Evaluating a Deck for a Hot Tub

jcincinciMay 6, 2010

We just bought a home with a deck. The sellers told us when they bought the home 3 years ago, there was a hot tub on the deck. (They removed it because they didn't want the upkeep.)

We would like to put a hot tub in the same place.

Rather than just assuming the deck was built to hold a hot tub, is there a layman's way to check under the deck to make sure it was indeed built to hold a hot tub?

Thanks in advance,

John

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john_hyatt

Look under the deck and make sure it was indeed built to hold a hot tub. J.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 12:24PM
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jcincinci

Look under the deck. Got that. :-)

But what am I looking for? (Not being a structural engineer)

Thanks,
JC

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 3:10PM
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john_hyatt

JC...it would be good for you to call the premit store,your already paying for this service, and ask them.

J.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:18PM
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jabelone

I'm no structural engineer either but I have inquired about this to people who are as we are planning the same thing. I would look to see if there are extra supports specifically underneath the hot tub that are spaced closer together than the rest of the deck. Sometimes a builder will place a post under all four corners of the hot tub or sometimes even more posts depending on the size/weight of tub. Secondly, look and see if there is additional structural support in the joists that again does not exist in the other part of the deck such as doubled up joists, extra blocking between joists, diagonal post bracing or different (more substantial) connectors where the joists meet the support beams. Basically, is the area under the tub built different than the rest of the deck? If it is, you are probably in good shape. If it isn't you might or might not want to beef up the sub structure in the ways mentioned. And phone your local building inspector and see if there are special code restrictions in your area regarding this. While you're under the deck, why not check that the wood is still in good shape and structurally sound. As you know, wood that is not pressure treated will not last that long in rainy or moist areas. Good luck and happy tubbing.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 8:33PM
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manhattan42

Since you will usually need building and electrical permits to install the hot tub, you will need to prove to the permit office that the deck can hold the tub.

Only way to do this is to hire an architect or engineer to evaluate the existing deck and either sign a letter stating the deck is adequate for the concentrated loads or redesign the deck to be able to support the deck.

You won't get the permits for the tub without it.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 6:55AM
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