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Build a sauna yourself: costs, planning, ideas
Build a sauna yourself: costs, planning, ideas

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Having your own sauna - the dream of many homeowners. Specialized wood professionals plan and build the cabin and design your wellness oasis at home. You have to pay attention to this when buying and installing and these costs can be expected.

Table of Contents Table of Contents Building a Sauna: Tips for Planning and Buying

  • A sauna promotes health
  • Individual wellness
  • How to plan your own sauna
  • 1. How much space does the sauna need?
  • 2. Hire a professional to build a sauna
  • 3. Place the power connection for the oven
  • 4. The right heating system for the sauna
  • Build a sauna with alternatives
  • 5. Select the heater for the sauna
  • 6. Select the type of wood for the sauna
  • 7. Determine the construction of the sauna
  • 8. Design the sauna facility
  • 9. Build a sauna: Comfortable air conditioning technology
  • 10. Observe hygiene in the sauna
  • What does a new home sauna cost?
  • What are the operating costs?

Table of Contents Table of Contents Building a Sauna: Tips for Planning and Buying

  • A sauna promotes health
  • Individual wellness
  • How to plan your own sauna
  • 1. How much space does the sauna need?
  • 2. Hire a professional to build a sauna
  • 3. Place the power connection for the oven
  • 4. The right heating system for the sauna
  • Build a sauna with alternatives
  • 5. Select the heater for the sauna
  • 6. Select the type of wood for the sauna
  • 7. Determine the construction of the sauna
  • 8. Design the sauna facility
  • 9. Build a sauna: Comfortable air conditioning technology
  • 10. Observe hygiene in the sauna
  • What does a new home sauna cost?
  • What are the operating costs?

A sauna promotes health

Those who go to the sauna regularly become more resistant to colds and detoxify the skin - many pollutants are simply sweated out. The moisture that you give off when you sweat escapes through the wood in the cabin and / or draft-free ventilation - the dry sauna is less of a strain on the circuit than a damp steam bath, for example.

Build a sauna: individual wellness

For sloping ceilings, niches, corners or low basement rooms you need creative and precise solutions - many woodworkers are specialists for individual planning of:

  • Customized sauna cabins
  • Infrared heat cabins
  • Wellness couches
  • Built-in furniture, wall and floor coverings around the sauna
  • Solutions for sloping ceilings
  • Interior doors and stairs
Moderne Sauna
Moderne Sauna

When a professional builds the sauna, he adapts it to the living style and the available space.

Photo: Klafs

How to plan your own sauna

If you want to have a sauna built in your own four walls, you should approach the construction project in a planned and organized manner. We give you tips for the individual planning steps.

1. How much space does the sauna need?

The space requirement of a sauna depends on how many people want to take a sauna at the same time. You expect a good square meter of floor space per person, the cabin height should be at least two meters. Outside the sauna, you also plan at least one square meter per person as a relaxation zone - for an upholstered bench or lounger to relax. Where this space is missing, you can rest on the bed in the bedroom or on the living room sofa.

The sauna cabin is best near a shower. There you clean yourself from head to toe before the first sauna session and cool off the heated body in between. An exit to the outside is also ideal, but a window seat to cool the lungs does too.

You can find a place for a sauna everywhere - whether in the apartment or in the house. The cabin does not even need an extra space - although certainly more comfortable - that is empty between the sauna days. Maybe the sauna fits into the bathroom or an adjacent room. The carpenter also manufactures or supplies saunas with color-matched outer walls that match the furniture.

Build a sauna in the garden?

Square cabins can be easily installed in the house. In the event that there is no space, there is another solution that wellness fans should consider: The garden or terrace often turns out to be a possible alternative. If you want to experience sauna delights on your own property, you can look around for a garden shed with an integrated sauna. The manufacturers have a large selection of such high quality sauna houses. The view of nature is particularly great for wellness at home in the garden.

Wellness zuhause auf der Dachterrasse
Wellness zuhause auf der Dachterrasse

A place to treat yourself to wellness at home can be found everywhere, for example on a large roof terrace.

Photo: Karl Kaffenberger

2. Hire a professional to build a sauna

Specialized joineries take over the planning and production, the delivery and installation of the sauna cabin as well as connections and commissioning. Skilled sauna fans discuss with the professional what personal contributions are possible - such as preparatory work for the connections or tiling the wall and floor.

If a wood, gas or oil heater is to generate the heat from the sauna, its exhaust gases must be led through a pipe into a chimney - the chimney sweep decides whether and how this works in your house. An electric oven does not need a chimney, but depending on the kilowatt output, a power line is required. Installation must be carried out by an electrician who is approved by the electricity company. This also applies to sauna kits that can be bought at the hardware store. The set-up service costs extra there, but should not be saved.

Roeger Sauna
Roeger Sauna

The sauna Baleo by Roeger with inner lining in Douglas fir and a sauna heater is individually adapted to your room.

