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Authentic Sauna Blog

“We build our saunas one time, and get to enjoy them for the rest of our lives”

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?”).

a candle window between hot room and changing room.

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.

Gary’s wood fired Kuuma with water tank

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?

Sauna benches basking in the sun prior to installation.

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.

Employee Dave wheeling out another authentic sauna stove for a satisfied customer who isn’t afraid to live.

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.

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8 Comments on This Post

  1. Hey Glenn,
    Your E-book is fantastic! Question:. What do you think about putting an epoxy coating on the vinyl cement patch after it has dried? I have it on the cement floor in our living space in the shed where I’m building the sauna and it has held up very well and is durable and water tight.
    Thanks.
    Mark

  2. Hi Glenn, just wondering if you share some DIY details on a cold tub option for three seasons as well as a cold bucket dump that could be plumbed into an outdoor shower? Seems like there are few places to purchase these buckets as well. Now off to enjoy our wood fired sauna after the first snowfall! Thank you!

  3. Hi Erin: For sure.

    Cold tub option: The plastic may not be as pretty as the metal tanks, but this tank is engineered to not crack if water freezes (because it expands upward, not outward. https://www.saunatimes.com/sauna-information/sauna-health-and-wellness/backyard-cold-plunge-between-sauna-rounds-for-72-99/

    Cold bucket dump: A friend built one of these for The Yard, 4700 in Minneapolis. It’s totally great. I don’t know a place to buy one of these, but we’ve been enjoying the outdoor shower for sure. https://www.saunatimes.com/building-a-sauna/outdoor-shower-15-any-hardware-store/

  4. Glen- I’m just finishing the tile in my wood burning sauna outside of Creede, Colorado and your ebook was a huge help but alas my hard drive has fried and I’ve lost all the info gathered. The build has been a cooperative effort of friends and neighbors but I’m at the end phase of installing the Kuuma stove, benches and building the hot room door without my reference source. I purchased the book about 2 years ago; can you resend me another copy?

  5. James: Yes, without a doubt. I’ve got your email and resending you another copy of the ebook. So great to hear about your progress, and if your sauna build is happening anywhere near a Creede, CO mountain stream, please send me your address. With a wood fired Kuuma and cold rushing mountain cool downs, I think I may one day soon knock on your changing room door with some nICE mugs ready to celebrate.

  6. Mark:

    I just skim coated the 612 Sauna floor, and well, it seems really water tight as it is. I suppose an epoxy coating is that much better, and so i’d say for sure go for that! I’m often a path of least product resistance type, probably to a fault. Send a pic. Will be good to see your floor in action, as it seems like a great enhancement. Cheers!

  7. Hi Glenn – I am exploring a sauna build for my back yard, starting with a Tuff Shed and then outfitting the inside. There are a number of details I am not 100% sure of, so would love to connect.

  8. Ted: Sure, we can connect. Before hand, please read “Sauna Build: From Start to Finnish” and if questions from the ebook, type in keywords within the search bar on this website, and then if still questions after that, please email me saunatimes@gmail.com. I think you can tell that i’m all in for helping.

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