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Savvy student spends four months transforming WWII air-raid shelter in his parents' garden into a SAUNA for just £4,000 using recycled wood and £20 fairy lights from Amazon (15 Pics)

A savvy student has spent four months transforming a WWII air raid shelter in his parents' back garden into a sauna that could have cost £30,000 - for just £4,000.
Jonathan Warby, 26, bought an £800 heater, used cheap wood from a recycling centre to make the benches and paid £20 for fairy lights from Amazon to create the spa facility - which heats to more than 80 degrees Celsius - in the old bomb shelter.
The physics PhD student said it was a lifelong ambition to have a sauna at home - and with the coronavirus pandemic forcing him to return from Oxford University to his parents' house in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, it was the perfect time to finish his DIY project.
Jonathan spent £4,000 on the underground bunker's makeover - and is now enjoying regular sauna sessions with his family, who have been using the space as somewhere to relax during the lockdown.
Archaeologist Graham Keevill said from the sheer size of the structure it is most likely a Stanton air raid shelter. 
Jonathan had always planned to make use of the shelter (pictured from the outside) since his family discovered it hidden by overgrown bracken and shrubs when they moved into the home in 2003
Jonathan had always planned to make use of the shelter (pictured from the outside) since his family discovered it hidden by overgrown bracken and shrubs when they moved into the home in 2003
Jonathan Warby, 26, (in the sauna with his sister Lucy and girlfriend Emma) bought an £800 heater and used cheap wood from a recycling centre to create the spa at his parents' home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
Jonathan Warby, 26, (in the sauna with his sister Lucy and girlfriend Emma) bought an £800 heater and used cheap wood from a recycling centre to create the spa at his parents' home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
Jonathan Warby, 26, is pictured in the shelter during the renovations
The £800 heater that was installed in the spa facility
Jonathan Warby, 26, is pictured left in the shelter during the renovations, which included installing a heater (right) 
He said: 'The building is partly underground and has steps down to it, so it gives a sense of privacy and cosiness.
'I enjoy brewing beer and initially thought it would be a good man cave for my brewing but it ended up not being ideal because it was too humid.
'It was last year when I first came up with the idea of installing a sauna and I initially tried to do it cheaply by spending £1,500.
'I bought a quality wood burning heater and I managed to get the sauna up to around 50 degrees but you really need to get up to 80 degrees plus for an authentic Finnish sauna, so I ended up investing in proper insulation boards.
'Like most people I'm just at home at the moment and the weather has been great which is annoying when you can't get out and about - but it's meant I've been able to pull this off.
'I've been sharing pics with my friends who can't wait to have a go once the lockdown is over, and my parents have lined up lots of their friends to come round for a session.
After researching the area, Jonathan's parents Jane and Adam believe the bunker was built for World War Two
After researching the area, Jonathan's parents Jane and Adam believe the bunker was built for World War Two
The finished sauna
Jonathan poses in the shelter
Jonathan (right) spent £4,000 on the underground bunker's makeover - and is now enjoying regular sauna sessions with his family, who have been using the space as somewhere to relax during the lockdown. Left: the finished sauna
Jonathan had always been interested in having a sauna (pictured during the DIY) but only wanted to create one of the highest quality and so decided to fund the project with his own personal savings
Jonathan had always been interested in having a sauna (pictured during the DIY) but only wanted to create one of the highest quality and so decided to fund the project with his own personal savings
'As long as you've the right insulation boards, it's surprising where you can build a Finnish sauna.
'I really just wanted to make use of the space because it was sitting empty. I'm so glad I did, because it's an exhilarating experience.'
Jonathan had always planned to make use of the shelter since his family discovered it hidden by overgrown bracken and shrubs when they moved into the home in 2003.
After researching the area, Jonathan's parents Jane and Adam believe the bunker was built for World War Two.
While there were no bombs dropped there during the war, the family think previous occupants would have used the shelter for safety when air raid sirens sounded.
Jonathan and his family have carried out a number of alterations to the bunker over the years to include electricity and remove an old escape hatch.
Jonathan and his family have carried out a number of alterations to the bunker (pictured) over the years to include electricity and remove an old escape hatch
Jonathan and his family have carried out a number of alterations to the bunker (pictured) over the years to include electricity and remove an old escape hatch
Jonathan with girlfriend Emma and friend Ben in the sauna
The family have been relaxing in the sauna during lockdown
Left: Jonathan with girlfriend Emma and friend Ben in the sauna. Other than a heating engineer installing the wood stove and chimney for safety purposes, Jonathan carried out every stage of the makeover himself
After a failed idea to use the space to brew beer, the 26-year-old said the outbuilding was just 'sitting there' not being used.
Jonathan had always been interested in having a sauna but only wanted to create one of the highest quality and so decided to fund the project with his own personal savings.
Jonathan doing the renovations
The sauna during the DIY
After a failed idea to use the space to brew beer, the 26-year-old said the outbuilding was just 'sitting there' not being used
The student, who also holds a chemistry degree from Durham University, said he has lost count of the amount of hours he has worked on the project - but said it has cost him far less than half the amount of having it professionally installed, which would have been around £30,000.
Other than a heating engineer installing the wood stove and chimney for safety purposes, Jonathan carried out every stage of the makeover himself.
His sisters Lucy, 28, who works in finance, and Emma, 30, who is a lawyer, both helped him finish the project along with his girlfriend Emma, 26, who is currently in lockdown with the family.
After the insulation was fitted, wooden sauna panels were added
Jonathan's girlfriend Emma working on the sauna
Left: After the insulation was fitted, wooden sauna panels were added. Right: Jonathan's girlfriend Emma working on the sauna
Jonathan also relied on the advice of his old Durham university friend Jake Newport, who runs company Finnmark Sauna - buying all the materials from them and calling for advice during the process.
He said: 'I am very happy with how it looks. It has cost about £4,000 in total.
'You are in a sauna for a long time and the real Finnish version is second to none, so I wanted to make sure I built the real deal.' 
For more on Finnmark Sauna: go to https://finnmarksauna.com 

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