Are you dreaming of owning your own hot tub but not sure of the best place to put it? Newer designs mean you can put a hot tub just about anywhere you wish. Bear in mind though that the location might determine how often it is used, how long it lasts, and property changes you may need to make to accommodate it, whether indoors or outdoors.
Depending on your preferences, a hot tub can be indoors or outdoors, upstairs or down, attached or detached, large or small. What’s important in placing a hot tub is that it is safe, accessible, protected from the elements, on a good foundation and in an enjoyable spot.
So you’ve taken the first step and decided to get a hot tub. Congratulations! Now, do your homework and make sure you consider all the variables that will ultimately enhance the enjoyment of your investment.
Where do people install hot tubs?
Where people install their hot tubs can be a matter of preference, but choice is often a two-way street (or sometimes three-way, four-way, or more!). Important considerations are the layout of your home, the landscaping and terrain of your property, privacy, access, ease of use, or even the view. Regardless, given the proper motivation, money and mindset, a hot tub can be installed just about anywhere. Some people attach them to a swimming pool, some want them on a roof deck, while less complicated choices include a backyard or deck, or a dedicated room in your house. The choice of location will have all kinds of ramifications for delivery and installation, use and accessibility, maintenance, safety and enjoyment, so choose wisely! A hot tub inside your home may be easy to access with ample privacy and comfort, but ensuring you have a proper base, surrounding materials, electrical and plumbing fixtures and access for delivery and installation can quickly complicate that choice. Likewise, a backyard hot tub may have a nice setting and be easier to deliver and install, but don’t forget you need a proper base, protection from the elements and you may sacrifice security, privacy and ease of use.
Where should I place the hot tub?
For any hot tub installation, you want to be sure you can have it delivered to and installed in the chosen location in terms of access and available space. Before you do so, make sure that space has a solid base and is able to support the weight of a full hot tub with adults inside. Whether indoors or outdoors, it is essential to consult a building contractor or structural engineer on any existing or built structures meant to support the hot tub.
You might need a building consent, a resource consent, or both before installing a pool, spa or pool barrier. You may also need a planning permit or other permit. You should check with your council about any relevant local laws that may apply.*
Outdoor installations tend to be easier since you usually have more space to work with and can upfit the location with a proper concrete slab or other foundation. The ideal base for an outdoor hot tub is a level concrete slab that is between 10-15 cm (4-6 inches) thick. Other advantages to an outdoor location are the ability to landscape and build around the installation to create your ideal setting and enjoying the hot tub in the open air with nice views or stargazing on a clear night. More practical aspects include allowing for proper surrounding drainage, access for cleaning and maintenance, and preserving your indoor space. If privacy is important to you, but you still desire an outdoor location, the backyard will generally be a better option than the front yard, and a gazebo or other structure can even be erected around it for added privacy.
If you don’t have sufficient outdoor space or you have your heart set on an indoor installation, there are advantages as well. While indoor installations may prove to be a challenge for delivery and installation, once they are situated, they’re sure to provide you and your family years of enjoyment. If you have a room in mind for where you’d like to install your hot tub, check that any non-ground floor locations have the structural capacity to support the full weight of the hot tub. Also, identify where in the room the hot tub will sit and if any doors or walls will need to be removed to enable delivery access.
Should a hot tub be in the sun or shade?
This variable very much depends on your location and climate. The further you are from the equator and the more temperate climate you have, the sun’s warmth may be a welcome respite from cooler air. In that case, a sun-exposed area would be ideal if it suits your landscaping. On the flip side, if you reside in tropical or desert climes, you might want to place your hot tub in a shaded area. A hot tub located under the scorching hot sun may also degrade as the UV rays and heat from such exposure can damage synthetic materials over time.
Can I put a hot tub in the garage or basement?
The garage or basement can be good choices for hot tub placement since you’d preserve area in the main parts of the house or backyard, while also maintaining access in the colder months. As with any indoor location, this also allows you more privacy than you would have outside. If you choose to put your hot tub in the garage or basement, keep in mind how you will need to fill and empty your hot tub occasionally, taking into consideration that it may have spillage, and you’ll also want adequate ventilation. These locations tend to have solid concrete floors which makes for an excellent base for your hot tub with no additional modifications.
*Installation of pools and spas may require local body approval and may vary from region to region. It is the responsibility of the spa or pool owner to check the latest regulations with their local council.