How To Build a Sauna

Are you building a home sauna? Are you feeling a bit lost on how to start or did you make a mistake? This guide, created by our amazing team, will provide the information you're looking for to help you transform that extra space or room in your house into a beautiful and relaxing sauna. Who knows you may become the expert yourself!

Why would someone want to BUILD a home sauna?>

Sometimes an active lifestyle can be overwhelming for our mental health and body, and a means to ease stress and muscle soreness can significantly improve our overall feeling of wellness. Relaxing in a sauna can relieve sore muscles and anxiety, but it can also even help people with high blood pressure and arthritis. With all the benefits involved with saunas building a sauna for your home is an investment you have to take seriously!

When Should You Consider Investing In A Sauna

home sauna interior with heater

If you appreciate how beneficial soaking in the soothing heat of a sauna is for your health, then investing in one might be the right choice for you.

Paying for a premium membership at your favorite gym or spa can become costly in the long run, and not only that, driving there is time-consuming. Having a home sauna can make it easier on your wallet, save you that 10 to 20-minute drive, and give that extra space in your home or backyard a good use.

Saunas will increase your home value, but they are not for everyone; they are considered a luxury unless you live in Finland. When looking to buy a house, some people will see your sauna as a big reason to buy it, and others might not even bat an eye. So if you plan on staying in that house for a while, investing in one is the right choice.

Here are a few more reasons people may invest in a building a home sauna:

1. Health and Wellness: If your health is a concern or a priority in your life, a sauna is an ideal investment. All of the benefits are at the tips of your fingers when you have a sauna in your home. There are even some cases where doctors refer patients to make a sauna apart of their daily routine because of all the healing factors involved with a daily sauna!

2. Stress Relief: It is no secret that in 2024 stress levels are on the rise, we are dealing with the affects of covid, home prices rising and other issues. However, there has been no better time to indulge in a beautifully built home sauna. It is proven that saunas, because of the intense sauna heat, can play a factor in reducing stress and helping you relax. Not to mention helping reduce recovery times by limiting the effect lactic acid has on your muscles. Dive into a stress free year with a sauna.

Types of Saunas

You can choose two main types of saunas, indoor or outdoor. If you'd like to know their differences, or why people choose indoor and outdoor sauna, click here. This link will take you to one of out super informational blog posts.

Indoor Saunas

This type of saunas can either be pre-cut or pre-fab and are an excellent option for people looking to transform an unused room or an extra space into a luxurious at-home spa. This is an important decision to make as the installation is different for each decision you make! The look and feel of an indoor sauna is smooth and clean. You also have the option of a modular sauna, this can be a big difference maker in depending on the situation you are in. If you have this sauna the installation is fairly simple!

Outdoor Saunas

Outdoor saunas are ideal for those who do not have enough space inside their home or want to enjoy a cozy and reinvigorating session in a quaint and traditional outdoor environment. These can be modular saunas as well, if you have a spot outside that is covered with a roof. 

The other option here are barrel saunas manufactured here in the USA, our barrel saunas are a perfect addition to any outdoor space and they are a fan favorite nowadays with a ton of customizable features. 

There isn't a right or wrong here. When you choose your sauna, the available space, budget and preferences will ultimately determine your final decision.

Preparing And Planning

Proper planning is essential for your DIY sauna project! It is important to lay everything out and make sure you have all the pieces required to complete the sauna install easily. We will lay out some common work places procedures that will help you prepare for this home sauna project.

Location and size

Indoor saunas can be placed in a bathroom or garage (avoid carpeted floors when choosing the location for your indoor sauna). Bathrooms and garages are an ideal space to have these due to the waterproofing and sloping in the room. You may have had a professional come frame a room for your sauna and that is totally fine as well! 

For outdoor saunas, the ground must be level, and you might need to install a nearby electrical outlet if you are getting an electric heater. You do have the option to add a gas sauna heater or even a wood burning stove. We recommend the gas sauna heater as it is the most efficient heater and allows you to pour water on it without causing long-term damage to the internals of your heater. 

Checkout the different types of heaters and checkout our heater guide if you need any additional help! Sauna Heaters

Type of Sauna Heater

There are three types of sauna heaters, wood-burning, gas-fueled, and electric.

Electric heaters are considered the most convenient as they can be turned on just by flicking a switch and can be regulated with a remote controller. They are a common heater used in most home saunas.

Gas heaters are an excellent option for people looking for a "cost-effective" and "energy-efficient" way to heat their home sauna and can be very convenient for outdoor saunas. Our Gas heaters heat rooms the quickest and are perfect for any homestead sauna or off-grid sauna. 

