How To Build An Outdoor Sauna

Having a sauna of your own is something that many of dream of. The problems is that building it yourself can be quite difficult as there are many building regulations that you have to take in to account with a sauna. You need to take care of the vapor insulation and also the heat insulation, while at the same time building a comfortable room that can be used as a steam room.

Because there is a heater, you need to pay attention tot the fire safety, and depending on what type of sauna heater you choose – electric or wood burning – you will need a chimney or not. Generally people will say that a wood burning sauna heater provides a better experience, but is much more inconvenient than a regular electric sauna heater.

When you are building an outdoor sauna, you will need to decide on whether you are going to build it from the scratch, or get a sauna kit. Depending on the type of kit you choose you will have a different amount of work to do. There are so called DIY-kits where you will get the timber and the materials needed, and you will also get the plans for the sauna. You will have to know how to use the circular saw as the parts are not pre-cut, and you will have to know how to take correct measurements to avoid making mistakes while cutting the wood.

The problem with these saunas is that there is a lot that can go wrong, and unless you are experienced in building you are going to have a hard time making it work.

If you are building the sauna for your own personal use, a sauna of 4’x4′ is often enough as it will easily seat 3-4 people. For larger needs you can just build a bigger room, but you will have to take this in to account when choosing the sauna heater. A larger sauna needs a bigger wood heater, or a more powerful electric heater.

How big does it have to be?

The most important thing you have to think of, is the amount of people using the sauna. You can easily be tempted to build a large sauna, but face the fact – if you are only using it alone, or with one or two family members at a time, you don’t need a sauna that can seat 15 people or more. It is not going to be energy efficient, but it can be done.

For someone looking to build a very large sauna, we recommend doing it from the beginning all by yourself, or hiring a contractor to do the work for you. You can’t find a pre-built outdoor sauna kit that is very big.

We recommend that you get at least 1.5′ of bench per person using the sauna, but if you wish to lie down while using it, you should go with much more – it is easy to count once you measure how tall you are!

Generally you can use up to two levels of benches to still get a good steam room at each of the levels, and you should not go higher or much lower than 7′ in height of the room. Having two benches, each 1,5’x3 will only give you a sauna of 2 people as you don’t want someone to be sitting on the top of your feet! If you plan on having people in both of the levels, add some space for them in either the width of the bench of the length. Having an outdoor sauna that is too small will easily make people feel claustrophobic, as the heat will further increase the effect!

Building the outdoor sauna

You will need to build the room for the sauna, and the best way to do it is to start from the basics. Depending on the area you are going to build the sauna on, you will have to make the proper foundation. After that it is recommended to do a 2×4 framing while using fiberglass insulation between the exterior paneling of your choice, and the indoor paneling which is usually chosen to be red cedar wood. You will also need a layer of wide aluminium foil under the interior paneling. This will act as a heat insulator, and give the sauna a fireproof layer.

You will have to make an air intake at the bottom of at least one of the walls which is at least 3″x3″ in size and another one on the ceiling. Put the lower vent near the heater, and the top vent in the opposing corner. Usually both of these are open at all times to avoid the loss of fresh air in the sauna. We recommend you also build a window in the sauna to allow better drying after use.

The room hight is recommended to be 7′ high as this will not weaken the steam. A too high room will cause the steam and the heat to ‘escape’ to the top of the room and you will not have such a good sauna experience. Using a 2-level design for the benches you will get the best possible layout. This way if one feels too hot in the sauna, they can sit on the lower bench, without having to compromise the experience from the other people in the same sauna.

For a small, few person sauna, it is recommended to build the benches in an L-shape, where as larger saunas that can hold from 6 to 12 peeople at a time, other possibilities exist.

You can put the benches on opposing walls, and have the sauna heater placed at the center of the sauna, or in the middle of the end wall. This will usually require a sauna at least 7’x9′ to make it comfortable. A U-design is also possible for the sauna benches, where the sauna heater would be at the open end. For this bench design, you should use a larger sauna room than 7’x9′, and a 8’x10′ is a recommended minimum. This way the room can seat up to 15 people when at maximum capacity.¬†Generally these designs will only work with large sauna rooms, as they can cause the small sauna room to be too tightly packed.

The easier solution – pre cut sauna kit

So you are not that experienced with construction, but you think you can handle building a sauna. The best way to go is to get a pre cut sauna kit. The most commonly used timber for these is cedar wood, and it does work really well in a sauna as it dries up really quickly, and it also provides the smell that is usually associated with steam rooms. Because it is very durable and mold resistant, it is possibly the best choice for a sauna.

