How to Build a Wonderful Sauna in 10 Steps

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Sauna is one of the best relaxation processes known nowadays. Their positive effect for your health is undoubted and that is why many householders want to install saunas in their houses. This article will tell you how to build a Finnish sauna yourself.

Finnish sauna offers hot but relatively dry air and has a goal of forcing you to sweat intensively. All pores of your skin will be cleansed, excessive fat will be dissolved and your overall health condition and good mood will improve significantly. Just remember that 3 times in a row is enough to get the maximum useful effect.

Saunas can be inner or outer. Inner saunas are built in the bathrooms and are accessible throughout the whole year. Outer saunas require additional construction work, as they need concrete foundation and good thermal insulation in order not to lose heat intensively.

This is why inner saunas are by far more popular. You just choose a place, buy a DIY-kit for sauna and construct it according to our instruction on how to build a sauna yourself.

Here is a list of the required tools and materials:

- electric drill,
- hammer,
- saw,
- perforator,
- pliers,
- thermal insulation,
- DIY-sauna kit.

Please pay attention to the contents of the DIY-package. Some cheaper models do not include thermal regulators or lighting. Please check everything before buying and don’t choose the cheapest set. Building the sauna yourself will cut your expenses greatly, so please choose one of the best sets available.

Here starts the guide on how to build a sauna yourself

Step 1 Choosing the Sauna Size

Saunas vary from 3′x4′ personal to 7′x12′ family, designed for serving 6-8 people at once. Usual size is 5′x7′ or 6′x7′ sauna, capable of serving 4 adults.

Step 2 Choosing the Floor Type

For outdoor sauna, you will have to use concrete foundation and solid floor, covered with ceramic tiles or duckboard wooden slats. For indoor sauna, the best choice would be to cover the existing floor with reliable waterproof insulation and to place duckboards slats over it. You may install or not install water drainage system in your sauna. Small amount of water would dry at once; just avoid pulling lots of water on the floor.

Step 3 Framing the Walls

Assemble the walls frames from pre-cut bars and pillars of your DIY-sauna kit. Allow place for the vents, the door and the window. Ideal sauna height is 7′ with 2′ high upper shelf. This leaves enough space for sitting, yet the volume is not too big and heats well.

Step 4 Wires and Controls

We have completed nearly a half of our guide on how to build a sauna with your own hands. Now it is time to install wiring and controls. Some heaters have their controls located on their top or sides. As it is not very convenient, we recommend you buying a heater with remote wire control and placing this outside your sauna near the door. Wires should be placed on the outer side of the insulation. Lighting wires should be installed the same way.

Step 5 Heat and Vapor Insulation

Aluminum vapor foil barrier is installed to keep heat inside the sauna. Its shiny side should face the inner side of the sauna. Fiberglass sheets are used as water insulation. Place R13 sheets on sides and make a crossing layer of two sheets on the ceiling. Remember to keep wires outside the insulation.

Step 6 Placing a Door and a Window

Those are usually sold ready to install. Please buy them as they are treated to face constant changes of heat and humidity conditions and withstand them much better than usual doors.

Step 7 Forming your Walls

When you decide how to build a sauna, you face the utmost important choice of wooden boards for the inner and outer parts of the wall. Those should be nailed horizontally, as it makes your sauna visually bigger and is much more convenient in construction. The Western Red Cedar wood would suit you best, as it can absorb the perspiration and odor, and it withstands humidity very well.

Step 8 Creating the Vents

Some manufacturers place vents near the door and this is a huge mistake. Air conditioning will be minimal in that case. Intake vent opening should be placed near the floor close to the heater, while exhaust vent should be placed near the ceiling in the opposite corner. This will create steady flow of warm air and fresh oxygen in sauna.

Step 9 Placing the Heater

Now the time has come to place the heater and to build the benches. Heater should be easily accessible for maintenance, yet covered with wooden cover in order to prevent accidental burns. It is best placed in the lower part of the sauna on the floor near the intake vent. The best choice is the electric heater with granite stones. It consumes standard 240 Volts power from your standard main and should be connected to the jack outside the sauna.

Step 10 Creating the Benches

The benches should be made of the same wood as the walls to make your sauna look outstanding. The upper should be 20″ wide and 46″ high to allow sitting or lying upon it. The lower bench is usually 17″ wide and high to allow you choosing between heat levels and accessing upper bench easily.

As you can see, building a sauna yourself is easy enough. Be attentive, accurate and purposeful and in few weekends, you will have your own sauna!

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