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hot tub on deck

Posted by deanie1 (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 11, 09 at 21:28

I am waiting to close on a house that has a hot tub full of water sitting upon its deck. Upon doing a little bit of research, I just found out that in order to properly support this weight the deck needs to be specially constructed. This is just a normally-constructed deck. I also learned that moving the hot tub can damage it and cause leaks. Since the hot tub comes with the house and I don't particularly want one anyway, should I try to get them to take some money off or pay me so I can have it moved off the deck or something? And what role would the house inspection have in all this?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: hot tub on deck

If the contract has already been signed, it's too late to make anything with the hot tub contingent on the sale. You can *ask* if they'd like to take it with them.

If you are still writing the offer, sure, you can say they have to move it, just like any other condition of sale.

If you get stuck with it, there's always Craigslist. Someone will want a free hot tub.


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RE: hot tub on deck

Special construction is a vague term. The deck merely must be built to hold the weight of the hot tub when full (live load - in pounds per sq ft). This capability is determined by the wood species (i.e., treated pine), depth of the joists, spacing of the joists, the unsupported span of the joists, and post supports. This all determines the live load capacity of the deck and would be compared to the tub's weight for pass/fail.

The easy out may be failure of a house inspection if the deck is not built to support the load of the hot tub. The role of the house inspection however is whatever was written into the contract. In other words, is closing contingent on a satisfactory inspection and does the seller have a grace period to rectify any problems?


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RE: hot tub on deck

Yes, contract is written that closing is contingent on a satisfactory inspection, but we did not put anything in about a grace period to rectify the problem. Do you think this would cause the house to fail an inspection? Thanks.


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RE: hot tub on deck

If there is no building permit for the installation of the tub it can be noted in the inspection report and the owners will have to obtain a permit or remove the tub.

I was asked to provide drawings so an owner could get a permit for just such a situation and the deck was only a foot off the ground.


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also

Building permits are public information. Just go to the window an ask to see the records for the address.


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RE: hot tub on deck

macv -- I know a permit may have had to be pulled for the 240V drop, assuming it's not a Soft Tub, but is a permit required for placing the tub on the deck? I would think a hot tub would be considered portable unless built into the deck.

deanie -- there's no way to tell if the deck will pass inspection without all the details previously mentioned. Make sure you or your agent make the inspector aware of your concern. Any grace period can be worked out between you and the sellers but make sure the bank is in on any agreement to ensure the loan is not affected.


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RE: hot tub on deck

A deck should be designed to support a live load of 60 psf. If a hot tub is 7 ft square weighs 600 lbs and holds 260 gallons of water it would weigh about 3150 lbs with 2 people in it and have a s.f. loading of 63 psf. so it's not really possible to determine if a deck can support a tub without knowing the actual capacity and empty weight of it.

If the hot tub is portable (ie, freely sitting on the deck and plugged into an outdoor outlet with a cord) then siphon out the water, unplug it, and take it to the dump or sell it on Craigslist. These things are ridiculously expensive so any trouble will probably be well worth it.

If it's hard wired, then it is permanently installed and should have had a permit.


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RE: hot tub on deck

Thanks, everyone for your info. A new glitch--I went out there tonight and there are steady drips coming from the underside of the deck where it is sitting. I really think it may be leaking. So tomorrow I am having a spa guy come out and inspect it. Question: if it really is leaking-- should I ask the sellers to, at their expense, either have it repaired or remove it? It is portable, just plugged into an outlet near the deck.


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RE: hot tub on deck

If it's portable it belongs to the current owners and you shouldn't have to buy it anymore than you would have to buy their furniture. You could reduce the purchase price to cover the removal and dump fee. Ask the tub guy; he'll probably know what that cost might be. He might also offer to take it off your hands for free if it works. If it doesn't work, it's trash and should be removed before the closing.


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RE: hot tub on deck

Sorry to highjack this thread, but what do you guys mean about needing a permit? We have a hot tub on our deck in the house that we are selling. It is hardwired and we did have the deck "specially built" to support the weight. It was installed when we originally built the house but there was never any type of special permit involved. Why would I have to go back and get a permit for something that was installed by my contractor 11 years ago? By the way there is usually a little drippage under our tub as well but it never loses water and the guys who service it have never found a problem. We do have it serviced regularly.


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RE: hot tub on deck

"Sorry to highjack this thread, but what do you guys mean about needing a permit? We have a hot tub on our deck in the house that we are selling. It is hardwired and we did have the deck "specially built" to support the weight. It was installed when we originally built the house but there was never any type of special permit involved. Why would I have to go back and get a permit for something that was installed by my contractor 11 years ago?"

If the hot tub was permitted as part of your home's building permit package 11 years ago, you are in the clear and not required to anything more....

Or if the tub was added later, and no permits were required for the hot tub 11 years ago, you need do nothing more...

If the tub was not included in the original house building permits, or was added after the house was built and your municipality required permits for hot tubs....you "might" have a problem:

Because the tub would be considered an illegal structure and subject to full disclosure laws if you ever go to sell.

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Under most current building codes, permits are required for hot tubs, and swimming pools...permanently or temporarily installed....because of the life-safety issues and enormous liability associated with them.

Special structural, electrical, and barrier rules can apply.


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