauna can add considerable value to the home. The most increase in value comes from a sauna fitted in an area of the house that looks the most natural. If this is important to you, then by all means take the time needed to decide on the most ideal placement. Another decision needing made is the size of the sauna, which certainly influences where it can be built and its cost. These are probably the toughest decisions you will have to make.

When its been decided where the sauna will go, and its size, you can then decide what type of sauna to build. The two choices, depending on your carpentry skill level, are the prefab (also called pre-built or modular) and precut or custom designed. If you possess basic carpentry skills you can save money by going with a precut sauna kit. A precut kit contains all the material needed to build a custom designed home sauna. The kit will contain many parts and pieces, thus the reason for some carpentry skills. If you just aren't sure about your building skills then consider purchasing a pre-built modular sauna. The reason this type sauna will cost more is the amount of prefabrication that will go into the product by the manufacturer. What is nice however, is when it arrives from the manufacturer, you basically just assemble the pieces. Keep in mind that most sauna kits do not come with a floor and you will need to build one. If a sauna is built for outdoor use it will require a concrete base and if used indoors it will need a floor that is washable and preferably moveable.

There are two more decisions you need to make before ordering your sauna kit. The first one is the type of wood you would like used in construction. The more common choices are poplar, aspen, cedar, pine and fir. Cedar tends to be the most popular choice. The other decision is what type of heater do you want. The choice of heaters are wood, electric, gas, or infrared. Even though they all have their own specific advantages, the most popular heater is the electric. A word of advice...before ordering your heater, check the local building codes to assure you order one which is approved. This is a good time to remind you that if price is going to be a major factor, the highest priced components of a sauna building project are 1) size of sauna, 2) type of heater, 3) type of wood used, and 4) amount of prefabrication involved. If the cost of your sauna is getting a little pricey and needs some fine tuning, keep in mind that changing the specifications to any of these four areas will directly effect the final cost of your sauna.

In summary, remember that sauna manufacturers and dealers want to sell saunas and also have satisfied customers. So whether you plan on building a precut sauna kit or simplifying construction by buying a prefabricated home sauna, reputable dealers will be happy to help you customize your installation to fit your particular requirements. No need to hesitate asking for advice and help. Have fun with your project and good health and wellness to you.
About the Author
Mark Washburn is a freelance writer with experience about saunas and other health related topics on
Home Saunas
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