What Should I Do Before My Hot Tub Arrives?

Once you’ve decided to buy a hot tub, there are quite a few jobs to complete to prepare for its arrival. Your local Caldera® Spas dealer can walk you through the process in a step-by-step way and provide detailed pre-delivery instructions that will make the task feel completely manageable.

a hot tub overlooks a mountain scene for enjoyable views
Planning ahead for hot tub installation will ensure the best overall experience.

Our goal here is not to answer every detail down to the size of the pea gravel you might use as a base, but to outline the things that you may need to consider.

1. Where do I put my new hot tub?

Easy, close access translates to more use, especially if you live in a seasonally cold climate. Many people like the idea of locating their hot tub in a remote area of their property. This can make for better views and starlit evening soaks but running electrical wiring away from the house can be more costly. You will have to change the water in your hot tub from time to time so access to a garden hose and a safe area to drain your hot tub is also important.

a hot tub in a snowy mountain scene provides an excellent view
In a colder climate locate your hot tub close to your door to encourage winter use.

2. How much space do I need for a hot tub?

Once you’ve decided where to place your hot tub, measure and mark off the area so that you can visualize it there. Is there room to move around the hot tub? Is there easy access and adequate space for steps? It’s very important that there’s room to open and work around the hot tub’s access panel. If that side of the hot tub is placed against a structure, the hot tub’s components won’t be accessible for servicing. Also, consider the view; will you want a privacy fence?

a hot tub on a crowded but scenic patio is more of a challenge to maintain
Allow enough clearance around your hot tub to ensure access for maintenance.

3. How big does my gate need to be to get a hot tub into my backyard?

Most of all, is there a wide enough delivery path from the road to the space you’ve chosen? Is there enough vertical clearance between the path and tree limbs or the eaves of the house? You’ll need adequate space for the hot tub to be wheeled in on its side. Remember to include the height of the dolly, too. It’s not unusual for installers to use a crane to put a hot tub into place. Your Caldera Spas dealer can help you connect to the right resources.

a hot tub is lifted by crane over a house to be placed in the backyard
When backyard access is a challenge because of clearance a crane can be used to place your hot tub in your backyard.

4. Can I put a hot tub on dirt or in the grass?

A hot tub should not be placed on soil or on a lawn. Instead, it will need a solid platform to support all of the weight. Exposure to wet soil and grass will reduce the life of your hot tub and expose it to insects and moisture. The extreme weight of a hot tub filled with water could also cause it to sink into a lawn or wet soil.

a hot tub on a patio in a grassy back yard
A hot tub should never be installed in soil or on a lawn.

5. What should I do to prepare the site for a hot tub install?

A hot tub can weigh from 2,000 to 8,000 pounds when filled (and even more when you add people), so it needs a suitable base. The area where it will be placed should be leveled and a foundation prepared. It will need either a concrete base, a crushed stone or pea gravel base, pavers or a deck with adequate structural support. Again, your dealer can put you in contact with professionals who can do all the necessary site preparation.

an old deck should be refinished before installing a new hot tub
A professional should be consulted to determine whether an old deck needs additional structural enhancement to hold the weight of a hot tub.

6. What are the electrical wiring considerations when installing a hot tub?

Most hot tubs run off 220 volts and will require electrical work by a licensed professional. Some hot tubs can run off of a standard 110 outlet, but in those cases, the heater and pumps cannot be used at the same time. It’s highly recommended that you have the electrical work done so that you can enjoy your hot tub to its full potential.

an electrician installs the hot tub wiring for maximum safety
An electrician will install the 220 volt wiring prior to your hot tub delivery and installation.

7. Can I put a hot tub on my existing deck?

Before your hot tub is placed on a deck, you must make sure the deck is structurally able to support the weight of the filled hot tub and the maximum number of people that it holds. Consult a qualified, licensed professional who can assess your deck and add structural support if necessary. Consider refinishing your deck just before you have the new hot tub installed so that you do not have to move your hot tub for deck refinishing any time soon. Caldera Spas dealers can refer you to contractors they’ve worked with before.

a log home has an existing deck where a professional is consulted before installing a hot tub
An existing deck should be inspected by a professional before installing a hot tub to ensure the deck can structurally accommodate the weight of a hot tub.

8. How can I design a new deck for a hot tub?

Make sure that the new deck plans include a load capacity that will support your spa. Your Caldera Spas dealer can provide you with weight specifications and scale renderings of our hot tubs in PDF and CAD formats to help you and your contractor or deck builder with planning and design.

Preparing for the arrival of your hot tub may seem like a lot of work at first, but your Caldera Spas dealer will help you through every stage and provide you with the resources to make the process flow smoothly. This article from Forbes provides some great ideas about integrating a hot tub into your back yard.

What’s your ideal location for a hot tub?

Are you comfortable designing your deck with help from online tools?

What preparation tips do you have?