Build your own sauna

How to build your own sauna – First steps.

Building your own sauna can be easier than you think. You can buy a pre-built sauna that can easily be put together in less than 30 minutes or you can buy a kit and assemble it yourself if you have some basic woodworking skills. Of course the supreme challenge is to build your own sauna from scratch. Anyone with basic carpentry skills can tackle a project like this.

The first consideration before you build your own sauna is the location. Whether you are building in the city or country may determine a lot about the design of your sauna. This can determine questions as basic as whether it will be built inside or outside, and should it be freestanding or attached.

After you have decided the location and design, you have to decide the best kind of stove for you to use. If you are building your own sauna the possibilities include electric, wood-burning, and gas. The complexities of infrared saunas make it more practical to buy a prepackaged unit if you are looking for this style of sauna. If you’re building your sauna in a rural area, a wood-burning stove can be a good choice. In the city you might be better off with an electric or gas heater. Electric is the most popular choice for saunas in the city.

You will also need to think about a way to integrate a place to rinse off and change. It is very convenient if there is a shower just outside the sauna for people to rinse off before going into the sauna. When you decide where to build your sauna think about hot water and running the plumbing to the sauna.


If you are in the country the best spot for a sauna would be close to water like a lake or river so that you can jump in after taking a sauna. Close to a swimming pool is another option. If neither of these are possible, plan on having a shower nearby.

Saunas that are built in the country are usually a separate building or an addition to the side of the house. In the city, inside the house is often the best choice of locations. It should be near a bathroom so that participants can rinse off before going in the sauna and take a cool shower afterwards.

If you are going to convert an existing room into a sauna, you need to think about the moisture that will come from the sauna. The room will have to be insulated and have a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from damaging the rest of the house.

Sauna Heaters

Most people that frequently take saunas agree that a wood-burning sauna heater provides the most satisfying sauna experience. This is a common choice for saunas in the country. In the city, a wood-burning stove may not be practical. Your next best choice may be an electric sauna heater. Gas is another possibility but some people complain about the smell that they give off when in used.

Whichever kind of heater you pick, you need the right connections. This means you might need to hire an electrician or plumber. Plan this part of the project early when building your own sauna.

I am a sauna enthusiast and I love wood-fired saunas for their traditional feel, possibility for installation anywhere without worrying about electrical access and ability to reach high temperatures.