DIY Barrel sauna: How to lay the Foundation your Outdoor sauna?
The main idea of any foundation is to lift the barrel sauna from the ground, so that its wooden legs, treated with antiseptic, do not absorb any moisture and can serve for as long as possible.
Thanks to its small weight (from 500 to 1500 kilograms) the barrel sauna don’t need any fundamental foundation – the main requirement to follow is to choose the flattest possible site! The presence of any uneven parts on the surface may result in loose closing of doors and the construction deformation or tilting.
In this article we are going to consider several foundation options for outdoor saunas:
1. A loose sand-gravel padding
- A soil layer is removed and the ground needs then to be compacted.
- The site is covered with a geotextile membrane that prevents grass from growing through a gravel layer.
- The pit edges are boarded to strengthen them.
- The sand and gravel mixture is prepared in proportion of 1 to 1, the gravel fraction should be from 5 to 20 mm thick.
- The mixture is spread over several layers, each layer should be firmed and compacted.
2. Concrete foundation
- A soil layer is removed and the site needs to be compacted.
- The formwork is created so that the concrete site would be higher than the ground level
- The filling of drainage layers with subsequent firming is done, step-by-step: the first layer is sand, the second layer is gravel
- Laying of reinforcement into the foundation
The ready site must be left to harden for 20 days as a minimum!
3. The installation of barrel sauna on a post footing
This foundation structure typically consists of supports buried in to the ground. The supports are mounted along the outdoor sauna perimeter as well as at the joints connecting interior load-bearing walls with partitions. The material for creating poles can be brick, wood, monolithic concrete, etc.
The type of foundation used for the barrel sauna is a shallow foundation. A lot of customers choose to put up poles or terrace boards on the pillars to create a podium.
- The site preparation includes cleaning of debris, removal of the topsoil layer, levelling and marking.
- Holes need to be drilled according to the arrangement of the sand padding
- Creating a sand padding – for best results the sand is mixed with water and thoroughly compacted to make it thicker.
- Installation of pipes into holes. Once pipes are installed, they are levelled and strutted off with wooden pegs between well walls.
- The concrete is poured into the pipes, little by little.
4. Foundation on screw-piles
The foundation on screw-piles can be made on any ground apart from the rocky one. A screw pile is a metal pipe treated with a special anti-corrosive coating. One of the ends of the pile is pointed and has a tip with the blades.
- A pile is screwed into the ground like a self-tapping screw – without causing any damage to the ground, but simply reinforcing it as the pile goes deeper into the ground.
- Piles are screwed into the ground 1 to 3 meters apart along the barrel sauna perimeter and at the intersections of internal partitions.
- The screwed piles are cut at the same level to create a free ventilated space.
- The piles are fixed with metal or wooden beams
The essential advantage of screw piles is the fact that they can be disassembled and removed. For example, when you move to another place, you can take your foundation together with your barrel sauna, and then assemble it at a new place once again.
5. Mobile sauna
Not only can installation of the barrel sauna on your trailer help you avoid the long process of getting a building permit, but it can also save you money on the foundation construction! Such an option will definitely suit those who like fishing, traveling, as well as owners of campsites and leisure camps.
Remember that when you use this type of installation of the barrel sauna, the weight of the sauna can’t exceed the total weight your vehicle can tow! Also, it is necessary to provide additional supports to prevent the trailer from swinging during the use of the sauna.