A sauna in the garage that doesn’t cut any corners


When considering your own backyard sauna, it’s not out of reach to carve a corner out of your garage.

Enter Clint:

A few things I really enjoy about my sauna:

  1. The flow is excellent. You can get to and from any seated position without bothering other people.
  2. The heater is more than adequate. ALWAYS buy more heater than you need 🙂
  3. The shaved front corner allows me to have a sauna that seats 6+ people while still not feeling imposing in my garage.
  4. None of the benches are permanently attached, making cleaning very easy.
  5. I have a 45 degree “drip board” under the spot the I regularly sit, which allows me to shower while the water collects in a plastic tub. It allows me to not have a drain and works great.
  6. The speakers and volume control inside have proved to be a critical component of the sauna.
  7. 2 vents allow for plenty of fresh air when the sauna is full. One is under the heater. The other is under the top bench in the opposite corner (a fairly traditional location).
  8. I chose a larger door window than some, at 1′ x 2′. I love it.
I can honestly say that I don’t think I would do anything differently if I built it again 🙂 This is primarily due to a LOT of planning and thought beforehand. Chaulk on the ground, mock benches, visiting other saunas, etc.
clint garage sauna

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8 thoughts on “A sauna in the garage that doesn’t cut any corners”

  1. I’d throw in the mix that the garage doubles as a more than adequate “changing room” and cool down space. It’s quite fun to enjoy an extended cool down hanging out in the garage, as steam collects on the garage door windows while the wind howls outside during a Minnesota sub zero winter’s night.

  2. Great site. I may donate to the sauna plan cause eventually, but right now I don’t think it’s doable for me to build one. Do you know if there is any practical way to build a sauna that could eventually be taken apart and moved? The only reason I am not building a sauna right now is the fact that I know I won’t be at my current house for more than a few years.

  3. you could also consider a prefabricated kit from one of the major sauna manufacturers. these are shipped with each wall and the roof as a factory-built ‘unit’, complete with interior framing, insulation and siding. benches are premade, doors are prehung, etc. they can be assembled very quickly (in a weekend) and go together with screws that can later be removed for dis-assembly. the trade off is they are more expensive than other kits (ones where only raw materials ship) or something built from scratch. they are also typically limited to indoor use, come in only specific sizes and wood stoves are not available.

  4. I was confronted with the same problem – wanted a sauna more than anything but was unsure about where we would be living as our family grew. Read this blog enough to get the gumption to move forward anyway. Ended up building an 8 by 15 backyard sauna on top of a treated 4 by 6 “foundation” fastened with ledger tights and other heavy duty fasteners. When the day comes to move it, will simply jack the sauna off the ground, brace the structure with some 2 by 6s, and let a crane drop it onto a trailer for me (already got a quote – $250 an hour. Would take two hours max). Hands down, one of the most satisfying and best all around decisions I have ever made. Have been using it 2 or 3 times a week and can’t imagine a life without a Kuuma-powered authentic Finnish sauna in the backyard!!

  5. Thanks for the input fellas. The mobile sauna still won’t work unfortunately because the opening to my backyard is only 4′. However, like Tony says, I might still go for it. I was thinking I could just do a 4’x4′ outdoor sauna and build on a wood foundation (no slab) to keep it on the cheap in case I do move soon and can’t move the sauna (I could at least take the stove). Another thought was putting it in my garage like this post suggests. I would just have to get 240V in there (it’s attached and I do have 120V), and it would be a lot easier not having to build a real outdoor roof and foundation. I found someone selling 300 sq. ft. of cedar tonque and groove from their cedar room for $200 or trade.

    Glenn, do your plans include both indoor and outdoor saunas? I’m thinking I might want to get these soon so I can start researching and planning.

  6. Hello Everyone,

    This post is a few years old so I’m hoping somehow it’s seen by many. I just purchased a new home and would like to put a sauna in my garage. The section of my garage where I am planning on putting it is already finished as an “office space.” I have plans from this site and will be going with a Kuuma stove. I am looking for someone who has experience in designing/building saunas to assist with the layout and some other logistics. I live in Marine on Saint Croix, MN. I appreciate any and all suggestions and am grateful for the endless stories on this site. Thanks to all.

  7. Hi Joel:

    Happy to help. Sending you an email. I built a sauna in my garage in 2003 and it was an inspiration (of many) to start saunatimes and to help others.

    You’ve found the right tree in which to start barking. Happy to help.

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