It’s a big decision as, once most hot tubs are in situ, they take quite a bit of moving again so it’s important to get it right!
So, where is the best place to put a hot tub? You can put a hot tub anywhere in your garden where there is a solid level surface with an electrical supply close by. It’s best to have it near the house and also to consider shelter from the weather as well. It’s also possible to have hot tubs inside as long as you have proper ventilation.
However, there are a few pitfalls to avoid which will ensure that you don’t waste time and money and get the very most from your hot tub. It’s location is one of the most important factors in determining how often you will use the hot tub and therefore how much value for money you will get out of it.
Bear in mind that most owners say that they wish that their hot tub was within 10 feet of a door into the house – this might not be possible in all scenarios but bear it in mind as the ideal!
Where to put a hot tub in your garden
You might already have some really clear ideas about where your hot tub would look really good in your garden. Forgetting about the practicalities for a few minutes maybe you want it right down the bottom of your garden where there’s a beautiful view, or perhaps it would look really good to the side of your garden under a shady tree.
Have you got a little wildflower meadow in your garden where the hot tub would fit in perfectly, or have you a patio or deck at the back of the house where the hot tub could sit I would look just great?
Hot tub in a wild meadow
Delivery and removal – Firstly let’s think about how the hot tub will be delivered. You have to have enough access space for it to be manoeuvred around the house and through into the back garden. If this isn’t possible is it possible to get it actually through the house and out again?
If none of these options work will you have to take down a fence to get access, ask your neighbour if you can have it delivered via their garden or maybe even have it craned over the obstruction.
Once the hot tub is in place don’t forget that you may, at some point, want to have it removed. If you’re doing a major garden redesign don’t plan to build a brick wall around the hot tub that will jam it in for example. Try to avoid erecting sheds or other more permanent structures that will be in the way if you do need to need to get the hot tub out again.
Measure carefully and plan how to move your hot tub into position
To a certain extent, there’s always a way around problems like this and hot tubs can be dismantled and cut up, buildings and walls can be demolished and rebuilt but, if you can avoid it in the first place, why make life difficult (and more expensive) for yourself?
Maintenance space around the hot tub – Remember that, wherever you decide to locate your hot tub you will need to allow space for access and maintenance around it. As a general rule, it’s best to keep between 1 and 2 feet between the sides of the hot tub and any walls or fences. This allows for access to sort out any problems and gives some space for you to walk around when you are cleaning the hot tub.
If you need to have any servicing or maintenance done the engineer will need to be able to open all of the service doors in the side of your hot tub so again, make sure that you plan for plenty of clearance in these areas to prevent problems further down the line.
Apart from all of this, you will also need plenty of space to get in and out of the hot tub. You might want access on more than one side and you will also probably need space around the sides for maybe having a towel rail, steps and keeping essential drinks, snacks and refreshments! If you are interested in the best hot tub steps then check out my recommendations here.
Having a firm base for your hot tub – Next, have a think about what your hot tub will actually rest on. To a certain extent, it’s possible to create a firm level base in almost any location but, if you have already got something appropriate then you might want to use it rather than build something new.
Hot tubs are extremely heavy, just think about the weight of all of that water, and they need to be properly supported. If they aren’t then you risk putting undue strain on the structure of the hot tub and damaging it.
Level patios and terraces are ideal. Firm, level gravel is also good and you can also use a concrete block or brick structure beneath the hot tub. One of the easiest solutions is to use hot tub pads – with these you create a flat level area of earth, lay the interlocking pads and then fill them with gravel. This is a quick, economical and relatively easy way to get the perfect base for your hot tub and you can do this almost anywhere in the garden.
If you are thinking of putting your hot tub on decking it will probably need extra support. The weight bearing timbers of most decks are really only designed for the weight of people and they will need to be replaced or added to.
Check out my post on hot tub bases for more information.
Water, drainage and electricity – Generally speaking, you fill most hot tubs using a common garden hose. This isn’t particularly glamorous but it does the job perfectly well! It’s a small point, but make sure that wherever you locate your hot tub you can reach with your garden hose.
Similarly, draining the hot tub (which you will need to do on a regular basis) isn’t a particularly scientific activity. You can use a sump pump to speed up the process and make it a little bit easier, but the basic technique is to simply remove the plug from the bottom of the hot tub and let the water flood out.
Depending upon the location of the hot tub you might want to buy a hot tub that allows you to attach a hose to the drainage point so that you can direct the water where you want it to go. Otherwise, the area where the hot tub is will be flooded with several hundred litres of water.
