A lot of folks like the idea of a hot tub—but don’t like the idea of a box of water sitting free standing in their lovely backyard. We get it, but you absolutely want to make sure you set yourself up for the best ownership experience long term if you build your hot tub in to a deck or other setting. Take note of the following tips when setting your hot tub in a built-in scenario.
Provide a good level foundation. Setting a hot tub on gravel or timbers that can settle over time when the tub will be surrounded by a deck or other surfaces is not the best idea. Get the space prepared, pour a concrete pad that’s a minimum of 4”, and make the pad LEVEL. No slope, please.
Building at tub in up to the lip of the shell? Maybe not the best idea. Enough studies have now been done on hot tub safety and use to indicate building a tub flush to any surface is not a great idea. It’s attractive, yes…but, it makes it easy for animals to walk over and damage hot tub covers, or kids (or, ahem, inebriated adults) to accidentally walk right into or fall into an open hot tub. It’s also less stressful on your back to step into a tub that is built in at seat height than to lower your body down to climb in and out of a tub that’s flush to a surface. Consider leaving 12”-14” of your tub exposed above the deck line. It will make it safer and easier to use. It will also afford you the opportunity to use a cover lifter, for ease of cover operation and to aid in preventing the cover getting water logged too early in its life.
Equipment access is required, thank you. A hot tub has components that will need service at some point. Do not build a hot tub’s equipment side in to a deck with no access! This is painful for our service techs to discover when we head out to a house to do service. Without proper access to safely service the equipment, we may not be able to fix what ails your hot tub. And, in some cases, code now requires there be three feet of access in front of a tub’s equipment bay to service it, as well as six feet of unobstructed overhead clearance. This is what National Electric Code indicates as minimums to work on electrical equipment. If you’re going to build the equipment side of the tub in, be sure a removable access door is featured in the decking on that side, with no joists or beams in the way once the hatch is removed.
Have your contractor visit the hot tub showroom to get educated. If your contractor visits our showroom to ask questions and see the unit you intend to have built into the deck firsthand, many headaches and heartaches can be avoided! Remember—you’re hiring the contractor to create a terrific new beautiful hot tub and deck environment for you. You’re not hiring them to create nightmares for you down the line! If it’s easier for everyone, schedule an in-home consultation with an Oregon Hot Tub sales pro. We can meet you and your contractors at your backyard to offer suggestions, hints and make sure everyone is set up for success.
Provide drainage. If you’re going to recess the tub below grade and then build it in, be sure proper drainage is provided in the concrete that’s poured so no standing water builds up around your hot tub. You’ll want to avoid any excess water getting to the depth it could invade your tub’s equipment compartment and cause damage to components.
Lastly, if you like the idea of a built-in hot tub, consider one of our Hot Spring Highlife Collection models available with Custom Cabinetry. You can finish the exterior of the tub with any materials your desire to match your backyard, or add our optional SpaStone cabinet for a high end built-in look at a fraction of the cost! Custom Cabinetry models are available for the Vista, Grandee, Aria & Vanguard Hot Spring models.
Finally—show it off! Once your installation is finished, we’d love to see some photos of your new paradise! Others can benefit from your good ideas, and will admire the beautiful backyard enhancements you’ve created.