Saunas are standard equipment used in gyms to relax muscles. Luxury hotels laud this quality of relaxing at the end of the day. If movies are believable—why not—they’re also a great place to seal a deal.
The Finns probably made water on top of the mountain for millennia of heat, health, community and ritual, and for good reason. Sauna treatments can help relieve muscle pain, stress and tension, and often leave bathers feeling clear with eye drops. Many people even credit saunas, alleviating anxiety and depression conditions for arthritis and skin problems.
Home saunas used to be a rare luxury, but they’ve grown in popularity as prices have fallen and installations have been simplified. Outdoor saunas are less expensive than indoor saunas and are easier to integrate into existing spaces, so demand is particularly high.
If you’re in the market, you’ll find a wide variety of constructions, sizes, and heating types to choose from, and it can be a little confusing if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. Here are some tips to help you choose the right outdoor sauna for your particular needs, whether you want permanent or portable, single-seater or party-only, traditional Finnish or infrared.
First very important tip: make sure you can actually put one in.
1. Check the rules and regulations
In fact, there are many organizations that can and often do make rules about what to build on their own land, how to build it, and where to build it. For example, a homeowners association may dictate where additional structures can be added, what they can look like, and the extent to which they can be seen from outside your home.
State or local building codes may also say something about your outdoor sauna bonus. In particular, if you are going the permanent building route (as opposed to portable building), you may need a building permit, as this is generally considered “new construction”. There may also be taxes associated with this type of addition.
In extreme cases, non-compliance with these codes can lead to forced removal of new constructs, so it’s well worth being prepared before you start.
Assuming you’re ready, next tip: When space is constrained, be realistic.
2: Determine the free space
The sauna can get you sweaty and turn into a great party, and you’ll find outdoor models that can comfortably fit 8, 10, or even 12 people. Unfortunately, a party sauna may not be suitable for an unused corner of your yard
You may be tempted to go for the largest sauna you can afford, but a sauna that monopolizes your entire outdoor space will severely limit your options for future additions and may turn away potential home buyers if you end up trying to sell , and it might look weird.
A good approach is to choose the largest sauna you can afford that will easily fit in the space available. Even a small yard can accommodate a multi-person sauna – a 5x7ft structure can comfortably accommodate 3 or 4 bathers. You just need to reduce the guest list.
Next tip: Honesty – are you really a party type?
3. Consider its use
Are you planning to invite neighbors to share your sauna, or is this just for your own use? Is it mainly to increase the value of your home, or will you take it with you if you move? Are you going to use it in cold-weather?
Give serious thought to how you plan to use your sauna and what its primary purpose is, as these considerations will determine the ideal size, type, add-ons and structural configuration of your sauna. For example, if you plan to entertain guests, you can install a recreation center suitable for a sauna. If you’re looking to take it to your next home, you might consider a portable model. Used in colder climates, an additional locker room or maybe even an enclosed passage between the home and the sauna can be an invaluable asset, greatly increasing the frequency of your sauna usage.
4: Compare heating options
Traditional Finnish saunas feature wood stoves and rocks, and many refuse to give up the rustic sauna experience. However, burning wood is only one method of heating a sauna, and more modern methods are the most widely used today.
Besides wood stoves, your main options are:
- Electric – kind of like a heavy duty space heater, this is a less expensive option. Additional safety measures may be required due to the presence of electricity and water in the environment.
- Natural Gas – A method for heating your home with natural gas and is also an affordable option. Fluctuations in natural gas prices can affect costs in the long run.
- Infrared – A new type of sauna where infrared light waves are aimed at corpses in the room, heating them directly instead of heating the air. more expensive way.
There is no right choice here. Heat source is a matter of preference and logistics. But be aware that gas heaters require a gas line to the sauna, and if that means installing a gas line from scratch, the cost will increase significantly.
Finally, don’t overlook the importance of control.
5: Check the controls
Heating isn’t the only way saunas can keep up with the times. We’re a long way from igniting and watering (if we want to) a rock pile.
The sauna’s control program can start the heating process through a timer (which usually takes at least 30 minutes), so you can walk into a fully heated room. Some offer energy efficiency settings and have presets to store temperature preferences for different users. Remote controls can keep you from needing to leave your bench, steam can be automated, aromatherapy scents can be injected, and auxiliary inputs can be used for music and lighting tech you already have.
Regardless of which control you choose, though, there’s one feature you need to include: auto-close. The heat source must be told to automatically turn off after a preset period of time so the user doesn’t get hurt while sleeping inside.
Fortunately for purists, even traditional-style saunas can be equipped with modern safety controls. Of course Finns don’t care about heatstroke either.