Photo: www.roeger-sauna.de

3. Place the power connection for the oven

Conventional sockets provide an alternating voltage of 230 volts, which is sufficient for sauna heaters with an output of up to 4.9 kilowatts (kW). If you want to set up a more powerful oven, you need a three-phase connection (also known as a high-voltage connection) of 400 volts. The wiring and power connection of a sauna cabin must be carried out by a locally approved electrician - it is not part of the installation work of the sauna manufacturer or carpenter. The electrician also immediately checks the existing power supply lines in the house. Cables with too small a cross-section heat themselves instead of the sauna.

Professionals only use a heat-resistant silicone cable with a cable cross-section of 5 x 2.5 square millimeters to connect the sauna heaters and the interior lighting. A 400 volt connection is required for sauna heaters with a power of 5 kW or more; the supply cables supplied with the sauna accessories usually extend up to about one meter above the cabin ceiling and are connected there with the customer's cable. The electrician branches off the electricity for the interior lighting from this supply line, no further cables have to be laid.

Sauna Midi Vision von Tylo
Sauna Midi Vision von Tylo

The Midi Vision sauna is glazed on three sides, requires only one wall side and therefore adapts to any room.

Photo: www.tylo.de

4. The right heating system for the sauna

The sauna heater is primarily intended to generate radiant heat. It is distributed more draft-free and more evenly in the room than convection heat and is considered healthier and gentler. As a rule, so-called open electric ovens are installed. There are also gas-fired sauna heaters and combination devices that can be switched from wood-burning to electric. Depending on the size, the oven is filled with 30 to 200 kilograms of stones: they store the heat, give it off for a long time and evaporate the water from infusions.

Heat rises - you only heat up the sauna cabin so much that you feel comfortable on the middle and top bench. If you want to save electricity, switch off the stove before the last sweat, the sauna stones and the interior still have enough heat. Stand stoves are placed on the sauna floor, wall stoves are installed without contact with the floor - it is easier to wipe underneath. Triangle-shaped stoves are ideal if the sauna heater is to be placed in a corner of the cabin.

Build a sauna with alternatives

Under bench ovens
  • save space, they are installed under the sauna benches
  • cannot be touched directly: a sure thing not only for children's hands
Rear wall stoves
  • sit behind a suspended partition
  • eliminate the risk of skin burns and
  • create more room for movement in the cabin
  • Infusions are carried out with underbench or rear wall ovens via a wooden funnel supplied
Ceiling heating systems

according to the manufacturer, reduce energy consumption by up to 30 percent compared to conventional stoves

5. Select the heater for the sauna

Modern heating technology is a sure pleasure in the "headlock", a little care extends its lifespan. The kiln output should be one kilowatt per cubic meter of cabin. If you install a transparent glass door instead of a thermally insulated wooden door, you add one kilowatt. If the sauna cabin is on an uninsulated old storey ceiling or in a garden house, the heater output should be one kilowatt more per square meter.

Control units prevent temperature fluctuations in the sauna, protect against overheating and switch off the heater when the cabin temperature exceeds 140 degrees. High-tech in the sauna provides music or scents, color or light plays on request - an electrician also has to work here.

Der Ofen - das Herzstück der Sauna
Der Ofen - das Herzstück der Sauna

The heater - the heart of the sauna

Photo: B + S Finnish sauna

6. Select the type of wood for the sauna

Wood inside the cabin remains untreated. It should withstand temperature fluctuations without damage and should be as free of resin as possible. Canadian hemlock is mostly used for the frames and the interior and exterior cladding of sandwich cabins. It has a low resin content and is free of ingrown branches. The trunk shows fine annual rings and grows straight-grained - this gives the wood excellent stamina - this is what experts call the durability of wood.

Nordic spruce is cheaper, it also grows with delicate and narrow annual rings - the type of wood has a higher density than spruce from Central Europe and is therefore considered to be firmer, harder and more durable. It secretes a little resin, has grown branches and works well - but it is still ideal for the temperature conditions in the sauna. Larch, pine or Douglas fir are considered less recommended for sauna construction due to their strong resin leakage. Kelo wood is often used for log screeds recommended, mummified spruce or pine wood from Finland.

7. Determine the construction of the sauna

The floor, walls and ceiling of a sauna cabin can be built in one layer from solid planks or in multiple layers like a sandwich in a layered construction:

Massive sauna cabin

They are made entirely of wood and basically do without additional ventilation: the used air is filtered through the wood seven to eight times an hour, and it absorbs the excess moisture. Whether the natural air exchange is sufficient is controversial among sauna experts. If you want to be on the safe side, a cabin made of solid wood is equipped with a ventilation system.

A wall thickness of 40 millimeters is recommended for a private sauna, and thicker walls are chosen for commercial systems. The construction should be free of joints and gaps, otherwise the sauna heat escapes through the cracks. To allow air to circulate between the cabin and the wall of the building, the sauna is set up at a distance of about 5 centimeters.

