Having a sauna in your basement or bathroom is something few people get to experience, but many people dream of. When it comes to resale, will adding a sauna increase your home’s value overall?
Unfortunately, putting a sauna in will not add significant value to your home, and most homeowners can only expect an average return on investment of 42%. Factors such as local market demand, buyer preference, and the style of sauna installed will all play a role. Overall, the value of adding a sauna to your house is more of a lifestyle luxury.
Keep reading to learn if adding a sauna increases home value, if having a sauna is worth it, and some tips for maximizing your home’s value when adding a sauna!
Does adding a sauna increase home value?
When determining if adding a sauna to your home will increase the value of your house, there are a few things to consider. Some of these considerations include your real estate market, how much it costs to put the sauna in, and the location of your home.
Generally speaking, adding a sauna to your home isn’t guaranteed to add value. It’s considered to be a luxury feature that won’t make or break the deal for most buyers. The average home sauna installation costs roughly $4,000, and ultimately, there’s no concrete evidence to indicate that you’ll get this money back.
If your real estate market is hot and inventory is low, putting a sauna in probably won’t make much of a difference in the closing price. However, if it’s a buyer’s market, adding a sauna may help to differentiate your property from the neighbor’s.
How much you spend on the sauna also indicates whether or not it’s a good investment. If you put in a state-of-the-art custom $25,000 home sauna/spa, most real estate resources indicate that you’ll break even on the feature or even lose money.
Lastly, where you live matters. Saunas are most popular in colder climates; there’s a reason Finland has more saunas per capita than any other country in the world!
Overall, determining if a sauna provides a positive ROI is heavily dependent on if buyers in your area value the addition. We recommend putting one in if it’s something YOU want to use as a benefit to your mental and physical health.
If you’re looking into conveniences and amenities specifically to add value to your home, there are other more cost-effective upgrades that have a better ROI.
How much does it cost to add a sauna to a house?
The amount that adding a sauna to your house will set you back depends on the kind you install.
The average cost of a home sauna is $4,000, although it varies based on the following factors:
We’ll get more specifics below.
The bigger and more features you want your sauna to have, the pricier it will be to install.
A small, 2-person sauna costs about $2,000, while a larger, 4-6 person sauna runs around $5,000 and up. The installation fees will vary by state and the contractor you choose, although labor will add roughly an extra $1,000 to the cost.
Some materials cost more than others. If you put your sauna outdoors and make it free-standing, you’ll have to factor in more wood.
Redwood and Nordic White Spruce are the most expensive, at around $25 per square foot. Alternatively, pine and cedar are much cheaper and cost about $4 per square foot.
If you want to add more features, like a Himalayan salt wall panel, your price will go up even further.
Last but not least, we have to consider the type of sauna.
Putting in an infrared sauna will cost about $5,400. The price of a traditional dry sauna is a little bit less expensive at around $4,500 but will require more electricity to operate. Steam saunas are the cheapest and are usually added to an existing shower for $3,000.
If you want to install a completely separate steam sauna, you’re looking at a $9,000 price tag due to the additional plumbing required.
What is the return on investment for a home sauna?
It’s fairly difficult to determine the exact return on investment expected from putting in a home sauna.
On average, you can anticipate recouping around 42% of your investment when installing a sauna in your home. The best way to calculate this is by asking a local real estate agent or appraiser; they know exactly what buyers are looking for in your market, and the appraiser will be able to generate an estimated ROI based on the cost of the sauna.
Because it’s so hard to determine, it’s best to only put a sauna in your home if it’s something you want to use. Some future buyers may appreciate it, while others won’t.
If you’re worried about getting your money back, you can always opt for a portable sauna that can be taken with you when moving!
Where should you put a sauna in your house?
If you’ve decided to put a sauna in your house, where’s the best place for it to go?
Most importantly, your sauna must be on a level surface with a proper power source and plumbing. Popular places for a sauna include your bathroom, the garage, or a home gym (if you have one). Once you have an idea of where it should go, a contractor will confirm if this location is feasible.
Ultimately, the best place for your sauna depends on where you’d use it the most. If you like to sauna bathe post-workout, then adding it to your gym makes the most sense. If you want to be removed from the house for a more meditative atmosphere, consider the garage.
If you want to be able to shower right after going into the sauna, installing it in your bathroom is your best bet!
Is having a sauna at home worth it?
Realistically, this question is hyper-specific to each person.
It’s unlikely that you’ll get all of your money back when putting a sauna in your home. However, if you use and enjoy the sauna, it’s 100% worth it to install. Saunas are an immeasurably valuable addition to your health and well-being.
Sometimes the monetary ROI is less important than your daily enjoyment.
Tips to maximizing home value when adding a sauna
If you want to get the most bang for your buck, there are a few tips to consider when aiming to maximize home value with a sauna.
Keep these things in mind when adding a sauna to your home:
- Choose the right size
- Place it appropriately
- Opt for cost-effective materials
- Choose the best type
- Consult with a local real estate expert
Following each of these recommendations will ensure you get the most added value when it comes time to sell your home.
Choose the right size
As we mentioned above, the larger the sauna you install, the more expensive it will be upfront and the more electricity it will use to operate.
In a bathroom, 2-person saunas are appropriate because it’s unlikely that more than one person at a time will be using it. At most, a 4-person unit can be installed in your garage or home gym for a more substantial look.
Anything bigger than a 4-person sauna will waste space and money, especially in a residential property.
Place it appropriately
Where will your sauna get the most use?
If you want to put it in your garage, make sure it’s located where sauna bathers can easily enter and exit. Additionally, if it’s going in the bathroom, it’s probably best to put it in the primary suite versus a guest room.
Should you install your sauna in a random, hard-to-reach space in the house, buyers will likely overlook the feature or wonder why it’s there in the first place.
Opt for cost-effective materials
Of the various woods available to build your sauna with, a few are a little kinder on the wallet.
Basswood, redwood, pine, and hemlock are all priced under $5 per foot. These materials are all durable enough for use in a sauna and will lower your costs.
Most of the time, buyers won’t be focused on what type of wood your sauna is made out of, but rather that it’s there in the first place!
Choose the best type
Which type of sauna will provide the most value?
Because it’s hard to determine the value a buyer will see, opt for the cheapest option. In this case, adding a steam sauna to your shower or putting in a traditional dry sauna will be less expensive upfront.
You can put in a more expensive infrared sauna and expect to save a little more on overall electricity but will pay more in the beginning to install it.
Consult with a local real estate expert
This tip is one of the most important.
Talk to local agents and see if they think a sauna is a desirable feature for their buyer pool. They can advise on what current homebuyers are looking for and if a sauna will set your house above others.
In summary, adding a sauna won’t necessarily increase your home’s value. The type of sauna you intend on installing, what’s happening with the market, and if your area’s buyers will appreciate one all factor into the overall expected return on investment.
Putting in a home sauna is more valuable in terms of lifestyle and, above all, should be enjoyed by you and your family for years to come!