How to Buy an Outdoor Sauna on a Budget

Purchasing an outdoor sauna can be a significant investment, often regarded as a luxury addition to your home. However, with the right approach, achieving this rejuvenating experience in your backyard doesn’t have to break the bank. In this guide, we’ll provide practical advice and factual insights to help you secure an affordable outdoor sauna.

Understand the Different Types of Saunas

Before diving into the purchase, it’s essential to understand the different types of saunas available. Typically, outdoor saunas come in three main types: wood-burning, electric, and infrared. Wood-burning saunas are traditional and may require more maintenance but are often cheaper to operate in the long run. Electric saunas provide ease of use and control, whereas infrared saunas are celebrated for their low energy costs.

Market research indicates that infrared saunas are increasingly popular due to their energy efficiency. According to a 2022 market analysis by Globe Newswire, the global infrared sauna market is expected to grow by 7.3% annually from 2021 to 2026. This growth is a testament to their rising demand and efficiency.

Consider Pre-Fabricated Kits

One effective way to reduce costs is to consider a pre-fabricated sauna kit. These kits come with all necessary components and can be assembled with basic DIY skills. By cutting out labor costs, which can amount to 30-50% of the total cost of building a sauna from scratch, significant savings can be achieved. On average, sauna kits can range from $1,500 to $5,000, whereas custom installations can exceed $10,000, depending on size and materials.

Look for Discounts and Sales

Manufacturers and retailers often have sales during off-peak seasons. Shopping for a sauna during late fall or early winter might secure you a discount as businesses clear out inventory before new models arrive. Moreover, subscribing to newsletters from sauna companies can alert you to flash sales or exclusive deals.

Choose Cost-Effective Materials

When it comes to building materials, the choice can greatly impact the overall cost. Cedar wood, for example, is highly popular due to its durability and resistance to moisture and insects. However, alternatives like spruce or hemlock can be significantly cheaper and still provide longevity if properly maintained. For those on a strict budget, considering less expensive woods can result in substantial savings without sacrificing much on quality.

Optimize Size and Features

Size directly influences cost. Opting for a smaller sauna doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on the experience. A compact, two-person sauna can be significantly cheaper than larger models while still providing the same health benefits. Moreover, avoiding unnecessary features such as built-in speakers or elaborate lighting can further reduce costs. Prioritize what’s essential for your sauna experience and cut out the frills.

Consider Second-Hand Options

Another avenue to explore is purchasing a used sauna. Websites like Craigslist, eBay, or local classified ads can have listings for outdoor saunas. It’s crucial to inspect the sauna thoroughly for any signs of wear or damage and to inquire about its maintenance history. This approach can lead to significant savings, often 50% or more off the original price. However, it requires patience and a bit of luck to find the right deal.

Installation and Running Costs

Even if you manage to save on the purchasing price, it’s important to consider installation and long-term running costs. Electric saunas, for example, can be less expensive upfront but might contribute more to your electric bill compared to wood-burning saunas. Evaluate the total cost of ownership, including maintenance and energy use, to ensure that you’re truly getting a budget-friendly option.

Seek Professional Advice

If feeling uncertain, consulting with a professional can save you money in the long run. They can provide insights specific to your situation, help you avoid common pitfalls, and ensure that your sauna meets safety standards.

In conclusion, while an outdoor sauna can seem like an extravagance, there are numerous strategies to make it more affordable. By understanding the types of saunas, considering pre-fabricated kits, and being savvy about materials and features, you can enjoy the benefits of a sauna without a hefty price tag.