Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Sauna

When we bought our house, there were several outbuildings scattered throughout the property. There was the old sheep barn that was collapsing in beyond repair, there was an aluminum shed, a quirky wood shed, a pole barn, the barn with the guest quarters, and the sauna (pictured above).

The old sheep barn, the aluminum shed and the quirky wood shed all got hauled away to the rebuild it center. The rest we kept, including the sauna.

I'll give you a quick tour. It's a small two room sauna that reminds me of the old rustic camps I use to visit in Maine.

I can tell you that Hubby was beyond thrilled when he discovered this building on our first tour of the property and imagined sitting in here after a long day of skiing. The above room is the changing room and has lots of old vintage towel racks, old hooks, a little vanity and benches to sit on.

Even Lucy was excited about the sauna. Here she is taking in the ambiance of the old steam room. Aren't the benches classic? And see the old shower faucet hanging from the cross beam?

But Hubby's dream came to a screeching halt when the house inspector warned us that the above water tank was a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode. In other words, don't use the sauna in its current incarnation - ever.

Hubby had ideas to update the system but when we realized that all of the wood in the steam room had been coated with urethane, we knew we'd have to reside the whole interior as to not get high on toxic fumes. The charred wall was also a deterrent - obviously the barrel stove was a fire hazard.

So it sat.

Until one day a couple of winters ago, we put my old treadmill in the changing area and started using the space as a workout room. And that's when we decided that the building would serve us much better as a home gym than a sauna.

Let me just say that we're not gym people. We know this because we bought gym memberships a year ago this month and pretty much never went. This was mostly due to the inconvenience of driving into town all the time. When we did go, all we used were the treadmill (which I had at home) and the elliptical machine (which we just bought).

So instead of renewing our very costly gym membership, we've decided to use the funds to create a home gym, conveniently located within walking distance from the house. We'll be tearing out the wall in the middle in order to create a large one room space so that both the treadmill and the elliptical machine will fit side by side. These will go where the steam benches are now.

We'll insulate the vaulted ceiling, perhaps add a sink since there's already an existing water line, and paint everything white. We have some extra tongue and groove flooring left over from the porch, which we'll use to cover up the concrete floor. We'll paint the floors historic gray as they already have primer on them. We also plan to replace the plywood door with the old french exterior door we removed from the main house.

So that's the plan but I can't say for sure when the cosmetic stuff will happen! But I'll keep you posted!



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