Whether you want to minimize those cold winter trips out to the hot tub, or you simply prefer the aesthetic, there are plenty of great reasons why you might want to install a hot tub on, in or beside a deck. Today, we will share our top tips for integrating your hot tub with your deck!
Tips To Put Your Hot Tub On A Deck
Ensure That Your Deck Can Handle The Weight
If you’re planning on putting your hot tub on top of your deck, the first thing you will want to do is check and see that your deck can handle the weight of it. Water is deceptively heavy and a fully filled hot tub will weigh thousands of pounds (a typical 7′ x 7′ hot tub, for example, weighs around 1500kg or 3300lbs). If you’re unsure whether or not your deck can properly support a hot tub, consult a professional or talk to your local hot tub retailer.
Think About The Orientation
One thing that new hot tub owners often don’t think about is which way their hot tub should be facing. When planning on where to put your hot tub you’ll want to consider a three things:
How will you get into the hot tub?
Hot tubs are typically designed for you to enter on the side of the hot tub where the controls are located. This side is also where you should put your entry steps.
Where should your cover lifter go?
In our opinion, no hot tub installation is complete without a cover lifter. Not only do they make the cover easier to remove, they also hold the cover up above the lip of the hot tub. This makes the cover act as a wind break / privacy screen. If you’re in a particularly windy area we recommend installing your cover lifter in a way that blocks the prevailing wind. If wind isn’t a particular concern for you, you can instead use your cover as a privacy screen from neighbours.
Leave Enough Room For Accessories
When planning where you’ll put your hot tub, it’s important to also ensure that you have room on your deck for all of the hot tub’s accessories.
Hot tub steps are typically around 3′ wide and will come out around 18″ from the hot tub. You’ll want to make sure that these steps don’t get in the way of the natural flow of traffic on your deck.
If you’re planning on using a cover lifter (and we highly recommend that you do) you’ll want to ensure that you leave around 6″ of space on either side of the hot tub to allow space for the lifter brackets and arms. You’ll also want to leave around 18″ of room behind the hot tub so that the lifter has enough space to properly pivot and hold the cover when it is open.
There are plenty of other optional hot tub accessories that you might want to add to your hot tub. Common ones include shelves, towel rack and storage benches. Before settling on a spot for your hot tub, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got room for these as well.
Tips To Put Your Hot Tub In Or Beside A Deck
Prepare The Base
If you’re planning on installing your hot tub either beside or inside of your deck, you’ll need to prepare a base for it to sit on. This base should consist of either a poured concrete pad, or patio stones sitting on 4-6″ of crushed gravel.
Note: If you opt for a poured concrete pad, make sure to tell your contractor that it is for a hot tub and should be poured perfectly level. Concrete pads are typically poured so that they’re angled slightly to prevent water pooling on them, though this slight angle will cause a difference in water level from one side of the hot tub to the other. This difference in water depth can negatively affect both your enjoyment of the hot tub and the filtration system.
Don’t Install The Hot Tub Flush With Your Deck
While it might look great, installing your hot tub so that its top lip is flush with the surface of your deck has a few drawbacks.
Stepping Into The Hot Tub Becomes More Awkward
Stepping down into a hot tub from the lip of the hot tub can be very awkward. If your deck is wet or the interior steps of the hot tub are too smooth, it can also be a fall risk. While you can install a hand rail to minimize the fall risk, it can still be quite awkward to get in and out of the hot tub.
Flush Installations Can Be Safety Hazards
Hot tub installations that are flush with your deck are also much easier to fall into; especially for pets and children, or in winter when the cover may be covered by snow.
Your Cover Will Become Less Effective and Harder To Move
Flush installations also don’t typically allow for cover lifters to be installed. This makes taking the cover on and off the tub harder.
Not only that, your cover’s lock down straps can also not be clipped in. While most people think that these clips are meant to lock the cover so that it can’t be opened by strangers (which is one of its functions), its real benefit is that it pulls then cover tight against the upper lip of the hot tub; sealing it to the shell of the hot tub and increasing the energy efficiency of your hot tub.
Make Sure That You Can Access Your Equipment
One thing that many people don’t think about when planning an in-deck hot tub installation is what they will do if the hot tub needs to be serviced. Hot tubs are designed so that all of their key equipment (pumps, heaters and spa packs) are located under the main controls. The cabinet under the controls will also be equipped with a service panel that can easily be removed to access that equipment.
When planning your in-deck installation, ensure that you include either a trap door or removable section of decking that will allow a service person to easily access and remove the service panel on your hot tub. If a service person isn’t able to remove that panel and work on your hot tub’s equipment, your service bills will increase significantly. This is because the hot tub will need to be moved to a position where the panel can be removed before the service can be performed.
There are plenty of great reasons why you might want to install your hot tub on, in or beside your deck. Following these tips will help ensure that your hot tub deck installation functions as well as it looks!
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