The perfect size outdoor sauna

Here’s a 3-D picture of a pretty good mobile sauna.

3d-outdoor-sauna-in-paint1

  • 8×12 structure
  • 6×8 sauna room*
  • 6×8 changing room
  • dual benches on either side.
  • stove centered along the back wall.
  • 2×4 framed construction
  • 5/12 roof pitch
  • put a window in your sauna if you have a nice view.

I have been in over 100 saunas, and have sat in every one and have considered what’s good, bad and ugly with the design and construction of each sauna.

Some saunas are two man saunas, and don’t allow for a good sauna party.  Some saunas are bigger than a four man sauna and take too long to heat up, use too much wood, or the loyly (steam rising from tossing water on the rocks) never reaches you.  With divine proportion, according to the Greeks and confirmed by Da Vinci (thanks Matt), this is my ultimate sauna plan.

This design uses North American standard measurements, minimizing waste in construction and allowing for full cuts of material.  This design gives you a changing room, a critical space for privacy, having a beer between rounds, and a buffer for temperature extremes in cold climates.

TIP:  Frame the interior wall with 2×2′s vs. 2×4′s.  It is non load bearing, and the extra 2″ sure is valuable!

EXTRA TIP:  * The interior wall can be nudged slightly to allow for a slightly bigger sauna room (say 6’2″x7’4″ interior dimensions).  Four people can fit nicely along a 6’2″ bench, and it’s nice to lay along your sauna bench.  Remember, though, you’ll be having dual benches, a comfy sauna and ample changing room is the goal.   Having a bunch of people over for a sauna party?  don’t sweat it!  click here for the sauna party equation.


Comments

  1. yea, i linked TO the ‘perfect size for a sauna’ post within a couple pages of my site (build your own, mobile sauna). gotcha.

  2. Bill Blomquist says:

    Yes…Please send me the 3D File
    Thanks

  3. keep in touch Bill!

  4. Rebecca says:

    please send me the 3D file, Thanks!

  5. Rebecca:
    Bad news: Computer crash, lost the 3D file. Sorry!
    Good news: I have the complete building materials list. I can tell you that it’s a basic 8×12 ‘shed’ with a 5/12 roof pitch (or a roof pitch to match your house’s). Interior stud wall to allow for a 6’4″ wide sauna hot room. Want me to send that along? It’s an excel spreadsheet.

    Also, I have a basic blueprint, and can scan that sometime soon for electronic forwarding.

  6. Hi Glenn,

    Any chance of having the building materials list and blueprint? That would be great :)

  7. Alan…. Yes, i’m working on this! I have a building material’s list as well as blueprints.. coming soon!!! 8×12 is the key, in my book… but any questions you may have in the interim, please “fire” away.

  8. Thanks Glenn,

    8 x 12 would fit the room I have available in my smallish back yard perfectly. I love the idea of having the changing room also. I haven’t been able to locate any other plans/blueprints etc on the internet for other saunas but the size and shape of your design does appeal to me.

    Cheers.

  9. Allen is on track and I have sent him extra doses of Nescafe coffee with instructions and he will dutifully report back to us on his project: building his own authentic Finnish sauna in his backyard. How are you doing on yours? Remember, we all need our own sauna haven, and if money is your setback, consider your own sauna as a permanent vacation, one dollar/kroner and one cedar tongue and groove board at a time!!

  10. I’ve been dreaming of having a sauna for years. Please send a copy of your plan and material list. Much appreciated!

  11. yes please send a materials list. what is your stove, what is your insulating material?

  12. Alexandra Raney says:

    I would also appreciate the 3D plans to this sauna!
    Thank you!

  13. I have been looking for a nice outdoor sauna room. Please email me the plans.

    Thanks
    Niky

  14. Hi Niky:

    I will be posting the plans as soon, please check back.

  15. Hi Alex, coming soon~

  16. We’ve been searching how to build a sauna also.The plans and materials would be much appreciated.Thank you

  17. I can build the sauna no problem but what about a wood fired heater. What are some good sources and those that will help me keep the costs down?

    Are there plans for a home welded stove for example?

  18. Ken:
    One key material in building your own sauna: foil bubble wrap insulation.
    wood fired heater: There are imported ones from Finland, but to me, there is only one source you need to know for procuring a wood fired heater: http://www.lamppakuuma.com. Call Daryl, mention Glenn and saunatimes, he’s a great guy.
    With the Kuuma stove, you don’t need to weld your own stove. Once you see his product, you’ll see what I mean.
    Keep in touch.

  19. please send the materials list and blueprint! Thanks!!!

  20. Hi Glenn, can you send me the materials list and blueprints please. Thank you.

  21. sisu! could i get a copy of the prints and materials list? i have wanted one forever

  22. mark mooney says:

    Just moved to northern michigan and have to build a sauna. Would love to get the materials list and blueprint for your “perfect sauna”. Looks like just the ticket. Thanks!

