Once you have decided to purchase a new or used hot tub and are prepared for all that goes into moving a hot tub, you are going to need to consider where to place the hot tub. Hot tubs can be big and extremely heavy, so it's important to ensure that it has a proper foundation. Let's take a look at the different options available.
There are four basic options for the foundation your hot tub needs:
- A concrete pad
- A reinforced deck
- Grave or rock pads
- A plastic barrier, sometimes called a "spa pad"
Concrete Pad: Concrete is a good, long-term foundation base. Although new concrete is not inexpensive, it's very low maintenance and adds value to your home. You will need to ensure that you utilize reinforced concrete poured at least four inches thick, that can support a weight of at least 115 lbs per square foot. Make sure the concrete is fully cured before placing anything on it, and ask your contractor about relevant building codes it may need to conformed to. The cost of concrete pad will vary widely depending on how much leveling is involved, how big you want it, how thick it needs to be poured, and what underlayment is chosen. No matter what you choose, a minimum cure time of 7 days is recommended between the pour and the placement of your hot tub.
Deck: If you plan to set a hot tub on a deck, you must first determine the deck's maximum load capacity. Consult with a qualified building contractor or structural engineer before placing your hot tub on an elevated deck. The manufacturer of your spa can give you its filled weight, but remember to also add in the weight of potential occupants. This is crucial, as exceeding the rated capacity of your deck could cause severe damage and possible injury.
Warning: Placing a hot tub inside a deck sounds like a great idea, but there are several things to take into consideration. Please give us a call before designing and building this type of project, for free advice. The biggest thing to consider is that no matter how good the hot tub is, it will eventually need service & the deck will outlast the life of the tub.
Gravel / Rock: Gravel or crushed stone some of the least expensive and most popular materials that can be used for a spa base. Be sure that the ground underneath is properly compacted to prevent future settling. Be sure that the ground is precisely leveled, and that rainwater drainage is considered. An access walkway of stepping stones is a nice finishing touch. There are several different options for a rock base and several different options for a underlayment that will help with weed control, drainage, and stability. We would be more than happy to send a crew out to look at your site and offer suggestions to meet your budget.
Spa Pad: Barrier mats, sometimes called "spa pads", are a great alternative to poured concrete and are often less expensive. They can be made of a variety of materials, but are often made out of plastic. Some simply roll out like a carpet, while some utilize an interlocking system or may require light assembly. Your local hot tub dealer will carry these types of pads and can quote you a price to meet your needs. All Task Services can install these system for you, for a small fee.
Regardless of which foundation suits you best, always remember that it must be able to handle the weight of your hot tub. Most 5 to 6 person hot tubs will weigh over 1,000 lbs, even before you add water and people to it, and some 8 person tubs weigh in at over 1,500 lbs. It's always best to have a professional help you move and install your tub, so give us a call and ask what we can do for you!