Sandwich cabin

A sauna cabin in sandwich construction consists of stabilizing frame wood, which has planking made of profiled boards on the outside and inside. Insulating material is sandwiched between them and a layer of plastic or aluminum on the room side so that it does not become damp. Advantage of this construction: For invisible parts of the outer wall and as a ceiling finish, cheaper wood-based panels are also suitable instead of the profile boards.

Gartensauna
Gartensauna

Sauna instead of greenhouse in the garden: The garden sauna Lavia from Westerhoff is not an inexpensive pleasure, it costs around 25, 000 euros in the basic equipment including structure and technology.

Photo: Blockhaus Westerhoff

8. Design the sauna facility

Knot-, resin- and splinter-free wood is selected for seating and lying surfaces, which also has low thermal conductivity, withstands water vapor and sweat and withstands temperature changes. We recommend soft woods such as local poplar, aspen or linden or the even softer African abachi. The wood professional mounts screw connections and fastenings made of metal so that nobody burns their bare skin on them. Mobile benches should be preferred to built-in benches - they can be easily removed for cleaning and ventilating the sauna and for cleaning or repair activities that are necessary on the furniture itself.

Einbausauna im Badezimmer
Einbausauna im Badezimmer

The 2-person model from Weka even fits in the bathroom. You can get the cabin in the hardware store from around 800 euros. The costs for the oven (about 300 to 400 euros) are extra.

Photo: Bauhaus.de

9. Build a sauna: Comfortable air conditioning technology

The electrical system of the heating system should always bear a test badge: in Germany by the Association of Electrical Engineering VDE, in Austria by the Austrian Association of Electrical Engineering ÖVE. Insulated outer surfaces allow a short distance to walls and couches.

Controls allow programming of the switch-on time up to 24 hours in advance and the temperature control between 30 and 120 degrees. In some sauna models, the air humidity can be set using an evaporator or humidity sensor - from "dry heat" to "mild steam bath". Comfort controls also automatically regulate lighting and colored light modules as well as the intervals at which the fan supplies fresh air. Overheating protection and automatic switch-off increase safety.

Fresh air in the sauna increases well-being and extends the life of the cabin. Natural ventilation works through three closable openings in the cabin wall. The slots for fresh air supply sit ideally above the sauna base behind the heater, the ventilation slots on the opposite wall, just above the floor and under the ceiling. The upper opening remains closed during sauna bathing so that the warm air does not escape. The exhaust air flap is only opened when the sauna should dry after the bath.

The wood professional plans 20 square centimeters of ventilation opening per square meter of sauna floor space. Natural ventilation is usually not enough; Ventilation systems exchange air more effectively. Complete air conditioning systems regulate automatic ventilation, they humidify and dehumidify the sauna air. After the sauna operation, the system works until the cabin is dry. Sauna cabins without automatic drying are left open after use so that moisture is drawn off and the wood does not decay. The footrests are removed and the floor is wiped dry.

Frau vor Sauna
Frau vor Sauna

After the sweat cure, you can relax - this is the only way to develop the healthy effects of a sauna.

/ Stokkete

10. Observe hygiene in the sauna

Because of its cell structure, wood stores a large amount of heat and slowly releases it again - together with cell ingredients such as essential oils and fragrant resins. So pleasant wooden scent spreads in the sauna cabin. Wood also stores the moisture generated by healthy sweating and releases it when the cabin temperature drops. Third advantage: wood has an antibacterial effect - walls and benches made of pine, oak and larch absorb bacteria and kill them, on the surface and inside the wood.

For tips on cleaning and maintaining the sauna, please refer to our sauna etiquette.

What does a new home sauna cost?

It's hard to say what an individual sauna will cost in the end. One thing is certain: from around 5, 000 euros, for example, the sauna builder Klafs in Schwäbisch Hall can offer a RAL-certified quality sauna. The prices at Saunabauer Bemberg from Brackenheim are around 10, 000 euros for an approximately 2x2 meter individually planned sauna in a serious quality including technology and heating system. No matter which manufacturer: there are hardly any price limits. "Similar to a car, the price also depends on the individual equipment and can vary widely with the same size, " says Klafs company spokesman Mark Böttger.

What are the operating costs?

This question can, of course, only be answered in a general way, because the running costs of your own sauna depend on the electricity price and the performance of the sauna heater. And of course how often it is used. You can calculate this in advance using a simple formula:

  1. You need the power of your sauna heater in kilowatts and multiply it by the time that an average sauna session would take for you (do not forget to preheat!).
  2. Multiply this value by the electricity price (also in kilowatt hours) and get the price that a sauna session would cost.
Calculation example operating costs for home sauna

Performance sauna heater 8 kW
Sauna time including preheating 1.5 h
Electricity costs per kW / h 0.29 euros
Cost per sauna session 3.48 euros

So if you use your home sauna once a week, the monthly costs are around 14 euros. The costs are of course relativized the more people use the sauna at the same time.

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