How to Build a Sauna – Easy DIY Methods for Building Sauna House

How to Build a Sauna

Because I had been a homeowner many decades back, I have always wanted to build a sauna. A sauna is a small hot room (140 F to 200 F) in which you go to sweat. It promotes comfort and supposedly excellent health benefits. I have seen a couple of interior houses and a couple of outdoor houses, also several in spas and health clubs. But how to build a sauna is unknown to many people. In this guide, I will discuss the easiest steps to building a sauna and its benefits and other important factors.

A popular but rather strange activity would be to warm yourself at the Sauna then roll into the snow or leap to the cold water.

What is a Sauna?

A sauna is a room heated between 70° 100° Celsius or even 158 to 212° Fahrenheit.

Conventional Finnish saunas usually use dry heat, with a relative humidity that’s frequently between 10 and 20%. In sauna types, the moisture is significantly higher. Turkish-style saunas, as an instance, involve a greater degree of humidity.

A sauna usage will raise your skin temperature for about 40° Celsius or 104° Fahrenheit.

Since skin temperature rises, heavy sweating also does occur. As your human anatomy endeavor to remain cool, One’s heart rate rises. It’s not unusual to lose approximately a pint of sweat while spending a little time at a sauna.

Types of Saunas

There are numerous types of sauna, based on how a room is heated.

These comprise:

Wood Burning

Wood is used to heat the sauna room and sauna stones. Wood-burning saunas are usually reduced in humidity as well as elevated temperatures.

Electrically Heated

Much like wood-burning saunas, electrically-heated saunas have elevated temperatures and very low humidity. An electric heater, attached with a ground, heats the sauna room.

Infrared Room

Far-infrared saunas (FIRS) are separate from wood-burning and electrically-heated saunas. Lamps that are special use waves to heat an individual’s own body, maybe not the room. Temperatures are less than different saunas, but anyone sweats in a very comparable way. Usually, infrared saunas are approximately 60° Celsius.

Steam Room

All these are separate from saunas. In the place of heat, a steam room includes high humidity and moist heat.  

Things You’ll Need

  • Access to plumbing, heat, and electricity lines
  • Sauna heating system (rocks or infrared)
  • Sauna heater
  • Wood boards
  • Roofing material
  • Ceramic tile

How to Build a Sauna Step by Step Guide

Saunas are little interior spaces that are warmed and fed with water to make a hot, steamy condition where people can relax and ease muscle pain. Building saunas are generally simple if a decent area is chosen and the right materials are bought. Even though the styles and sizes of saunas vary, the basic standards of sauna construction are the same, and these steps will give you a general outline of how to build a sauna.

The Beginnings

I have on my house an old concrete block outbuilding that was used to store only junk. It’s not too far from my home. Voila, the ideal place for a sauna. I also had an old iron fireplace add sitting around only slowly rusting. 

Voila a perfect sauna heater.

Cleaning the Building

The first step is to wash out the outbuilding and throw away any unusable crap that had gathered for the previous several years. There were vines growing into the building from an uncovered eve and mud-dauber wasp nests throughout. One half of this ceiling was covered with panelling, which, when removed, sent a shower of soil and various debris down onto me.

Plan

Over time I refined the plans and created many hand drawings as well as CAD drawings because I mulled over the perfect Sauna project. 

As soon as I decided to use the outbuilding, I sketched some plans and started to solidify my layout. 

As usual, after I talked about the plans with my wife, she changed. She’s not a CAD magician, therefore that she sketched her variation at chalk on the drive. 

I started work on the Sauna inside by my wife’s chalk sketch. We were going to divide the interior space into 3 rooms, the sauna, a changing room and a entry/storage area. 

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Making the Hearth

I made a hearth to home the iron fireplace insert. After much consideration, I found its position in the sauna room area and decided to conduct the chimney directly throughout the roof. To assemble the hearth, I used concrete cubes, which I have consistently called cinder blocks, maybe incorrectly, since the base. Both the hearth walls and high were built of real bricks. I used angle iron pieces I cut out of an old mattress frame together with pieces of scrap sheet metal to span the walls and then hold the bricks in the place for the top. All were held with masonry cement.

A sauna stove generally warms rocks onto that water could be dripped to add steam. Since the surface is decorated with brick and the furnace is still enclosure itself I don’t anticipate much heat transfer to the rocks.

