Unless you’re from Finland, where there are more saunas than cars, you may have never considered adding a sauna to your home. Although it’s a significant expenditure, once constructed, a sauna adds value to the home, requires very little upkeep and can provide a lot of health benefits.
Whether you purchase a pre-cut sauna package or a pre-built, free-standing sauna, your sauna will take up a lot of space in your home. At-home saunas are generally anywhere from 3×4 feet to 8×10 feet, so in all likelihood, you will have to relocate some of your furniture to an attic, basement or storage unit. When choosing a location for your sauna, make sure there are a waterproof floor and access to a 220- to 240-volt electrical hookup for the heater. Also, you may want to place your at-home sauna near a shower for convenience.
Unlike swimming pools and hot tubs, saunas rarely require maintenance. Aside from periodically cleaning the floor, you can leave saunas alone entirely. All types of sauna heaters – electric, gas and wood – have few moving parts and rarely break down.
Many homeowners wonder if a home sauna adds value to the home or property. There is a touch of luxury to a home with a built in-sauna, and some added leisure to the living environment. A sauna can add value to your home. Understandably, the added value of a home sauna will be defined in different ways.
In general, residential real estate prices are most influenced by supply and demand market forces. This is especially true for residential homes in North America. A sauna adds value to your home in the same way that a renovated kitchen or renovated bathroom enhances value. Today, a home sauna can be a very attractive “extra” when selling a property.
Like other home improvements, a sauna may add value to your home when a potential buyer is interested. For many buyers, there’s certainly something appealing about a home sauna. And while not every home improvement will appeal to everyone, there is much to be said about added “extras” like a built-in sauna. The so-called “luxury appeal” is certainly a sign of added value.
When you get the chance to design and build your custom home, you have a lot of opportunities to add interesting touches. After all, you get to customise every detail of the home to your style, tastes, and lifestyle. If you want to create a relaxing spa retreat at home, you can consider adding an in-home sauna to your bathroom. Here are some pros and cons of in-home saunas to help you decide whether this luxurious bathroom feature is right for you:
Types of In-Home Saunas
There are several types of saunas available for residential use. These are three of the most common types of in-home saunas:
A traditional sauna is a dedicated room or space, usually made of cedar, where you can relax and unwind in the steam. Cedar reacts better to humidity than other woods and reduces the risk of warping and cracks. With the proper wood and treatment, a traditional sauna maintains heat, steam, and air quality for the perfect in-home spa experience.
Another popular option for an in-home sauna is to integrate the sauna experience into your shower with a steam shower. Usually, this will be a walk-in shower unit with a bench or built-in seat. It functions as a normal shower and also has steam generator pipes to allow for a sauna experience in your shower when you want it.
An infrared sauna is another in-home sauna option. Like the traditional sauna, it’s built as a dedicated room or space. However, instead of using steam, an infrared sauna uses light to create heated air. It’s essentially radiant heat sources using light to create the traditional sauna feel without needing water to generate steam.
Location, location, location
There is a classic estate agents rule of thumb that you cannot improve any properties value significantly above the ceiling of its particular area. That means, country estate or terraced cottage, there will be a maximum price that anyone is prepared to pay for a house in that particular location and no matter how many luxurious home improvements you put in, you’ll never get above that price.
The other aspect of the location question is, wherein your house have you put your sauna?
For instance, you might think that tucking a sauna away in the cupboard under the stairs was a neat and clever plan. For a lot of people, it might be a little off-putting.
If your sauna fits comfortably and elegantly into your home, and your house looks like the type of place that could or should have a sauna, then it will certainly be an asset in getting people interested in your property.
One thing to remember about saunas is that they need not be that expensive, and they are reasonably quick and easy to fit. One of the reasons that bathrooms and kitchens are so important to selling a house is that they are expensive to replace and almost more importantly, the trauma and upheaval of having them replaced or refurbished is something that everyone is keen to avoid. So they pay the premium not to have to do just that.
If you are thinking of installing a sauna in your home then obviously the better thought out and designed it is and the better quality it is then, the more impact it might have on your property price.
Perhaps, more importantly, it will add value to your home while you are still living there. Your sauna is a perfect way to relax at the end of a hard day, a perfect setting for weekend socialising with friends or family and one of the best ways there is of feeling truly clean and healthy in the midst of this hectic, bustling world.
Saunas have a high perceived value. People often overestimate how much it costs to build a sauna.
The result: Those buying a sauna kit and installing a sauna are often very pleasantly surprised. And those buying a house have a high perceived value for the sauna. As a result, the sauna adds value to the house well beyond what it cost to install.
When it’s done right, a sauna may add value to your home
With a home sauna, it’s important to do it right from the start – a quality product, with quality features, and a quality installation. Anything short could diminish the value to a potential buyer. This is where a good retailer can be instrumental in planning out the sauna.
The location of a home sauna is most important. But beyond location, updated, stylish kitchen, bathrooms and other home improvements help distinguish home and add to the resale value.
And don’t forget the other advantages. The benefits over the years cannot be measured in dollars and cents: daily relaxation after a day at work – weekend socialising with friends – and therapeutic relief from those aches and pains.
Short term and long term benefits of a home sauna
By any measure, a quality home sauna is a valuable investment. Short term, it offers excellent health benefits, which certainly makes the investment worthwhile. Long term, a quality sauna can provide a good return-on-investment when selling the property. The perfect balance is to install a built-in sauna that will satisfy family needs while it adds home value. The better the sauna, the better the long term value.
