Q: Do I really need …. (fill in the blank)?
A: “Maybe not, but we build our saunas one time, and we get to enjoy them for the rest of our lives.”
A few items that can fill in the blank:
1. Candle window. As we frame the common wall from hot room to cool down room, it takes an extra 12 minutes to box out for a window. The glass for a candle window costs about $20.00. The time to fir out a candle window takes about 45 minutes (and can be especially enjoyable passing cedar stock through a table saw… (“wow, I did that?”).
2. Drain. “I don’t plan to use water in my sauna.” Yes, but what if your kids or grandkids want to? (Which they will!). Do you want to be that grumpy parent or grandparent scolding kids for splashing around? Some of the best moments of family sauna is surprising someone with a splash of cold water, bright smiles and giggles of joyous fun and love and kinship of kids doing… what kids do!. REMINDER: Children in sauna is a very safe and natural thing. Their rounds are shorter and more frequent.
3. Heat shields. We pay for these once, and benefit from the safety and extra couple inches of hot room space forever.
4. Water tank: Access to warm water is especially wonderful when it’s 20 below outside. No clunky pans atop our sauna stoves, we can dip in and blend to temp. for comfy bathing. BONUS: a sauna stove factory water tank is your best heat shield and helps provide welcomed lämpömassa.
5. Clear benches: Not everybody wants to sit on a towel. And guaranteed, with knots on your sauna bench, a guest new to sauna is going to have a bad first experience branding their ass, all because you chose to save $350 with #2 grade knotty. And come on, isn’t clear cedar beautiful?
6. A kick ass sauna stove: Those serious about sauna understand that heat is not heat. Those not so serious about sauna may not understand that heat is not heat, but they can feel a difference between “toaster oven” heat, and heat that radiates deep into the body via all the goodness from a decent sauna stove that densely heats a large amount of sauna stones that in turn helps create a resonating dense heat in our hot rooms, which in turn, is accentuated by really soft, intense, welcome löyly (steam) that is best described as “aaahhhh”. And when we invest twice the price for a kick ass sauna stove, we can be buried with our sauna stove at the end of our lives, vs. needing to replace our toaster oven after only a couple years.
There are plenty of places to save money with our sauna builds, but keep in mind:
We build our saunas one time, and we get to enjoy them for the rest of our lives.