The top five money saving tips when building a sauna are to optimize your dimensions, choose the right type of timber for your build, use recycled timber if available, source a good quality second-hand stove, and go for an infrared sauna. These tips will slash the cost of your sauna build.
How To Save Money When Building a Sauna
Building a home sauna is a great idea and can be done well on a small budget if you follow these tips. Discover how you can save money when you build your own sauna by following these simple steps.
Size is critical when it comes to a sauna build. If you want to save some money make sure you get your dimensions right.
Do not build the sauna any bigger than you need it. If it is only going to be used by one or two people – build a one or two-person sauna. No bigger. A bigger sauna will cost more to heat and cost more in building materials.
Ceiling height is key – make sure you get the height of the sauna right. Aim for one inch higher than the tallest person who will be using it. For example, if you are 6 feet 2 inches, design a 6 feet 3-inch ceiling.
You don’t want any extra height space above your head as heat rises and accumulates in the ceiling area. If the sauna is too high you will struggle to heat the whole cabin and spend unnecessary money trying to achieve a satisfactory temperature.
Also, when you’re designing your sauna make sure you factor in some good quality insulation. Spending some money upfront to make sure your sauna is properly insulated will save you money many times over when you start using it.
2: CHOICE OF TIMBER
The choice of timber used for your sauna build will have a big impact on your overall costs. There are many different types of timber out there and the quality and prices of each vary greatly.
Check to see what your local timber supplier has on offer and ask them if they supply sauna cladding – as this will make your job a whole lot easier.
Depending on where you live the types of timber available to you will vary. The most popular timber choices for building a sauna are spruce, hemlock, western cedar, pine, basswood, and abachi.
Some timbers are a lot more expensive than others, especially the most popular choices and the fabricated cladding options. For example, hemlock wood is up to three times the price of spruce.
The price of timber varies greatly by region but to give you a rough idea – you can expect to pay about $60 for six lengths of spruce sauna wood cladding, (95x9x1895mm). The same amount of sauna cladding in hemlock will set you back in the region of $150.
If you want to save some money, shop around and take a look at the different types of timber available to you. Use good quality timber for the walls, ceiling, and benches. Then use something more affordable below the benches.
3: RECYCLED TIMBER
Out of all the money saving tips for a sauna build – the best is probably to use recycled timber. The savings are significant and you’ll be helping the environment by repurposing some previously loved timber.
The rate at which premium-grade wood is being torn out of old houses and tossed in dumpsters is astonishing. May homeowners and builders are more concerned with getting rid of old floorboards and beams than selling them.
Still, take a look online for recycled timber. You’ll be amazed at the amount of premium second-hand timber out there. Cedar is particularly popular and is a great choice for building a home sauna.
Check out your local resale sites, Facebook groups, and even craigslist. There are some excellent opportunities to save money using recycled timber. Salvaged cedar can be picked up for as little as $300 for 400 square feet.
4: SECOND-HAND STOVE
One of the most expensive parts of any sauna build is going to be the heating unit. Prices range from $300 for basic units to $1,500 for more advanced heaters.
The type of stove ranges from convection heaters such as electric, gas, and wood-burning stoves to radiation units used in infrared saunas. Either way, it’s going to be a significant investment and eat up a chunk of your budget.
Our tip is to go second hand. By buying a second-hand sauna stove you can save a bundle of cash with units routinely listed for $100 and below. There are some great deals out there. Check out your local listings,eBay, craigslist and even contact your local gyms and spas.
When it comes to money saving tips for building a sauna – choosing to go with a second-hand stove will save you a lot of money. Just do some due diligence and make sure the unit is in good working order before you commit to a purchase.
5: GO INFRARED
One of the best decisions you can make when it comes to building a home sauna is to go for an infrared sauna. It will save you a ton of money over the lifetime of the sauna and it comes with a whole range of added benefits.
Infrared saunas are much cheaper to run compared to traditional saunas. They are highly efficient when it comes to energy consumption and will save you a lot of money over the years. Especially if you plan to use it frequently.
An infrared sauna heats the body directly using an infrared light source. It does not heat the air around the body. A traditional sauna heats the air inside the sauna cabin which in turn heats your body.
As infrared saunas heat the body directly they run at much lower temperatures and achieve the same effect as traditional saunas. Infrared saunas run at 120°F, while traditional saunas run at 190°F.
This all means lower running costs when it comes to heating your sauna, enhanced relaxation and therapeutic effect, and a more comfortable sauna session. Not to mention, saving you lots of money!