Hot tub water, drainage and electric considerations
Remember that, generally speaking, you are not permitted to drain your hot tub into the drainage system. Instead, give your plants or lawn a treat and use your drained off hot tub water to give them a drink.
You will need a professional electrician to connect your hot tub to the mains. If you don’t already have an outdoor socket you will need one putting on to the house and you will need a cable running from the house out to the hot tub. In most cases, it’s not a complicated job creating an outdoor power supply but the further the hot tub is from the house the more electrical cable will be needed and it will be a little more expensive.
Keep it Close to home – A huge majority of hot tub owners report that having the hot tub within 10 feet of the house door encourages them to use it more and just makes life with hot tub much more convenient. Bear in mind that a majority of owners use their hot tubs just before going to bed and you will see why proximity to the house is so important.
You might think that will be lovely to have your hot tub down at the bottom of the garden where you have a fantastic view. But there will come a time, maybe when the weather’s a little bit colder or the nights are drawing in when going those extra few feet down to the bottom of the garden will put you off getting into the tub at all.
Using the hot tub in the evenings to unwind after work, and also particularly in the winter, is one of life’s great pleasures and you will be far more inclined to use your hot tub and get the benefit from it if it’s only a short distance from the door of the house.
Consider the weather – The weather can have a huge impact on your enjoyment of using a hot tub and also effects how efficient the hot tub is at keeping heat in as well. For example, if the hot tub is constantly exposed to cold winds it will use far more energy to keep hot and it will be unpleasantly drafty being in too.
Think about where the prevailing wind is in your garden. Is it possible to put the hot tub out of the wind? Maybe you need to erect a windbreak or put the hot tub next to a fence or near a wall. Whatever solution you come up with, putting it in a sheltered spot will make it more economical and more pleasant to use.
Similarly, you need to decide if you would like the hot tub to be in the sun or whether you live in a climate where being out of the sun during the heat of the day is the best thing.
For most of us, having the hot tub in a South Westerly facing suntrap would be absolutely perfect. In this scenario, you may well want to have a sun umbrella or similar sunshade available but having the option of capturing the sun whilst being in the hot tub is a great idea.
However, if you live somewhere scorching hot you might want to consider putting your hot tub in a more shady spot. It could well be that sitting in a hot tub in the full sun would be incredibly uncomfortable so putting the hot tub in shade would be a sensible option.
Comfort and privacy – Having a bit of privacy is also a really important aspect of considering where you’re going to put your hot tub. Check that your chosen location isn’t overlooked too much by your neighbours or that passers-by won’t be able to easily see into the hot tub area. This can be fairly easily achieved by erecting fences or windbreaks or more natural-looking barriers can be made from structural plants. If you are overlooked from above from upstairs windows then a sun shade or awning can be a simple and effective way of adding a little bit of privacy to your hot tub area. Check out my recommended sunshades and canopies here.
Hot Tub Noise Problems
It’s also worth considering the fact that the largest number of complaints about hot tubs is from neighbors complaining about noise. You might not think that a hot tub creates a lot of noise but often, low level humming noises and vibrations can’t be heard close to the hot tub because of the long length of the sound waves involved. However, for a close neighbour the noise can be constantly there and constantly irritating.
The other issue is that inevitably, if we are having a nice time in the hot tub, particularly if there is alcohol involved and friends visiting we do tend to become more noisy andyway. Add to this the fact that you might need to raise your voice a bit when you are in the hot tub to be heard above the noise of the jets etc and you can start to hear, from a neigbor’s point of view, why there are potential noise problems.
So, have a good look at your preferred location and see if you are close to a party fence or wall. Is there any way you could move the hot tub a bit further away from the neighbors and still have it in a good position for yourself?
You might also want to consider the possibility of putting some sort of sound proofing between the hot tub and any potential neighbors as well. A simple 6 foot fence panel will help to keep some of the noise out and also provide some privacy as well. however growing a natural barrier such as a dense hedge or planting is poribably one of the most attractive and effective solutions.
To a certain extent yo really do have the right to do what you want in your garden and to put your hot tub wherever you like. However, disputed with neighbors can become extremely unpleasant and dostressing so it pays to be as considerate as you can be from the outset.
Hot tub location aesthetics
Now we’ve spent a lot of time looking at the practicalities of where to put a hot tub in your garden. But there’s no point putting your hot tub in the most logical and practical place if it’s just going to be a really unpleasant spot to sit in.
You really don’t want to be staring at 3 brick walls or at a really horrible part of the garden whilst you’re relaxing in your hot tub. There needs to be a little bit of compromise sometimes, it would be great if you could have a nice view, or at the very least be in a nice part of the garden rather than next to the compost bins!