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Set the Stove

Before installing the heavy 300+ lb. insert, it was repainted with flat black high temperature wood stove paint from Amazon. Then it was positioned in front of the hearth before the top bricks were placed, and hoisted using a come-along and a nylon tow strap draped over a post in the rafters. I slid right into place with only ¼” clearance on either side. A bit of advice here, measure carefully, several times before building the hearth.

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Purchase the Chimney Parts

After I decided to run the chimney directly up through the roof rather than throughout the sidewall, I need to get the right chimney parts. 

I was looking for a metal double-wall chimney system to be safe and protected and decrease the clearances I needed. I figured that I could use one wall stove pipe to the ceiling of the Sauna subsequently double wall the remainder of the way. After that I started an online search and had purchased the below one.

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Setting the Chimney

I hung a plumb bob in the ceiling above the outlet of the stove and also marked the interior of the roof to lower the clearance gap. This construction includes a sheet metal roofing. I believed that I could flatten the ridges of this sheet metal using a considerable hammer place the chimney flashing over the top. That didn’t work. Instead, I cut on the flashing to fit between the ridges, and its sides subsequently formed it on the roof ridges across the top and bottom. Then I applied a very generous amount of silicone roofing cement.

I have used this plumb bob, sheet metal roofing and silicone roofing cement.

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Be sure the stove and chimney were doing the job and check for smoke leaks I began a test flame with a massive wad of paper. Smoke came from the top of the chimney and nowhere else. It’s suggested that the fireplace terminates at least two feet above any hurdles, for example, roof peak. I know that when the chimney isn’t large enough, it won’t draw well.

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Inside Edging

I began framing until I set up the chimney completed when the stack has been set up. Since I understood the panelling wouldn’t be pieced together and could span the whole length of each wall, I wasn’t overly strict with stud spacing.  

Between every stud, I put 2 in thick Styrofoam panels (approx. R-10 worth) and sealed the gaps with Great Stuff Insulating Foam Sealant. I found that using a reciprocating saw with a fine-tooth blade works well for cutting the panels. I wonder a little about the R-value being sufficient. The building is 9 in thick cement block walls, I left about 1-inch air gap between the insulation and the block, and the panelling is 3/4 inch thick cedar. All of this adds some extra insulating factor. The stove is oversized, almost Binford sized, so I don’t anticipate a lack of heat.

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Re-Wiring

I needed to move the breaker box out of what’s now the entry into what’s currently the storage space. You will find two big wooden poles (approx. 8in X 8in) which type of support the span of the roof trusses. I believe they do not help that much to support the construction because they had been only wedged in place and kept with a couple of claws through a truss.

I moved one of them a clear path to the storage area. The breaker box is mounted on it. I added a recessed LED ceiling light in the sauna room, a cheap ceiling fixture in the changing room, even cheaper ceiling fixture in the entry.

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Insulating

The next step was to cut on the ceiling together with paper-backed fibreglass using the R-19 value. Two rolls 39 ft. Proved sufficient to jumpstart the roof of the sauna room along with the living room. I’m leaving the entrance and storage space ceiling un-insulated. On the ceiling and walls, I placed a vapour barrier. It was simply one roll of 4mil plastic sheeting. I cut it into wall-sized sections to make it more manageable during stapling.

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Wood inside

Sauna insides are traditionally made of cedar, but occasionally fir or pine can be utilized. Cedar is significantly more expensive than pine; therefore that I used a few of each.

The walls are coated with 6″ broad Western Red Cedar home siding from Menards. I needed to dig for a little while through the inventory of planks to locate appropriate ones. Each of the panelling is connected with galvanized finishing nails except at the difficult to hammer areas in which I used completing drywall screws.

Vents

The sauna room has to be vented, mainly when a wood heater is used. The fire will eventually burn off nearly all of the oxygen in the sealed chamber and starve itself. And of course the consequences it might have on the bathers.

I cut about a 6 X 12 from the slot at the front wall close to the floor in a corner and a second slot at the ceiling is diagonal in the floor vent. Each slot has been coated with a bit of scrap timber with holes cut with a 1/2 in. The holes were countersunk along with the planks attached using screws.

The ceiling vents to the loft and I guessed the clearance hole in the roof to the stove pipe could port satisfactorily to the exterior.

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Benches

When building the chairs, I wanted upper and lower platforms. I decided to create an L shape across the rear wall furthest in the stove. There’s only room for a single upper and lower stage along the back wall and a lower platform across the sidewall. The lower bench is 18″ in the floor and also the top position must have 42″ of clearance to the ceiling.

