A Virtual Tour Of Better Farm's New Sauna

After tireless materials sourcing, meticulous attention to detail, lots of elbow grease, and the efforts and planning of a wide cast of characters, Better Farm now boasts an absolutely beautiful, one-of-a-kind sauna built almost entirely out of upcycled, recycled, refurbished materials.

We started this project in 2013 as a workshop for our students to learn basic carpentry skills, and to demonstrate the ability to build new structures with upcycled materials that would have otherwise found their way to a landfill or been otherwise discarded.

Some of those materials include:

  • A discarded wood stove with broken handle pulled off a construction site
  • Flooring from a house demolition on Butterfield Lake
  • Mismatched roofing discards and scraps
  • Rusted metal roofing no longer viable
  • Old pallets
  • Woodstove pipe from a demolition job on Butterfield Lake
  • A Barn vent cap found on the Better Farm property (probably from the original barn)
  • A tree stump left behind from a tree that got knocked over in a wind storm
  • An old door missing its glass panels
  • Stiff insulation board scraps from various other projects
  • Red exterior siding scraps (about six boards)

We also incorporated some locally sourced materials and vintage finds, like:

  • Siding and posts from our next-door neighbors Redwood Lumber
  • A stained-glass window (antique shop find, thank you Kristen!)
  • Minimal brand-new materials from local hardware stores

Our students and a group of volunteers kicked things off by framing the structure out and putting up walls, floors and roof trusses (thank you Bob Laisdell for leading this charge!):

The project was held up every time we ran out of materials, leaving us to wait for another batch of discarded lumber to arrive. But bit by bit, the sauna took shape. Then a few months ago, Kenny Lavezzi hopped on the project to fashion a custom front door, finish the walls and ceilings, piece together a room, install the stove and build the benches. It takes longer to build with upcycled materials, because you're constantly fitting things together, refurbishing each little piece, and figuring out where everything can go. But when you're done, it's a work of art...

Features of Better Farm's sauna:

Better Farm's sauna is available for your use! Sessions for up to four people at a time are just $5/each, for up to one hour of use. Reserve your slot by emailing info@betterfarm.org.