Rob got in touch with me late last year through the website. Here are some extracts from the email he actually sent.
“I have seen your videos and website and wonder if you can help me with a project in France.
Firstly there is a bit of background. About 5 years ago I bought an expensive above ground hottub. This has been a big disappointment. I am forever mending the thing and fixing leaks (everything is really difficult to get to), to the point that I am completely fed up with it. Last year I built an inground swimming pool with a travertine terrace around it, I put the spa half in ground with about a 600mm access all around it. My plan was to cover the access with some sort of wooden structure. Anyway recently ive made my mind up that the hottub needs to go and I shall build a concrete one instead. This needs to fit in the existing hole and I can house all the pumps, filters in a room next to the tub, so it will be so much easier to fix things.
Some of the parts on the existing hottub are ok and i plan to use these. There are 3 x WP400 pumps and a blower. There may be other parts but I wont really know until I cut the thing up. The controller and panel are balboa and may be reusable, but at the moment its showing a dry heater warning (the heater is not dry) so I don’t know.
So my questions are……….
Is this possible?
Is this something you could help with, with plans etc?
I live in the middle of nowhere in France and my French is terrible. This makes getting parts difficult. Do you supply parts?”
This gives you a real insight to the start of the project. Of course I can help was my response – it is what I do.
How it Started
The first step for Rob was to send me some pictures of the location and the hot tub that he was planning to get rid of. This is quite a popular question to be honest that I get asked a lot
Can I build a hot tub in the hole where my previous tub used to be? Yes you can and we will be following Rob’s progress.
You can see in the pictures below what a great location Rob has.
Converting a Hole in the Ground
This whole project revolves around converting the hole where the previous hot tub used to reside. When doing a project like this, the first thing you have to remember is that the pipe work does take up a bit of space.
This means that the hot tub is going to be smaller than the hole that you have. Normally, you will also be building a new interior skin for the tub too.
In terms of the design, Rob knew what he wanted to achieve.
On custom projects, it is usual for the client to send me through some sketches of what they want to build. Here are Robs.
From this sketch and the pictures, the next step for me was to come up with the design.
I am not going to post all the designs but what Rob got was a 3D render, a 3D plumbing layout, an architectural drawing as well as a voiced over screen cast of the plumbing diagram where I explain what goes where and why.
This is the standard offering for a custom design project like this.
Project Paused a Few Months
I get to speak to a lot of different people doing what I do – it is great. Some people are in a “rush” to get the project complete, others take their time and then some, like Rob, know from the outset that this is going to be a long term project.
He had made that clear from the start. Hence, we started talking in December of 2021, the plans were finalised in June 2022 and he is getting ready to take delivery of the parts in July 2022.
Whilst the winter did it’s thing, Rob got back in touch in Spring 2022 and had removed the hot tub and stripped down the parts. He also had the final dimensions now the tub was out of the way so I could crack on and finish the design for him.
Trying to salvage parts from an existing hot tub can be a way of keeping the cost down. Pumps last an awful long time so they are usually re-usable. On inspection of the spa pack, Rob has decided that he is going to replace that but will be using the jet pump, circulation pump, blower and potentially the UV system too.
Recycle some of the Parts
Here is what Rob has salvaged. We are not going to use the controller but the other parts, we will make use of.
“Hot Tub for sale, one careful owner”
And of course, I know you all want to see what Rob has done with his plastic shell tub? – Ouch! “Hot Tub for sale, one careful owner” was what he messaged me!
Let the Building Commence…
Now the fun really starts for Rob. It is leak testing time. We he have a leak or not? I will let you watch the video below and find out. As you can see, he is testing with unfinished surfaces which is totally fine.
It is much easier to test with a full tub than a pressure testing method which as a DIYer without the correct kit is going to be hard to do.
Rob is going to fill the tub and run the kit to see what leaks and what doesn’t. He’ll repair any of the parts and then move onto putting the finished surface on.
Check back soon for an update on this project.
And he is finished!
What a result this is for Rob and his DIY Hot Tub build in France. A truly inspirational build and Rob should be very proud of himself.
Whilst I finish this case study with a few photos from Rob, and his final video, this was one of those builds I just went “wow” when he sent me the final reveal.
I truly enjoyed working with Rob over the last year or so and I would like to thank him kindly for all of the videos and photos he has sent for the case study and my social media accounts.
Rob, really appreciate it thank you and superb hot tub!
Can I Help You?
If I can help you in any way I would love to hear from you. You can get in touch using the form below.
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