How Much Does It Cost To Build A Home Sauna? (Breakdown & Examples 2024)

how much is a sauna

Installing a home sauna comes with health, relaxation, and potential financial benefits, marking it as a significant investment. But the costs of building a sauna are significant.

The cost to build a sauna at home varies by size, type, and whether it’s indoor or outdoor, with the cost of building a sauna ranging from $1,500 to over $20,000 and above. Prefab units and DIY installations offer cost-saving opportunities, while custom builds allow for personalization at an added cost.

Operational costs of saunas range from $150 to $500 annually, highlighting the importance of energy-efficient designs and maintenance practices for long-term savings.

Key Takeaways:

  • Home saunas provide health benefits, stress relief, increased home value, and privacy.
  • The initial cost to build a sauna varies by size, type, and installation location, with a detailed breakdown from $1,500 to over $20,000 for custom builds.
  • Factors influencing home sauna costs include size, location, prefab versus custom models, and additional features.
  • Operating and maintenance costs are manageable, ranging from $150 to $500 annually. The main costs are electricity, water, cleaning and maintenance.
  • Upgrading an existing sauna can enhance its efficiency and enjoyment, with costs for new heaters, wood elements, and technology upgrades detailed.
  • Selecting the right sauna involves considering space, type, usage, and health goals, with options available across various budgets ranging from $1,500 to $20,000 and above.
Table of Contents show

Benefits of Installing a Home Sauna

Installing a home sauna offers a blend of health, relaxation, and financial benefits, making it a worthwhile investment for many homeowners. This section delves into the key advantages of adding a sauna to your home, highlighting how it can enhance your well-being, property value, and personal privacy.

Health Benefits

Home saunas are renowned for their health benefits, including detoxification, improved circulation, and muscle relaxation. Regular sauna sessions can also boost the immune system and aid in weight loss, providing a holistic approach to maintaining health.

Stress Relief

The calming warmth of a home sauna offers an exceptional stress relief method. By facilitating deep relaxation, sauna use can reduce stress levels, alleviate anxiety, and promote better sleep patterns, contributing to overall mental well-being.

Potentially Increased Home Value

Adding a sauna to your home can increase its market value, but only about as much as you invested in the sauna. Homebuyers often view saunas as a luxury amenity, making your property more attractive and potentially leading to a higher resale price.

However, not every potential buyer wants a sauna in their home, so it might not be a benefit for everyone. Building a sauna indoors comes at the expense of space; you might convert a garage or extra room into a sauna reducing the usable space in your property.

Experience Privacy

With a home sauna, you enjoy the luxury of privacy and convenience. Unlike public saunas, a personal sauna allows for private relaxation sessions at any time, without the need to share the space or adjust to others’ schedules. Plus, you can comfortably go naked in your own sauna without a dress code 🙂

Comprehensive Cost Analysis of Home Saunas

Understanding the costs involved in building a home sauna is crucial for budgeting and planning.

This comprehensive cost analysis covers everything from initial expenses based on size and type to the differences between indoor and outdoor installations, and the choice between prefab units and custom builds.

Initial Costs to Build a Home Sauna by Size

How much is a sauna for 2 or 4 people?

Four-Person Sauna

For a four-person sauna, which typically measures around 6 feet by 8 feet, costs range from $3,000 to $10,000.

The variance in price is influenced by choices in high-quality materials like cedar or hemlock, the type of heater (electric, infrared, or wood-burning), and the construction method. Prefab kits at the lower end of this range offer convenience and quicker setup, while custom designs allow for unique features and layouts, potentially increasing the cost.

Two-Person Sauna

A two-person sauna, often sized about 4 feet by 4 feet, costs between $2,000 and $8,000.

This compact option is efficient in space and energy use, ideal for smaller homes or personal wellness spaces. Despite their smaller size, these saunas are designed to deliver the same high-temperature experience and health benefits as larger models, with cost variations reflecting the choice of materials, heating technology, and whether the sauna is purchased as a ready-to-assemble kit or built to custom specifications.

