diy sauna building guide

How To Build Your Own DIY Sauna

Thinking about building your own wood-burning sauna and wondering if you are up for the task? Building a DIY sauna is a great way to develop your craftsmanship skills and save money on your home sauna.

Right now, you probably aren’t sure where to begin or if it is worth going the do-it-yourself route.

What materials do you need? What design should you choose? Do you need to figure out every detail on your own, or can you find sauna plans or kits?

In this guide, we will go over some important considerations and options involved in building your own wood-burning sauna.


Getting Ready to Build Your Own Sauna

  1. Indoors or Outdoors?

A good starting point is to figure out whether you want to build your sauna indoors or outdoors.

Generally speaking, if you are going to be burning wood for heat, you will probably have the easiest time building an outdoor sauna.

But there is no reason you cannot use an indoor wood-burning stove in a sauna. So long as you can vent smoke outdoors, it will be just fine.

Once you know where you want to put the sauna, you can figure out what dimensions will be suitable. From there, you can begin to envision the layout of your DIY wood-burning sauna.

  1. Choose Materials

The most popular material for building sonnets is cedar, as is tradition. So, if you can afford cedar, consider using it. It smells good, isn’t prone to rot, and features excellent longevity. But you do not have to use cedar, especially if a different type of wood is more available to you.

Just make sure that whatever type of wood you pick is one which isn’t overly susceptible to moisture rot.

You can further protect the interior of your sauna from moisture by incorporating an aluminum vapor barrier.

If you are placing your sauna outdoors, it will require a foundation, which you can make with a concrete slab.

There are two more considerations.

One of them is the floor of the sauna. You can use wood for this as well, but concrete and title are also options worth considering.

Finally, in outdoor sauna will require insulation such as fiberglass.


  1. Put Together Your Shopping List Choices

So, based on the decisions you make about materials as discussed above, you have a start to putting together your homemade sauna shopping list.

You might also require additional materials if you want to put in optional features.

If, for example, you want your sauna to feature a window, you will need to purchase glass.

Also, our focus is on wood-burning saunas, but you shouldn’t forget that there are other options for heating your sauna as well, like gas, electric, or infrared heaters.

If you feel you have the know-how to do so safely, you can build a DIY sauna heater.

For example, you can turn an old hot water tank into a wood stove. Or you can upcycle some old copper tubing.

If you look around, you will find many different materials which you can convert into a functional woodstove or another type of sauna heater.

If you have any doubts that what you are doing is safe, it is better to simply shop for a ready-made heater for your sauna. But you can handle other aspects of sauna construction on your own.


  1. Decide If You Want To Order a Kit or Build from Scratch

Once you have a pretty good idea of what you are looking for in terms of the layout, features and dimensions of a sauna as well as what materials you like, you can purchase what you need to get started with construction.

At this point, you will have a major decision to make.

There are two basic approaches you can take to building a sauna:

  • Handle the entire process by hand on your own.
  • Use a kit.


Why Build from Scratch?


With either method, there are advantages and disadvantages. The primary advantage of handling every aspect of your sauna construction on your own without a kit is that you can maximize customization this way.

If you have to fit a sauna into an unusually-shaped space, for example, it might make more sense to skip out on a sauna kit.

The other reason to think about building your sauna from scratch is simply because you enjoy a challenge and want to allow your creativity to fully flourish.

Building a sauna can be a great learning experience. And if your design is 100% your own work, you can consider uploading it online to sell or give to others who want to follow in your footsteps.


Why Use a DIY Sauna Kit?

sauna plans for pre-made kit

If you are not dealing with unusual layout or feature requirements, it is recommended that you consider purchasing a DIY sauna kit.

