Build an Outdoor Sauna: Roof Construction

Building the roof to your outdoor sauna is one of the most important steps in any hot tub construction. Without a strong and secure roof, much of your other work just may go to waste.

Step 1: Size Matters

First, figure out the size you’ll want your roof to be and choose its width and steepness. To do this, you’ll need to do a little arithmetic, so be sure and create a blueprint of the roof design you have in mind.

Step 2: The Rafters

Next, you’ll want to place your rafters. These will set on top of each all the walls, horizontally. Also, horizontal purloins will need to be affixed to these rafters, for extra roof support.

Step 3: Connect Tie and Collar Beams

Once you’ve placed your rafters, you’re now ready to connect tie and collar beams. Connect tie beams between lower ends of opposite rafters, which prevent walls from spreading. Next, collar beams are set higher, between opposing rafters to give the structure extra strength.

Step 4: Stable the Sheath

Next, you’ll want to staple the sheath onto the rafters. Once you’ve done so, cover this sheath with an underlay, which acts as a weather protector.

Step Five – Place Shingles

It's time to place the shingles on underlay. These shingles may have heavy glue attachments on one end, and usually come in sets of two. Put these on the roof, starting from the bottom to the top, and putting each on top of the one below it.

General Roofing Tips

There are general roofing tips you should always follow when installing an outdoor sauna roof.

Rule Number One – Shingle Where It’s Dry

Never shingle over wet or damp roof sheathing, or felt paper that is damp. Such trapped moisture will not evaporate once the sun warms up that shingle.

Rule Number Two – Don’t Put the New On Top Of the Old

If you intend to utilize this outdoor sauna for the next decade or so, never shingle over older shingles. And as a general guideline, utilize only one shingle layer for low-sloped roofs, and maybe two layers for medium-sloped roofs. But go up to – yet do not exceed – three shingle layers on a steep-sloped roof.

Rule Number Three -- Always Use Metal Flashings

While it may be simpler and less expensive to utilize shingle material for your flashings, this material isn’t as flexible, nor does it last as long, as metal flashings.

Rule Number Four – Avoid caulking, roof tar and asphalt mixes for flashing coverage material

Rather than using caulking, roof tar and asphalt mixes, utilize counter flashing comprised of the same metals as the flashing.

Rule Number Five – Use Similar Materials for Repairs

If you need to fix your new outdoor sauna roof, always use similar sheathing materials to repair holes.

If you follow these five basic installation steps, and remember the above general roofing rules, you’ll be well on your way to building one fine outdoor sauna roof.