Initial Costs to Build a Home Sauna by Type of Sauna

How much is a sauna by the type of heater you choose?

Electric Saunas

Traditional dry saunas cost between $3,000 and $20,000, depending on size and materials. I wrote more about electric sauna heaters.

Wood-Burning Saunas

Wood-burning saunas range from $3,000 to $20,000, offering a traditional experience. Wood-burning saunas have a lot of restriction on where you can place it. Installing a wood-fired sauna in your home is typically not an option due to the need to install a chimney, making outdoor barrel saunas the best choice. But you should also consider any legal or zoning restrictions for installing a wood-fired sauna.

Infrared Saunas

Prefab infrared saunas are priced from $1,500 to $10,000. They use infrared heaters to directly warm the body, making them more energy-efficient and typically cheaper to operate.

Steam Sauna

Steam saunas, or steam rooms, vary widely in cost from $2,500 to $10,000 and above, depending on the steam generator and installation complexity. Steam saunas are more rare at home and they are more complex to build because of, well, the steam. This puts limitations on the building materials and construction, so a prefab steam sauna is my recommendation instead of building one from scratch.

Read also my guide to different types of sauna heaters for a more detailed comparison.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Sauna Cost

Indoor Saunas

Indoor saunas are generally less expensive to install than outdoor ones because you will either install a prefab sauna or convert and existing space into a sauna.

Indoor sauna costs start around $1,500 for prefab 1-person infrared saunas. Custom installations can increase the price significantly.

Outdoor Saunas

Outdoor saunas start at $5,000, with costs increasing for custom builds and larger sizes. They require more robust construction and weatherproofing, contributing to the higher expense.

I typically see that barrel saunas are the most popular choice for outdoor saunas, with prices starting usually from $4,000 – $5,000 and going up to 5 figures. I also made an example cost breakdown for a full detached outdoor sauna construction, check it out below.

Prefab vs. Custom

Prefab saunas offer a cost-effective and quick installation option, ranging from $1,500 to $10,000. Custom saunas, while more expensive at $5,000 to $20,000, allow for complete personalization and space for more people.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

DIY sauna kits can save money, with costs as low as $1,500, not including tools or potential modifications to ventilation, ground work, wiring, etc.

Hiring a professional ensures the job is done right but increases the cost by at least $2,000 to $5,000.

Additional Costs


Labor costs for sauna installation can range from $500 to $5,000, depending on the complexity of the project.


If your sauna requires plumbing, such as for a steam sauna, expect to pay an additional $1,000 to $3,000.


Materials for building a custom sauna can cost $2,000 to $20,000, varying widely based on the type of wood and insulation used, as well as the heater and the rest of the equipment.

Sauna Accessories

Accessories like benches, lights, and thermometers can add $100 to $500 to the total cost.

Warranties & Insurance

Opting for products with warranties can increase initial costs but provide long-term savings on repairs and replacements.

Installing a sauna may increase your home’s value and change the risk profile of your property, potentially leading to higher homeowners’ insurance premiums.

DIY Home Sauna Cost Example for an Outdoor Sauna

A detached outdoor sauna is one of the more expensive options. Let’s break down the cost of materials and labor for an outdoor home sauna build.

A specific home sauna build, designed as an 8×12′ shed-like structure with a changing room, sauna, and loft above, showcases the variability in costs. The builder, leveraging DIY efforts and volunteer help from family, highlights the impact of personal labor on reducing expenses.

