When there is a need to build a wooden platform for a hot tub, the first question that arises is “can I do it myself, or do I need a specialist?”. Our answer is short and clear: you can do everything yourself! We have prepared this article in the most convenient form for you and structured it in a special way so that you can first review all the necessary materials and tools for construction and get acquainted with all three types of platforms to choose the most convenient for you.
Also, we have provided a detailed step-by-step guide, which will tell you how the process of designing the platform takes place. Also, as a bonus, we asked a real expert in platform building what tips he can give to make the process even easier for you. The main purpose for us is to make your hot tub experience even better and more comfortable so that you can feel all the advantages of this.
So let’s start!
Prepare for the platform building: Tools and materials
So if you already clearly understand that you want to build a platform, before that you need to have a basic set of materials that you will need in the process of working on its structure. That’s why we encourage you to take a look at these main tools and materials before you get started.
Basic kit of materials
- Composite deck boards. These are special boards that are used by many craftsmen to create a quality floor. Thanks to its unique structure, which combines wood and plastic particles, this material can last for decades. At the same time, it is almost indistinguishable from ordinary wood boards and is easy to care for: only periodic wiping with water to remove contaminants.
- Deck joists. These are special wooden joists that are used to form a vertical base on which the flooring will be attached. They can be easily found in any hardware store or made by yourself.
- Wood beams. A wood beam is special structural support for construction made from wood. In most cases, they are used in wood-frame structures. Beams are designed to resist bending under the weight of heavy things (in our case it’ll be a hot tub).
- Set of ingredients for concrete. You can find many variations on how you can make concrete yourself, which will serve as a basic platform for the hot tub (if it has not already been installed on such a platform). Also, you can find ready-made concrete kits, but they are sold in small quantities (up to 7 lb) and applied in a fairly thin layer, up to 3 cm. Therefore, to make a solid base, you have to pour concrete several times to achieve the desired strength and width.
Basic kit of equipment
- Lag screws and screwdriver. You will need screws to secure the boards together with the help of a screwdriver.
- Construction ruler to make as accurate measurements as possible.
- And saw to cut the desired length of the boards while constructing a platform.
Choose the best platform type for yourself
Once you are familiar with the basic set of materials and tools needed to build a platform, you should choose the platform type you want to construct. There are three approaches to building a wood hot tub platform. And in order to choose the best for yourself, you should consider each separately and in detail.
This type is most suitable for those who already have a hot tub installed on a concrete laying. This wood platform is built in such a way that it is only a few centimetres above ground level. Unlike above-ground and recessed types of platforms, this one doesn’t need a lot of materials and effort due to the fact that the construction itself is pretty easy and requires only the right measurements. It will take much less time than other types and you’ll be able to enjoy your hot tub experience and all its advantages ASAP.
The ground-level platform is the easiest construction option, so it is often chosen by those who do not want to spend extra effort on buying a lot of materials and doing additional calculations.
The above-ground platform is more complex than ground level one and requires extra effort to build. Often such platforms are made as an extension to a house that is already at a slightly higher level than the ground or if it involves some special design idea.
Most often, for this type of hot tub platform, you need to additionally make the steps to be able to comfortably use the hot tub. The big advantage is that this type of platform does not require building it around the hot tub and making additional calculations. Since you will be placing the hot tub on the platform, the main goal for you will be to simply make the correct measurements of the total area and calculate its sufficient strength to be able to support the weight of the hot tub.
This type of platform is the most complex and at the same time the most visually attractive and aesthetic. The difficulty is that you have to complete three stages at once when the other wood platforms involve only two.
To make this type of platform, you must first make a concrete base, then place a hot tub on it and only then build a platform around (in the ground level platform, in most cases, the concrete platform is already installed; and in above level – is installed along with wooden structure). The peculiarity of such a hot tub is that the level of the wooden platform can reach half of its height or the entire height, making the hot tub on the same level as the platform.
Step-by-step guide on how to build a hot tub platform
- Prepare the place where you will build the platform. To do this, you need to clear the area of debris and vegetation. The soil should be compacted and strong. Also, be sure to invite an electrician who can do the wiring of electricity to the hot tub for its proper operation.
