Deck or no deck. No matter the choice, you will still need to prepare the site for the hot tub’s arrival and placement. Hot tub site preparation is one more thing on your list to do before you can enjoy the relaxing waters of your hot tub.
Your hot tub experience awaits you within the comfort and privacy of your own home. If you are planning to place your hot tub on or in your deck you need to make some more choices in regards to the decking. You have decided to purchase a hot tub for your enjoyment, pleasure and health. The decision making process is an involved one, but it will be worth it.
If you plan to place your hot tub on or in an existing deck, you must be sure that the deck is structurally able to withstand the weight of the hot tub once it is filled with water and people. Water is very heavy . . . people, as we know, vary. If your deck is elevated at all, you will want to be sure to account for the additional weight to be sure the deck can accommodate it. An engineer may be needed to design and add additional support. You must calculate the pounds per square foot and this will depend on the size and shape of the hot tub you have chosen.
If you are planning to build a new deck for your hot tub you can choose your decking material. You have some options today -wood or composite. If you decide to go with real wood you will want to choose a wood that will withstand the weather conditions and temperature extremes in your climate. Redwood and cedar are both good choices in that they are able to resist damage from weather and temperature. Both types of wood are able to resist the effects of warping and shrinking as well as natural decay. You will need to maintain the wood deck with occasional maintenance including cleaning, sanding and staining. The look of a real wood deck is unmistakable and will enhance your hot tub experience greatly.
If you choose to go with a composite deck you can avoid much of the maintenance. There are a few products on the market available today, all engineered to withstand the effects of weather and temperature. You need not worry about rot, warping, shrinking or decay.
Whatever decking material you choose, you want to be sure that the deck is designed deliberately with your hot tub in mind. You must be sure that the deck structure is able to hold the weight of the filled tub. You also want to be sure when designing that you take into account the use of the tub. Will your hot tub sit on the deck or be sunk into the deck? A hot tub sunk into the deck itself allows the deck to appear uncluttered and maintains existing sightlines. Of course, this is a bit more involved as far as set up. Think about what you really want over the future years. A hot tub is an investment and will be able to be enjoyed by you and yours for years to come. Put your hot tub exactly where you want to – now is the time to decide. It is unlikely that you will go to the trouble of moving it once it is set up. Consider the space around the tub as well. The placement of the tub has an effect on the space it is in. Is there ample space for the users of the tub to have safe and easy access into and out of the tub. Is the hot tub location on the deck conducive to the flow of traffic around the tub? When the tub is not is use, is the deck still functional? Have you allowed for access for service of the tub? Make sure there is ample room for you or your service provided to perform necessary maintenance and repairs. You do not want to have to rip up decking to service your tub.