Here’s the home sauna cost breakdown for this DIY project:

  • Harvia Electric Cilindro 9kw Heater: $1,300
  • Electrical Work: $1000, including trench digging, conduit, and wiring
  • Framing Lumber: $1,000
  • Sheathing and Miscellaneous Lumber: $1,000
  • Tongue and Groove Cedar for Sauna Walls/Ceiling: $1,400
  • Green Cedar 2×4 Lumber for Sauna Benches: $500
  • Siding: $1,500
  • Flooring in Changing Room: $1,000
  • Materials for Sauna Floor: $300
  • Roofing Materials: $500, including shingles and tar paper
  • Door, Window, Light Fixtures: $500
  • Gravel and Plate Compactor Rental: $500
  • Paint, decorations, finishing touches: $500

The total cost for this detached outdoor sauna build is around $12,000 – with most of the cost associated with the materials such as the sauna heater, lumber and other building materials.

This home sauna cost example illustrates the significant impact of choosing to DIY, the benefits of leveraging personal networks for labor, and the importance of budgeting for fluctuating material costs. It underscores the message that while the home sauna cost can vary dramatically based on individual choices and market conditions, careful planning and personal effort can lead to substantial savings.

The time to build a project like this can vary from a few days up to a couple of weeks, so if you are hiring a contractor to do the job it will add several thousands of dollars in labor costs.

Factors Influencing Home Sauna Costs

Several key factors can significantly impact the overall cost of installing a home sauna. Understanding these variables can help you make informed decisions.

Size and Capacity

The size and capacity of a home sauna directly influence its cost. Larger saunas require more materials, larger heaters, and potentially more complex electrical or plumbing work, increasing the overall expense.

For example, the cost estimate provided earlier for an 8×12′ structure reflects how size impacts material and equipment costs.

Location and Installation Area

Where you choose to install your sauna, whether indoors or outdoors, affects the cost due to differences in preparation and construction requirements.

Outdoor installations may require additional foundation work, weatherproofing, and insulation, potentially mirroring the earlier example’s need for extensive groundwork and materials like gravel and siding.

Building away from major cities will also increase the shipping costs.

Make and Models (Prefab)

The model of the prefab sauna will obviously affect the cost a lot.

Prefab saunas offer a cost-effective solution with prices at the lower end of the spectrum, as seen in the comprehensive cost analysis. Custom builds, while more expensive, allow for personalization but can quickly escalate in price depending on the complexity and materials chosen.

The cheapest 1-person prefab saunas start from $1,500 but can go up to $20,000 and above.

Extra Features and Accessories

Adding extra features and accessories, such as premium wood finishes, advanced heating systems, or luxury lighting and sound systems, can significantly increase the cost.

The earlier example included specific choices like tongue and groove cedar and high-end tile flooring, demonstrating how these selections contribute to the final price. Additionally, opting for green cedar lumber for benches, despite its price increase, highlights how material choices for accessories and finishes can affect the budget.

Operating and Maintenance Costs of Home Saunas

Understanding the operating and maintenance costs is essential for homeowners considering a sauna. These costs can vary based on the sauna’s energy source, frequency of use, and the level of maintenance required.

The cost of maintaining and heating your sauna typically ranges from $150 to $500 annually depending on how often you use the sauna and if any repair work is needed.

Energy Efficiency and Operating Expenses

The main operating cost for a home sauna is electricity, typically ranging from $1.4 to $2.6 per session. For wood-fired saunas, the annual cost of firewood ranges from $150 to $250. Water usage, primarily from showers post-sauna, and the cost of cleaning and maintaining the sauna also contribute to operating expenses, with the total yearly cost falling between $150 and $500.

For more detailed information, visit this post.

Maintenance and Repair Costs

Saunas require minimal maintenance, with costs varying from minor repairs like changing a lightbulb to more significant expenses such as water damage repairs or heater replacement.

Annually, sauna cleaning supplies may cost $10 to $50, while maintenance and repairs can range from a few dollars to several hundred, depending on the nature of the work needed.

Insurance Implications and Legal Costs

Impact on Homeowners’ Insurance

Adding a sauna to your home may impact your homeowners’ insurance premiums due to the perceived increase in property value and potential risks. It’s advisable to consult with your insurance provider to understand any changes to your policy and ensure adequate coverage.

