Sauna-Sational: 4 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Home Sauna

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As a lifestyle accoutrement, a sauna is the perfect complement to any home regardless of your house’s size or architectural style. Saunas don't have to cost a lot and can be laid down just about anywhere. If you're on a tight budget, a sauna is a great DIY project for the handy homeowner. Before you start slapping together your own sauna, here are four important factors to take into consideration.

Figure Out Sizing & Layout First

A sauna is inherently social in nature. Figure out how many people you want to accommodate at one time before you pick a floor plan. Keep in mind that a 5' by 8' sauna can comfortably seat four people. If you don't need much space, saunas can fit underneath staircases. You'll also need to choose between an indoor and an outdoor installation. If you have design questions, contact a sauna builder such as Allweather Wood in Edmonton or a dealer in your particular locale.

Carefully Consider Heat Sources

The sauna market is split into two categories: traditional models that produce steam and the newer infrared units. If you opt for traditional steam technology, you must choose between wood, coal, natural gas and electricity for the heat source. While infrareds don't actually produce steam, they still boast numerous health benefits such as purifying the skin by opening up pores and reducing arthritis pain.

Select Your Wood Wisely

Quite possibly the most important decision to make when planning a sauna is the type of wood you will use. Pick the wrong species and you're looking at some seriously subpar results. Though a popular traditional choice, cedar is prone to potentially dangerous off-gassing as well as mold. A better choice would be high-quality Douglas Fir or Nordic White Spruce sourced from a reputable lumber provider.

Don't Skimp on Control Quality

Modern saunas are far more convenient than traditional installations thanks to luxuries like programmable thermostats and remote controls. Whatever bells and whistles you choose, be sure to do your homework first and purchase only the highest-quality hardware possible. A sauna can reach temperatures in excess of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Consequently, sensitive electronics can be damaged over time by the extreme heat and humidity.

Common Sense Is the Key

Putting together a sound plan of action for a sauna isn't rocket science. If you take the time to answer the preceding questions before getting started, you'll be more than happy with the results. If possible, have a reputable local builder help you to sketch out the blueprints and put together the final product. Done properly, a sauna will provide enjoyment for years to come.

Anica O

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