Wood-burning heaters are fantastic for areas where electricity is difficult to access or simply not available. Although heat can be a bit tougher to regulate with this type of heater, the heat tends to be warmer and more fitting for a sauna.

Choose the Materials


Regardless of building from scratch or buying a kit, you'll need to choose the materials and style. Cedar is a highly recommended type of wood, but other good options include poplar, basswood, pine, and hemlock.

Personalize Your Sauna

A benefit of building a sauna is the availability to customize it. From glass doors to LED lights, the options to personalize a sauna kit are virtually unlimited. Furthermore, if you're building an outdoor sauna, it becomes part of the landscape, so get creative!

Checkout a few of our fan favorite accessories:

Wooden Lounge Chair

Sauna Lights

Himalayan Salt Panels 

Sauna Lights

All Sauna Accessories


Being prepared can never hurt your project, even if most sauna kits have the necessary tools to build them. Make sure you have these tools for your home sauna install. 

  • Rubber mallet 
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Locking pliers
  • Staple gun
  • Hammer or nail gun air compressor
  • Saw
  • Level
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil

(pre-cut saunas usually include all the necessary materials)Staples
  • Sauna foil vapor barrier
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Fiberglass insulation
  • Foil barrier
  • Fuel source: Electrical wiring, Gas pipe, or Firewood.
  • Sauna heater

Instructions to Build a Sauna

There are many ways to build a sauna, from transforming a room with a pre-kit to building one from scratch. Pre-cut sauna kits usually come with a build manual and over-the-phone assistance.


Whether upgrading a current living space or an outdoor area into a sauna, start by getting the foundation ready. Indoor saunas can use tile, cement, or vinyl, and outdoor saunas need to be built on leveled ground (it would be best to assemble the sauna on a deck, a porch, or a separate structure). Also, consider adding some other flooring features to your sauna here, Flooring

Wire For Electricity

If you plan to use an electric heater, ensure your indoor sauna has a nearby outlet to avoid running extra wiring through your walls. For outdoor saunas, electricity can be reached by installing an electrical outlet nearby. If you plan on using a gas heater, install a gas pipe. Call a certified electrician or a plumber in case you need professional assistance.


Insulate the interior walls with R-11 and outside walls with R-19 fiberglass insulation. Purchase insulation with the correct width based on your stud spacing, either 16-inch or 24-inch. Make sure to wear a mask and or gloves because the insulation can get onto your skin and lungs. Proper insulation is going to determine whether or not your sauna stays hot or not. 

Vapor Barrier

You will need to staple a foil vapor barrier to the inside of the walls and ceiling. This can be done by one person but it helps to have too. Start on one side and work your way to the other. Staple the foil at every stud. 


Indoor saunas will need a venting system installed to provide better airflow circulation. The lower vent brings fresh air, and the upper vent releases stale air or steam. This is very important if a sauna was not vented properly it can 


Beginning at one side of the ceiling, nail the cedar paneling right to the ceiling joists. Cover the whole ceiling top, cutting a gap for the lightbox where required. At that point, introduce the tongue and groove divider sheets on a level plane, beginning at the bottoms of the dividers. The tongues ought to be arranged upward, grooves descending. Introduce paneling sheets in full columns and check for level every fourth push of sheets. Cut holes as required to suit electrical fittings.

Install The Heater

Sauna heaters come with a manufacturer manual for the installation. The manual will indicate the separation required between the walls and the floor. We recommend calling a certified electrician if you are unsure how the wiring works.

Add The Sauna Rocks

Sauna rocks will come with a sauna heater. Sauna rocks help the heater to provide a more balanced heat and create steam. They are also fun to look at and really bring the room together. Don't forget a buckle and ladle to pour water over the,

Add Your Sauna Benches

Set the benches in place. The size of the courts will vary depending on personal preferences (pre-cut kits usually come with one high and one low bar.)

Install The Door

When installing the door, make sure all air gaps are closed. You can use shims to square up the door frame. Once you are sure all air gaps have been completed, fasten your door. Then install the door handle.

Finishing Details

This step is where you can install all the extras, LED lights, handrails, backrests, and even customize the outside of your sauna. 

Note: Avoid using toxic chemicals to stain the interior wood as these chemicals can release toxic fumes that are harmful to our health. 

When To Call a Technician
We strongly recommend reaching out to a certified plumber or electrician if you are unsure about electrical wiring or gas pipes.