Cleveland Area Hot Tub News & Spa Owner Tips

Planning for a deck and hot tub

on . Posted in Hot Tub News & Blog

Hot-tub-and-deckIf you have a deck and want to add a hot tub or have a hot tub and want to add a deck, attention to details is imperative.

The project requires planning for:
  • Structural Issues
  • Privacy Issues
  • Electrical Availability
  • Weather
  • Maintenance

Then from those, comes the budget.

The most often missed issue is special framing needed or the impact on the deck's original design.

Structural Support

Be sure the tub is on a flat and level surface.  Also, be sure no shims are used - they will not hold up against the weight of the tub and water.  When you know the tub's dimensions, dry weight, filled weight and estimated capacity, can you figure out how much weight the slab or framing will need to support.

Most cities require an engineered design for an elevated deck—a good idea even if it isn't required.  Click here to see if we have your city's building permits.


Hot-tub deliveries are usually handled by the manufacturer's crew. Most companies want at least one responsible party (usually the homeowner) to be present so they don't need to come back to explain start-up procedures, controls, and the like.

When access is tight, it may be necessary to rent a crane to lift the hot tub into place. Boom-crane rental and setup can be costly, so carefully evaluate access to the backyard when estimating installation costs.

Privacy - Locating the Tub

Sometimes a design needs to be tweaked to take advantage of attractive landscaping or views of mountains or a lake, but make sure that the tub doesn't block those views from inside the house.


Placing a hot tub close to a corner of a house tends to accentuate wind. Always consider prevailing winds, orientation of the sun, and shade, so you will be able to use the spa throughout the year.


A hot tub can be installed on top of a deck, flush with a deck's surface, or somewhere in between. We don't recommend dropping the tub so that it's flush with the deck, though a couple of clients have opted for this.  Having the edge 2 feet or more above the deck is safer, as small children have a harder time accidentally falling.

Depending on the tub's brand, the first accessible area inside is about 13 inches down from the top, typically a step formed by the compartment containing the pump, heater, and controls. If the deck is also about 13 inches below the top of the tub, a person climbing in or out won't be changing elevation, making it easier to balance.


Some hot tubs can be plugged into a GFCI-protected 110v/20-amp outlet, but most require a 220v/50-amp electrical connection to heat the water and run the jets simultaneously.

By code, the emergency shut-off switch needs to be in sight of and between 5 and 15 feet from the tub. If the tub will be supported by a concrete slab, the wiring will need to be run in conduit, which should be placed before pouring the concrete.


Good-quality hot tubs have a life expectancy of 15 years. To make it easier to repair leaks and other problems, manufacturers usually specify a minimum amount of access to the tub's pumps, plumbing, and other accessories. When the tub is installed on top of the deck, it's usually not difficult to design hinged or removable access panels for all four sides.


Northcoast Spa Hot Tub Store
9040 Osborne Drive
Mentor, Ohio 44060

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