Here are a few reasons:

  • Save time. The first reason to consider building a sauna with the help of a kit is because it cuts back on a lot of planning and labor. The kit designer has already taken care of all the initial steps for you. You just wait to receive your kit, and then you follow the instructions and go to work.
  • Save money. When you order a DIY sauna kit, you get exactly the supplies you need, no more and no less. By contrast, if you attempt to build a sauna on your own without a kit, you could end up investing in more supplies than you need, either because you have overstocked or because you originally bought the wrong thing altogether. This can get to be more expensive than purchasing a kit.
  • Reduce mistakes. Perhaps you are already very handy around the home, and you feel confident in your building skills. But maybe you are relatively new to construction, and are worried that you might make some mistakes when you are building your own sauna. If the latter is the case, you may feel better about building a sauna using a kit, because the materials supplied to you and the directions will provide you with the guidance you need.
  • Stay safe. Mistakes in building a sauna can lead to safety problems, for example, if heat does not vent properly. So, if you are inexperienced, a sauna building kit may be a safer choice than attempting to figure out everything involved in building a sauna yourself. If you still prefer not to use a kit, make sure you do your research, and ask for expert advice if you need it.
  • Fewer tools and skills are necessary. When you purchase a kit, some of the tasks involved with building may already be completed for you. For example, your lumber could be pre-cut. That means that you will not need to saw the wood yourself, reducing the tools and skills you need to successfully build your own DIY sauna.
  • Get everything you need in one simple package. Without a kit, it is up to you to hunt down all of the supplies you need including both materials and tools. This could involve running around town to local hardware stores as well as scouring the web for exactly what you need. All of that legwork is eliminated when you purchase a DIY sauna kit.
  • Approach your project with confidence. Finally, building with a DIY sauna kit instead of handling every task yourself can increase your confidence and reduce your stress about the entire project. Not only can this make building more fun, but for some people, it might make the difference between taking on the project or putting it off.


Recommended Product: Cedarbrook Pre-Cut Sauna Kits & Almost Heaven Kits

Now that you know some of the benefits of DIY sauna kits, let’s take a look at a product which we have got great feedback on and which might be of interest to you: Cedarbrook Pre-Cut Sauna Kits.

If you want an indoor sauna, and specifically if you want to convert an entire room into one, you can do so quickly and easily with a Cedarbrook Pre-Cut Sauna Kit.

When you purchase this kit, you receive the following:

  • Tongue-and-groove cedar panels which are custom-cut to fit your room
  • A door for your sauna
  • Benches for your sauna
  • A sauna heater
  • Accessories

Whether you have a small closet that you want to convert into a home sauna or a small, medium or large room, you can do so with one of these kits.

Various customization options are allowed at checkout. For example, you can choose one or more doors or windows, or you can forgo either or both.

You also can order the exact number of benches you need, and you can decide whether you want duckboard flooring or not.

Before your kit arrives, you will need to take care of the electrical wiring that you will require to power the sauna heater, lights, outlets, and control panel connections.

After you order, it should take around 4 to 6 weeks for your complete sauna kit to arrive.

Since the panels are pre-cut, you do not need to worry about doing any sawing once you have your kit. Instead, you can get right to installing the panels inside the room or closet you have designated for your home sauna.

The majority of these kits are only priced at a few thousand dollars. So, even if you do not have a large budget to invest in a home sauna, you can look forward to enjoying one of life’s little luxuries under your own roof.


Financing a DIY Sauna Purchase

Hopefully, you have saved up enough money that you can purchase office supplies you need to build your own home sauna upfront.

But even if you cannot cover the full cost of a DIY sauna, you may be able to start building and installing one now.

This is another benefit of going with a kit rather than building your sauna with your own plans and materials.


Cedarbrook Sauna Kits offers a couple of payment options.

If you want, you can pay a 50% deposit, and then pay the rest only after the kit is ready to be shipped out to you.

Alternately, you can go on a financing plan if it is if it is going to take you some more time to pull together the funds you need for the complete purchase.


Already Have Most Of What You Need?

If you are in a situation where you already have the majority of the supplies and tools you need to build a sauna without a kit, but you are still missing some components, Cedarbrook can tell you what you need.

Instead of purchasing a kit, you can simply buy the individual materials that you require.

You can also purchase individual accessories this way if there are some you want to add to your sauna which are not part of the kit you purchased.


You now have a pretty good idea of what goes into building a DIY sauna for your home in terms of planning, materials, skills, and costs.

If you are feeling confident, you can build an entire indoor or outdoor wood-burning sauna based on your own DIY plans from the ground up.

But if you want to save time and money and avoid making mistakes, the fastest and easiest way to build your own home sauna is with a DIY sauna kit.