Sauna Installation Cost

How much does it cost to install a sauna?

One of the most unique DIY projects that any homeowner can opt to perform is the installation of a sauna. There is a huge array of prefabricated kits that make it easy to enjoy the many benefits of a sauna, and to also enable the owner to take their sauna with them if they sell the home. Most saunas do not have a huge resale value, and this makes it even more budget-friendly to use the kits.

For the purpose of this discussion we will explore the costs and materials necessary for the creation of a four person sauna sized at 5'x7'. According to GreatSaunas.com, the price for such a kit will run at $2,400 to $3,200 and require only basic tools and skills. Where some additional costs or considerations may occur is in the electrical wiring and the foundation or available floor space.

Cost breakout

Most prefabricated kits will require only 16 to 24 hours to construct, and will include:

  • Wall and ceiling boards;
  • Sauna benches;
  • Floor boards that include the base, duckboard, and a floor drain (this last may not be included in all models);
  • A sauna foil vapor barrier;
  • Insulation;
  • A sauna heater that might include wood burning, electric, or gas models and will include sauna rocks;
  • Interior lighting fixtures;
  • Intake and exhaust vents suited to the size of the sauna (many prefabricated kits will actually include built in vents in the sauna door, but this is not a recommended approach to creating adequate air flow);
  • Exterior sauna controls; and
  • Doors and windows per the homeowner's choice.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Additionally, most sauna installations will require electrical wiring to meet the needs of the heater. Because the most commonly selected heater style is the electric type, the average homeowner will have to hire a licensed electrician to install a 220 volt circuit in their existing electrical panel, and will also need to have a 220 volt receptacle located near the sauna as well. Though electricians do work on an hourly basis, a fair market price for a project as that described would be from $250 to $600 depending upon the complexity of the wiring and the materials needed.

Additional considerations and costs

As mentioned earlier, locating a sauna can also present the homeowner with a few additional expenses. For example, when a prefabricated model is installed outdoors there will be the need to pour a suitable concrete foundation slab upon which the structure will be built. The cost of concrete averages at $75 per yard, and a slab sized to fit the 5'x7' sauna would demand around .75 yards. The labor for such a project is an easy DIY project, so total costs including forms and materials would not exceed $100. Additionally, the electrician may need to run proper conduit and install an exterior receptacle for this location, which might increase the price of the electrical work by several hundred dollars (due mostly to the amount of time required for the work).

An interior installation will require only the sacrifice of floor space, but height can also become an issue. Many sauna kits come at varied heights specifically for this sort of problem, but air flow and access to electrical supplies should be taken into consideration for such an installation too.

Just like the purchase of any major home appliance, the prefabricated sauna kits should come with a few types of warrantees. Because they are a DIY item most manufacturers will limit their liabilities, but guarantees about the quality or operation of such items as the boards, heaters, lights, and doors and insulation should be available. It is also a good idea to do some comparison shopping since shipping is going to be a very substantial expense for such a project too.