1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Saunas, Japanese Baths, and Life

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by kevinmoelk, Sep 2, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    730
    Loc:
    Wapato WA, in the Yakima Valley of Central WA
    Howdy folks. As many of regulars know the past few years have been tough on me. I have made the decision to leave WA state next spring and move back to the east coast to be closer to my family, western Maine specifically. I will be living on a 60 acre farm with hopes to start a bed and breakfast and possibly another home based business. Tired of working for other people, need change and a new direction.

    In any case, the B&B;will require that many alterations to the property take place. One thing I want to do is to build a sauna and also a japanese style bath with deep tubs. At this point, since my plans aren't 100% concrete yet, I'm mainly looking for inspiration and resources on construction and design considerations. I'm wondering if anyone has built either of these structures or knows where I could find good information.

    -Kevin

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    47,013
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Hey Kevin, I think that's great, but a big change. Running a B&B;is a lot of work. What will be the main (Maine) attraction in your area that draws folks to your B&B;? When I think western Maine, I think forest. Usually most folks head to the coast. Is there skiing nearby? If not, how does the business survive the winter? The sauna and Japanese bath may have limited attraction depending on the customer. Some will love it and some will avoid it.

    I'm not trying to dash your dream, but my wife's parents tried this and failed due to lack of planning and reality. Hopes are one thing, but if our economy takes a downturn, you want to have plan B in place as well. But given how I've seen you research, I think you'll do OK with good planning. Take your time and go for it when all looks right.
  3. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    730
    Loc:
    Wapato WA, in the Yakima Valley of Central WA
    Yes it is a lot of work BG! There is skiing, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, climbing, etc. The outdoors will be a huge attraction. The B&B;will be a natural transition. There are 2 cabins on the property, so modification of the farmhouse wouldn't have to be immediate. The property is only 1 hour from Portland, so I could seek employment there if need be. I'm not going to pour my life savings into the dream immediately, but rather will plant the seed and see if anything grows. I will first fix up one cabin and see how that goes. If worse comes to worse and things don't happen, the property will have a guest cottage. If the one cabin gets booked and things look good I'll fix up the second and eventually add the restored farm house to the business. The property itself has 7 acres that can be subdivided off the 60 for a private homestead, so expandability of the project is good. There is also a garage with an apartment above that currently has a renter, so added income there, or quarters for a live in caretaker for the B&B;. All in all the place will be about tranquility. No tvs, no cell phones, no distractions. Romantic getaway, or family retreat. A wide variety of activities, friendly for horses and dogs too.

    Nothing is certain right now, but I have a strong feeling that this opportunity has come into my life for a reason. If all goes as planned I'll be moving there next spring or sooner. In fact, I'm leaving next Thursday and will fly into Portland ME and then head out to the farm to see it in person.

    -Kevin
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Western Maine is beautiful, especially around Bethel. My daughter and I drove from Skowhegan up to Jackman last winter and that's a really breathtaking drive, too. We almost hit a moose on a logging road just outside of Jackman.

    Chelsea-Green publishing has a book on how to build a sauna. I have a copy around here somewhere, but I'm sure you can find it on Amazon. It's quite good, as I recall. As for building an ofuro, that's just a deep wooden tub with very hot water for boiling human beings.
  5. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    730
    Loc:
    Wapato WA, in the Yakima Valley of Central WA
    Thanks guys. I should mention that another memeber has PMd me with some very useful links. Don't know if I should "out" him or not, lol, but thanks again.

    Boiling human beings... lol. I understand the the Ofuro is traditionally made out of cedar and is not used for washing, as we use our baths here in the states. It's only for soaking. All I really want is a tub deep enough for me to sit in and be able to move around without splashing the water on the floor. Why is it the "standard" tub is so darn small. And I'm not a large person.. 5'9" and 165 lbs. Maybe I should take a class in coopering.

    Eric, I think you are referring to "The Sauna" by Rob Roy. I ordered that one a few days ago off Amazon, along with another title. I'm not a huge Rob Roy fan as he seems to lack focus and end up talking about cordwood construction, which is a poor construction method imo. If I could read finnish I'd be set with a boat load of information.

    What I envision is a small cabin that is made up off a sauna, an Ofuro, a changing room, and a community room where folks can just hang out and relax. It should be large enough to serve 6-8 people at a time.

    Thanks again folks. I'd love to hear from someone who actually has a sauna or japanese bath or who has been Finland or Japan and has first first hand experience.

    -Kevin
  6. kblues

    kblues New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    new york suburbs

    Hi Kevin,

    In Japan, the bathroom is just that....where you take a bath/soak. The entire room is made to get wet/soaked. the floor has a drain in it and there is a shower where you sit on a stool or stand and wash yourself completely with soap. the walls are tiled/wood or glass and everything is made to get wet. in one part of this room is a soaking tub. there are many types of them. some are stainless steel and others are wood and others are fiberglass. these tubs are all deep and filled with hot water that keeps recirculating and up to temp by means of a tankless hot water heater with a digital thermostat. usually kept at 42 degrees C. Everything gets wet and if you splash water out of the tub it can also drain through the floor. There is also a drain in the tub itself. most all of these tubs are electronically controlled.

    fyi...the toilet is in a separate little room and the toilets in Japan are the BEST!!!! They are so much further advanced than here in the USA or Europe. I am talking about the electronic controlled toilets that are pervasive throughout homes and businesses and airports. Very clean, warm and amazing that they work so well. I had my doubts before I used them but they are great.

    Hope this helps.

    klh
  7. downeast

    downeast Guest

    Check out Downeast Cedar Hot Tubs out of Madison, Maine. Or, Snorkel tubs on your coast.
    We have the Downeast tub, with a wood fired Snorkel wood stove. Heats up the ~ 700 gallons in 2 hours using junk softwoods
    from blowdowns.
    Nothing like an outdoor hot tub @ -5 F ! The moon, the stars, the drinks, the cove............
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page