Building Banja - How to build the Russian sauna

For around 30 million German citizens, a visit to the sauna has a high recreational value. As a result, many people want their own sauna - the Russian banya is very popular - and so the banya can be built.

Characteristics of the Banya

The traditional banya is built in the style of a log cabin and consists of two to three rooms: the so-called dressing and undressing room, the bath washroom and the sweat room. The temperatures of the hot-air bath are between 80 and 100 °C. To optimize the whole bathing ritual, the Russians swear by so-called Weniks: These fresh birch brushwood bundles are used for fanning and skin treatment.

Planning phase for the construction of the Banja

There are different regulations from one federal state to another, which must be observed. Therefore, ask the responsible building authority beforehand which things require a permit. For example, these include: the building permit, compliance with the prescribed distances to neighbouring properties or the stipulations of the applicable fire protection regulations. The district chimney sweep will then carry out the final inspection.

Tip: In order to avoid unpleasant surprises, inform your neighbours if necessary and, as a precaution, make a corresponding application to the responsible authorities.

Banja: Homemade or rather buy a kit?

Many experienced builders will agree that planning and building the Russian Banya is not an easy project. Whoever takes on this project should in any case have experience in craftsmanship and construction. The purchase of a Banja sauna house construction kit is comparatively easy. All materials and woods are delivered fitting, prefabricated and with detailed construction instructions.

Choosing a location for the Banja

Guns and places that cannot be seen are the best choice. But of course, building owners can frame the banya house afterwards, for example with privacy screens or fast-growing hedges. In addition, water and electricity lines are also a must. For safety reasons, these are laid and connected by a specialist company so that the sauna will function perfectly later. Other important factors are checking the available building area, finding the desired house size and clarifying the financial possibilities.

Tip: Never build too big. Because with every square metre too much, the heating costs increase. A six square metre banya is sufficient for four people.

Select wood type for the banya

The right wood is the most important component for a solid Russian banya. Especially stable wood species from Nordic countries are popular, such as the Finnish polar spruce or the Canadian hemlock fir. Both have the advantage that these species are naturally exposed to extreme weather conditions and grow only slowly. This special feature guarantees good insulation for decades and keeps the climate in the sauna stable.

For the interior decoration, mainly the fast growing abachi wood is used. This type has hardly any knots and stores hardly any heat even at high temperatures.

Note special features: With traditional banjas the door from the sauna area does not lead directly into the open air!

The right building phase for the Banja

1. first the foundation plate is poured in the appropriate size; to avoid cracks, lay an armature mat in the concrete bed.2. the material of the wooden walls should have a wall thickness of at least 100 mm. Planed and bevelled wall planks are ideal. These are inserted into the respective corner posts with a dovetail from above.

3. press the walls together with matching tongue and groove joints. This is the only way to ensure that the wooden house is properly sealed and that the weather
does not cause any damage.

4. adjust a suitable sealing strip between each layer of beams so that the heat stays in the house.

5. use 140 mm to 190 mm beams for the roof construction OSB panels are suitable as exposed formwork for facing. First, fit the spaces in between with insulating material.

6. close the roof with a 21 mm tap. Then glue EPDM rubber sheeting suitable for use on the roof.

7. use a well-insulated 60 mm thick spruce wood door with door handle as the outer door. The same applies to windows.

8. after completion, the house will be painted, the interior will be furnished and the electricity and water will be connected.

9. tested and certified products are recommended as sauna heaters, which are installed by a professional.

Conclusion: In order to maintain health, the banya must not cool down

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