Preparing the Site
Planning is important! Site preparation must meet certain requirements, but beyond that, you can augment your setup with as many amenities as you like. The fundamentals are this – a level, strong, stable foundation is critical, because a standard 6x3 hot tub weighs about 2000kg, and a 7x4 hot tub weighs in at over 4000kg. Our customers tell us they spend much more time on planning than they do on the hot tub assembly.
Location of the site
Location, location, location! Where you put your hot tub is critical to the level of enjoyment you get from it. A general rule is that the closer your hot tub is to your house, the more you will use it. Hot tubs are more appealing in poor weather – rain, snow, wind, etc. – so we certainly encourage you to pick a spot close to your house. If you must position your hot tub farther away, we encourage you to construct a pathway that is accessible year-round.
The key to a successful installation is to use a concrete pad. If this is done properly (compacted and level), you will maximize the life of your hot tub. Installing your hot tub directly on the ground is suboptimal because environmental conditions and hot tub water runoff can cause the hot tub wood to rot. While the woods used in our hot tubs are highly resistant to contact with water, as well as soil acids, minimizing these factors will maximize the life of your hot tub. Thus, we recommend the concrete pad.
The concrete pad should be 10cm thick and be reinforced (with mesh) to minimize cracking. If you want to maximize the lifetime of your hot tub and decide to use a concrete pad, we recommend constructing the pad significantly larger than needed for the hot tub alone, as this will allow room for accessories such as chairs and tables.
While a concrete pad is the ideal solution for your hot tub, there are other satisfactory bases that may be installed. Some owners choose a gravel foundation, constructed by digging a pit approximately 50cm deep and filling it with (ideally) crushed gravel, or (less ideally) medium size gravel. Crushed gravel is preferable because it will compact easier and be more stable. A gravel base will settle over time and will need to be re-levelled, but this can be done easily while the tub is empty and being cleaned. There are other options for ground bases (concrete pavers, patio blocks, others), but the best choices are a concrete pad and a gravel base (in that order).
If you have ever seen a hot tub on a friend or family member’s deck, you know it is the best place for a hot tub. It looks great, and it is close to the house, meaning you will maximize your usage of the hot tub. While many tub owners choose to situate their hot tubs to optimize views, we do recommend situating it near your house, as doing so will mean you get the most out of your hot tub.