Are you thinking about building your own outdoor sauna? Well, you've come to the right place! As someone who is passionate about saunas, I am thrilled to share my experience and knowledge with you.
First things first, there are several ways to get an outdoor sauna, but I believe that the best way is to either DIY from scratch (if you have the time) or get a builder to do a custom build. Don't waste your time with pre-built sauna kits, as they often lack in quality and durability.
When you're starting your outdoor sauna project, just like with building your own house, you want to begin with a good plan. This includes careful consideration of layout, ventilation, construction techniques, details, materials, and heater choice. You want to ensure that your sauna is well-thought-out to provide you with the best sauna experience possible.
Is a pre-built sauna kit a good idea?
I have yet to see a sauna kit that is of decent quality. The reason is simple: it is very difficult to build a kit that produces a durable, good-looking, and well-functioning sauna. The kits that are available do not provide adequate quality, and it is best to do it yourself (DIY).
In my opinion the best way is to DIY from scratch ( if you have the time) or get a builder to do a custom build. We can help you with both of these cases.
When you are setting out to build your outdoor sauna, just like with building your house, you want to start with a good plan. You want to make sure your sauna is well thought out in terms of layout, ventilation, construction techniques, details, materials and heater choice.
Is a barrel sauna a good idea?
When it comes to outdoor saunas, there are several types to choose from. The barrel sauna, for instance, is a unique and interesting option. However, it is important to note that barrel saunas are generally of lower quality and less durable than other saunas. This is because they are not purpose-built and may lack the careful design of more traditional sauna options. As an alternative, I would recommend a more traditional shed style sauna. This type of sauna provides more internal seating and ventilation options, which can greatly enhance the overall sauna experience. In addition, a shed style sauna can be customized to fit any outdoor space and can be designed to blend in seamlessly with its surroundings. So if you are looking for a long-lasting and high-quality outdoor sauna, consider choosing a shed style sauna over a barrel sauna. Read more about barrell saunas here.
Outdoor sauna layout
Good sauna layout is a key to building a good outdoor sauna. When in doubt, do it like the Fins do. Outdoor sauna should have a spacious changing room and a shower inside. Shower is not 100% necessary but it is a nice addition.
Sauna dimensions for 4 people should be at minimum 6’ x 6’ or 2 meters by 2 meters. All our projects are 2m by 2m or bigger. The ideal bench layout is benches adjacent to the wall, opposite the stove. With this type of layout you will avoid the awkward corner situation.
Some of the layouts available from our shop:
What is essential to a good sauna plan package?
When you consider buying outdoor sauna plans, make sure they have
- Well thought out internal layout
- Proper framing
- Sauna suitable materials are specified ( no styrofoam!)
- Proper ventilation for the type of stove. ( Read more about ventilation in our article)
- Complete list of materials
- Fire safety considered
- Plumbing diagram
Materials Needed to Build an Outdoor Sauna
Your sauna will need several things. Depending on your layout and the site, the list of materials will vary. First, I will list the necessary items:
- 2 x 4’s for walls. ( 2x2’s if your are building an internal sauna)
- Rock Wool Insulation
- Aluminum Breather membrane
- Sauna Heater
- Sauna heater rocks (olivine diabase)
- Wood boards for internal and external siding
- Wood for benches
- Ventilation system
- Accessories (e.g. bucket, ladle, thermometer, hygrometer)
- Door with wooden handles
- Chimney system (if going with wood heater)
Nice to have:
- Plumbing, electricity
- Internal shower
- Window to the outside
- Thermally modified wood
- Wireless sauna heater control unit ( if going with electric heater)
Looking for the perfect outdoor sauna plan?
If you're looking for the perfect outdoor sauna plan, look no further! We've done the work for you and designed a number of great outdoor saunas. Our plans include everything from sections, elevations, framing layouts, constructions step-by-step diagrams, and a bill of materials. They have been done by a professional architect and are without a doubt the best outdoor sauna plans available online.
Have a look at unboxing video of one of our plans:
I hope this article has given you some helpful insights into building your own outdoor sauna. Remember, a sauna is a long-term investment in your health and well-being, so take your time and enjoy the process. Happy building!