If you take the time to carefully plan the preparation and installation stages of adding a hot tub to your deck, you will greatly decrease the chances of unwanted “surprises” along the way. We looked for the best tips from hot tub and deck installation experts both offline and online, so we could pass along their wisdom to you:
Tip #1: Select your hot tub before making any design or structural decisions about the deck. Research hot tubs manufacturers and dealers offline and online. Keeping your feature “want list” in mind, look for a hot tub with high-density “full-foam” insulation, which will help stabilize the unit, reduce heat loss and minimize noise.
Tip #2: Consult your local building codes regarding the deck and tub installation to assure that you are in compliance. If you have an elevated deck, for instance, an engineered design plan may be required by law.
Tip #3: Find out if your deck has sufficient structural support for the weight of the tub you want. Consult a structural engineer, or use a software app for deck builders to help you calculate the load and determine if you have the necessary amount of support for it. You can also look at our load calculation formula in our hot tub buyer’s guide pages.
Tip #4: When choosing the tub’s location on the deck, consider factors like: orientation of the sun’s path by season, prevailing winds, surrounding trees, the view of hot tub from inside your house, convenient access, and enough privacy from the neighbors.
Tip # 5: Unless you are very experienced with this type of project, hire licensed professionals to do the deck prep and installation work.
Tip #6: Think about safety at each step of your build. For example, if you have children, not sinking the tub into the deck can add a safety element to the design. With large decks, a lighted path from the tub to the house can facilitate safe dashes to the house at night. Also with larger decks, consider locating the hot tub in closer proximity to the house for convenience access.
Tip #7: Learn about the required time, and costs, involved with regular maintenance of the hot tub. If you are not inclined to do it yourself, in some areas, professional maintenance services can run about $100 a month or more.
Tip #8: Make sure there is sufficient room around the tub for the cover lift to function correctly. Also make sure there is convenient access around the hot tub for servicing and maintenance especially on the side of the hot tub where the equipment panel is located. If the hot tub is submerged into the deck then consider only sinking it part way or if full submerged then design the deck with removable access hatches around the four sides of the hot tub for easy servicing.
Tip #9: Consider a privacy screen, pergola or other design feature to shield your hot tub space from prying eyes.
Tip #10: Discuss the costs and required procedures with both the hot tub dealer and your contractor so that you are fully aware of all the costs involved in the build.