Updated: May 21, 2022
Desiging a sauna build can be a daunting task for those who are not familiar with the construction industry. I have found that the sheer amount of choices and options in these small builds can be overwhelming. There are two types of people - those who research and educate themselves about every aspect of the build prior to starting the design build process and those that don't know or don't want to know about the choices that are available to them.
I want to write a very quick post to break down these choices and organize some of the common materials/products in one area. Follow along as if you are filling out a pre-build questionaire.
1) How many people plan on using the sauna. - This is one that most people have thought about at least briefly but it is also very misunderstood. In typical sauna culture family and friends will sauna in shifts. Only at the gyms and public saunas is it common to have large groups in the sauna at the same time. Remember the larger the sauna the more space you will need to heat whether there is a full crowd or just yourself.
2) What type of heat will you be using? - Woodburning or electric. If woodburning do you want to feed the fire from inside the sauna or outside? If electric are you comfortable with a wall mounted controller or do you want the convenience of a Wifi controlled heater.
Here is a list of the heaters and controllers we typically use in our sauna builds.
Electric Heater Options
Designer Trend/Pure - https://www.finnleo.com/sauna-heaters/classic/designer-trend-control
HUUM - https://huumsauna.com/products/
The Vena Pure, Piccolo and Himalaya heaters all offer BWT (Bio Water Technique) a humidity variable built into the stove. Read more about Bio Water Technique here - https://www.finnleo.com/sauna-heaters/blackline-biowater/.
Electric Control Options
https://www.finnleo.com/saunalogic2 - Wifi Capable
https://www.finnleo.com/pure2.0control - Light Control - No Wifi
https://www.finnleo.com/elitecontrol - Wifi Capable
https://huumsauna.com/products/ - For HUUM Only
3) What type of interior cladding do you prefer - There are many species of wood and within each species there are grades. The higher the grade the higher the cost. The three most typical species are Cedar, Hemlock and Spruce, Cedar being the most popular.
Take a look at some of the species here or contact us to send you a sample - https://bearcreeklumber.com/
The grades of cedar are found at the bottom of the page here - https://bearcreeklumber.com/species/wrcedar.html
4) What will the exterior look like? The options here are endless. Sometimes you may want to blend in with your house and the rest of your property or you may want a unique architectural focal point.
Here is a mix of both common and unique exterior cladding products, dream away!
https://lpcorp.com/products/exterior/siding-trim/products - (Shake, Lap, Or Vertical Panel/Board & Batten are the 3 main styles and there are a variety of colors as well.
https://www.richlite.com/pages/applications#exterior – Here is a high quality unique modern siding product. More expensive yet high quality.
https://arborwoodco.com/siding - These are high end unique siding products as well, they are a Minnesota company and their vertical Shou Sugi Ban (torched finish) has been popular with lately. More expensive yet high quality.
https://arborwoodco.com/decking - They also have decking options.
https://www.advantagelumber.com/decking2.htm - This is a hardwood low maintenance decking. More expensive yet high quality.
https://www.trex.com/products/decking/ - This is the most popular maintenance free decking choice – It comes in three price categories – Enhance, Select, Transcend from Low to High.
https://www.timbertech.com/products/decking/ - TimberTech/Azek is in the same category and price range as Trex and in my experience they are both a quality maintenance free decking product.
https://www.realcedar.com/decking/ - Cedar decking – requires maintenance but it is a real wood product unlike the composite Trex and TimberTech. It is comparable to the Mid Grade Trex in price as of the time of this post.
5) Fixtures & end items. This is something you can just jot down in list format or we can always start with an allowance and choose as we go! - Examples are, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures if you have plumbing, hooks/shelves, buckets/ladles etc etc.
I hope this will help organize you thoughts and help you make the most informed choices.