How to Build a Hot Tub House

If you own a hot tub, you know its bubbling hot water can be the ultimate in relaxation and stress relief after a difficult day that fried your nerves and withered your patience.

Hot tubs are therapeutic and recreational -- havens of pleasure that owners work hard to maintain. But one of the most common complaints their owners make is this: When the units are installed outside, there's never as much privacy as you would want. That's why hot-tub owners across the nation are opting to erect enclosures around their spas. In addition to affording more privacy, these structures add beauty to the property and provide places for towel and clothing storage. If you've priced these hot-tub havens, you know that the cost of adding a gazebo, enclosure or cabin can be daunting. That's when it's time to consider making your own.

Measure the circumference of the concrete slab or deck on which your hot tub rests. Allow extra room if you plan to add benches or other space-hogging structures to the area surrounding the hot-tub base.

Draw up a simple blueprint to work out the enclosure's specifications if you are an experienced carpenter, or find do-it-yourself instructions for basic units in home-improvement books or on the Internet.

Use string to stake out the parameters of your hot-tub house. Making a simple, four-wall structure will keep labor and time at a minimum. If you're working with a round tub base, you will need extra time, lumber and carpentry experience.

On the ground, frame up the four walls to your height and width specifications. Attach brackets to the corners of each wall to stabilize and reinforce them. Use two-by-four lumber to create an opening for a door on the fourth wall.

Get help lifting the four wall frames into place. Nail the units together to establish the skeletal shape of the tub surround.

Begin constructing walls by attaching vertical or horizontal rows of 2-by-4 boards to the frames. Continue to fasten boards to the frames until you reach the the top of each wall frame. Alternately, if you have no need for completely solid walls, you may wish to build half-walls from the ground up, add horizontal braces, then enclose the upper half of the building with premade lattice.

Nail 2-by-4 boards into L-shaped rafters to form the roof of the hot-tub house. Fasten the rafters to the walls. Measure and tack sheets of plywood over the top of the unit if you plan to close in the roof. Otherwise, leave the rafters exposed to the sky.

Install hinges and hang a ready-made door--or use a pre-made gate if you have no security concerns. If you worry that someone may get into the tub without your permission, use a combination lock on the door to avoid lawsuits and headaches.

Sand and prime the finished hot-tub enclosure. If you have left the rafters exposed, add aesthetic touches by draping fish\netting or palm fronds over the rafters to create a tropical hideaway.

Optional: If you are concerned about the amount of moisture buildup that inevitably comes with the addition of a hot-tub house, you may wish to tack weatherproof sheeting to interior surfaces--especially if you do not plan to finish off the wood walls. Either install a prefabricated wood bar fitted with hooks (available at hardware stores) to the interior wall, or mount large, individual hooks for clothing and towels.

Things You Will Need

  • Saw
  • Drill and bits
  • Hammer
  • Screwdrivers
  • Nails and screws
  • 2-by-4 boards
  • Pre-hung door
  • Hinges
  • Latch and lock
  • Large hooks
  • Weatherproof sheeting (optional)
  • Decorative latticework (optional)
  • Palm fronds or fishnet (optional)

Tip

  • If your skills are exceptional and your dream hot-tub house is a bit more lavish and extravagant than our cozy, bare-bones model, go for the gold! Follow the links in Resources to find blueprints for hot-tub enclosures that will take your breath away. (Oh, and plan to spend a couple of extra bucks to make these dream enclosures a reality.)

About the Author

Based in Chicago, Gail Cohen has been a professional writer for more than 30 years. She has authored and co-authored 14 books and penned hundreds of articles in consumer and trade publications, including the Illinois-based "Daily Herald" newspaper. Her newest book, "The Christmas Quilt," was published in December 2011.