There are few improvements you can make to your home that will bring as much joy as a hot tub. If you open up landscaping magazines you will find beautiful decks topped with a hot tub, giving off the essence of the perfect outdoor living area. While a deck may certainly be the best area for you and your family to relax while enjoying the outdoors, it is essential you make sure your deck can support the weight of a hot tub.
Some decks may not be strong enough to support the weight of a hot tub. Most are designed with the intention to support a few people, some furniture, a BBQ and few other decor items, but a hot tub can weigh thousands of pounds! For this reason, when installing your hot tub make sure you seek help from a licensed professional that will ensure your safety.
In the following article, we talk about the most important factors you will need to think about when calculating the structural support necessary for your hot tub.
What Is Required?
A concrete slab makes an ideal location for your hot tub, this is due to the sturdiness and flat surface it offers. If you have decided to build a deck for your hot tub, a slab will need to be constructed and poured in addition to the concrete deck footings. Most hot tubs require a slab that will be 4”. Although if your hot tub is larger than average, you may need a thicker slab.
In order to determine your structural support, begin by calculating the load value. You can calculate the load value by adding the weight of your empty hot tub, the water capacity, and the maximum number of bathers. To calculate capacity take the weight of 1 gallon of water, 8.34 pounds, plus the average weight of a person, 180 pounds.
For instance, take a 4-person, 278-gallon, 42 square foot hot tub. This hot tub is filled with both water and bathers equaling 3,710 pounds. Then take that weight and divide it by the square footage, that will give you the load value. In this case, it would be 88.33 pounds per square foot of deck framing required to support.
In some areas, it is required you have a consulted structural engineer and engineered design.
Aside from making sure your deck is properly supported, consider these other factors that can have an influence on your enjoyment:
- If you are in a windy area, consider a corner location to block some of the wind.
- Ensure the safety of bathers by making sure the path from your home to your hot tub is both well lit and has slip-resistant mats.
- Make sure you have a nice view while soaking, and while you are still in your home. Make sure your hot tub placement does not block your view!
- Ensure there is plenty of space to remove your hot tub cover and space for bathers to walk around your tub when getting in and out.
- If you want to give yourself a bit more privacy, install a screen or pergola on your deck!
Lastly, make sure your deck is sufficiently sanded and finished. Bathers who aren’t wearing shoes would hate to take a break from soaking to remove a splinter from their foot!
You now know how to make sure your hot tub can sit comfortably on your deck. Continue learning about more hot tub ownership benefits by downloading our hot tub buyer’s guide.