Friday, 11 March 2016

Sanity Space for Hubby - The Suana Project

  In today's busy world, It's important for everyone to have some type of stress reducing outlet or activity.... and different people have different methods of achieving this.
As you are probably aware by now, a few of my outlets are.... exercising, being outside, learning new things and doing projects.... and over the last (almost) year I have shared a few of these "Sanity space projects" with you on the blog. These projects have been done during respite time, or time away from the family. It's important for us mums and carers to get the necessary Time Out to recharge the batteries and refresh....but today I wanted to show you a project  that Hubby has enjoyed doing in the bits of "CAVEMAN"  time that he has had.....or perhaps I should say "WOODSMAN" time?

It all started about three years ago after a summer respite trip we had taken to the Swedish Archipelago off the coast of  Stockholm. We had traveled around from island to island and everywhere we went were these amazing Saunas or (Bastu) in the most picturesque of places....

We loved using them as a family,  and at some point during the trip Hubby concocted a plan in his mind that we were going to have one and that he was going to build it!
  The opportunity later  presented itself when we had a bunch of Ash trees removed from the border of our property..... and had three big truck loads of wood taken away... 

The Ash was a hard wood and great for burning but not for constructing a sauna one week later, I was surprised to see more trucks returning with 50 Douglas Fir logs! He got to work immediately debarking the lot of them by hand!
Usually he had time to do one or two logs a session. 

He did save one of them for me though, so that I could at least say that I had contributed to the project! It was easier than I had thought it would be.... but then again I only did one log and it took me a while to do that!

He squared  all the logs off in to 10'' x 12 ft beams, stacked them, and let them season for another year.

Last summer the boys extended the deck at the side of the house so that we could put Heni's Hydro Hot tub on it and decided to also wrap it around what would later become the new sauna area.

This is the beginning of the sauna .....and here Hubby is knocking the wooden pegs in to the drilled holes to tie the logs together. 

There is something about wood that all the boys in our family love.... perhaps it goes back to my Hubby's Germanic, Bavarian, woodsman ancestry?....  Both "Big Bro T" and "The Hungry Boy" enjoyed getting involved in the build. 

 The roof was constructed of the beams cut in half and then placed at a 15% angle.

.......note The Hungry Boy having a  rest on top!

The doorway was custom fit to our old shower cubical glass door that had been ripped out of the bathroom a few years previous!  Hubby had saved it purposely for the Sauna build.

The roof was wrapped with facia  that he milled from leftover wood. It created a deep bed that was then lined with a heavy duty waterproof membrane and a fleece style lining (to stop the stones from puncturing the membrane) and then filled with a layer of gravel and then soil.

Of course it was obvious that we would paint the sauna in a Swedish Falun red colour...
 and the facia board we decided to paint in a contrasting Muted Clay colour. is the red box!

 The soil was hoisted up on top, spread and  then flattened down ready for the turf to be laid.
Here is Hubby doing the turf dance! 

We were thinking about putting meadow grass on top but decided against it and opted for normal turf in the end as it was far cheaper. Maybe at some point I may collect some seeds and throw them up there and see what happens.

Here the grass has grown a little longer and we decided to put a faux window on the side to make it look more balanced and interesting.... rather that looking just like a red box. We bought a inexpensive mirror and then Hubby framed it with more off cuts (also painted in Muted clay).

 On the outside (on the right hand side of the door) is the box which houses the sauna heating unit, controls and all the electrics.... 

The inside benches were also made from more spare wood that was surplus to the build. He milled and sanded them and constructed them into this configuration below.

We were aiming to have the sauna ready in October last year but had a bunch of problems with the heating unit.... 
After many months of it not working properly (and multiple back and forth communication with the supplier and manufacturer) the heating unit  is now up and working  and we  finally had our first sauna a week ago....the culmination of three plus years of hard work and effort. It was fab! I am really looking forward to being able to use it as part of our health regime and for it to become another "sanity space" to go relax in.  The health benefits are many and varied and there is an awesome blog post written by Dr Ben Lynch (on the benefits of sauna and a regime which he recommends) that you can see here

I am amazingly proud of Hubby's many and varied talents and he has done such a fantastic job of bringing something that was just a dream in the depths of his mind, in to reality.
Who would have thought that this would have all come about because of a summer trip to Sweden and a dream to have a piece of it right here. 

I would encourage you to find out what you enjoy doing to relax and where your "Sanity space" is... and as usual my mantra is "take a little time out to replenish and do something you enjoy".
... One small aside though... beware when you travel..... you never know what ideas may be lurking in the depths of your Hubby's head that he may want to bring back home!



  1. What a talented man Tom is- the sauna looks awesome! Enjoy beautiful B's xx

    1. Really enjoying it! You'll have to take another trip H! X

  2. what a great little place to have a get away, I would simply love it
    come see us at

  3. That is a fantastic project.
    I have learned, with time, to be careful when traveling. An innocent 'oh, I love that...' can turn into a year-long project!
    How nice it is to find your blog through Amaze Me Monday.

    1. So glad you found Henibean. I hope you'll be back to read more x

  4. Wow!! Love how you took pictures throughout the whole process!! Something to enjoy (and relax in) for many years to come. I would have to say taking a long soak in a jetted hot tub is one of my faves to relax and get awa

    1. I love taking pictures and documenting things as its a great memory jogger. A picture tell a thousand words huh? Hopefully in years to come we will look back fondly and say remember when we built that sauna...,, x

  5. What a beautiful space you guys made! I love that your whole family was involved. It makes the space that much sweeter!

    1. My boys just loved it! Not many 13 year olds can say they built a sauna with their dad and use a nail gun!

  6. That is really cool and I love the photos of the process.

  7. Visiting today from Coffee for your Heart and what an impressive project you've let us take a peek into! How wonderful it must be to have a husband and boys who enjoy creating such a wonderful space for you all to enjoy and I hope you have many lovely saunas ahead of you to enjoy!

    1. I'm really looking forward to having some girl friends round for a spa evening! Feeling the health detox benefits already. Thanks for stopping by. X

  8. Sure loved seeing this, and thank you for sharing it. Bless you!

  9. We so often concentrate on sanity savers for special needs moms and forget that dads need them, too. This is a great idea. Thanks for adding this to's Tuesday special needs link up.

    1. I agree. Dads need respite and some fun activities too. I'm just lucky that mine enjoys building things so I get to benefit too!

  10. Thank you for sharing your awesome post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” Your hubby did a masterful job and what a great place to take some time out and de-stress.

  11. NO WAY! OMG! This is incredible! Very inspiring! Right from the start through to the finish of the project. It is amazing! I really like the mirror window, making it looking a little bit more friendly user type of building. #BeInspired in the garden

  12. Thank you! So fortunate to have menfolk in my family who enjoy creating and building things. I'm just happy to use the finished product!


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