Making a New Hot Tub Enclosure
While most hot tub enclosures are made to last many years, weather extremes and poor maintenance can result in a situation where you're faced with having to replace the original enclosure. Instead of discarding the entire spa and buying a brand new one, you might consider building a new enclosure instead. Here are some tips on doing so without a lot of fuss.
The first step is to drain the ofuro hot tub completely and disconnect all tubes and electrical sources. Be very careful to cut off the power to the spa components at the source to avoid any risk of electrocution! Double-check this first step, then enlist the help of several strong friends.
Working slowly and methodically, carefully remove the tub from the old enclosure and place it upside down somewhere away from your work area. Try not to let the hot tub drop to the ground or you risk cracking it. *Note: if your tub is round and enclosed tightly by metal bands around the wood, you might want to get a professional's help cutting the bands. At the very least, ask a pro to recommend the best means of doing it without damaging the tub itself.
The easiest type of hot tub enclosure to build is a square or rectangular wooden one. You can do this, even if the tub itself is round. It can even be done with kidney shaped tubs, but it requires more planning and measuring. Be sure to start with pressure treated wood for the skeleton structure that will comprise the weight-bearing inner portion. Any lumber store can direct you to the best materials for this project.
You will need four 4X4's and eight or ten 2X4's for the new enclosure's central structure. The idea is to create a box with a bottom into which the tub will be placed. Use the 4X4's to create the corners of the box, then use the 2X4's to provide support to hold the shape along the sides. Strong wood screws or bolts are required. Careful measurement is crucial because the tub will need to fit tightly into the new enclosure.Make sure that the enclosure has a thick wooden bottom (use some of the 2X4's for this base). This is absolutely critical because the wood will provide excellent support while also giving enough for the full hot tub to sink without cracking (as it might against a concrete slab). The final step is to use your buddies to help you place the tub into its new enclosure and to decorate the outside with any material you wish (cedar strips, lattice, etc.).
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