Can You Put a Hot Tub Under (Or Recessed In) a Deck?

Jennifer Rhodes

By Jennifer Rhodes · Updated

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Adding a hot tub to your backyard can help to create the backyard oasis that you've always dreamed of, but it's all about choosing the right location. What about combining it with your deck somehow?

If you have a high deck, you can conveniently put your hot tub underneath it to make it easy to enjoy your hot tub right outside your door in any weather. If your deck is lower, you can also consider installing the hot tub recessed into the deck.

Keep reading for our best tips on installing a hot tub under a deck—including some things you should definitely think about before attempting this.

Is it a good idea to put a hot tub under your deck?

Putting a hot tub under a deck is a great idea if you are looking to save space and make your hot tub easily accessible any time you want. Most hot tubs should fit easily under your deck, and the great thing is that the deck floor will shield your hot tub from the elements (almost like getting a roof over it for free!).

What are the benefits of putting a hot tub under your deck?

Now that you know you can put your hot tub under a deck, you might still be wondering why you would want to do this. There are actually many reasons why this is a popular choice, so we'll highlight a few of those reasons for you.

Ease of access

Hot tubs are a great luxury to add to your home, but it's important to make it easy to get to and from so you can make it a regular part of your routine.

Having your hot tub under your deck usually means that it would be located right near a basement door, or at the very least just down a short flight of stairs from the deck. Many people love this convenience factor because it makes it easy to get to your hot tub when you want to.

Minimal space requirements

Another great reason to put your hot tub under your deck is if you are short on space. If your yard is small or if there is nowhere else that it would logically make sense to put your hot tub, then putting it right under your deck is a great use of space.

Most people don't put anything underneath a deck except maybe some storage or furniture, so this is a fun way to use the space in a way that will elevate your life and your backyard as a whole. You don't need much room to install a hot tub, so even if you have a tiny yard and deck you can usually make it happen.

Protection from the weather

Putting your hot tub under anything that can act as a shield from the elements is always a good idea. As fun as it is to soak in a hot tub on a snowy evening or just watch the sunset while you soak on a beautiful night, there are some downsides to an outdoor hot tub too.

It's no fun when you have to deal with shoveling out your hot tub in the snow, or worrying about water damage from excessive rains. While putting your hot tub under your deck isn't a 100% guarantee to make sure no weather gets to your hot tub, the floorboards of your deck can provide some protection from the worst of the elements and prevent damage.

What should you know before putting a hot tub under your deck?

So, we know that putting a hot tub under a deck has many benefits, but it's important to keep a few basic things in mind before starting your installation.

Placement matters

The biggest thing to do before installing a hot tub under your deck is to make sure you choose the best possible placement. Consider things like entering and exiting the hot tub, distance to your home and other structures, and the need for storage of items like chemicals, covers, and other gear.

The goal is to make your hot tub easily used, cleaned, and serviced so that you can take good care of it and enjoy using it as much as you'd like.

Plan for drainage and moisture exposure

Because your hot tub is going to be full of water, you want to be certain that the deck and any surrounding structures are properly constructed to account for any possible leaks or moisture over time.

Hot tubs give off a fair amount of steam when in use, so you want to make sure the underside of your deck and all of the footings are treated with a waterproof stain to resist mold and other damage. Also, positioning your hot tub away from anything that could get damaged from water overflow or other issues is key.

Consider future repairs

It's inevitable that you or a hot tub repair person will need to access the mechanicals of your hot tub at some point during your ownership. To make this as frustration-free as possible for all involved, make sure that everything is easy to get to.

Never install a hot tub too close to your home—always respect minimum distance guidelines.

This means that when you are choosing a location, you want to make sure that any parts that may need cleaning or servicing are accessible and not stuck against an exterior wall of your home or a support beam of your deck. Not doing so could make repairs much more difficult—or even impossible without moving the spa.

Can you install a hot tub recessed into your deck?

If you don't have a tall deck, you may be considering installing a recessed hot tub right into your deck's surface. This requires a bit more in terms of installation planning, but can be a great option for many people.

What should you know before installing a recessed hot tub?

Because a recessed hot tub is a bit more complicated than just installing a hot tub away from a deck, there are a few important factors to consider before going this route.

Deck construction

Hot tubs are heavy, especially once they are full of water and people. For this reason, you should make sure that your base is built to hold the amount of weight a full hot tub will put on it.

In many cases, at recessed hot tub can sit on a concrete pad on the floor underneath the deck. But if the deck is too high for that, you'll need to build a support platform for the spa to rest on once it's installed.

Don't forget to check local building codes and obtain any necessary permits before installing the hot tub.

Installing a recessed hot tub into a deck that is not prepared to bear the appropriate weight can cause major damage and injuries, so always consult with a structural engineer for any spa installation that is not resting on the ground.

Be prepared for professional installation

Installing a recessed hot tub in an existing deck is complex, because you need to cut a correctly sized hole, prepare a suitable base, and then be able to lower the spa into the hole. This is why it's actually much easier to build a deck around a spa (consider this if you are planning to install both at the same time!).

So, unless you are very skilled with construction, you will probably want to leave a recessed hot tub installation up to the pros. This can get costly depending on the size of the job, so it's important to seek out a reputable contractor who can help you bring your recessed hot tub dreams to life safely.

Location is key

Consider the location of the hot tub on your deck. You'll want to choose a spot that is easily accessible, but also private and shielded from the wind. This is important because once you've cut a hole and installed the spa, it's very difficult to change the location after that.

You should think about not just the location of the hot tub itself, but also the space around it. You'll want to leave enough room on the deck for people to comfortably move around the hot tub, as well as space for other activities like grilling or lounging.

Additionally, if you have kids or pets, it's also a good idea to consider their safety when choosing the location of the hot tub. You'll want to make sure the hot tub is located in a spot where it can be easily supervised and that there is still enough space around it for kids and pets to play safely.

Access and maintenance

Think about the maintenance and upkeep of the hot tub. Will you be able to easily access the hot tub for cleaning and maintenance, or will it be difficult to reach?

If your deck is high enough to be able to crawl under to access the spa cabinet, that's great. But if it's only a foot or so off the ground, you will need to leave enough space around the spa to be able to reach it that way. You just don't want to be in a position where you have a leak, and getting it fixed involves deconstructing part of your deck to reach it!

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