I constructed frames to the chairs from pine 2X4s. The component of the frame against the walls has been attached via the panelling into the studs using unique 4-1/2 flat-headed lag screws. The lower benches had pole legs for aid and angle also connected to the studs. The top bench only used edge bracing to permit room under.

The chairs are created from 5/4 Cedar deck planking and approximately spaced 1/2″ apart from I cut and put every one of the planks without attaching then fix the spacing to match out the frames and marked with their places. The front portion of every frame wherever your legs will hangover, incidentally, can also be cedar deck planking.

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Floor

The floor within my outbuilding is not concrete. I decided to simply construct a wooden stage floor at the sauna room under and in the front of the seat space and leave exposed concrete across the woodstove. The platform doesn’t extend all of the ways into the wall under the widest bench. 

This saves me a few bucks in material price and leaves a room round the wood stove which won’t scorch if hot embers fall to the floor. I put out 2X4 stringers on the concrete using the 4in side flat on the floor, roughly two feet apart. Here I used 5/4″ cedar deck planking and put the boards until they attached them.

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Door

Almost done now with the sauna room, I had to make an insulated door. I built a 2X4 frame to fit the door opening with ½” clearance all around. Before constructing the complete door I test fit the frame in the opening, then increased the clearance because of the slight un-squareness of the opening. I added a nailer inside the frame for paneling attachment which had a width calculated to allow 2” of rigid Styrofoam insulation, car siding panels, and scrap cedar plywood to nest inside the frame. The panels were attached with galvanized nails.

I created a contraption of a door handle/latch constructed for salvaged 1X6 oak fence boards. The exterior handle attached to a 1-inch dowel and to an interior latching/handle piece placed perpendicular to the outside handle.

Health Benefits of Sauna 

Regardless of how a sauna is heated, and also the humidity level, the impacts in your system are identical.

Whenever an individual sits at a sauna, then their heart rate increases and blood vessels expand. Flow is increased by this, at a similar way to exercise that is reduced to moderate exercise on the length of sauna usage.

Heart speed may rise to 100-150 beats one minute while using a sauna. 

It may bring several health advantages.

Easing Pain

Increased blood supply may reduce muscle soreness and improve joint movement, also alleviate arthritis pain.

Reducing Anxiety Level  

Since the heat in a sauna improves blood circulation, it may also promote comfort. Feelings of wellbeing could improve.

Improving Cardiovascular Health  

The decrease in stress levels when using a sauna may be connected to a decreased risk of cardiovascular events.

One study, conducted in Finland, followed 2,315 men ages 42 to 60 within twenty decades. Surveys indicated that people using a sauna might get less risk of dying from cardiovascular illness.

Of the participants at the analysis, an overall total of 878 expired from cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disorder, or sudden coronary death. Participants were categorized with how frequently they had a sauna, for example, once per week, 2 to 3 times every week, plus four to seven days every week.

Once adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors, greater sauna usage was correlated with a low risk of fatal cardiovascular-related diseases.

Participants who used the sauna 2 to 3 times every week were 22 per cent less likely to undergo sudden cardiac death than people that just used it once per week. Individuals who had used a sauna to seven days each week were less likely to undergo sudden coronary death and 50 per cent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease compared to people that employed a sauna once per week.

Additional research is required to figure out whether or not there’s a clear connection between sauna usage and also a decline in deaths from cardiovascular disease.

Sauna use may also be correlated with lower blood pressure and also improved cardiovascular functioning.

While studies may be promising, sauna usage should not substitute for a workout program to maintain mind. There was certainly evidence to support that the health advantages of exercise.

Skin Issues 

A dry sauna dries the skin throughout use. Many people who have psoriasis may discover that their symptoms drop when having a sauna; however, people with atopic dermatitis may discover that it worsens.

Asthma 

People with asthma may find relief from several symptoms as being a consequence of using a sauna. A sauna may help open airways, loosen phlegm, and decrease stress.

Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease?

In 2016, researchers in Finland published findings of a 20-year analysis which correlated sauna usage with lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The analysis included men aged 42 to 60 years.

People who had used a sauna 2-3 times a week were 22 per cent less likely to find dementia and 20% less likely to get Alzheimer’s than people that failed to work with a sauna. Individuals who had used a sauna to seven days each week were 66% less likely to find dementia and 65% less likely to get Alzheimer’s than people that had consumed a sauna once every week.

Nevertheless, the results will not establish a sauna, induces a decrease in risk. It may be that people who have dementia do not use a sauna. 

