Adding a hot tub to your outdoor living space can instantly give it a spa getaway feel that you look forward to coming home to after a long day’s work. But that outdoor oasis can turn into a huge headache if you don’t make careful considerations about how you’ll be incorporating the new addition.
Before you pick out a hot tub and schedule the delivery, figure out the where it should be and if your deck is capable of handling the hot tub as is.
Top Concerns For Choosing a Hot Tub Spot
The first thing you’ll want to determine is where you want the hot tub to be. The deck can make a great location since it is a nice level surface, however, some places are better suited than others.
The safest spot is on the lowest level of the deck. It’s also usually the cheapest option. If you want to put the hot tub on an upper level that’s more than a few feet off the ground you will need a structural engineer to come out and provide guidance on structural reinforcement (more on that below). The lowest level will not only be safer, it will also give you the most privacy.
Other considerations include the proximity to electrical and water supplies. Depending on the size of the hot tub it will need to be plugged into either a 110-volt 20-amp circuit or a dedicated 220-volt 50-amp circuit. Don’t forget the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. Whenever water is around electrical components the GFCI will shut the system down if it detects a short circuit.
You also need to make sure that wherever the hot tub is placed it is easy to get to the control access panel in case it needs to be serviced. However, it’s best to leave at least a couple feet around all sides of the hot tub in the event that any repairs need to be made.
A Few Suggestions For Recessing a Hot Tub Into Your Deck
Many homeowners opt to recess the hot tub into the floor of the deck. This can be particularly useful for minimizing load as well as creating a seamless look. However, there are a few things to consider before cutting into your wood deck.
· Can you still easily access the control panel and make repairs? This may be more difficult if the hot tub is beneath the deck surface.
· Hot tubs shouldn’t be placed directly on the ground so a level platform may need to be built.
· Recessing the hot tub flush with the deck can be a safety hazard. It may be better to sink the hot tub so that it sits a few feet above the decking.
The size of your deck and the load it is currently capable of handling will have a big influence on the hot tub you get. In order to determine if your deck can handle the load you need to know how much a hot tub will weight when it is fully filled with water.
Decks that are lower to the ground will offer more support, usually 100 lbs. per square foot, which is fine for a full 8×8 hot tub. If you want a larger hot tub or want to place it on a deck at a higher level you may need to reinforce your deck in order to handle the extra load of the hot tub. Again, if this is required it’s best to call in a structural engineer who can give you exact measurements and recommendations for adding joists, braces, etc. which will increase your load capacity per square foot.
Check on Building Restrictions
Before you buy anything check to see if there are any building restrictions for adding a hot tub to your deck. Building permits may be needed for modifications to the deck or adding electrical circuits. In addition, some cities and neighborhoods may require that homes with a pool or hot tub have a fence to restrict access.
Original Source: http://timbertownaustin.com/outdoor-accessories-and-decor/deciding-where-to-place-a-hot-tub-on-your-deck