A big thank you to sauna builder Terry from the Sequoia National Forest area in California. Terry is just now in the midst of his own sauna build project. He reached out to saunatimes with some build questions and submitted to our Advisory Team a couple detailed SketchUp drawings which impressed our staff!
“I am pretty new to SketchUp, but really enjoyed making up some drawings of our sauna build plans.” Terry explains. “Glenn circled back with me and asked if I could adapt his pencil drawings of two configurations for his 8×12 sauna plans.”
And Terry did it!
Terry advises: “You can create a free account for Sketch Up to fully view all the details and move around the 3D space, plus you can show/hide sections and get exact measurements as well. I’ve attached a few export images. The actual .skp file is 23MB.”
We included Terry’s zip file within the folder of the saunatimes ebook “Sauna Build From Start to Finnish.”
What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding divine proportion?
“8×12 is a magical dimension,” Glenn says. “We are using dimensional lumber. Being under 100 square feet, in most municipalities, the structure does not require a building permit.” Glenn goes on to add: “8/12 is a golden ratio. Divine proportion isn’t just for woo woo tarot card readers. Divine proportion is a foundation for all of Nature and Science.
If Leonardo di Vinci were alive today, chances are he’d be advancing his ideas while sitting on the upper bench of his own 8’x12′ health and wellness backyard retreat. He’d extend his arm out to toss water on the rocks and would be reminded that the length of his arm, from his elbow to the end of his hand is 2/3 the length of his entire arm.” More on the Golden Ratio and the human body here.
This fact may not mean much, but the 2/3 ratio exists everywhere. Because of this ubiquity, the Golden Ratio feels right. When we build by following the dimensions of divine proportion, we make art that looks and functions beautifully.
8×12 may not be your sauna building dimensions. You may choose 12×16. And Leonardo di Vinci would nod approval for that dimension as well! (Check out these two 12×16 concepts here.)
Hot room bench analysis (down to the inch!)
The SketchUp drawings offer two bench configurations for your consideration. The bench layout on the left is approximately 7’4″ long. The bench layout on the right is approximately 6′ long. The layout on the left has less standing space. The layout on the right has more standing space. As you can see, neither of these layouts offer an “L” bench, as for many applications, “L” benches look better on paper than in real life (and can easily be added after the fact).
Sauna builders can choose either layout with consideration towards how and where the structure will sit on their property. SUGGESTION: get the ball rolling (and right brain thinking) with 4 sticks and a roll of carpenter string.
Let’s look at window ideas
Three cheers for transom windows. With either design, we can introduce transom a transom window in the hot room to lighten the space and offer a welcoming view to nature, while sitting on the sauna bench. For more clarity of windows, please click here.
Overall building size matters
What is significant is that with either design, we are working with a hot room of just under 50 square feet. Why is this significant? Because this is a great hot room size. In the US, we have too many Big Homes, Big Cars, Big Cheeseburgers, But We Don’t Have To Build Big Saunas. This design, much like with Divine Proportion, prescribes to the Sauna Party Equation.
So, a big thank you to Terry for his great work with adapting the saunatimes sauna drawings to SketchUp. Collaborating and helping others with realize own health and wellness retreat is contagious (and rewarding!).
For extra credit reading, here is the development of above, with original SketchUp drawing from 2009. Tried and true and tested by a madman’s journey to 50 saunas in 12 days in Finland, this still probably remains “the perfect size outdoor sauna.”
A final word from Terry: “People can link up with me on: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/terry.majamaki/ or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/majamaki/ . I’ve been documenting our build progress via stories and have a Sauna Build collection you can see on my Instagram profile.”