More research is necessary to verify those findings.

What are the Health Risks and Precautions?

The medium usage of a sauna is safe for a lot of people. But an individual who has illness should talk with a health care provider. 

Blood Pressure Risks

Shifting between the heat of a sauna and cold water at a swimming pool isn’t wise since it could raise blood pressure.

Sauna usage may also lead to blood pressure to fall; therefore, people who have very lower blood pressure should speak with their physician to make sure that sauna use is safe for them.

People that have had a heart attack should also speak with their physician first.

Dehydration Risk

Dehydration can result from fluid loss while perspiration. People who have certain circumstances may be at an increased risk of melancholy.

The raised temperatures may also result in nausea and nausea in many people.

Precautions 

To avoid any negative health consequences, these precautions are also suggested:

Avoid alcohol: Smoking increases the risk of dehydration, hypotension, arrhythmia, and sudden departure.

A year-long analysis of people in Finland who underwent sudden departure revealed that at 1.8 per cent of cases, the man had needed a sauna over the previous 3 hours and at 1.7 per cent of cases they had done in the previous 2-4 hours. Lots of them had consumed alcohol.

Limit time in a sauna: Don’t spend over 20 minutes in one time at a sauna. First-time users should shell out a max of 5 to ten minutes. While they have accustomed to the heat, they could raise the opportunity.

Drink a lot of plain water: Whatever kind of sauna an individual uses, you must restore the fluids lost from perspiration. People should drink two to 4 glasses of plain water.

Avoid sauna use if sick: People that are ill should also wait until they recover before having a sauna. Women that are pregnant or people with certain health conditions, such as low blood pressure, should consult their physician.

Supervise kids: kids aged six and are safer using a sauna, however, should be supervised when doing so. They should spend no more than fifteen minutes in there.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How much does it cost to build your sauna?

A sauna is only an insulated shed using an electrical gas or propane heat resource. A kit takes the average of twenty-five hours even though a customized made design is going to have a couple of weekends. Basic kits start around $2000 and rise to $7,000, whereas DIY saunas cost approximately $3,000 to $6,000.

Can I build my sauna?

Indoor saunas can be created by converting a storage closet or perhaps even a little bathroom. Provided that you’ve got access into your 120v for the heater or infrared lights, then you might also create a sauna from scratch at an attic, garage and a cellar. Electric heater saunas and infrared saunas would be the very best for inside.

What type of wood do you use in a sauna?

Eucalyptus, basswood, cedar and sometimes even spruce are a few of the most useful kinds of softwood for long-term saunas.

Are home saunas values it?

It is the only real way you are getting a health spa at home. It is a superb expenditure decision, contributing significantly to your life and the property itself. An excellent sauna is a return on investment. You’ll have a decade later on.

Which is better steam or sauna room?

The significant distinction is in the kind of heat they provide. A sauna uses heat usually from hot rocks or a closed stove. Steam rooms are heated by a generator filled with boiling water. While a sauna may help relax and loosen your muscles, it won’t have the same health benefits of a steam room.

Recommendations 

  • When you can, use tongue and groove timber to your outer wall. It removes the requirement of nails that may heat up once the sauna is currently being used and will lead to injury.
  • Every dwelling sauna may vary significantly depending on location, size and individual taste. Shape and the style you contribute a framework and wall will be dependent on how lots of people you desire to support.
  • Personal saunas should be made from timber, as timber could shoot on and discharge humidity and heat a lot better than other substances. And cedar is just two sorts of timber for saunas; they usually do not contract or expand or contract too dramatically.
  • Many nations need a building license to create substantial modifications to the surface your home plus some may need additional licenses for your plumbing and electrical function, therefore make sure you consult the regional government beforehand.

Warnings

  • Personal saunas need constant upkeep. Don’t forget to eliminate the floorboards to wash out the tiles, so wash out the sauna heater, assess the timber for any bulging and maintain the venting points clear.

Final Word

At last, the Sauna warm-up about one hour that’s from approximately 0 degrees F to around 160 F, that will be about right for many people. I have had it around 175, but more will begin to become uneasy. We’ve used it on a dozen or so times before three weeks because it had been finished it’s going to hold approximately seven or six individuals but is comfortable with 4 or 3. It was rolling from the snow following a 15-minute dip in a favourite regular. We have covered a lot of things like how to build a sauna, its health benefits, tips and tricks some frequently asked questions. Hope you like this article and let us know by comment.

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