• 02 Sep, 2016
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How to Build a Sauna: 4 Questions to Ask Yourself First

Adding a sauna to your home can be incredibly beneficial for you and your family. The overall sauna health benefits – long recognized by cultures around the world, can deliver a therapeutic and relaxing way to sweat out the stresses of the world. However, are you knowledgeable in how to build a sauna?

Think long and hard about the pros and cons, if you’re considering building your own sauna as you really need to sweat the details! Ask yourself: Should you buy a pre-assembled sauna? Is a pre-fab kit the way to go? What about a custom builder? Or, should you attempt to build your own sauna to save money? There is no simple or quick answer, but let’s take a look at what to consider before getting started.

To Build or to Buy or Sauna?

Are you a confident builder?

If you’re considering building your own sauna, you can attempt the project by purchasing the lumber and general building materials, or you can opt for one of the better pre-fabricated kits on the market today. If you have a good understanding of common building practices, have access to a range of hand and power tools, and are confident creating something from scratch, you can give it a shot.

If you’re like most of us however, you would be better off buy a sauna kit.


You might be able to save some money by following a set of blueprints and using your own materials and tools, but building a sauna from basic lumber is quite a bit harder than crafting a bookcase or other simple piece. You’ll be working with expensive pieces of cedar, and any mistakes can be costly. If you’re not 100% confident in your building skills, elect a kit – with instructions on how to build your sauna – instead of building from scratch.

What size do you need?

Average custom home saunas measure between 25 and 80 square feet, though some can go significantly bigger if designed for a high number of occupants. If most of your sessions will be solo or with just one other person, try to keep the sauna on the compact side with a one person sauna or two person sauna.


You don’t want a lot of wasted space, as you’re going to spend money heating the entire sauna each time. You’ll also want to be conscious of the height of the unit, since heat lofts up to the ceiling and you don’t want it sitting higher than the occupants.  We generally recommend a maximum ceiling height of 7 feet.

In terms of building versus buying, you certainly do have more control over the specific size of the sauna if you build it yourself. That said, there are a wide range of kits available today that can be adapted to an existing space with ease. Most sauna kits are pre-tested, run for a specific amount of time to ensure proper functionality of the unit, and then disassembled for easy shipping.  Better kits require nothing more than an allen wrench and screwdriver to assemble. You can also order custom-sized sauna kits that are designed to work within an existing space – using your particular room dimensions. This option enables you to personalize your sauna to your home or commercial facility.

What sauna style are you considering?

While traditional saunas use large amounts of heat and steam to create the sweat-inducing environment within, modern saunas tend to favor an infrared heating system.  These radiant heat units are considered superior to standard saunas for three main reasons. First, they offer more therapeutic benefits than a traditional sauna, they are more comfortable to use as they run at lower temperatures, and they are dry saunas so they don’t have the bacteria and upkeep issues related to using water and steam.


If you are considering building your own sauna, an infrared sauna is the preferred choice because it is generally easier to install than a wet-dry sauna system and uses about 1/3 of the energy as compared to a traditional sauna. Infrared heaters simply mount to the wall of the sauna and most plug into a standard 110V/220V outlet.

The better kits on the market today include the wood panels and interior fitments, infrared heating unit, digital keypad (some with a smartphone app controller!) and the power supply, making it easy to get started.

Once assembled, you’re ready to experience a host of important health benefits. Infrared saunas:

  • Helps to create a stronger immune system
  • Assist dieters to more easily lose weight
  • Flush toxins from the body through sweating
  • Make your hair look incredible
  • Keep muscles and joints loose to aid recovery from workouts
  • Keep the skin looking great

Adding a sauna to your home or business isn’t difficult and with the availability of numerous kits on the market today, you’re bound to find the perfect model for your unique needs. By contacting Clearlight Saunas®, you can speak with sauna experts and learn how to build a sauna using a pre-fabricated kit, perfect for transforming your home into a therapeutic spa in no time!