Build Your Own Hot Tub Enclosure

If the redwood (or cedar) enclosure of your hot tub is beginning to show its age, your can give it a face lift with a new enclosure.

If the redwood (or cedar) enclosure of your hot tub is beginning to show its age, your can give it a face lift with a new enclosure. This will increase the lifespan of your tub and allow you many more years of enjoyment, at a fraction of the cost.

Preparation

The first drain the tub. If you do not drain your tub often, this is a good time to get in and really clean it out. Be sure to remove the filter and give it a good cleaning as well.

Then be sure that the power is turned off at the breaker. SAFETY FIRST. Disconnect the power, air, and water couplings from the tub. The water and air should come off with a twist at their respective pumps. The power will need to be disconnected from its source. Disconnect the power for each component from the control unit.

Remove each component carefully and place it in a safe (dry) place.

Measure the Tub

Next, measure your tub, diameter, height, etc. Measure everything, then measure it again and make a diagram. Plan the enclosure around your measurements. For the novice carpenter, it is best to stick with either a square or a rectangular enclosure. If your tub is round or octagonal, it will look great in a square enclosure. The kidney bean shape tubs will take some additional work, but they do work well in a rectangular enclosure.

Go Shopping

You will need four 4x4's the height of the tub, for the corners. Purchase eight 2x4's for the sides of the enclosure (one on the top and one on the bottom of each side) these are the diameter of the tub. If your tub is very large, you will want to get extra 4x4's to go in the middle for added support. This is for the frame of the enclosure.

For the outside walls, since these are not load bearing, can be made of any treated wood you like. Redwood siding is a good choice; so is half inch plywood. These will be the length of the diameter of the tub and the same height as the tub.

Purchase two 1x 6's to use as decking around the corners, if desired, or you could use some extra plywood.

Purchase four pieces of decorative lattice, the same length as the sides of your enclosure.

Make sure that all of the wood you purchase is pressure treated.

Purchase 2½ inch treated decking screws to connect everything.

Pick out a nice stain/preservative to protect your enclosure from the elements and lengthen it's life.

Cut the Wood

Measure the wood to the exact specifications based on your diagram and carefully cut it. Be sure of your measurements before you cut the wood. MEASURE TWICE CUT ONCE.

Set the wood aside for now.

Remove the Shell

Hot tubs are very heavy and fragile when they are removed from their enclosures, so be sure that you have several strong people to help you. Remove the tub from its original enclosure and place it upside down in the yard away from your work area. Be very careful not to drop the tub, or break any of the plumbing.

Inspect the tub for any cracks or breaks in the fiberglass or plumbing and repair them.



Discard the Old Enclosure

Hot tub enclosures are usually made of Redwood or Cedar, and the old enclosures may be burned, or recycled if desired. Remove all of the old enclosure, and any bracing.

Assemble the Enclosure

The 4x4's will go at either corner. If your tub has been in the same place for awhile, the placement will be easy to see. The 2x4's will go along the edges. The first set will go along the bottom, about 3 inches from the ground. Using four of the 2 x 4's, the 2-inch side facing up, form a box around the 4 x 4's. Verify the placement, make sure they are level and screw them together. Place the top set of 2 x 4's, 2-inch side facing up, flush with the top of 4x4's. Take care that the enclosure is level and even.

You now have a double rail box in which to place your hot tub.

Replace the Tub and Equipment

Get your helpers and carefully place the tub inside of the box. The lip of the tub should rest on the top boards in about the center. You should have an inch or so underneath the footwell. Once the tub is positioned in the box; place wooden boards under the footwell to provide support. It is important that only wood touches the fiberglass and that there is only wood at the bottom of the tub. Because wood (not concrete, grass, or sand) will compress correctly and evenly under the weight of the water and not crack the tub.

Replace the water and air pumps the same way you took them out, they should fit back under the tub, right where you took them out. Do not forget the filter.

Lastly, replace the control box and the plug in the pumps. Do not turn the power on at this time.

Just Add Water

Begin to refill the tub, checking for leaks all around and underneath. Repair as necessary.

Once the water reaches the top of the jets and there are no visible leaks, switch on the power and start the water circulating. If any leaks are apparent shut of the pump and repair them.

Finishing Touches

When you are satisfied that you have repaired any leaks and that the tub is working you can put on the sides. Screw the sides to the top and bottom rails of the frame. Leave an access area to the equipment, especially the filter. Generally this is an extra board that acts as a door.

The corners can now be attached. Lay pieces of 2 x 6 diagonally across the corners for a nice touch. Or screw the plywood in place.

Decorate the sides with lattice, and when you are finished be sure to stain. This will increase the life of your tub even more.

Your renewed hot tub will now give you many more years of pleasure. The total cost: whatever you paid for the material.

© High Speed Ventures 2011