A private home sauna is an investment that returns tranquility and peace of mind. Other notable benefits of owning and using a sauna includes reduced muscle soreness, increased circulation, improved joint movement, and general relaxation.
We recently built and installed a residential sauna in Bermuda and want to share our process with you in the event you ever consider one for yourself.
Our first steps involved purpose and space. Who will be using the sauna, how large should it be, and what features will help to optimize the experience?
We took special precautions finding the right wood, sealants, finishes and hardware for this project. A tight seal and proper ventilation were extremely important due to the heat and humidity involved. The substrate wood needed to be stable and allow for aeration, the walls were sealed, and a vent was installed to allow for an optional manual release of heat.
After discussions with the client we agreed to use Alaskan Yellow Cedar lumber for the sauna. Cedar in particular is one of the popular choices for saunas for many reasons. Firstly, it doesn’t expand to any degree when the sauna is hot, doesn’t absorb moisture, and provides an aromatic scent. Cedar also resists mold and fungus growth, extending the lifetime of the sauna.
This particular Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, was hard to source as it’s limited to companies that have reforestations programs due to the scarcity of this lumber. Any hassles involved with sourcing the lumber was offset by the final result.
Beyond the choice of materials there weren’t many other special precautions that needed to be taken. Traditional standards were used in the layout and fabrication. The sauna needed to have 1 inch pieces of wood similar to flooring solutions to allow the Alaskan Yellow Cedar to “breath”.
We were able to build the sauna on-site amidst nearby renovations, and took approximately 10 days to construct it. We were happy with the outcome and are confident the client will enjoy it for years to come.