Interior of a backyard sauna

Many of us never experience a sauna unless we visit a spa or a nice hotel. But once there, you find yourself imagining how nice it would be to use a sauna more often. And you can! Backyard saunas are becoming more popular, because you can enjoy the luxurious feeling of a spa without ever leaving home.

Saunas can be purchased pre-built, with different sizes and options available. Generally speaking, most of us don’t have the room for a large sauna inside of our homes. But locating the sauna in your backyard allows for more flexibility, and you can install just about any size you wish.

Saunas tend to be described by the number of persons that can use them at one time. You can purchase sizes ranging from a one-person sauna to an eight-person unit. Before making your final selection, imagine whether you might occasionally use the sauna with guests. It might be worthwhile to go ahead and upgrade to one size larger than you think you need.

Aside from pre-built options, which are available in a variety of shapes, you can also design and build your own. This process will be more complicated, obviously, but it allows you to choose every element of the design.

The main choice to make involves your sauna’s heat source. Will you use a traditional sauna or opt for the infrared heat option? Traditional saunas are heated via a wood stove or electric heater, both of which provide enough heat to generate steam. An infrared sauna uses more updated technology to produce radiant heat. Fans of infrared saunas say your body’s sweating helps you to detox more efficiently.

When choosing a location for your sauna, remember that you will need electricity. Yes, even if you go with the wood stove type, you’ll want a light inside! Since running electrical wiring is a specialized trade, locating your sauna close to the house can keep the work (and cost) to a minimum.

And just a word of caution: Never use any type of paint or stain on the inside of your sauna! Heat can release toxic fumes from these treatments, and your wood might be damaged because humidity becomes trapped. And consult an expert about the placement of a wood stove sauna; the wrong placement can result in a fire.

As always with renovations, check on your local permitting rules before beginning work. You’ll want to be certain your plans are allowable within local restrictions, and that the work is performed according to safety standards.

If you’d like to incorporate an outdoor sauna into your overall landscape design, call us so that we can discuss your plans.

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