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How to Build a Sauna in Your Basement on a Budget?

If you’re looking for a sauna that won’t break the bank, consider building your own in your basement. This can be an especially cost-effective option if you already have a basement space that’s not being used for anything else.

Building a sauna in your basement doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With some careful planning and a few budget-friendly materials, you can easily create a space that will be perfect for relaxing and unwinding.

how to build a sauna in your basement

Here are a few tips on how to build a sauna in your basement on a budget:

Step by Step Guide to Building a Sauna in Your Basement

What You’ll Need:

  • Saw
  • Level
  • Cinder blocks
  • Plywood or cedar boards
  • Vapor barrier
  • Sauna heater
  • Rocks or stones
  • Insulation
  • 1 door (or you can use a curtain)
  • 1 window (optional)
  • 1 electric heater

Steps Instructions:

1. Plannings and Preparation

The first step is to determine the size and layout of your sauna. The sauna should be placed on a level surface away from any potential hazards, such as electrical outlets or water pipes. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, you can start planning the layout of your sauna.

Most saunas are fairly small, so you won’t need a lot of space. However, you will need enough room to comfortably fit the sauna heater and benches.

You’ll also need to install an exhaust fan to remove the hot air from the sauna. It’s important to make sure that all of the materials you use are moisture-resistant and able to withstand high temperatures.

Power outlets should also be considered when planning the layout of your sauna. The sauna heater will need to be plugged into an outlet, and you may want to have additional outlets installed for other electrical items, such as a stereo or lights.

2. Build the Sauna Frame

Once you have the layout planned, you can start building the frame of the sauna. The most common material for the frame is cinder block, but you can also use other materials, such as wood.

If you’re using cinder blocks, start by stacking them on top of each other to create the walls of the sauna. When stacking the blocks, be sure to use a level to ensure that the walls are even.

Once the walls are complete, you can add the plywood or cedar boards to the top and bottom of the frame. These boards will help to create a more finished look and will also add additional support to the frame.

3. Install the Sauna Heater

The next step is to install the sauna heater. This is one of the most important aspects of the sauna, so be sure to carefully follow the instructions that come with the heater.

Most sauna heaters are electric and must be hardwired into an outlet. You can also find wood-burning and gas-powered options. To install the electric heater, choose a spot on the wall where it will be out of the way but still within reach.

Then, use a level to mark the position of the heater on the wall. Once the position is marked, you can drill a hole through the wall and run the electrical wiring.

4. Add Insulation

Insulation is important in a sauna to help keep the heat in and the cold out. There are a variety of insulation materials that can be used, such as fiberglass or foam board.

To install the insulation, simply cut it to size and fit it snugly into the frame of the sauna. Be sure to seal any gaps or cracks with caulk to prevent heat from escaping.

5. Install the Vapor Barrier

A vapor barrier is a material that helps to prevent moisture from infiltrating the sauna. This is especially important in basement saunas, as basements are known for being damp and humid.

There are a few different ways to install a vapor barrier. One option is to use a sheet of plastic or foil. Another is to use special vapor barrier tape. To install, simply cut it to size and fit it over the insulation. Be sure to seal any gaps or cracks with caulk to prevent moisture from seeping in.

6. Add the Rocks or Stones

Saunas traditionally use rocks or stones to help distribute the heat evenly. This is optional, but it can create a more authentic sauna experience.

If you choose to add rocks or stones, be sure to use ones that are safe for use in a wet environment. Never use river rocks or other types of stones that may absorb moisture and break down over time.

7. Add the Sauna Benches

To install the benches, simply fit them snugly into place inside the sauna. If you’re using wood, you may want to attach them to the frame with screws to prevent them from moving around.

You may also want to add a small table or shelf inside the sauna for storing towels, robes, or other items.

8. Add the Sauna Door

The final step is to add the door. For a traditional sauna, you can use a wooden door. However, there are also glass doors available.

You can also use curtain panels if you want a more temporary door. To install the door, simply fit it into the opening and use screws to attach it to the frame.

Essentials for Your Sauna

1. Thermometer: This is essential for making sure the temperature inside the sauna is comfortable.

2. Hygrometer: This measures the humidity in the air and can be used to adjust the amount of water you add to the stones.

3. Lightning or fixtures: You’ll need a source of light inside the sauna. You can use candles, oil lamps, or electric lights.

4. Ventilation: It’s important to have good ventilation in a sauna to prevent the air from becoming too humid. You can install a small fan or open a window slightly to let fresh air in.

5. Racks or hooks: These can be used to store towels, robes, or other items inside the sauna.

6. Water bucket and dipper: Used for adding water to the stones to create steam.

7. Sauna timer: This helps you keep track of time and prevents you from over-heating.

8. Aroma therapy: This is optional but can add to the relaxation of the sauna experience. You can use essential oils or herbs.

9. First aid kit: This is always a good idea to have on hand, just in case.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Sauna in Your Basement?

The cost of building a sauna in your basement will depend on several factors, such as the size of the sauna, the materials used, and whether you hire a professional to help with the installation.

On average, you can expect to spend between $500 and $5,000 on the project. However, if you have a larger sauna or you hire a professional, the cost could be as high as $10,000.

If you’re looking for ways to save money on your sauna project, there are a few things you can do.

  • First, try to find used materials whenever possible.
  • Second, see if you can do any of the work yourself. And third, consider building a smaller sauna to keep costs down.

How Do You Vent a Basement Sauna?

It’s important to vent a basement sauna to prevent moisture and condensation from building up. There are a few different ways to do this, such as using a fan or installing an exhaust system.

The most important thing is to make sure that the vents are located near the ceiling so that the hot air can escape and lower venting for intake in near the floor so that cool air can enter.

Another way to vent a basement sauna is to open a window. This will help to circulate the air and remove some of the heat from the sauna. However, it’s not as effective as an exhaust fan and it may let in some cold air.


Building a sauna in your basement is a great way to enjoy the benefits of a sauna without having to go to a public facility. It’s also a relatively easy and affordable project that you can do yourself. Just be sure to carefully follow the instructions and take all necessary precautions.

Once your sauna is complete, be sure to enjoy it responsibly. Drink plenty of fluids, as saunas can cause dehydration. And, never stay in a sauna for more than 20 minutes at a time.