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An inexpensive basement sauna

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My new virtual friend Jonathon and his dad applied some resourceful upper Midwest ingenuity, building a basement sauna using cheap doors for walls, ceiling.  They were purchased for $1 each at the bargain bin at Menards, our resourceful upper Midwest version of Home Depot.

The creative thing about using doors for walls (despite the obvious) is that being 6’8″ tall, they are a pretty ideal height for sauna walls.

Nice work Jonathon, and thanks for the kind words.  Check out his project here.

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6 Comments

6 thoughts on “An inexpensive basement sauna”

  1. This was really a good link to a great post. An excellent how-to, complete with step by step pics. Very engaging. Really made me consider building one myself.

  2. A recent health journey has prioritized our basement sauna project. I’m stuck on layout, we had a plan drawn up during a remodel a few years ago, but I want to reconfigure the sauna space to make it smaller and enlarge the changing room space to allow space for lounging. Glen, I feel like we have emailed or met way back when 612 was kicking off. I’m reaching out to you for a layout consult. Please let me know if you are available to meet,

    Aliina

  3. Glenn, thanks so much for the wealth of information on your website! We live in Western NY and are excited to build our first sauna. I’ve bought your ebook and am planning to build a sauna in our basement with a HUUM electric heater. I have a bump-out area in the basement that is 8.5 ft wide and 6.5 ft deep but the outer wall corners are cut off in a hexagonal shape. The upstairs is a bump-out eating area with windows on each of the 5 outer walls – 3 sides + 2 cut-off corner walls (hopefully that helps visualize it).

    Since the area is not quite rectangular (cut-off corners on the outer wall), I’m wondering if you have any experience or recommendations on whether this is an acceptable shape. I can build seating areas around the cut-off corners but it might be difficult to have a bench long enough on which to lay down.

    Also, the basement walls have drywall rated for wet areas (same as bathrooms, etc). Is that OK or do you recommend ripping that off first before installing the reflective bubble wrap? I know you don’t recommend regular drywall but wasn’t sure if drywall rated for a wet area was OK.

    If the basement doesn’t work out I’ll probably build an 8×12 outside with a wood stove. I know that’s probably your preference, but was just trying to save some $ by building inside.

    Thanks for your help!

  4. Hi Chet.

    I think I get the idea, but i’d have to see this shape for real before knowing for sure, but it seems doable.

    Drywall rated for wet areas should be good, but if this were my project, i’d take it out and do foil, air gap, paneling. It’s tried and true.

    Yea, outside to me is a game changer. Those cold Buffalo grey days, outside, in Nature.. it’s a great thing in life. Then you can order up some Duff’s with a couple Labatts for post sauna and, well, it’s as good as heaven.

    Go Bills!

  5. Glenn

    Thanks for the reply. I think I too would prefer the outdoors experience but was thinking about inside convenience. It’s a trade off.

    We are reeling a bit here in WNY with the Bills loss to KC over the weekend. Heartbreaking. But there’s always next year.In the meantime I’ll design and build a sauna. Go Bills!

    Thanks for all the great info you so freely share!

    Chet

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