Bear in mind that you may eventually want to build some sort of structure around the hot tub. Gazeebos and shelters are really practical additions to your hot tub set uo and can often mean that you are able to extend the hot tub season further throughout the year and get even more value out of your investment.
When you are thinking about the loacation for your hot tub bear in mind that you might, at some point want to build above it as well so think about how that might fit into your garden scheme and also the practicalities of making that possible. If you do build upwards will it block the view from the house, would it be better to move the hot tub to the side or the corner of the garden instead?
Similarly, you might also want to allow for room to expand the area around the hot tub as well. When you have it first installed then you might just go for a basic surround but what about eventually adding space to barbque or even room for an outdoor fire pit. You might want to create a fully fledged outdoor living space with your hot tub a sthe centre piece – will there be room to do this?
You will also want to consider what the hot tub looks like within the context of the whole garden scheme. You don’t want it to be somewhere where it looks out of balance and awkward, it needs to look like a part of the garden rather than something that’s just been stuck in it.
So, it just becomes a case of weighing up the pros and cons, looking at the practicalities and thinking about the aesthetics. In many ways, there’s no right or wrong place to put a hot tub in your garden and in many gardens there will be several possibilities. Just weigh up the pros and cons and go with what feels right.
Do I need planning permission for a hot tub?
Generally speaking you won’t need planning permission for a hot tub but, it’s alwyas worth checking the local planning rules out before going ahead as there are widespread differences depending upon where you live.
If you live in a conservation area or on a heritage site or your property is registered as a listed building then you may well have to get permission wherever you want to out your hot tub. However, for most people installing a hot tub in the back garden shouldn’t be a problem.
You may run into more issues if you want to put a hot tub in the front garden as in some areas an installation between the main dwelling and the main road can be an issue.
The main problems that people come across are when they want to build a structure above or around the hot tub. Sometimes if these are “temporary” structures such a s gazeebos then there isn’t an issue but iften if they are too high or too close to the boundary of your property then you can run into difficulties.
Also if, when installing the hot tub you plan to deck around the area and you end up wit more than 50% of your garden decked over this can be problematic as well.
The best advice is to check with your local planning office and to also use your common sense. If th hot tub installation is going to effect the neighborhood in any way then the chances are that planning prmission will need to be sought.
It’s much better to do this before installation than after as any remedial work aterwards is bound to be fraught with stress and extra expense!
You can find out about hot tubs and planning permissions in much more detail in my post here.
Can I put my hot tub inside?
Yes, you can have your hot tub inside and there’s a number of advantages to this type of arrangement. The main one is that you won’t need to worry about the weather and you will be able to enjoy your hot tub at any time of day or night and all year round without any problems.
You also have the advantage of complete privacy as well as the convenience of not having to get changed indoors and then go outside to your hot tub. Your hot tub will probably be more energy efficient as well as the ambient air temperature around it will probably be relatively high so the heating system won’t have to work too hard.
Of course, some people would say that by avoiding the elements and a little bit of discomfort you are missing out on one of the most enjoyable aspects of hot tubbing! There really is something magical about being in a hot tub outdoors in the dark with it all illuminated around you.
Similarly, being submerged in hot water with cool fresh winter air blowing on your face is invigorating and a great feeling – yes, it’s not so nice when you get out but, non the less it feels energising and wholesome!
If you do decide to have the hot tub indoors there will be a few practicalities to consider. The main one is that you will have to deal with a great deal of condensation and you will need an extraction system to avoid damaging the fabric of the building.
The floor will also have to be water resistant and preferably slip resistant so that it’s safe getting in and out of the hot tub and you will need to ensure that it is level and strong enough to support the weight of the hot tub.
The hot tub will need to wired up by a professional electrician and you will need to consider how you will drain it. Some hot tubs have a system where you can attach a hose to the drain plug and you will have to be able to do this to drain it if it’s indoors.
As with planning a garden hot tub you will also need to carefully consider how you will get it into situ as well as get it out if you want to change it or dispose of it.
Many people include a hot tub in home improvement projects and, without thinking, put the hot tub in first and then build walls and replace doors and windows making it impossible to get the hot tub out again if you want to – big problem!
Other hot tub locations
People install hot tubs in conservatories, basements, garages, garden sheds, summer houses and all sorts of other locations. There’s really not any right or wrong, just remember that, whatever place you choose for your hot tub, you need to leave 1 – 2 feet of access space around it, you need to have a firm and level base and you need to make provision for electricity, filling and drainage.
The other main consideration for any hot tub that is in an enclosed area is that of condensation so make sure that there is adequate ventilation and that you don’t keep any belongings that could be damaged by water and condensation nearby.