Indoor saunas are great for relaxing after a long day at work. They can provide relief from stress, boost energy levels, improve sleep quality, and even reduce the risk of heart disease.
However, having a sauna inside the house isn’t always practical. That’s why some people are now turning their attention toward outdoor saunas.
Nonetheless, if you already have a fully functional indoor sauna, you might have considered moving it outside instead of purchasing a new outdoor sauna.
This could lead you to wonder: Can you put an indoor sauna outside?
In many instances, you are able to put an indoor sauna outside, but there are some important considerations needed. Let’s jump in to find out!
Is It Possible to Place an Indoor Sauna Outside?
The answer is often yes. Having an indoor sauna outside can elevate the experience by providing the ambient sounds of nature. Or, at the very least moving the sauna outside can free up valuable space indoors.
Before moving an indoor sauna outside, there are some important considerations:
One of the most important aspects when placing an indoor sauna outside is protecting it from the outdoor elements. Indoor saunas generally aren’t designed to withstand moisture, debris, extreme temperatures, or UV rays from the sun.
Sheltering the indoor sauna can be accomplished in various ways, including strategic placement or using an external covering. We’ll look at some options further on in this post.
Many indoor saunas require electricity to power heaters, lighting, and other amenities. When moving a sauna outside an appropriate power source is needed.
The power source must have the proper electrical rating based on the sauna’s requirements, including voltage and amperage. The electrical outlet must also comply with appropriate electrical codes for safety purposes. This may include use of a GFCI circuit.
Depending on the type of indoor sauna, specialized methods may be required to move it outside.
For instance, some indoor saunas are built into the existing architecture of the home and could require structural modifications to remove it. Whereas, simple plug-and-play infrared saunas may just need some minor disassembly to fit it through door openings.
Many indoor saunas will come with a warranty of some sort. It’s important to read through the provisions of the warranty to determine whether outdoor use will void coverage.
Since indoor saunas are not designed for outdoor use, it’s very likely that the manufacturer’s warranty will become voided. This means that if the sauna begins to malfunction during outdoor use, the manufacturer won’t cover the cost of repairs.
In some cases, the manufacturer may provide certain requirements that must be met in order to maintain the warranty when using it outside.
It’s always best to contact the manufacturer if there are any questions surrounding the warranty of the sauna.
What’s the Main Difference Between an Indoor and an Outdoor Sauna?
Indoor and outdoor saunas serve the same function. They’re enclosed rooms with a wet or dry heat source that keeps the interior hot and comfortable for unwinding.
However, how could an indoor sauna be put outside if saunas aren’t designed to be exposed to the external weather elements?
Aside from the location, the main difference between an indoor and an outdoor sauna is the materials utilized to construct them.
Outdoor saunas are usually constructed of weather-resistant materials such as cedar or other rot-resistant woods. They also typically have a roof to prevent water from seeping through the ceiling.
On the other hand, indoor saunas don’t have the extra protection that outdoor saunas have. In this case, if you want to put an indoor sauna outside, you must consider how to protect it.
What to Do If You Want to Put Your Indoor Sauna Outside
Of course, the safest and most ideal course of action would be to use an outdoor sauna from the start. However, if you’re set on using your indoor sauna, here are some of the things you can do before you relocate it outside.
Waterproof Your Indoor Sauna
The most important preparation is waterproofing your sauna. Of course, it’s best to take preventative measures first, such as being mindful of where you place the sauna.
It shouldn’t be somewhere that’s in direct sunlight. Additionally, its location should be away from places where it could get exposed to precipitation.
Some indoor saunas may survive minor exposure to moisture. However, if it’s constantly exposed to the elements, it is unlikely to last as long.
Waterproofing a sauna will provide additional protection to maximize its lifespan. So, how exactly do you waterproof a sauna?
How to Waterproof a Wood Sauna
1) Collect supplies, including tape, brush, and varnish or sauna sealant.
2) Next, tape the edges of the panels to achieve a nice stroke and to keep the varnish from getting on spots that you don’t want the varnish to reach.
3) Keep a rag nearby to wipe up any drips.
4) Varnish the panels evenly and clean the brackets after.
5) Let them dry per the varnish instructions.
6) Apply additional coats as needed for extra protection.
Here are a few important things to take note of if you decide to take up this DIY project:
- Use a fine-hair paintbrush to avoid leaving traces of brush strokes and to ensure an even coating.