Like most home improvements, investing in a sauna should be done properly. Whether it’s a custom install or a DIY project, it’s worth working with a good retailer who can provide good advice on location, sizing, features, installation, and maintenance.
Pros of In-Home Saunas
An in-home sauna can provide several benefits to a homeowner. Here are some pros of in-home saunas:
In-home saunas provide luxurious relaxation at home
The biggest benefit of an in-home sauna is that it allows you to have a luxurious spa-like retreat in the convenience of your own home. You have the privacy of your own space that also provides a relaxing, stress-free experience whenever you need it. Including an in-home sauna is also one of the ways to make a cold bathroom warmer.
They can provide health benefits
Although there are many health benefits associated with saunas, not every claim out on the internet is backed up with scientific evidence. Some of the supported health benefits include relaxation and its related benefits. In general, sitting in a sauna can increase your circulation and relax tense muscles. The act of taking a moment and relaxing can be a useful tool for relieving stress, which has its slew of health benefits and can be connected to improved cardiovascular health.
You’ll want to be careful in general and use your sauna responsibly as staying too long in a sauna can cause dehydration and could lead to heat exhaustion if you were to fall asleep while enjoying it. However, people with heart disease and women who are pregnant should talk to their doctors about whether a sauna is a good idea for them. Depending on the severity of heart disease, your doctor may recommend that you stay cool and avoid heating up in the sauna. In the case of pregnancy, they may also advise you to avoid it.
An in-home sauna can increase the value of your home
In-home saunas can be a desirable addition to a home. Although you may not be building a custom home with the intention of selling it anytime soon, an in-home sauna can increase the overall value of your home, which is a benefit when you do decide to put it on the market. In the meantime, you get to enjoy having your in-home spa available any time at your convenience!
Cons of In-Home Saunas
There are also some potential drawbacks to an in-home sauna. Here are some cons of in-home saunas:
In-home saunas can be expensive
An in-home sauna will take some extra planning and materials, regardless of the type of sauna you choose. This means adding one to your custom home will increase costs. If you’re a homeowner with less flexibility in your custom home budget, an in-home sauna may be an extra feature that pushes your budget too high or wouldn’t be worth the sacrifices in other areas in order to get it.
They can take up valuable space in your bathroom
A traditional or infrared sauna takes up space, so you will need to plan for them in your bathroom layout and design. Depending on the rest of your home layout, they could take up valuable space in your bathroom. The benefits of having an in-home sauna may outweigh the cost of giving up some extra space. Plus, you have some flexibility in how large your sauna will be – you can choose to have a smaller one with just enough room for one person, or you can go larger for some space to stretch out.
If the thought of giving up extra space in your bathroom isn’t appealing to you and you still want an in-home sauna, you can opt for a steam shower instead of a traditional or infrared sauna. Unlike the other types, a steam shower can be integrated into your normal shower, which means it won’t take up extra space in your bathroom – it’ll just add another set of pipes to your shower for the steam generation.
An in-home sauna requires maintenance
Another potential drawback to an in-home sauna is simply that it is another item in your home that requires maintenance. If you’re someone who particularly hates cleaning chores, it might be better to stick to a steam shower for your in-home sauna, so you don’t have yet another separate area to clean and maintain.
The world is stressful, and we tend to feel its stress more than we’d like to. As a result, we will do whatever is necessary to make ourselves feel better even if it costs thousands of dollars to do so. One of the ways in which homeowners improve their wellness is by installing a sauna in their home. This is a huge investment that is beneficial in a number of ways. It improves health, it relaxes, and it is very enjoyable. However, it is important to consider some things.
The type of sauna being installed and the location of the sauna is important, as is how much work the installation is going to require. The more elaborate the sauna, the more expensive it is going to be, and the more work it is going to require. This also brings about an important question for the homeowner because of this huge investment, and that question is: “Is it going to increase the value of my home?”
This question is important because such a large investment should also have financial incentives in addition to health benefits. Sure, these financial benefits can be in the way of eliminating club memberships and fuel costs to drive to a sauna. Still, when making such a huge installation in the home, the addition must add to the value of that home.
The good news is that this investment does indeed add to the value of the home. Of course, the more elaborate the sauna, the more value it adds. But that is no reason to break the bank just for the sake of adding home value. The sauna that is installed should be adequate to support the needs of those who will be using it. If a large sauna is what is needed, then that should be what is installed. If a small sauna is what is needed, then that should be all the homeowner needs.
Installing a sauna that is too large results in wasted money in the way of its purchase price, the price to install it, and the expenses associated with running it. It also results in wasted space. Spending money on space that will never be used kind of offsets any money that will be received if the house ever has to be sold, a new mortgage is opened, or to increase the equity. As the market turns for the worst, having a sauna in a home helps with the value of that home as home prices are seeing a weekly decline.
Saunas Also become the focus of many home improvement products for this very reason. They are a great addition, and they have family, friends, and neighbours aching to be invited over to enjoy a relaxing evening in the sauna with good conversation and a temporary escape from the rest of the world. Before long, everyone either wants to spend time in the sauna, or they will eventually install one of their own once they experience the benefits and realise that they can get a heads up on the mortgage market by increasing the value of their home with a sauna.
So it is easy to see how investing in a sauna can benefit the homeowner in a lot of ways. Not only does it promote a healthier lifestyle by reducing stress, but it also has its financial benefits, which might explain why saunas are becoming huge in fix and flip projects and other home improvement endeavours. No matter the reason for installing a sauna, it is a great idea for any homeowner.