Permitting and Legal Fees

The cost of permits and compliance with local building codes can also affect the overall expense of installing a sauna. These legal costs vary by location and the specifics of the sauna project, emphasizing the importance of researching and budgeting for these aspects in advance.

Financial Considerations of Home Saunas and Potential Savings

Investing in a home sauna can be financially significant, but with strategic planning, there are ways to mitigate costs and even save money in the long run.

This section explores how to budget your sauna installation, understand financing options, and compares the costs of a home sauna with gym or spa memberships.

Saving Money on Your Sauna Installation

Budget-Friendly Tips

To reduce the cost of installing a home sauna, consider DIY projects, which can significantly cut labor expenses, as demonstrated in the earlier example costing around $12,000.

Choosing energy-efficient models and materials on sale can also lower initial costs. Additionally, opting for a smaller sauna or a prefab unit can offer savings without compromising the sauna experience.

Seasonal Discounts and Sales Trends

Purchasing sauna materials or kits during off-peak seasons or sales events can lead to substantial savings. Many retailers offer discounts during major holidays or end-of-season sales, making it an ideal time to buy. Keeping an eye on these trends can help you plan your purchase strategically.

Financing Options for Home Sauna Projects

Various financing options are available for those looking to add a sauna to their home without paying the full cost upfront.

Home equity loans or lines of credit can offer low interest rates for homeowners. Personal loans and financing through sauna vendors are also viable options, often providing competitive terms for sauna projects.

Cost Comparison: Home Sauna vs. Gym/Spa Membership

The initial cost of installing a home sauna might seem high compared to gym or spa memberships offering sauna access. However, considering the long-term, owning a home sauna eliminates ongoing membership fees, travel costs, and time.

A home sauna is a bit of luxury, not a way to save money. However, if you go to sauna often, the break-even point can be reached within a few years, after which the home sauna becomes the more cost-effective option. Additionally, the convenience, privacy, and health benefits of a home sauna can surpass those of public facilities, offering value beyond just financial savings.

By carefully considering these financial aspects and potential savings, homeowners can make informed decisions that align with their budgets and lifestyle preferences, ensuring a rewarding investment in their health and property value.

The Cost of Upgrading and Modernizing Your Sauna

Enhancing your home sauna through upgrades and modernization can significantly improve its efficiency, functionality, and overall enjoyment. This section explores the costs associated with upgrading an existing sauna and integrating new technology for better efficiency.

Cost of Upgrading an Existing Sauna

Upgrading your sauna can involve various aspects, from replacing the heater to refreshing the interior wood elements.

These enhancements not only extend the life of your sauna but can also make it more energy-efficient and enjoyable to use.

  • Replacing the Heater: The cost of a new sauna heater ranges from $500 to $1,500, depending on the type and capacity. For example, an energy-efficient electric heater or a wood-burning stove at the higher end of this range can offer better performance and lower operating costs. Heaters typically last 5-10 years before needing replacement, influenced by usage frequency and maintenance.
  • Redoing the Wood Elements: Interior wood elements, such as benches and wall panels, may need refreshing every 5 to 15 years, depending on the wood type and sauna usage. Cedar, known for its durability and resistance to moisture, is a popular choice, though it can be more expensive. The cost for replacing interior wood elements can range from $1,000 to $3,000. This includes high-quality cedar wood, which not only rejuvenates the sauna’s appearance but also enhances its longevity and resistance to mold and mildew.

Adding New Technology and Efficiency

Integrating new technology into your sauna can significantly enhance its efficiency and user experience. Examples include:

  • Digital Controls: Installing digital controls for temperature and humidity can cost between $250 and $500. These systems offer precise control over the sauna environment, improving energy efficiency and comfort.
  • LED Lighting: Upgrading to LED lighting can enhance the ambiance of your sauna while reducing energy consumption. The cost for LED lighting upgrades can range from $100 to $300, offering a variety of colors and settings to create a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Infrared Panels: Adding infrared panels to a traditional sauna can introduce the benefits of infrared therapy, such as deeper muscle relaxation and improved circulation. The cost for installing infrared panels can range from $500 to $2,000, depending on the number and quality of panels.
  • Sound Systems: Integrating a high-quality sound system into your sauna can cost between $200 and $600, allowing you to enjoy music or guided meditation sessions during your sauna experience.

