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I have started building the sauna and noticed that on the materials list there is not a door for in between the sauna room and the changing room, am I supposed to build one, or what would you recommend?  What do you think that the door’s dimensions should be?
Also, do I need to caulk around the durock to seal out moisture?  Is durock able to take moisture? Does the edge of the door need to be finished in some way as the plywood, bubble insulation and cedar will all be exposed? We need to make our own door due to the unconventional shape of entrance (it’s sort of triangular at the top). I took careful note of many of the details, shortcuts, and special tricks about building a sauna. Sauna backrests: We all deserve this level of support and relaxation while on the sauna benchThese backrests are the best.
These hinges will mount on the left side , so your door will open (outwards) Right to Left. The Premium model is larger (see dimensions below) and has a long vertical handle (see images) Wood on the inside - Metal on exterior . The heavy wooden frame is built from laminated sections for strength and stability, and is fitted with a rubber seal to all four sides. Glass Sauna Doors give a modern, clean feel to the Sauna, and are usually best in any commercial service.
The impression of spaciousness provided by a Glass Sauna Door also makes this type particularly suitable for smaller sauna cabins. A Finnish sauna is an insulated, vapor-proof box internally lined and accessorized with a heat-tolerant wood such as western red cedar or redwood.
A sauna can be a free-standing outdoor structure or more commonly, it's a converted room inside your house.
Fresh air enters under the door and exits to the outdoors via this sliding-door vent set high in the back wall. Although it may seem contrary to a sauna's primary goal of trapping heat and vapor, there must be some form of controlled passive ventilation to protect you from suffocating. If your sauna is inside your home (not free-standing), do NOT vent it directly to the outside, rather, be sure the exhaust vent sends the air back inside your home. This sauna has select tight-knot (STK) cedar in the walls, clear cedar 2x4s for the benches, and clear 1x4s for the duckboard floor. Just about everything inside a sauna (the heater, light, and floor are exceptions) should be made of wood — any plastic might melt and outgas, and exposed metal creates a burn hazard (obviously rustproof metal nails and screws hold everything together, but they should be hidden or covered). The most common wall lining is select tight knot (STK) 1x4-inch tongue-and-groove western red cedar panels.
The cleanest and most common way to heat your sauna is with an electric heater, usually powered by a 240-volt dedicated line. A sauna must be well insulated for efficiency and made vapor proof so all that steam doesn't rot your frame — cedar holds up to water quite well, but this is not so for your insulation and wall studs. If you are refitting a room in your house, you can build a frame in front of any existing walls and ceiling. Normal home building practices apply to a free-standing sauna; where on the interior we are concerned about heat and steam, on the exterior we care about wind and rain.
The floor can be any water-tolerant material such as you would find in a kitchen or bathroom. Why is it that when your feet are cold as you get into a cold car in Minneapolis, your feet are still cold by the time you get to Duluth, but the inside car thermometer says 70 degrees the whole way? For those of us fortunate enough to have radiant in floor heating in our homes, we understand that when we put our shoes on, our shoes are warm.
February 21, 2016 By Glenn 1 Comment One doesn't have to be a deer hunter to remember simple days of past.
Lake cabins used to be a couple rooms, hand framed, with a porch in the front and an outhouse in the back.
Let's not let our saunas fall down the slippery slope of gadgetry, square foot fever, and overbuilt opulence.


