Here are a few tips and realizations to help you get a good nights sleep during your sauna building process:
We all know how great it is to empower ourselves to undertake our own creative projects. Whether it’s building a birdhouse, or a backyard fence, or building your own sauna, our minds get churning with planning and our body gets moving with action. The balance of thinking and doing, planning and action, is a great antidote to such things as work stress, financial frustrations, or perhaps the occasional metal to metal temperature rising from living in close quarters with family (especially if the mash potatoes are cold).
Build your own sauna: owning the entire process
The list of building our own sauna benefits is a long one. Beyond the obvious, enjoying the “Finnish” product of our own health and wellness backyard retreat, another benefit of building our own sauna is the satisfaction rolling up our sleeves to create something with our own hands. Today, many of us have desk jobs where we may be behind a computer screen most of the day, or not working with our hands far from nature. In our world of specialization, many of us may be working on only one particular piece of a project, having no identity to the overall product or project. Example: “I only bring the stuff in, I don’t know where it goes, that’s his job over there.”
Beyond all that, when the weather is crappy, many of us may only go out to our backyards to bring out the garbage.
It’s totally reasonable to feel a bit uneasy about “owning” the entire sauna building process. If you wake up in the middle of the night wondering if you wired for your under bench lighting, remember how great it feels not to have to fill out a form to get accounting involved. You own it!
The iterative process of sauna building
One of the challenges of building our own sauna is that, unlike taking out the garbage, most of us are undertaking tasks that we may never have done before. Examples of this may include:
- skim coating our hot room floor
- building sauna benches
- applying tongue and groove cedar
To tackle this, we can look to resources like the build your own sauna ebook, or a friend who has been down the sauna building path, or the search bar on this website. (insert arrow to the upper right). These “lifelines” help us close the gap and gain an understanding of building tasks with which we are unfamiliar.
It is totally reasonable to feel a bit uneasy about tackling aspects to our build which we have never done before. If you wake up in the middle of the night wondering how you’re going to skim coat your hot room floor, remember that many have done this before you, and you can do it too.
Don’t to paint yourself in the sauna building corner
A key way to build our own saunas is to plan each task sequentially, and then tackle each task one at a time, in order. For example, we want to wire everything before we insulate. Then we want to foil vapor barrier before we tongue and groove. These three tasks are logical. But there are tricks along the way to help us avoid “painting ourselves in the corner.” An example of this is drip edge.
After insulating and applying foil vapor barrier to our saunas, we then want to apply drip edge all the way around where walls meets the floor. This allows us to either work on our floor, or work on our walls, independent of each other. In this example, it’s probably better to work on paneling our ceiling and walls, then our floors. This way we can work without concern of messing up our finished floors.
It’s totally reasonable to question the order of our tasks. If you wake up in the middle of the night wondering if you’re painting yourself in the sauna building corner, remember that you’re doing your tasks in a logical order..
One of the greatest attributes for the casual sauna builder is understanding how much we can decide “on the fly.” It’s easy to get caught up in architectural drawings. Yet it’s a lot easier to, for example, frame up your sauna walls, and then consider the best place for a candle window. A cardboard box (perhaps from Green Bay Packaging), a pencil, and a cold beer is all you need to figure the best location for your candle window. Then “hold this honey” and zip zip with the sawzall. Voila. Cut out for your candle window. Until you live it, you won’t know it.
It’s totally reasonable to feel uneasy about where things are going to go. If you wake up in the middle of the night worried about window placements and other decisions, remember that when you field verify your work, you’re much more likely to make the right decision.
If you’re waking up in the middle of the night during your sauna build: congratulations! This is good suffering. This is good pain. You are invested in your sauna, and you’re going to make a really good sauna because of it.