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Sauna building in Utah: father and sons

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Let’s welcome Todd as he talks us through his father and sons’ sauna building journey in Utah.. enter Todd:.

New to wood burning

I wanted to take a moment and thank you for the effort and work you have given to help Sauna newbies like me have an opportunity to build and experience a wood burning sauna for myself. I have always enjoyed saunas. And whether it was at a hotel, gym, or (in my younger years) at the apartment complex fitness center, I have always tried to enjoy a good sauna session.

A few years ago I was watching a television series where the host was visiting Northern Minnesota. The host was introduced to wood burning Sauna. This absolutely blew my mind, I had never even thought of the concept of a wood burning sauna. It was at this time where wood burning sauna almost controlled my every thought. And I began to investigate and figure out how I could have a wood burning sauna for myself.

Todd’s cool down room with candle window

Gathering the sauna building confidence

Almost 8 years after saving, redoing my backyard, studying and asking questions of family and friends, and finding SaunaTimes and purchasing your book, I have seen my dream of building and owning a wood burning sauna happen.

I am a School Counselor at our local junior high, so building and construction were foreign to me. I have family and friends in the trades and so I had somewhat of an idea of what I might be getting myself into. It wasn’t until after I found SaunaTimes and you that I felt confident enough like this may be something I could possibly do myself. I have spent many hours reading your book, possibly reading some sections of it over 20 plus times.

Cool down with bench and storage

Backyard negotiations

As mentioned before, one of the agreements I made with my wife was to completely tear up our backyard and put a new backyard in, from sprinklers, gas firepit, new patio, landscaping, and a new shed. Again, all new to me. I built the shed with the help of YouTube videos knowing I was gaining experience for when the time came to build the sauna.

The backyard build was done with the purpose of knowing our final project was a wood burning sauna. I don’t know if a Finn would say it’s “Finnish” but I have done my best to stick to your book. With the help of Family, friends, Youtube, and SaunaTimes I have now completed it. We have had three sessions of sauna, cold plunge, repeat, and loved every minute of it. My family is 100% bought in to it.

Hot room with triangle bench support

The Utah family sauna building journey

I started my Sauna build in Mid April. With building the shed and last Saturday (February 17) I completed it with a beautiful Kuuma Sauna Stove and chimney. I was saddened to see the build come to a close (even though I will alway be working on it). Because in a way it has been the journey of constructing the sauna that has brought me a lot of joy.

Come to think of it, I haven’t been in a real hurry to finish it.

I have loved going out back to work on something with the sauna and almost like therapy being able to think and be by myself. And, I have loved having my family experience the process of building the sauna with me. I have loved every moment with my sons and working side by side with them. We have had many conversations of how nice it will be to sauna together knowing that we have built this sauna together: knowing where every screw or nail was placed. Knowing some of the imperfections that only we see but now gives us something to laugh about and reminisce about. 

Todd’s custom shed sauna build, ready for deployment

This is a long email but I thank you for the time and effort you have given to people like me. Thank you for helping me understand wood burning Sauna Culture and growing a love for it. If you are ever in Utah you will always have a friend and an invitation to sauna. 

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