Doug and Erin's wood-fired hot tub revised, now with sauna!

A few years ago I shared a popular post about my friends' do-it-yourself wood-fired hot tub. Since that time Doug and Erin had a kid and moved to a more rural setting. They brought their hot tub with them but Doug re-did the DIY, creating a new structure that doubles as a hot tub cover and backyard sauna.


The outdoor sauna/hot tub structure is small, simple and elegantly conceived. Situated on the edge of their lot next to the forest, it's a wonderful setting. Imagine the bliss of having a completely silent soak in the dark while taking in the sights, smells and sounds of the surrounding forest. 
 

Here you can see how the 300 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank sits on a pad of gravel. A fair amount of water gets displaced when four people soak. The gravel keeps the surrounding area from getting muddy. 

There is a separate pad for the Chofu stove. Originally Doug had the stove inside the sauna. His idea was to have the Chofu heater double as a sauna heater. It was a great idea. Unfortunately, in spite of the small sauna, the Chofu was just too efficient at pumping heat into the water and not into the surrounding air. It didn't do a very good job at heating the sauna space. Because of this, Doug added a small wood stove to the sauna space and moved the Chofu outside.


The inside of the sauna has a new replacement wood burning stove. It's a small and inexpensive stove but cranks out plenty of heat for the small space. If he wants a quick sweat without the time and effort required to heat up 300 gallons of water, Doug fires up the sauna. It takes only about 20 minutes to get hot.


The entrance to the sauna is this nice old salvaged four-panel door. There are two little tea light candle lanterns that serve to light the outside at night. Behind the lanterns are two glass bottle windows like this one:


The bottle glass windows are a wonderful feature. Doug found nice blue bottles and a bottle cutter for cutting the bottles in half.




 This is what they look like on the inside.




Another addition is the old clawfoot tub that's used as a dunk tank. It's pictured here with a plywood cover.

Theo asks if the water is hot yet.