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How to Build a Sauna

How to Build a Sauna That Fits Your Needs

A sauna that suits your budget, lifestyle, and available resources is quite simple to build. Read next, how to build a sauna to derive multiple health benefits from it.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Jul 18, 2018
A sauna is defined as a steam bath/bathhouse in which the steam is generated by pouring water over a pile of heated rocks. It finds its roots in Finland and is known to human beings for more than 1000 years. It gives the joy of relaxing and the satisfaction of deep cleansing. During home sauna, the body temperature increases and leads to perspiration.
This opens the pores of the skin, which assist the body in the process of detoxification. The increase in temperature affects the chemical reactions taking place in the body that eventually raise the heart rate and increase blood circulation towards the skin.
A small change in the blood pressure is a normal effect of sauna. Studies have proved that it is safe for humans and has many health benefits like weight loss, cleansing, and above all, physical and mental relaxation.
Nowadays, life is so hectic that most people don't find the time to go to a sauna spa. Considering its multiple health benefits, a home sauna is the latest trend. Anyone skilled in basic carpentry can build it.
Suitable Place
Every house has a spare room or at least a spare corner. Such an area should satisfy the following requirements:
sauna nearness of Water Source
Nearness of a Water Source: The area should be close to a water source like a swimming pool. An extension of the bathroom would be a perfect place to set up a home sauna.
Availability of Space for sauna
Availability of Space: The area should be large enough to accommodate 5-6 people. There should also be enough space to place wooden benches across the walls. 
This is required so that occupants can lie down comfortably if they wish to. The space required can be even larger if you wish to have a shower and a changing or cooling off area.
Wooden Flooring and Roof
Wooden Flooring and Roof: A wooden one has always been the best option. The aroma of wood is magical and is best suited for relaxation. 
Another advantage is that it requires less maintenance. Make sure that the flooring is heat and fire resistant. Hickory, apple wood, and cedar are some varieties used. Cedar is known to be the best among them.
Height of the Roof: The roof must be high enough to allow good circulation of heat around the room. The ideal roof height is seven feet.
Absence of Metallic Fittings: See to it that there are no metallic pieces or fixtures in that area. In case they have to be there, ensure that the metallic fittings are deeply embedded in the roof or flooring. This is very important as the temperature is so high that it can cause the metal to heat up.
Ventilation: There should be an outlet for the stove, stone fire, or wood fireplace to produce the heat without causing any damage to the sauna. The room must be properly ventilated to avoid stuffiness and discomfort.
Source of Heat
Wood, electricity, gas, and infrared are the sources of heat used in saunas. Following is a brief description of each source; select the one that suits your needs.
Wood: It is easily available in the countryside and is the obvious choice for people inhabiting that area. But using wood has many disadvantages. The biggest drawback is that it takes more than 45 minutes to produce the required amount of heat. Secondly, it is a laborious task to cut down wood into pieces. Thirdly, it is not an environment-friendly option.
Electric heater in sauna
Electricity: Electric heater to generate steam is a good choice, especially for those who are living in cities. It is fast in steam generation and is absolutely clean to use, but it is quite expensive.
Gas used in sauna
Gas: Using gas as a heat source is a relatively better option, as it is cheap and clean to use.
Infrared: The latest trend is to use infrared rays directly to warm up the body. This is known as infrared sauna. Special infrared devices are available to generate infrared rays. Using infrared as a source of heat has many advantages.
The most significant benefits are - comfortable temperature range, weight loss, and energy efficiency. It greatly lowers down the risk of burns and fires.
Design Features
A sauna is meant to provide comfort. The meaning of comfort is different for different individuals. Therefore, it is available in different design features. The following description would help you to find out which type fits your definition of comfort.
Wet/Steam Sauna
Steam Sauna
Wet/Steam Sauna: Here, heat is obtained by splashing water on heated rocks. 
Dry Sauna
Dry Sauna: Here, heat is generated directly by heating rocks, using a gas stove, or electric, and infrared devices. Infrared sauna is an example. Both produce the same results on health, so the selection depends entirely on you.
A home sauna can be built in two ways. One way is to cut the wood and collect the stones yourself. The second option is to assemble prefabricated materials and join them. Generally, manufacturers send professionals to set it up in your home. They trim the precut materials and fit them in the area of your choice.
Design an effective layout, and plan according to your budget and availability of resources. Now that you know how to build a sauna yourself, build one, and experience the pleasure of relaxing at home.