- If you’re going to use a sauna sealant, make sure it’s an external sealer, as it has a high level of UV protection.
- Don’t varnish the inside of the sauna.
- Apply a light coat of varnish or sauna sealant at least once or twice a year.
Place Your Indoor Sauna Under a Covered Space
Placing your indoor sauna under the shade of a covered shed, balcony, or pergola is a great layer of protection.
Alternatively, if you don’t have an existing covered space available, building a lean-to against a nearby structure is a simple way to create protection.
Use a Cover on the Indoor Sauna
If you don’t have any covered structures available outside for your indoor sauna, then buying a sauna cover will also suffice. Sauna covers are made to protect your sauna from rain and harsh weather, which will increase its longevity even further.
Build Your Sauna from Scratch
The option of building your sauna from scratch is always a great idea to consider if you want an outdoor sauna. However, you must have some experience in DIY projects to manage this task.
If not, there are available sauna kits in the market to help you achieve that goal. Yet, they’ll leave little room for customization.
Some of them are already waterproofed, which is what you need for the outdoor environment.
Where is the Best Place to Put Your Sauna?
As mentioned, choosing a covered location for the sauna is ideal in order to protect it from the precipitation. Additionally, the space should provide shade to the sauna to protect it from the sun’s UV rays, which could break down the exterior surfaces.
Electrical service may also be needed for some saunas. In these cases, you may want to choose a location that already has the appropriate electrical circuit available; otherwise, you’ll need to run the appropriate service to the desired location.
Although the indoors can offer a variety of amazing options where to place a sauna, the outdoors won’t disappoint, either.
You can put the sauna in a place overlooking the gardens so that you can admire nature and the views. As you are exposed to the openness and spirituality of the outdoors, you may find it easier to meditate and relax.
As long as you provide protection to the sauna, everything is entirely up to you, your personal preferences, and your imagination!
Can I Build a Sauna Under a Deck?
It is totally possible to build a sauna under a deck. However, careful planning and consideration is needed to protect you, the sauna, and the deck itself.
Here are some points to keep in mind if you want to build a sauna under a deck:
Ensure that you have sufficient space under the deck to accommodate the sauna structure comfortably. Consider the sauna’s dimensions, including height, width, and depth, and compare them with the available space.
It’s important to have enough clearance for proper installation, ventilation, and access to the sauna.
Adequate ventilation is crucial in a sauna to maintain good air quality and prevent moisture buildup. Proper airflow under the deck will help allow for ventilation of the sauna.
Additionally, ensure that the exhaust from the sauna is not directed in a manner that will continuously expose the deck to moist air. This could eventually cause premature decay of the decks.
The area under a deck is prone to moisture as the deck boards above do not provide a watertight surface.
A ceiling on the underside of the deck can be built, which will help protect the sauna and any other objects below. Further steps can be taken such as adding on moisture-resistant panels around the perimeter of the sauna to protect it.
Saunas generate high temperatures, so it is crucial to ensure proper fire safety precautions.
Make sure there is adequate space or insulation between the sauna and the deck structure. Consult local building codes and regulations to ensure compliance with fire safety standards.
Ensure that the layout and placement of the sauna within the deck structure allow easy access.
It’s important that the doorway to the sauna is kept clear to ensure you and any guests are able to freely enter or exit.
Depending on the type of sauna being installed under the deck, you may need to consult local building jurisdictions.
If integrating the sauna into the deck structure itself, there may be certain building codes that need to be followed. It is advisable to consult with a professional contractor or architect experienced in sauna construction and deck modifications.
While it is often possible to place an indoor sauna outside, careful planning will be key to success. Simply moving an indoor sauna to the backyard without appropriate weatherproofing can quickly result in damage it, including failure of electrical components.
Before moving a sauna outside, you may want to review the manufacturer’s warranty to understand whether special steps are needed to keep the warranty intact.
Protecting the sauna from the outdoor elements and ensuring an appropriate electrical outlet is available are two of the most essential factors in using it outside. After these are situated, you’ll be on your way to basking in the heat while enjoying nature’s offerings.
Husband and father of three (actually, four if you include the pool). I’m an avid DIY-er and weekend warrior that enjoys taking up new projects around the house to help us maximize leisure right at home. I enjoy researching and sharing various tips, tricks and knowledge to help others make their home an oasis.