How to build a garden sauna yourself - tips & tricks for do-it-yourselfers

How to build a garden sauna yourself - tips & tricks for do-it-yourselfers

Do you need a building permit?

From the point of view of building law, a garden sauna is treated as a garden house. This fact requires a building permit from a certain volume of enclosed space. The regional building authority is responsible, as in Germany building law is subordinate to the federal states and municipalities. Therefore, please contact the responsible authorities before starting construction so as not to experience any nasty surprises afterwards. Take this opportunity to ask about the correct distance to the neighboring property.

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Stove heating requires inspection by the chimney sweep

The state of the art for the garden sauna is heating with electric ovens. These are operated via a power line that is to be laid by a certified electrician. If you still prefer rustic heating with a wood stove, the chimney sweep comes into play, who must check and approve the special fireplace. Because of the safety concerns when dealing with fire in a wooden garden sauna, we recommend using an electric heater.

Which wood is suitable for a garden sauna?

The bar for the quality of sauna wood is high. Not every type of wood can withstand the thermal stresses associated with a garden sauna. Therefore pay particular attention to the following criteria:

  • No resin flow at high temperatures
  • No or the smallest possible knot inclusions
  • Splinter-free
  • Low heat conduction
  • Soft structure for easy processing
  • Plank thickness of at least 40 mm

Those who manage their garden according to ecological principles will ignore rainforest woods for the construction of their garden sauna. Recommended sauna wood from sustainable cultivation is Nordic spruce, also known as polar spruce. The light, resin-free wood of the Canadian hemlock is also on the shortlist.

Build it yourself or assemble a kit?

Building a garden sauna from scratch requires a high degree of manual skill, a sound wealth of experience and strong nerves. The classic do-it-yourselfer and hobby gardener is therefore well advised with a kit. Compared to building an outdoor sauna by a specialist, this variant is significantly more cost-effective. All components are delivered ready-to-use for assembly, including detailed assembly instructions. The client only has to take care of the foundation himself.

What should you pay attention to when choosing a location?

The space required for a garden sauna is not limited to the building. So choose a location where you can also set up a small pool or shower to cool off. You should also plan enough space for loungers. Around the sauna house, a heat-resistant pavement made of natural stone ensures a clean end to the sauna pleasure.

The ideal location for a garden sauna should also be convenient for laying electricity and water lines. In addition, we recommend a level surface in order to create the foundation inexpensively. If extensive work is required to straighten the site beforehand, this measure unnecessarily increases the costs.

What belongs in a garden sauna - what is luxury?

Very few builders of a garden sauna are blessed with unlimited resources. Wherever space is in short supply or the budget is sewn to the edge, the planning work requires special care. The following overview therefore summarizes all the components that are indispensable for a sauna in the garden:

  • A stable, frost-proof foundation
  • External walls with a thickness of at least 40 mm
  • Doors that close tightly
  • Insulating glass windows
  • Stable lying areas with a width of 50 cm
  • Floor space per person of at least 1.5 square meters
  • Ideally with an electric oven

Where space and financial resources allow, we recommend a garden sauna with an anteroom as a heat lock. It is easy to undress and dress here, especially in winter. Larger sauna houses also offer the option of installing a shower in another room. Premium sauna cabins offer pure luxury with a separate, additionally isolated sauna area, a separate shower and a cozy lounge with seating.

Barrel sauna - the garden sauna in mini format

Anyone who has to use their garden space sparingly will appreciate the advantages of a barrel sauna. From a length of 200 cm and a base area of ​​4 square meters, the round wooden structures offer carefree sauna pleasure. Compared to a classic sauna house, a barrel sauna not only takes up less space, but also fits harmoniously into any garden style.


The carefree joy of visiting a garden sauna is only guaranteed when you are safe from prying eyes. In the near-natural garden, fast-growing hedge plants act as garden fences to protect your privacy. Until the bushes are as tall as a man, use reed mats to ward off annoying gawkers.