Upgrading and modernizing your sauna represents an investment in your home and well-being. By carefully selecting enhancements that improve efficiency and enjoyment, you can ensure your sauna remains a cherished part of your wellness routine for years to come.

Selecting the Right Sauna for Your Home

Choosing the perfect sauna for your home involves considering several factors, from your available space and budget to your personal preferences for sauna experiences.

This section will guide you through what to consider when choosing, explain the different types of saunas, and outline what you can expect within various budget ranges.

What to Consider When Choosing

  • Space Availability: Assess the space you have, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, to determine the sauna size you can accommodate.
  • Type of Sauna: Decide between traditional steam, infrared, or wood-burning saunas based on your preference for heat and humidity levels.
  • Usage Frequency: Consider how often you plan to use the sauna. Daily users might prioritize durability and energy efficiency more than occasional users.
  • Health Benefits: Identify your health goals, such as detoxification, relaxation, or muscle recovery, to choose a sauna that best meets these needs.

Different Types of Saunas Explained

  • Traditional Steam Saunas: Heat the air to high temperatures, promoting sweating and detoxification.
  • Infrared Saunas: Use infrared heaters to directly warm the body, offering a gentler heat experience and deeper muscle relaxation.
  • Wood-Burning Saunas: Provide a traditional sauna experience with the unique ambiance and aroma of burning wood.

What Home Sauna Can I Get on My Budget?

$1,000 to $3,000

In this budget range, you can explore entry-level infrared saunas or smaller, two-person traditional saunas. These options are typically more compact and suited for indoor use, offering a straightforward installation and minimal operational costs.

$3,000 to $4,500

This mid-range budget opens up possibilities for larger infrared saunas that can accommodate up to four people or high-quality, smaller traditional steam saunas. You might also find wood-burning sauna kits that offer a more authentic experience but require more involved installation.

$4,500 to $6,000

With this budget, you can invest in larger, more luxurious sauna models with advanced features like digital controls, customizable lighting, and improved energy efficiency. Both indoor and outdoor options become available, including larger traditional saunas and premium infrared models.

$6,000 and Above

At this price point, you can expect top-of-the-line saunas with spacious interiors, and high-quality materials. Custom-built saunas tailored to your specific requirements, including size, layout, and special features like sound systems or aromatherapy.

Frequently Asked Questions about Home Sauna Costs

Conclusion about Home Sauna Costs

Investing in a home sauna is a decision that offers numerous benefits, from enhancing your health and wellness to potentially increasing your home’s value.

Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the various costs associated with purchasing, installing, and maintaining a sauna, alongside tips for making informed decisions that align with your budget and preferences.

Help Us Improve Our Cost Data

We’re committed to providing the most accurate and up-to-date information to help you plan your sauna project effectively. If you have insights or experiences related to the costs of building, upgrading, or operating a home sauna, we invite you to share them with us. Your contributions can help us refine our cost estimates and assist others in their sauna installation journeys.

Sign Up for Free Project Cost Information

For those considering adding a sauna to their home, staying informed about the latest trends, costs, and savings opportunities is crucial. We encourage you to sign up for our free project cost information service. By subscribing, you’ll receive detailed cost breakdowns, financing tips, and special offers that can help you maximize your investment in a home sauna.

    Jussi Yli-Korhonen

    Jussi is an online marketing expert, an entrepreneur, and the founder of Jussi is a sauna-loving guy from Finland, the birthplace of saunas. The traditional wood-fired saunas are his favorite but he's visited dozens of different types of saunas in over 20 countries.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recent Posts