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Prepping for your new addition like a pro.

Picture this: Your Almost Heaven barrel sauna is on its way! You did the research, you’ve planned and dreamed, and it’s at last going to become a reality. You take a peek at the spot you’ve selected for your sauna paradise, but in a moment of doubt, start to worry. Is this really the perfect spot? First, take a deep breath. Second, keep reading because we have all the information you need to know to prepare your barrel sauna site.

As you pick out your barrel sauna site, things to consider:

What do I want to be looking at, and who do I want to be looking at me?

Unless you select a barrel sauna without a Vista Window and with an all-wood door, you will have some natural light coming in through the tempered glass. Consider which way your door (and the window, if you select it!) will be facing as you plan for the spot to set your sauna. You might be buddy-buddy with your neighbors, but just how close are you, really?

Rear vista window in barrel sauna Glass door in barrel sauna Barrel sauna with Harvia heater and rear vista window.

How will I get my sauna to the spot?

Your sauna will arrive on a pallet and (with the exception of our largest barrels) can be offloaded from the delivery truck on an electric pallet jack for curbside delivery. From there it’s up to you! Whether you drive it, walk it, airlift it or throw it (only possible if you’re the Hulk) to the designated sauna spot, it doesn’t matter as long as you get it there safely. Just make sure you have a plan–and maybe a friend or two–to get your sauna to its designated location.

Sauna arriving via pallet

Can I get electricity here?

Unless you have a wood-burning barrel coming your way, you will need a 220V line run from your breaker to the sauna site for the heater to be hardwired. In addition, the LED light is powered by a regular 110V, 15-amp plug-in. It’s common to have these wires buried if they will be running through your yard, but always defer to your local code and regulations.

Now that you’ve picked your spot, it’s time to get everything ready for your sauna’s arrival.

As you prepare your barrel sauna site, things to consider:

Is my site level?

This might be the single most important question to ask before constructing your barrel sauna. A site that is not properly level might result in staves becoming difficult or impossible to line up correctly, or your door not latching properly. If you cannot make your site level, you might want to consider using shims under your sauna cradles to compensate for the uneven ground.

What am I going to put my sauna on?

Here’s the simple answer: not the bare earth! Over time, erosion or a soggy ground might cause your perfectly level sauna to become off-kilter. There are a wide variety of materials to use as a base for your barrel sauna, but the most popular include a concrete slab, flagstone, a wooden platform, brick pavers, and compressed gravel. If your barrel sauna is going inside your home, any flooring type is suitable, but carpeting is not recommended.

Outdoor barrel sauna Outdoor barrel sauna Outdoor barrel sauna
Pro tip: For outdoor barrel saunas, you can either lay a base under the entire footprint of your sauna, or you can keep it to the footprint of the cradles, which support your sauna. The cradles are 53”W x 6”D for 6’ diameter barrels, and 64”W x 11”D for 7’ diameter barrels. Our smallest barrels are supported with two cradles, while our largest ones get up to four or six cradles. Place the cradles 4 to 5” from the ends of the staves, and if your sauna has more than two cradles, space the remaining ones evenly in between.

Will there be enough space to construct the sauna and for my electrician?

Once your barrel is constructed, you only need a few inches of clearance around the sauna, but as you’re in the process of building, you will want enough room for a person to be able to fit on each side. In addition, know that while you can run the electrical into the sauna at any location (the electrician will drill the hole for the electrical wires to enter), the most popular place is on the back of the sauna, behind the heater. This is also where you will want to mount the electrical supply for the LED light.

Keeping these points in mind as you select and prepare your barrel sauna site will help to keep it running smoothly for many years to come. (For those of you wondering if your barrel sauna can come with you if you move, the answer is YES!) If we didn’t touch on your specific question, our customer service team is here and happy to help: 888.355.3050.

And, as a bonus, if you haven’t gotten enough of our handy tips and tricks yet, you’re in luck, because we have more to help you build your barrel sauna!