December 13, 2015 By Glenn 3 Comments We've had a few questions lately along these lines, so I thought i'd copy and paste this email. Our enjoyment of the sauna building journey begins with our first step: a #2 pencil and a piece of paper. Let's put some windows along the West side so we can watch the sunset from the changing room. First off, Glenn’s ebook is well worth the $20 bucks or so.  There were a few tips in there  that saved me a ton of time. August 12, 2015 By Glenn Leave a Comment Chris Sacca is a tech venture capitalist worth a mile North of $1BB. I had to tell you this to get your attention which is too bad because Chris Sacca strikes me as a totally awesome guy no matter what his worth.   And not just because he grew up a bike ride from where I grew up outside Buffalo, NY. Sure he was talking about investing in start ups like AirBnB and Twitter - of which he happens to own a pant load. Are you really going to let any of these downside risks get in your way of your health and wellness opportunity? June 29, 2015 By Glenn Leave a Comment Thanks to Rick for passing along this interesting article from Inhabitat.
May 19, 2015 By Glenn 1 Comment While talking with my cat over coffee this morning, and considering outrageous blog post titles, I realized that I just helped my 100th person build their own AUTHENTIC sauna. Surely cause for celebration, I let the cat out and wrote down this formula, which had been the root of my own sauna builds and every sauna build that I've helped out on. I - information is the Interweb, the googlator, the build your own sauna book from this website. Our stove is a second hand beauty from good friends (one, Bruce, who passed away in March). We did indeed have our inaugural sauna and samovar a couple weeks ago and the depth of quietness and restoration took the joy of life to a new level.
Bruce would take so much pleasure in all this, and in the amount of pleasure we are all reaping from it. The side of the door being used for the interior of the sauna will be lined with a vapor barrier then I will use red cedar to finish the door face. Using our design and build system, to create a unique traditional sauna, is simple and low cost.
It includes benches to sit and lie on, a vapor-proof light, an adjustable air vent, and of course, a powerful heater (electric, gas, or wood-fired) that can bring the ambient temperature up to around 200 degrees F.
Regardless of location, all saunas require an insulated vapor-proof frame; the free-standing version just adds the need for a foundation and weatherproof shell. The reason for this may not be obvious: if you vent indoor air to the outdoors, that lost air can only be replaced by air from the outdoors. Note how the clearest of these STK panels were reserved for the area just above the upper bench. The most practical wood to use is western red cedar, which, of all woods, holds up the best against temperature cycling, humidity, and even sweat stains.
Wood- and gas-fired units also exist, but these require more complex installations and they can affect air quality inside the sauna. You can frame it with ordinary 2x4 spruce wall studs filled with fiberglass or eco-friendly recycled cotton batts. Alternatively, you can use the existing framing as long as you remove the wallboards and replace the vapor barrier with aluminum.
The outside of the frame, covering the studs and insulation, is usually a layer of sheathing like oriented-strand board (OSB), followed by a waterproof house wrap like Tyvek or tar paper, and finally, any sort of exterior siding (cedar is traditional, especially if you don't want your sauna to end up looking like a tool shed). The wall panels end about one-half inch above the floor — you can see the bottom edge of the foil vapor barrier peaking out of the gap.
His wife, Sarah, gave it to us so we could all have memorial Saunas & Samovars, here in middle-of-nowhere spruce woods in PEI. We quietly succumbed as the fabric of reality shifted to fill in the space that Bruce left.


You can add humidity from time to time by pouring water onto the rocks that sit atop the heater. Other location considerations include proximity to the outdoors (for rolling in the snow or jumping in the pool during breaks) and to a shower (for rinsing off all the toxins you just sweated out). The low ceiling is important for efficiency — no sense sending heat up to where it won't be used.
An exhaust vent can be located in a wall opposite the intake and higher up — either just below the upper bench, above the upper bench, or in the ceiling. If all the windows in your house are closed, your sauna will stop venting because it can't suck in the replacement air — this is dangerous. The benches, on the other hand, are made from clear cedar (usually 2x4's or 2x2's) because knots can get quite hot and you wouldn't want to sit on one. Manufacturers generally offer a range of electric models varying in wattage, quality, durability, and features. Digital controls give you better precision, silent operation, and programming features like delayed start times.
With fiberglass, you more or less need a space suit and a decon chamber to install it without getting glass fibers stuck in your skin and lungs; with cotton you can do it naked and not even have to shower afterwards. Accompanied by a warm candlelight glow in the evening, we tell stories and laugh with family and friends, playing cribbage with a cozy blanket and a little homemade blueberry pie. Some heaters include a solid pan beneath the rocks that you can fill with water for continuous steam. Likewise, there's no sense in having a sauna larger than you need because the extra space, while luxurious, adds to your construction cost, operating cost, and preheat time.
If you do vent to the outside, then you must either also have your intake vent connected to the outdoors or always open a window near the intake vent whenever you operate the sauna. Some saunas are made with white cedar or other woods, but these are more prone to cracking, warping, and rot, not to mention becoming overly hot to the touch due their higher densities. The STK wall panels do include some boards that are clear or nearly so; you can position these near the benches and use the knotiest boards on the ceiling and below the benches. Usually the controls are mounted outside the sauna to protect them, but some may be mounted on the lower part of the heater. Between the insulated frame and the interior cedar lining is an aluminum foil vapor barrier covering the walls and ceiling. Inside, you have to be careful to make sure the floor is sealed to prevent water from penetrating to any supporting frame.
Consider these two scenarios:  1) staying up until midnight building sauna benches then waking up the next morning rejuvenated or 2) Realizing that when you sit bleary eyed watching TV, you drag yourself to bed and wake up the next day exhausted. In Finland, nearly everyone owns or has access to a sauna; to a Finn, not having a sauna is like not having a refrigerator. A simple wooden sliding door at the exhaust vent allows you to control the ventilation rate. Standard heaters let you toss water onto the rocks for steam, and any water that doesn't vaporize just drips down around the heating elements and onto the floor. You have to use aluminum foil because the conventional plastic vapor barriers will certainly outgas into your sauna and probably melt. Deluxe models include a humidifier: part of the rock tray is solid, allowing you to fill it up with water for continuous steam.
SHS Roofing, or any other home improvement experts for that matter, can help you understand the importance of using good and durable materials when building a structure. The small area of floor that is not directly under a bench or the heater may covered with cedar decking, but one can also leave it as bare concrete or any other water-tolerant material (the floor will never get hot, even when it's 200° F at the ceiling. All of the cedar is left untreated and unfinished as is customary and important for air quality — any finish or treatments are unnecessary and would outgas and quickly deteriorate.



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