Where to Put the Tub / Ground Prep
After purchasing a new hot tub the first decision to be made is where to put it. This decision will depend on a few factors such as cost and construction of your new tub.
The first option for placement is a deck. Your choice being concrete or wood. These are usually the soundest places to set a hot tub, but also the most expensive. If placing the tub on a concrete slab is your choice, make sure the slab is pitched so water flows away from its base. Unfortunately, most hot tubs are built on a wood frame so it becomes extremely important to keep water away from the base to prevent rotting. So pitch the slab to remove water and use composite shims to re-level the tub and this set up should be fine for years to come. If a wooden deck is your choice, the obvious comes to mind. Make sure the deck can support the weight! This means the weight of the hot tub, the water, and the people in it. An average 7ft hot tub weighs 600 pounds. Now add 3000 lbs of water and 700 lbs of people. That’s 4300 lbs for an average size tub. Be positive that your carpenter knows his job. Get all the correct permits and inspections and you should be safe.
If you don’t want the high cost of a concrete or wood deck, there are other options. A brick paver deck or a crushed stone compacted base can be cheaper. I would only suggest these options with a hot tub that has a plastic or composite bottom that seals the elements outside the tub. This will prevent insects, rodents, and moisture, which are more common with these surfaces, from entering the tub. If using a brick paver base, ask a qualified landscape architect if the base can hold the weight safely without sinking into the ground. A compacted crushed stone base is the final and least expensive option to set a hot tub on. For this base it as simple as removing the layer of grass from the area and adding a 2 in. layer of crushed stone. Now compact the stone level with a tamper or a mechanical compacter. That’s it. You’re done. Not only is this option the least expensive, but can also save time and space by allowing you to set your hot tub next to an existing patio rather than on it. But remember plastic or composite sealed bottoms only for this option. Wood frames will not last long in this environment.
Keep these few suggestions in mind while shopping for your new tub. Ask lots of question to the person selling you the tub, and you and your new hot tub should be safe for years to come.