Converting masonry silo into sauna


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Old 05-27-21, 08:32 PM
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Converting masonry silo into sauna

Hello,
I recently obtained an old farm property with a masonry grain silo, minus the top, still standing. The bricks are very large, more like the size of cinder blocks. I want to convert the lower portion into a sauna. I have virtually no building experience. As the sauna will be inside the existing silo structure, I am wondering what would be the best way to install a roof and ceiling from within the silo that will also be able to drain water to the outside. The ceiling and roof would presumably have to be round, but maybe not. How would I attach the ceiling joists? How would I seal the roof to the inside of the silo so that water does not seep behind the wall paneling? Can the wall paneling be attached directly to the brick, or do I need some kind of intermediary layer of wood? The silo has existing openings with metal frames on one side every three feet or so going up to the top. Thanks!
 

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05-28-21, 07:36 PM
I Mullins
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Unless I'm reading this wrong, you want to put the "roof" inside the silo, not at the top, but near the bottom? An interior roof (or more accurately a plug).

I doubt very much if that's going to work. If ice builds up on the "roof" it will start damaging the walls, and eventually all that masonry will come tumbling down on you. Expansion of the "roof" structure will also be a problem.

Perhaps even worse, you'll never find a building inspector who would pass it, because such a thing is completely unknown to them.

Why not have a silo company in stall a silo roof on top of the silo where it belongs? Then, for appearances sake, construct a gazebo-type ceiling over the sauna supported by walls or posts.

I doubt that you will be allowed to do even that without a lot of work and services of a licensed engineer. For some reason, the government frowns on structures that can fall on people.
 
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Old 05-27-21, 08:52 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

When I think of silo I think of a big structure.
How big is this silo ?
A few pictures would be helpful for us to get an idea of what you are working with.
How-to-insert-pictures.
 
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Old 05-28-21, 06:04 AM
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The inside diameter and height in feet would be helpful.
 
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Old 05-28-21, 08:20 AM
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What tools and skills you have? This job will be a bit technical.
 
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Old 05-28-21, 07:36 PM
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Unless I'm reading this wrong, you want to put the "roof" inside the silo, not at the top, but near the bottom? An interior roof (or more accurately a plug).

I doubt very much if that's going to work. If ice builds up on the "roof" it will start damaging the walls, and eventually all that masonry will come tumbling down on you. Expansion of the "roof" structure will also be a problem.

Perhaps even worse, you'll never find a building inspector who would pass it, because such a thing is completely unknown to them.

Why not have a silo company in stall a silo roof on top of the silo where it belongs? Then, for appearances sake, construct a gazebo-type ceiling over the sauna supported by walls or posts.

I doubt that you will be allowed to do even that without a lot of work and services of a licensed engineer. For some reason, the government frowns on structures that can fall on people.
 
clancy, juliend1824 voted this post useful.
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Old 05-30-21, 11:02 AM
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@PJ Max, Thanks for the welcome! I will send pictures shortly. As far as the size, it is large, probably forty feet high.
@Wirepuller38, I will send the dimensions.
@Pilot Dane, I have access to a lot of tools via neighbors. As far as building skills go, I don't have much experience unfortunately.
@ I Mullins, yes you are understanding correctly, I basically want to embed the sauna inside the silo. I like the idea of putting the silo roof back on the silo, I guess in that case I could just vent the sauna chimney out to the side. At the end of the day, if the consensus is that this is a bad idea, I am certainly not opposed to moving on to other options. I just thought that since the silo was there and has thick masonry walls, it could be repurposed, and it would save me from having to build a sauna structure from scratch. That being said, I definitely don't want to create something that would collapse on me, as that would probably ruin the relaxation that the sauna is supposed to induce.
I will be sending pictures and dimensions within the next couple of days.
Thanks so much for everyone's input!
 
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Old 06-08-21, 11:15 AM
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Dimensions and pictures

Dimensions:
Diameter: 10'
Height: approximately 25-30'
Foundation: stone

Not sure how farfetched this is, but how feasible would it be to put a roof on this structure and turn it into a multi story building?





inside

foundation

masonry
 
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Old 06-08-21, 12:54 PM
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The pictures are very good. They show a lot of detail.
Where do you live ? I'm thinking of permits and inspections.

You'd probably need scaffolding around the silo to install a roof.
I don't see much room here for a DIY job.
The first thing I'd want to do is to get a mason in to check the integrity of the brickwork.
 
  #9  
Old 06-08-21, 02:52 PM
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It looks like a silage silo. I would feel better if your picture showed a pre cast concrete silo. I think your first job is a thorough inspection including at the top. It's not a good sign having greenery growing from the top as the roots are living in and breaking apart the mortar joints.
 
 

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