  23. mark mooney says:

    Could I get the 3D file as well? Just downloaded the Google application so I can check it out. Thanks again. Great website!

  24. Mark:

    Please note my recent post, http://www.saunatimes.com/2009/10/12/build-your-own-sauna-materials-list/. I will be scanning the blueprints shortly and will post. Glad you dig the website and hope this helps.

  25. Hi, We’ve been looking for some design plans for our non-profit ski club here in southwestern Maine. We have the room to put one out side of our “chalet”, really a bunk house for skiers, we also have a wood stove that puts out a ton of heat that we don’t use much because of a negative drat in the cellar of the lodge. Is there a big issue with using a wood stove not designed for a sauna specifically. I think this one would work well because we could load it from the side or the front.. You thoughts??Also If you have a materials list for you superb looking sauna, I would like to get a copy.
    Thanks and best regards. Ed

  26. Well I guess I’m a dodunk for not following the thread. I found the list after posting my last comment.. Thanks!!
    Ed

  27. Hi Ed. I can’t speak to your existing stove. If it works well, go for it, but I like an actual sauna stove for many reasons including drafting and wood burning efficiency. Glad you found my building material’s list for the 8×12 sauna. link here: http://www.saunatimes.com/2009/10/12/build-your-own-sauna-materials-list/
    Before you commit to building a sauna,, think about how many will be using the sauna. I wrote this post partly in jest, but there is something to the “sauna equation”, from this post:
    http://www.saunatimes.com/2009/04/06/sauna-party-april-2nd-2009-minneapolis-mn-usa/
    Nothing like a few sauna rounds after skiing. I like it tons better than a hot tub, no rodent killing chemicals and no alligator hide skin afterward.

  28. Carolyn Ericksen-Buss says:

    I’m second generation Finnish and grew up with wood burning saunas. Finally, planning to build one here in Maine. I would appreciate plans and materials help. Thanks

  29. Darryl Shuler says:

    You have a great website. Could you send me 3D Sauna Plan download? I have been in many saunas or what my wife from Russia call “banyas’ for quite a few years and they are awesome. We want to build our own now that we have our own place in the country. We live in Texas by the way. So, “howdy” from Texas. So, if I download Google Sketch up I can look at your 3 D Plan? Will I be able to use these palns to build our own? Thanks! Can’t wait for a reply. Darryl

  30. Hi Darryl:
    Bad News: I lost the Google sketch up file when my computer crashed.
    Good News: You don’t need it. Just build an 8×12 shed and frame an interior wall so you have a 6′x7’4″ interior room for the sauna. (your changing room will end up being about 5′x7’4″). Also, consider doing an ‘L’ bench vs. the dual bench, previously illustrated. I just built exactly this, and I’ll post pics. Glad you dig the website!! It warms me. PS.. $9k is about the price for what i’ve put into it.

  31. I think you would benefit from a Kuuma Stove. Daryl Lamppa is 3rd generation Finnish, and it will resonate well with you. I can’t believe how well it holds the heat in our MN cold.

  32. Found your blog by googling Philadelphia called sauna. Your 8×12 sauna has me thinking that may be the right size for a replacement sauna at my place UP on the Tundra. The 8×12 size is small enough that you don’t need a building permit as it is under 100 sq.ft.

  33. GHreatdesign! Can you send me the bluep rints or direct me where to get them? Thanks

  34. Who says you can’t make up blue prints on a napkin? check here: http://www.saunatimes.com/2009/11/15/8×12-sauna-blueprints/

  35. SUZANNE FENN says:

    MY HUSBAND AND SON WILL BUILD BUT I HAVE TO SPRING FOR THE WOOD STOVE. YOUR PLAN IS PERFECT FOR US..SMALL! AT 70YRS PLUS..NO PLANS FOR SAUNA PARTYS. CAN YOU SEND PLANS PLEASE.I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO SAUNA BY FALL BUT WITH FISHING AND GOLF SEASON BEGINING MENFOLK SEEM TO DISSAPEAR!

  36. Hi Suzanne: I’ll email you separately with a senior’s discount on my free sauna plans.

  37. hoping to build one this fall and would love the plans for the perfect sauna

  38. How do you route the chimney if the stove is right in the center?

  39. For the chimney you just give it 2x 90 degrees angles… Up out the stove, 90°, horizontal through wall, 90°, up past the roof. The horizontal part must have a up angle to allow the fumes to go UP the chimney. In our zone it’s 1/4″ for every 12 inches length. I put my stove in the center of the wall, and I built one L shape bench on one side, and one straight bench on the other. I also found a perfect size and cheap stove, it’s for temporary buildings (my sauna is a temporary building since it’s not on a cement patch) and it’s called the Hunter model, from Drolet in Canada. http://www.drolet.ca/en/products/wood/the-hunter-stove Good luck yall with your projects!

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