Most of the sauna kits that are available, are meant for a ready built room, and all they provide are the benches and the door. You can usually choose if you want to get it with the door and the heater as well – this usually drives the price up quite a bit.


Best Sauna Heaters

Electric Sauna Heater
When you are buying a sauna heater, you don’t want to sacrifice quality. These are high quality electric devices that have to be safe to use, even in long term. You are combining water with electricity, you won’t want to save money in the wrong places.

  • Highest quality sauna heaters
  • Both electric and wood powered models
  • Largest rock capacity
  • Stainless steel parts and chassis
  • 3-wall construction

Wood Burning Sauna Heater
Depending on your sauna size, you will have to choose the correct power for your electric sauna heater. If you want to get a powerful one, you can run it at lower power if more isn’t needed, but if you choose to get a too weak heater, you will not get sufficient steam for your sauna room, even at highest power.

For saunas that are between 25 and 35 square feet, we recommend getting a heater with 6kW of power. For a sauna that is up to 60 square feet, we recommend getting a 9kW heater. Anything above you should go for a 12kW heater, and below 25 square feet saunas 5kW heaters should be enough.

Wood burning sauna heaters known for the soft steam that they produce. They have more stones, and because the source of heat is burning wood, it can’t get too hot too quickly. So basically you are heating a lot of stones to a perfect temperature. These can be quite inconvenient for some, and for that reason, electric heaters are the choice for many sauna owners who wish to use their sauna on a frequent basis. Outdoor sauna kits come with electric heaters.

When you get a good quality sauna heater you will get a machine that will last with you for decades. Many sauna owners are happy to tell that the investment that they made in the beginning was worth it, and they have had the same heater for the whole time they have had a sauna.

Because there is somewhat of a difference in the heat that wood burning and electric heaters produce, some people have chosen to get both types in their sauna. That way they can use the electric heater when they are just going for a quick steam during the week, and in the weekends they can use the wood burning heater when they have friends over, and are spending even hours in the sauna.

In either case you have to pay attention to safety issues. You want a heater that doesn’t heat from the outside, but only heats the stones. This can be impossible to achieve, but with multi layer walls, some of the best sauna heaters are able to keep the outside walls cooler. This way if you accidentally touch the outside of the heater, you will not get burnt.

Another thing that is important is with electric heaters you can’t take a risk of water touching electricity. This could cause serious problems.¬†With wood burning heaters you need to keep the sauna heater far enough from the wall, to avoid the risk of starting a fire where you don’t want one.

Outdoor Sauna Kits – The Easy Way To Build Your Outdoor Sauna!

Saunas are a source of relaxation and many health benefits. Having one inside the house can make your home too hot to live in, but having an outdoor sauna can make all the difference.

  • Feel the relaxation after spending time in a sauna
  • Don’t heat your home, use an outdoor sauna
  • High build quality from Finlandia
  • Best available materials

Best Outdoor Saunas Available!

When it comes to making such a big purchase as buying a sauna, you don’t want to get the cheapest available option and sacrifice quality. You can get saunas from the oldest U.S. manufacturer at an affordable price, just make sure that you get them from Amazon.

Building saunas isn’t easy, and to make one that works as supposed, and lasts for a long time you need to have the expertise. Many try to build their own saunas, often noticing that they don’t get good steams in there, or that their structures get moldy quite soon.

By using the highest quality materials and making sure everything is made as it is supposed to be made, you can be sure that you will get a long term investment for your money. All these outdoor sauna kits have high quality vapor barriers, insulation materials, framings and bases. They are built to last, and to get a good sauna, all you have to do is assemble it.

In the winter time, and in colder climates having a sauna that is outdoors can be quite pleasant. You can’t really compare the feeling to anything else, that you get when you walk out from a steamy hot sauna, in to the outdoor weather that would normally feel cold, but now feels pleasantly cool. If you have a summer house that is near a lake, or you happen to be fortunate enough to live next to a lake, getting a sauna like this is a must!

You have a wide selection of door options, finishes and sizes to choose from. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a small 2 person sauna, or if you want to get a large sauna that can many more. These kits come with the highest quality sauna heaters that are set up to be optimal for a sauna of this size. People usually don’t know what type of a heater they should get and end up getting either a heater that is too powerful or not powerful enough. This can ruin the experience.

If you don’t want to get an outdoor sauna kit with a heater, you can get one that doesn’t have it with the kit. You might have a heater from your old sauna that is the right fit for the model you are about to purchase, and you have the option of not getting a new one. Keep in mind that the heaters with these kits are the highest quality, and will make a big difference when it comes to the time it takes for the heater to be at the operational heat, and also the amount of time they can be used.