Scott from Arizona, USA first got in touch with me back in May of 2022. He was looking to add a hot tub to his pool. Having put the feelers out to see how much it would cost to get a builder to do it – Scott decided that it was something that he felt with my advice and guidance, he could do himself. It was going to be a fun project for him and his son but most importantly, he would save a whole bunch of money in the process.
Fast forward to January 2023 and Scott was almost ready to start. He hired me to design a custom layout for his hot tub so that it could make use of the pool kit from his existing swimming pool in terms of heating and filtration but also, it would have separately controlled jets.
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Here is what Scott is going to be building and hopefully over the forthcoming weeks and months you will be able to see this take shape.
What Scott is excellent at is planning. He plans everything to the absolute Nth degree and this is really helpful when you are taking on a project like this.
Scott also likes to fully understand everything in complete detail before he will undertake it. Again, a highly advantageous trait of one’s personality when you are going to embark on a project like this.
The first step for Scott was to mark out the area for the tub and then he was going to try it all for size. Again, planning, planning and more planning.
Let the Hard Work Begin.
As time stops for no-one, we’re now into the summer months in Arizona. As I am sure you can imagine, it is hot and very hot. What better way to spend ones summer vacation than to get roped in by your dad to dig a hole for a new hot tub.
It was back breaking work, but Robbie got stuck in.
However, you really have to take into account here just how dry and hard the ground was. Not being a total slave driver (lol) Scott did get some very welcomed help for Robbie in the form of a digger. That made his life a lot easier!
When you are digging the hole, you need to remember not only have you got the +/- 43″ of depth that will be the hot tub, but you also need a further 6-10″ for the base – that is a deep hole and a difficult dig to do that by hand.
Trying it for Size
As you would expect with Scott, he wasn’t just going to go ahead blindly into putting the block in place, he wanted to try them (dry) for size. So that was the next step for him, he created the shape he was going to build out of the blocks so that he could try it for size. Again, planning planning and more planning – fantastic.
Time for a Vacation
At this point it was time for Scott and family to head off on their summer vacation. Now, you would expect some good and old fashioned R&R but not for Scott, he was still thinking and planning his tub.
This was helped with one of the pools getting refurbed where he was staying so this was fuelling his curiosity – and of course, he took his planning document for some “holiday reading” that I had written for him durning the design phase.
He was even emailing me questions from the sun lounger – that is keen Scott!
The Practice Run
Back from vacation, the next step for Scott and Robbie was to turn their attention to the existing pool pad. We are going to modify the plumbing, “hijack” on the of the existing pool returns to send that to the hot tub to create an overflow.
This was also an opportunity for them to practice their concrete work as they needed to pour a larger pad. Nice work Gents!
As this practise went well, the next step for the guys is to actually pour the base of the tub. “No going back now” was was the email I got from Scott at this point – well, he could just pour all that rubble back in the hole I guess, but I am sure Robbie would have something to say about that!
All hands on deck, time ti mix some concrete.
Before you pour a base, it is always a good idea to use a liner to keep dirty water ingress out of the tub. Some people don’t bother, I tend to though (much to the dislike of one troll on YouTube who claimed I was single handedly destroying the planet with singe use plastics – er, go and have a chat with Greta….) For the record I do recycle 😉
If you are having some swimming pool style drains in there, (the flat ones at the bottom, great for circulation not for jets as the flow rate is too low) this is the time you need to get them in place too.
Nice work Gentlemen, this is coming along really nicely.
Pad Done, Time for Some Walls
Would you believe it, we are now in December 2023. Whilst most of the Northern Hemisphere has stopped building as it is too cold – Scott on Robbie and the wonderful Arizonian climate are cracking on with their build.
With the pad in place, it is now time for some walls. Scott is using the hollow 8″ CMU blocks to which he will add rebar and then fill with concrete after the plumbing is in place.
They are cheap but also very strong so apart from having to core holes in them to get the plumbing in place, which isnt too big of a deal, they are a great material to work with.
And here we have it – the current state of play on December 13th 2023
The lower 2.5 courses of block are in for the footwell. Next steps will be the seat’s concrete pour followed by the retaining exterior walls.
Check back soon for an update on this project.
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Thanks - Andi
Hi, Andi here. I own Buildahottub.com and also write all of the articles and info pages on the site. Some years back now, I built my own hot tub but struggled to find the information I needed. So, once my tub was complete, I started this website to help others in their own pursuit of hot tub and plunge pools DIY building information.
Today, I've helped over 1000 DIY customers just like you all over the world build hot tubs and pools. Have a good look around the site, there are lots of resources here. Please do get in touch if I can help you. - Cheers, Andi