DIY Sauna: Day One

The beginnings of Better Farm's new sauna!
We started building a sauna last weekend that utilizes recycled and new lumber, upcycled insulation, as well as incorporating an old tree stump into the design as one of the corner posts.

Our workshop instructor, Bob Laisdell, started out with a basic design that utilizes a tree stump left over after a wind storm two years ago knocked over a tree on Better Farm's property:
 The stump in this drawing is being re-imagined as a corner bench seat. Here's the rough materials list:
To start, we began clearing the ground where the sauna will be: mostly getting rid of large clumps of weeds and roots.
The chickens love to be around when we're shoveling: It's like a worm/grub/bug buffet!
Then we cruised over to Redwood Lumber Co. (next door at our neighbor John Grisanti's place) to pick up the wood we'd need:

Next, we determined where each of the corners would be, using the stump as a starting point, and dug holes for cinder blocks where the other corner posts would be. While that was getting done, Katie and AmberLee notched 4x4's that would be pieced together to create the shape of the sauna.

After that, we placed floor joists and a center beam, and nailed small pieces of boards from a wood pallet onto the sides of the floor joists to hold the insulation. Simultaneously, another group was putting up the wooden beams for the side walls and temporarily nailing them in place with a crossways board.

Insulation going in:

After measuring the distance across the base of the sauna, we began cutting boards from the wood pallets into our different sizes in order to create an alternating flooring pattern and nailing down the boards as they were being cut.

 Here's our progress after Day One:

For a full listing of upcoming workshops, click here. Care to join us as we finish constructing the sauna? Email us at