Built in hot tubs come with some special considerations. These considerations include the overall look of the tub, the maintenance, and even the way you use the tub. It is important to understand these considerations prior to making the decision to get a built in hot tub. Read more for some more information on the considerations of built in hot tubs.
One challenge to the aesthetic appeal of hot tubs is to make them look built in. Often they look like a box you bought at the hardware store and ran a wire to. The challenge is to make them look built in but still serviceable and functional.
Built in hot tubs could mean two different applications:
One way is built into a wooden deck but the bottom of the tub is still above grade.
The other is sunk into the ground and the top of the spa is level with grade.
Building into a wooden deck is the easier of the two options and less complicated.
Access to spa equipment
One side of the built in hot tub will need full access for the spa equipment. The motors, heaters and controls will need servicing from time to time. There must be enough room for the service man to effectively work at the site so allow 3’ for the full length of the tub. There can be still wood decking in this area but have the framing and deck boards constructed to allow easy removal. Although there is the main control side of a spa for servicing it is possible a repair may be required on one of the other three sides. I would suggest the deck be screwed together and not nailed so all sides are repairable. All the manufacturer’s warranties do not cover labour or materials to gain access so some good prep planning can save you down the road.
Stepping into the spa
Another consideration of built in hot tubs is that you will need to step into the spa. If the spa is deck level it is more difficult to enter the spa. You will have to kneel down to the deck as opposed to a slightly raised spa allows you to keep weight on both sides as you straddle the spa lip. This is a personal decision and may depend whether aesthetics or function is more important to you.
Built in hot tubs that are sunk into the ground and the top of the spa is level with grade carry their own unique considerations. Typically these spas are built beside pools and have remote spa equipment which may share the pool equipment. Often these built in hot tubs are only used during the pool season. An on site visit from one of our professionals would be required to evaluate your site specific considerations. These site visits are free and worth the planning exercise!
Happy hot tubbing!