Infrared Sauna Kits - An Introduction

So you've noticed that infrared sauna kits are available at an attractive price...and that sauna plans are to be had for as little as $19.95 ...and now you’re wondering if building a sauna yourself might be a good idea?!

Let’s consider the following thoughts before plunking down that Andrew Jackson:

• What types of infrared sauna kits are available?
• What to look out for when buying a sauna kit
• What to look out for when buying sauna building plans
• Sauna construction details — is this a project I can handle?
• How much money will I save?
• How to decide if building your own infrared sauna makes sense

Types of infrared sauna kits

There are basically three types of kits :

1. The pre-fabricated infrared sauna kit
2. The material kits ( pre-cut infrared sauna kits )
3. The build according to infrared sauna plans

Most infrared saunas come as a pre-fabricated easy-to-assemble sauna kit

Almost all of the currently marketed far infrared saunas come as pre-fabricated units. While these pre-fab sauna rooms have very few parts, minor assembly of your sauna is required when it arrives at your home. (Learn everything you need to know about infrared sauna installation .) These modular units can thereafter by quickly disassembled and transported to a new location. So, while not truly a portable sauna , they are not definitely transportable.

Material kits ( pre-cut infrared sauna kits )

A materials or pre-cut sauna kit is pre-engineered and comes with all the pieces that are necessary to build your sauna. The sauna kit contains all of the wood pre-cut to size, the vents, infrared heaters , control panels, wire-harness, pre-hung door and accessories. It’s up to you to assemble the cabinet, drill out for the wiring harness, assemble the infrared heaters, mount the control panel, and install all of the hardware. =

Build according to sauna building plans

The most difficult of the infrared sauna kits available are the build according to plans. Complete sauna plans and a bill (detailed list) of the materials you’ll need to build the sauna are provided. It will be your job to purchase all the wood needed, in addition to all the sauna equipment , sauna accessories, and hardware required, then cut the wood to size and assemble all the parts. Since you’re on your own during the building process, experience in carpentry is required.

What to look out for when buying a do it yourself sauna kit

There are numerous sauna manufacturers (see our upcoming page on sauna manufacturers) and internet enterprises that offer sauna kits and sauna building plans for sale.

Many of the far infrared sauna kits are available in your choice of materials. To choose, you’ll need to decide what type of wood you want to build your sauna from, whether you plan to use it indoors or outdoors, which type of the various infrared sauna heaters available to choose from, and how big it will be:

!) Do you want a poplar sauna , a hemlock sauna (hemlock sauna page coming soon), a cedar sauna , or some other wood?
2) Do you want a one person, 2 person or 4 person sauna ?

No matter how good the description of a sauna kit sounds on a website, we recommend that you call the site operator to discuss the product and get your own as well as the following key questions answered.

Questions to ask your sauna kit retailer

• What are the freight details? (Find out more about what to ask on our sauna installation page).
• What happens if there is damage to the materials during transit?
• What happens if you find you have a shortage of materials?
• What happens if you need additional materials because you damage some during building? What will the cost for these be?
• What kind of support is there if you run into a construction problem?

A quick conversation with the merchant will help you make a decision if purchasing from them is a good idea.

What to look out for when buying sauna building plans

Buying a set of infrared sauna plans is a tougher proposition then buying one of the many materials kits. Best, of course, would be for you to view a sample of the finished far infrared sauna that was built from the drawings you’re interested in buying, rather than purchasing the plans site unseen.

Included with the drawings for the sauna should be a bill of materials needed. The bill of materials is the list off all the materials required to build the sauna. A list of sources accompanying the list of materials would save you the time you’ll need to research where you can acquire all the parts. A list of sources will also help assure the compatibility of all of the sauna’s electrical components.

If you do have to find your sauna equipment on your own, you will find that this equipment is available from many internet businesses. Several sauna suppliers sell every component you might need. Other sites specialize in a single component only, such as the infrared heaters .

Create an accurate and complete shopping list before you get started shopping so you don’t miss anything. Additional freight costs will diminish any cost savings you may find.

Sauna construction details – is this a project I can handle?

Okay, time to be very honest with yourself — how much of an investment in time and materials are you willing to make to complete this project? Your answer will largely determine whether you buy a materials kit or sauna building plans. Consider also what tools you have available to you or that you may need to buy for the project.

Since the pre-cut infrared sauna kits arrive with all the wood cut to size, there is very little if any need to use a saw or planer. You will need a screw gun, a drill, and a jig saw to complete your sauna. A nail gun would be helpful but is optional.

Building from a set of infrared sauna plans, on the other hand, will require a full complement of wood-working tools. Beyond the tools just mentioned for tackling sauna kits, you may also need a table saw, miter saw, planer, and router. A strong knowledge of plumbing (as in creating a straight line) and squaring is also needed. You should know how to construct a thin panel wall, install glass, mortise a hinge, and hang a door, as well—or know someone who does.

Depending on the materials you select, you can create an outdoor sauna with your kit. (See cedar saunas .) If you are especially talented and ambitious, you can even make modifications to the sauna during the building process. Consider adding additional glass windows (or larger windows), creating your own unique accessory, recessing the unit into a wall, or whatever else appeals.

How much money will I save?

Compare the costs of a pre-cut sauna kit carefully to a pre-fabricated unit. Be sure to add the value of your time to the materials cost — plus any tools you’ll have to buy — into your calculation.

Similarly, before you commit to building your own sauna with plans, price out all the parts using the bill of materials. Are the savings significant?

As a point of reference, we can tell you that we’ve used an acceptable-quality two person non therapeutic grade hemlock (return for our upcoming page on hemlock saunas) far infrared sauna that sold for little more than $900.00 delivered.

Unique situations where building your own sauna makes a lot of sense

1) If you are interested in constructing a combination far infrared sauna and dry sauna.

The combination saunas (infrared and traditional dry heat) are just starting to gain popularity and at this point the cost of these units is significantly more then the costs of the sauna kits available to build them.

2) If you are considering a 4 person sauna size or larger.

The price advantage of buying one of the infrared sauna kits really increases once you get above the 2 person sauna size.

3) If you’re looking to create a custom size far infrared sauna.

Did you know?

• The typical pre-fabricated far infrared sauna takes about an hour to assemble
• A sauna built from one of the materials kits will take between 1 to 2 days to construct
• If you build a sauna from a set of sauna plans, it can take 3 to 4 days to build
• You can build almost any size and shape infrared sauna you want
• There are some wellness centers that will let you use their infrared sauna for an hourly fee
Move on from infrared sauna kits to infrared sauna equipment.