- Set the footings of the future construction. You need to make detailed measurements of what size your platform should be and after that set batter boards. This will allow you to form a place where the foundation will be poured. After that fill this form with concrete. Remember, that on average, this pad should be 15-20 cm thick.
- Attach ledger board. Once you have placed the boards perpendicular (which will be the height of the construction), use a ledger board. It is a special lumber beam that is used to tie in construction elements. In our case, these are composite deck boards. You can attach the board to this element with screws.
- Installing the support posts. This is an important part because on this depends the whole solidness and strength of your construction. You just need to screw them into the post brackets. If your platform measures 350 x 350 cm, then at least 3 supports are required for this plane. Keep this fact in mind when designing.
- Installing wood beams. After making sure that the beams are at a 90-degree angle to the board (ie perpendicular), you need to connect them to the posts with brackets or with the beam brackets near the foundations. As we already said, a wood beam is special structural support for construction made from wood. Thanks to this, your platform will be able to easily withstand the entire weight of the hot tub and not bend under it.
- Attach the deck joists. This stage requires special attention because it depends not only on the strength of the structure but also on the visual design. Mark the vertical lines along which the beams will be located. On average, the distance between the beams is 30-40 cm. Since the greatest weight will be in the middle of the platform where the hot tub will stand, the distance between the beams may be smaller, and the beams can be even doubled.
- Install the deck boards. This part of the construction is completely related to the visual design of the platform. Here you can choose boards from any tree, but we recommend cedar. After all, it is not only good but also quite stable and retains its structure for many years. Make sure that the boards lie flat and vertical to each other and then fasten them firmly to the beams.
Top 3 expert tips: What do I need to know before building a platform?
- Remember that this will require a high level of attention and physical strength. Unfortunately, many people underestimate the complexity of building a wood hot tub platform. This applies to both the selection of materials and the correct measurement and physical strength. Before you start building a platform, make sure that you have the financial ability to provide yourself with quality materials and the physical strength to constantly work with heavy boards and beams.
- Make sure you choose the right place. It often happens that the platform is installed on fragile ground, which then leads to the fact that the whole structure can tilt to one side or just break. Remember that the total weight of the structure with a hot tub will reach more than 1000 kg, and if there are water currents under the ground or a water supply system is laid, it can cause damage to the entire platform.
- Don’t skimp on materials. If you are building a hot tub platform, know that the quality of the whole structure depends on the quality of the materials. This applies to everything: boards, screws, beams, joists, etc. Of course, even with the cheapest materials, you will be able to build a platform that can withstand the weight of the hot tub. But do not expect that this construction will last more than 5-7 years. But before it, we recommend you get to know how long a typical hot tub lasts so you can orientate what kind of materials (and what quality) you should buy.
Building a wood hot tub platform is a very difficult and responsible task that requires a lot of effort. And to make this process easier and more understandable for you, we have prepared this article in the most convenient form. In the beginning, we talked about all the necessary materials and tools for construction and get acquainted with all three types of platforms to choose the most convenient for you.
Also, we have provided a detailed step-by-step guide, where we precisely explained to you how the process of designing the platform takes place. Also, as a bonus, we asked a real expert in platform building what tips he can give to make the process even easier for you.
We know that the process of building a structure is not very simple, but we are sure that our article has helped you and you will be able to build your wooden platform for the hot tub in the near future!
❓ Can you put a hot tub on a wood platform?
Yes. The main thing is to ensure its maximum strength so that the boards do not bend over time under the weight of the hot tub.
📌 What kind of platform is needed for a hot tub?
There are three main types of platforms for hot tub platforms: ground level, above ground, and recessed. They are all strong and visually appealing, but you have the right to choose any kind depending on your needs.
🛠 How do you support a hot tub on the ground?
The best way to strengthen the whole structure (especially the part where the hot tub will stand), is to make a concrete platform. In order for the platform to be strong enough to withstand such a weight, its width should be 15-20 cm.
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