Plan A Hot Tub Enclosure, Then Build It

The redwood enclosure on your hot tub will sooner or later need to be replaced. Plan to build a new enclosure, because it is not hard. This article will guide you through it.

If you have an aging hot tub and the redwood (or cedar) enclosure is beginning to show its age, don't throw that tub away! Give it a new lease on life 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.

I. Preparation

The first thing you are going to want to do is drain the tub. For those of you who do not drain you 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 too.

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

Remove each component and place it in a safe (dry) place. If any are damaged or not working, they may be replaced now.

II. Measure and purchase the wood

Next, measure your tub, diameter, height, etc. 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 work well in a rectangular enclosure.

You will need four 4x4's for the corners. These will be the height of the tub. Then you need eight 2x4's for the sides of the enclosure. These will be the diameter of the tub. If your tub is very large, you will want to get extra 4x4's to go in between the corners for added support. When it is done this will form the frame for the enclosure.

Make sure that all wood is treated, this will save you trouble in the end. Make sure that you purchase 2 ½ inch decking screws to connect everything.

Be sure of your measurements before you cut the wood. MEASURE TWICE CUT ONCE.

Set the wood aside for now.

III. 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 (or on the patio) 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 any that you find.

IV. 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.

V. Put it together

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. One set will go along the bottom, about 3 inches from the bottom. The 2-inch side facing up to form a box. Measure the placement of these, and screw them down. The other set will go on the top. These will be placed, 2-inch side facing up, flush with the top of 4x4's. Take care that the enclosure is even.

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

VI. Replace the tub

Get your helpers and carefully place the tub inside of the box. The lip of the tub should rest on the top boards about in 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 touch the fiberglass and that only wood is at the bottom of the tub as wood (not concrete, grass, or sand) will compress correctly and evenly under the weight of the water and not crack the tub.

VII. Replace the water, and air equipment

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.

V. 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.

VI. Outside and corners

When you are satisfied that you have plugged any leaks and that the tub is working you can put on the outside walls. These are not load bearing and can be made of any treated wood you feel would look good. Redwood siding, is a good choice; so is ½ inch plywood. It is up to you. The corners are nice when 1x6's are laid side by side diagonally, or you may cut triangles out of plywood to form the corners.

Decorate the sides anyway you want, but be sure when you are finished that you use a high quality stain/preservative. 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 wood!

© High Speed Ventures 2011