Can I Add A Hot Tub To My Deck?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

A deck is a fun escape and a way to add value to your backyard, especially if you add other luxuries. It is natural to picture yourself living a life of leisure in a hot tub on your deck. Countless homeowners have asked themselves the question; can I add a hot tub to my deck?

You can add a hot tub to your deck as long as it can handle 100 pounds per square foot. Hot tubs weigh between 500 and 1,000 or more before you even fill them with water. Your deck needs to have strong enough support beams to handle up to a 3,000-6,000 pound hot tub once you fill it up.

A homeowner can also install a hot tub on a second-story deck, but only if it passes inspection. The weight of a hot tub is slightly less important if you have a ground-level deck, but you still need to consider it. Follow along as we explore the important factors that you need to consider when you add a hot tub to your deck.

Deck Requirements for Hot Tub

You can only add a hot tub to your deck if it is made to withstand its weight. Not every deck can handle a hot tub, especially if it can only handle less than 100 per square foot. Otherwise, the weight of the hot tub could pose a serious structural risk to your deck.

The average hot tub weighs at least 500 pounds when there is no water in it. A hot tub can weigh between 3,000 and 6,000 when you fill it with water. It depends on how much the hot tub weighs when it’s empty and its water capacity.

Your deck must be able to withstand 100 pounds per square foot or the weight of the water alone will damage it. A hot tub could collapse or weaken the deck otherwise and that could lead to tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. You may even need to replace the deck entirely and that is more trouble than it’s worth.

Installing a Hot Tub on a Raised Deck

You can easily install a hot tub on a raised deck, but you need to exercise caution. It takes at least 3-4 people to safely put a hot tub on a raised deck. Hot tubs weigh between 500 and 1,000 pounds without water, so they can be difficult to move.

It is much easier to install a hot tub on a ground-level deck. However, hot tubs are a great way to make your raised deck an even more appealing backyard getaway. Make sure that you place your hot tub evenly over the support beams on your raised deck.

This will ensure that your deck will be able to withstand the weight of the hot tub, as long as it’s rated at 100 pounds per square foot or more. Naturally, you will need to carry the hot tub up a set of stairs for a raised deck. Make sure that you have enough people to help you because it can be difficult to carry the weight up a set of stairs.

Can You Put a Hot Tub on a Second Story Deck?

You can put a hot tub on a second-story deck, but it is a slightly trickier process. The structural integrity of your deck is of the utmost importance, and that is especially true if it’s on the second story of your home. Only add a hot tub to a second-story deck if you have it officially inspected.

The inspection will determine if the support beams, size, and condition of the materials are enough to handle a hot tub. An old and weathered wooden deck won’t be as durable as a brand new one, for example. Composite decks last much longer than wood and the planks won’t lose their strength as quickly over time.

You can install the hot tub on your second-story deck if it passes inspection, but it’s not ideal for every homeowner. It’s only a good idea to install a hot tub on a second-story deck if you can easily refill it with water. This won’t be able if you don’t have a hose that can reach the deck or a nearby water source.

How Much Does it Cost to Reinforce a Deck for a Hot Tub?

Some homeowners will need to reinforce their deck to be able to add a hot tub. Hire a structural engineer or inspector to get their input on their recommendations for your deck because each one is unique. You will likely need to install extra joists to support the massive weight of the hot tub.

Unfortunately, it can be quite expensive to reinforce a deck for a hot tub. It is worth the cost if you want to add a hot tub to your deck because it is a difficult DIY project. You can expect to spend up to $5,000 to reinforce a deck depending on what it needs.

It only costs $500-$700 if you simply need to replace a few boards, however. Replacing joists often costs at least $255 per joist which can add up quickly. Even still, reinforcing a deck is much cheaper than replacing it which can cost $14,000 or more.

10×10 Deck for Hot Tub

A 10×10 deck meant solely for a hot tub is common and often necessary in many cases. A platform or deck of some kind is important because a hot tub needs to be level. Hot tubs cannot simply sit on the ground because it will likely be uneven.

The sheer weight of the hot tub will also damage your landscaping in many cases. A hot tub can sink deep into the ground in some cases if it sits on the ground. This is especially a problem if you live in a rainy area or run your sprinklers regularly.

Some homeowners even put their hot tub on a slab of concrete instead of a 10×10 deck. This is a great option as well because you won’t need to worry about deck joists and planks or rotting wood. However, many homeowners consider a 10×10 deck a more appealing option because they are cheap and easy to build.

Joist Spacing

Proper joist spacing is what determines how much weight your deck can handle. Joist placement depends on the material that you plan to build your deck out of. Composite and wood are the two most popular materials for a hot tub deck or platform.

A 10×10 deck for a hot tub needs joists that are spaced 16” apart if they are made of wood. However, you need to space the joists apart by 12” if your hot tub deck is made of composite planks.

Summing it Up

Make sure to check how much weight your deck can hold before you add a hot tub. Ideally, a deck needs to be able to support 100 pounds per square foot minimum if you plan to install a hot tub. Hot tubs weigh 500-1,000 pounds without water in them, and 3,000 pounds or more when full.

An inspector will tell you whether or not you need to reinforce your deck before you add a hot tub. Reinforcing a deck to handle a hot tub can cost up to $5,000 or even more depending on what needs to be done. The most common scenario is that you will need to add extra joists or replace existing joists to handle the weight.

You can safely add a hot tub to a second-story hot tub as well if it can support the weight. It is harder to carry a hot tub up to a second-story deck, however. Try to consider whether or not you can easily refill your hot tub with water if it is on the second-story deck before you purchase it.

Related Guides

Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

More by Nick Durante