Buying a Sauna? Here’s Some Important Advice

Does the thought of buying a sauna seem a little overwhelming at times? Even if you’ve already made the decision to buy a home sauna, have you weighed the pros and cons of making a purchase from an internet dealer versus a local store in your town? If you buy a sauna locally because it’s convenient, will you get the selection and will you save money versus purchasing online?

You’ll find the best prices on home saunas online, but there are a few things you should watch out for when buying a sauna on the internet, not only for considerations like cost of shipping and customer service, but also warranties, quality, reputation of the company and the technical help you might need with installing one in your home.

Where to Begin

Sauna Ladies

Before you buy a sauna you’ll need to determine the location in the home where you’ll put it. Will the sauna sit outdoors on the patio or in the garden? Or will it be indoors, in a spare room, or in a corner of the exercise room or master bath? The location will also be influenced by such factors as electrical hookup, and convenient access to showers for the bather(s).

Check out our expert's top sauna brands on the market today!

As far as your buying decision regarding the sauna heater is concerned, you can select between wood-fired, gas, electric or infrared. As a buyer, your choice of the heater will also determine the sauna’s location. Wood-fired stoves are almost always installed in outdoor saunas, while gas heaters are very economical and are ideal for homeowners who already have gas lines, but they do require a professional hookup.

Electric sauna heaters are by far the most popular choice for people who buy a sauna since they can be installed anywhere. Infrared heaters have even more flexibility as to location, but many sauna purists won’t consider using buying one since they don’t use hot rocks or produce steam.

For general electrical requirements, smaller heaters can use a 120V outlet but if you’re buying a sauna that’s a large free-standing unit, you’ll need a 240V power source in addition to a hard wired breaker in the electrical panel. Again, this can require the services of an electrician to do the work.

As for the sauna design, portable and pre-built kits are the easiest to install, while a pre-cut design will need some general framing work done before the unit you bought arrives at your home. You can save more than a thousand dollars buying a pre-cut sauna kit and doing much of this carpentry work yourself -- if you have the skills.

Pre-built kits can be assembled easily; just by following the instructions the same as you would build a computer or entertainment hutch kit. Everything is included, down to the last fastener and door knob and bag of sauna rocks -- you just buy the sauna kit and put it together in a few hours with virtually no tools.

As for size, do try and buy the largest sauna you can afford, even if it’s for just the two of you. A 4-person sauna is not much more expensive than a 2-person one and you’ll enjoy the ability to stretch out and lie down. Buying a sauna also makes good investment sense for your home as it will increase the home’s value should you decide to sell.

Check out our 14 Questions to Ask a Sauna Dealer

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