Planning a backyard hot tub

22 December, 2014

Hot tubs are especially useful backyard additions because they can be used year-round, unlike pools and are fun for all ages. With winter fast approaching, now is a great time to start planning one for your backyard so you can get the most out of it. Before breaking ground, however, it’s a good idea to evaluate what kind of hot tub will best fit your family’s needs and where it should be located. Beyond the standard “in-ground or above ground?” question, there are few additional things to ask yourself while you’re in the planning stages.

The location
The most important part of picking the location for a backyard hot tub is the proximity it will have to utilities. While electricity and water can be wired to virtually any place in your backyard, it can get pricey, so establishing a spot nearby existing lines is a good idea. A second consideration is its location in relation to your house; a 25-feet maximum distance is a good rule of thumb, particularly if you live in a cold climate. Any trees should be avoided, since they will drop unwelcome leaves into the water (and your hair), while you may also want to pick a place that will be appropriately shielded from your neighbors. 

The surface
The ground your hot tub is located on can be in your actual your yard or a on a deck, but the surface must be completely level. Oftentimes this means that a concrete block must be installed in your ideal spot in an area large enough to accommodate the tub itself and the water line feeding into it. If you’re planning for yours to be installed directly on your patio, don’t sweat – it will be ready to go as is.

Awesome accessories
Additional items, like beverage coolers, outdoor furniture, cover lifters and interior lighting can make a great tub even more awesome.

The size of the hot tub you select should accommodate your family plus the amount of guests you anticipate will regularly use it. If you entertain outdoors often, consider buying a larger one. If it’s typically just you and your hubby, a two-person tub will suffice. An important thing to remember is that the larger the tub, the more expensive it will to feed electricity and water into. 

Accessibility and safety
Above-ground hot tubs can be particularly tricky to get into, so thoroughly evaluate the entrance and interior steps of your tub when you’re at the store. Some hot tubs come with cool safety features like automatic shut off, locking covers, and slip-free interiors.

Many people primarily use their tubs at night, so make sure you’re either placing yours where there is already ample light or plan to install some along with it. Many houses have outdoor lighting installed on their exteriors, so if your hot tub is especially close to your home, you may not need to account for any.