10.8.16

How to make a hot tub deck for $250 and 2 hours work (for our very portable Swift Current spa)

By Ed




Several months back, we tried out the Canadian Spa Company's Swift Current model. Our intention had been to try it, drain it and when the weather permitted, move it to our mobile home makeover property.


We liked it so much, it ended up staying in its 'trial spot' for 2 months.


So when we finally got around to draining it for the move, we thought we would add some more details and talk about why we opted for a deck this time too.


We drained it easily.  We used an old garden hose and syphoned it down the driveway. Science! It does have a built-in drain as well, but we had it facing in a less desirable direction, so syphoning it was.


We were thrilled that things once again worked out as described by Canadian Spa Co; the hot tub disassembled, moved and reassembled easily. All of the parts are easy to manage and again - the whole move was accomplished in the back of our RAV-4. This is a huge selling point based on how difficult/expensive it is to move a conventional hot tub.  We didn't need a team of Clydesdales or lumberjacks to move this spa.


The Disassembled Swift Current - post-move. If you could fit all the stuff on this picnic table into your car, you too can singlehandedly move a hot tub


Our intention all along with buying this hot tub was to bring it up to our weekend retreat.  We've been making over our mobile home on the river - (you can read more on that DIY adventure here.) The kids love playing in the river - catching fish and kayaking - but the place really needed a water feature you could immerse yourself in. And really, who doesn't love a hot tub?


So on to how we built the deck...







We had the Swift Current on our brick patio at home and found that feet would often track in leaves and gravel. We decided that a deck would help minimize this and make the space more attractive too.


A pile of deck lumber and the proposed location for our Swift Current spa. If you could get all the spa parts in your car, there's a good chance it's big enough to hold the deck materials as well. 
Time to get to work. 


We didn't want to spend a fortune on the deck, so it is built out of 10 8-foot pressure treated 2x4's with 17-standard 8-foot deck boards on top. The Swift Current is 6 feet in diameter, so setting it on a back corner makes a nice space around the outside to access the tub.


Deck all framed up and ready for levelling with patio stones. I added a couple deck boards to keep it square while we adjusted for level. Patio slabs are the standard cheap ones - no need to be pretty as they are underneath and out of sight.


The deck itself is built directly on the ground, with patio slabs used under the area where the Spa actually sits. This way, my puny 2x4's aren't actually supporting the weight - really just transferring it to the ground through the patio stones.





I shored up the outside edge with some 4x4 (this is a cottage, so I just had a bit laying around) to make it more stable while finishing. When the tub is filled, it will keep everything in place and solid on the patio slabs.





And done.... An 8' x 8', pressure treated deck - no holes dug or cement poured. Easy on the eyes (and feet) and sweep-able to keep the cedar out of the hot tub. Time to set up the tub, fill it and fire up the heater.




Reassembly was much easier this time - we'll chalk that up to experience, skill and the fact we were doing it on a warm summer day instead of a snowy March morning. Notice the tub is set back with the heating unit in the corner to give lots of access room around the outside.


Assembled, full of water and heating. Kids barely waited till it was 'warmish' till they got in to enjoy it.

And that was it.  Deck ninjas will likely express concern about the ground moving a bit on us with frost and runoff. We plan on taking the Swift Current down over the winter (or maybe moving it home) so every spring I expect to re-level the deck a bit as needed before reassembly. It has been on the 2x4 deck for two months now and there have been no problems.


If your summer place has a spot crying out for a hot tub deck, we can't say enough good things about a budget friendly Swift Current Spa on a budget friendly deck.


Happy Hot Tubbing!



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