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Author Topic: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?  (Read 701 times)

Tubby

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We have used several hot tubs, but we are finally getting one of our own!  We will be eventually putting this is a deck area.  (The deck is going to be new, as well.)  We plan to have it sunken into the deck, and the tub would be supported from below.   We plan have the access/service panel facing "outwards" toward the open side of the deck, just in case it need to be serviced.    Access to the other 3 sides would be very limited, as this is kind of against a slope-side.   So, we have a few questions  ...

1.  Is the deck generally built first, and then the tub "dropped in" to the opening for it?  Who does this "dropping in" ... the hot tub dealer, or the deck builder/contractor?   ... Or, is the tub put in place first, and then the deck "built around" it?  if we do it that way, the deck builder would still have to build the platform support under it first, then the tub placed, and then the rest of the deck built around it.   

2.  Is it okay to have access to only the service panel side of the tub, or is there a reason that there needs to be access to the other 3 sides as well?   We might have partial access to the left and right side, but the rear will have nearly no access. 

3.  Looking at photos of people's tubs built into decks, I see that some are fully sunken in, with only the top few inches above the deck, showing the top of the acrylic shell above the deck.   For others, it looks like about half of the tub is sticking up above the deck.    Is there a reason for one way versus the other, or is it purely personal preference?   We prefer the "clean lines" look of being fully sunken, if that is an okay way to go.   But, I'd like to hear pros and cons for each way. 

Much thanks!

Tubby

 

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TemptingDestiny

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 06:26:19 PM »
A lot of the times is it just purely preference. However, keep in mind when wrapping a tub on 3 sides. If there is ever a potential leak from the backside or even sides of the tub that may need to be repaired later on down the line, the tub would have to be moved to gain access.

On a user standpoint- I suggest building the deck about 18 inches up the side-or halfway. Because, you can use it as a step. It is rather hard the older we get to step up out of a box of hot water that is sunk into a deck. Where if you had it only halfway, it's like using the deck and seats as a built in step to get in and out. (Sit on the side of the tub and swing in and out)
Typically, I also recommend building the deck around the tub. BECAUSE what if your builder is not square? A half inch off? If the tub doesn't fit, what do you do then? It's a lot easier to build around something already in place, then it is to place something after you build.

My two cents. :)

Tubby

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 11:09:22 PM »
A lot of the times is it just purely preference. However, keep in mind when wrapping a tub on 3 sides. If there is ever a potential leak from the backside or even sides of the tub that may need to be repaired later on down the line, the tub would have to be moved to gain access.

On a user standpoint- I suggest building the deck about 18 inches up the side-or halfway. Because, you can use it as a step. It is rather hard the older we get to step up out of a box of hot water that is sunk into a deck. Where if you had it only halfway, it's like using the deck and seats as a built in step to get in and out. (Sit on the side of the tub and swing in and out)
Typically, I also recommend building the deck around the tub. BECAUSE what if your builder is not square? A half inch off? If the tub doesn't fit, what do you do then? It's a lot easier to build around something already in place, then it is to place something after you build.

My two cents. :)


Thanks for the reply!

Tubby

Tman122

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2017, 07:53:36 AM »
Removable deck panels on three sides is also an option.
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bud16415

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 08:25:45 AM »
 I thought long and hard about building our tub into the deck. As mentioned above I would leave half the tub sticking out of the deck. When we enter of exit our tub we step onto the cool down seat. It is flat and it is about half way in the water. Seats that have deep angles on them is just an accident waiting to happen. The worst place to enter is the lounger seat. We place both hands on the rim of the tub and lift one leg up and over and onto the cool down seat and then when you have your footing bring the other leg over. Then step down to the foot well and you are in. To get in one mounted flush you almost have to get on your knees first. Pools are flush but they have ladders or steps to enter and the ladder extends out of the pool. People that mount them flush end up buying a handrail thing and screwing it to the deck.

After giving the sunken idea some thought and the logistics of getting a 800 tub empty in and out of a hole the lack of services to it and no way to clean it below the deck etc. then there was the issue of the cover and cover lifter and it is a lot easier to open a cover at waist high compared to down at your knees or feet.

The thing that really convinced me though was the views out of the tub and talking to people on the deck not in the tub. Decks have to have a safety rail now by code and with a sunken tub you are looking out at the railing and looking up if you talk to people sitting in deck chairs on the deck. You will also find if it is half way sunken people will use it as a seat when the cover is closed and fully sunken try keeping kid from standing on the cover. Both are a NO NO.

I built my deck with a 8 section of rail removable and facing out to the yardthe deck height is about 36 on that side and when the guys came to deliver it they cringed thinking they were going to have to turn it on edge and go up stairs. When I removed the rail in a couple minutes and they saw they could slide it straight off the trailer and on to the deck they told me it was the easiest one they ever did. I personally dont like all the twisting and tipping and prying they do getting a tub in place and it cant be good for the tub. I kept mine very simple setting flat on top of a very solid deck I built myself. Keep in mind a tub like mine 6 person weighs about 6000 pounds when full and then add people in the tub and on the deck. You need to make the guy building your deck very aware how much a tub of water will weigh.   

colo_artist

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 12:25:48 PM »
When I bought the house there was already a redwood deck and a hot tub. The tub was recessed about 1/2 into the deck, which allowed it to sit on the ground.

