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Do It Yourself Sauna Kits: Don't Make a Costly Mistake

Aug 17, 2007
Do it yourself sauna kits have come a long way in the last few years. Having a home sauna is within reach of more and more people all the time. Price, ease of construction and quality have all improved. Our understanding of the health benefits of using a sauna has also increased. Many more people are appreciating the health aspect of saunas that go well beyond the obvious relaxation and feeling of well-being.

Before starting a sauna project you should consider these areas:
-The type of sauna
-Where it will go
-How much work you want to put in
-Design considerations

What type of sauna is right for you?
Saunas can be divided into 2 broad categories: Infrared and Traditional.

Infrared saunas use Infrared wave emitters to produce the heat that creates the sauna environment. These waves penetrate your skin causing you to sweat. The air and interior of the sauna is not heated very much so warm-up time for this type of sauna is minimal. Exhaust ventilation is not a consideration so they fit easily into basements and bathrooms. These saunas are "dry" since there are no hot rocks to use for making steam.

Traditional saunas use a heat source of some kind to heat rocks, which heat and circulate the air. The rocks can then be sprinkled with water to produce steam. For many sauna enthusiasts this is the heart of the experience. There are wood, electric and gas stoves. Wood and gas stoves need an approved ventilation system, which limits their location somewhat. With any "steam" sauna moisture ventilation is also a consideration.

Where will you put your sauna?
Saunas can be located inside or outside. Locating outside in colder climates lets you take advantage of the extreme difference in temperature between interior and exterior. There is nothing quite like walking out of 100 + degree sauna into below zero air temperatures to create a truly unique experience.

On the other hand there are advantages to locating indoors. Convenience is obvious but warm-up time and operating costs will both be less with an inside unit.

Wherever you decide to build your kit you should think ahead about where you will get a power source and how you deal with ventilation. Having a convenient place for dressing and relaxing afterwards is a definite plus.

Which materials are best?
The traditional material for a sauna is wood, most commonly cedar. There is a practical reason for this since it stays relatively cool and absorbs moisture as needed. All wood for the interior should be clear to avoid knots that will seep sap and create problems. If you are buying a kit be sure the quality and thickness of the wood is well established. Sauna exteriors can be whatever material you want within reason.

How much work do you want to do?
There are kits available that need very little assembly. There are also kits that will take a good week of work or better to complete. A quick check of the Internet will show a huge variety in the work required, quality available and price of do it yourself sauna kits. The greatest part is that event the snap together modular kits can be delivered right to your door within a few days.

What goes into the design?
The design of your sauna is determined by where it is going, how it is heated and how many people are going to be in it at any one time. With many kits there is little design flexibility. It is up to you to be sure that the kit is right for your situation. On the other hand if you are buying individual components you can let your creativity run with very few restrictions. Saunas are very forgiving structures. If you can create a situation where heat is produced and contained you can have a functioning sauna.

If you want to put together your own do it yourself sauna kit the options are almost endless. The convenience has never been greater than it is today. There are many reasons to get your own home sauna, not he least of which include the tremendous health benefits of regular sauna use. It won't take long after building your sauna before you understand why so many people are truly devoted to their home saunas.
About the Author
Mike Hirn is a longtime sauna enthusiast. His website supplies a wealth of FREE INFORMATION about the construction, use and health benefits of home saunas. Take a look at
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