I got used to it being that way, so when it came time replace the spa I positioned it the same way. Since the deck was already there, I knew the size limits for a new spa. The deck's boards are screwed down, and the joists aren't right up against the tub, so it is relatively simple to get access to all sides.

For height, I made it so a cool down seat was exactly even with the deck. That makes it a simple matter of just stepping over the lip to get in and out of the tub. I'd say to have the spa's top flush with deck would make it okay to get in and out, but really hard to maintain. Plus there's the worry someone would trip over it and/or step on the cover.

At 1/2 height it would be tempting for someone to sit on it, but no body has. Possibly because as part of the package for my Marquis Wish, they included a step. People use it as a seat.

I redid the planks to just fit the curves of the new tub. Some pics...







Vinny

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 07:22:56 PM »
Partially sinking a tub into a deck makes it much easier to get in and out. Also take into account where the pumps are. My tub is partially sunk in, sits on i's own wooden deck and some of the pumps are readily available to service. Also keep in mind that you need to remove whatever screws are covered by the deck all the way around the tub just in case you need to remove a panel.

Tman122

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2017, 12:02:56 PM »
Or you could do this.

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Tman122

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2017, 12:06:32 PM »
Only 2 sides of deck but removable panels.

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Tubby

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2017, 11:46:59 PM »

Wow!  Great replies and ideas!  This makes me think hard, and will definitely consider only sinking it half-way in.   I still have a coup,e questions related to that. :

1.  There are not handles on the side of the tub.  How do installers lower it into the hole whether it is half-way or all the way sunken in?

2.  If it is sunken all the way in, I can take off the access panel from the open side of the deck from underneath the deck.  If it is half-way in, how do I get the panel off?  It will be up against the deck boards instead of below the deck boards. 

Thanks!

Tubby


BullFrogSpasMN

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2017, 12:29:31 PM »

Wow!  Great replies and ideas!  This makes me think hard, and will definitely consider only sinking it half-way in.   I still have a coup,e questions related to that. :

1.  There are not handles on the side of the tub.  How do installers lower it into the hole whether it is half-way or all the way sunken in?

2.  If it is sunken all the way in, I can take off the access panel from the open side of the deck from underneath the deck.  If it is half-way in, how do I get the panel off?  It will be up against the deck boards instead of below the deck boards. 

Thanks!

Tubby

1. If access allows the spa can be dropped in via crane or a boom truck, if they are "manually" delivering it with enough labor on hand they will typically lower the spa into the hole using heavy duty straps.

2. you will need access, think 'trap door' or some type of removable panel that will allow a technician to pull that piece out, remove the door, and service the spa as necessary....Putting it in a deck is fine but I cannot stress enough to do it properly and allow access for a technician. If you leave a tiny little dirty spider hole for a tech to work in don't be surprised if you get a "call someone else" if you need a service call....Good Luck!

bud16415

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2017, 01:10:12 PM »
We have some friends that wanted to build the illusion of a sunken tub and they set their tub on top of the deck and then built an L shaped deck / stairs around it on two sides. Kind of looks like there is a raised deck with a couple steps all the way around. If the tub needs worked on it is much easier to slide the L shaped deck aside then lift the tub out of the hole with a crane. The only problem I had with this idea it takes up so much area and our deck isnt large enough to do that.

You can go as wild as you want with deck designs. We are fairly simple and yes we wanted an attractive deck, but we really got the tub for the health benefits not for the look of it.

In cold climates I wanted the tub outside but the shortest distance from the door to travel. Ours is one step and up the steps you go. 

colo_artist

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2017, 03:34:29 PM »
Four guys manually lowered the Wish into place using straps. I was impressed even more when two of them carried the spa around to the backyard using a sling and straps looping under the spa and around their waists.

I had attached enough of the decking on two sides so they could have reference points for its proper placement and to make it easier to square things up. Actually to have them put it in the right spot wasn't critical. Once the spa was lowered in and on its base, it was relatively easy to move. Solo I was able to bump it enough to get it exactly where I wanted it to be.




Vinny

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2017, 09:32:44 PM »
I built my deck around my tub. Can't say what happens when the time comes to get a new one. I imagine depending on how heavy the tub is it could be lowered manually.

As far as access - all my panels have the screws that would have been covered by the deck removed and I can get to and take off all the panels.

Tubby

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Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2017, 08:10:35 AM »

Great replies!  Thanks all!

Tubby


Hot Tub Forum

Re: Hot tub in deck. Partially of fully sunk in? How is it done?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2017, 08:10:35 AM »

 

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