A homemade hot tub can accent your pool deck or be an oasis unto itself.Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Adding a hot tub to your pool deck, back yard or patio gives you and your family a new place to enjoy the outdoors. However, commercial hot tubs that require professional installation can be expensive. Building your own hot tub from basic, inexpensive materials will save money and allow you to customize the tub to fit your yard and your needs.
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One of the basic materials that many hot tubs share is some form of masonry. Bricks, pavers or poured concrete can form the walls of a hot tub. Even if your hot tub has wood sides or is sunken and therefore flush with the level of the ground, you'll need a cement foundation so that it rests evenly. If you build your own hot tub surround, it will require both the building material itself and mortar for support.
A hot tub's liner is a waterproof layer that features openings for the water inlet and jets, but otherwise prevents water from leaving the hot tub. The liner may be a flexible vinyl layer that gets its support from a masonry structure, or a metal or fiberglass tub that provides its own structure. The liner must be sealed with a waterproof caulk to prevent leaks that can damage the entire system and waste large volumes of water over time.
Hot tub plumbing consists of pipes that feed water to and from the hot tub. You can bury plumbing in the cement or leave it exposed for easy access and maintenance. With a homemade hot tub you can control the number and location of jets within the hot tub. The hot tub's plumbing also includes the water heater and pump. These are two separate machines that you'll need to install near the tub and wire to a power source to keep the water warm and circulating properly.
Many hot tub materials are available as prefabricated parts that you can install yourself. For example, complete plumbing systems are available from hot tub manufacturers for replacements or self installation projects. For a liner, you may choose to purchase a preformed hot tub insert, which you surround with your own masonry and attach your own plumbing system to. These prefabricated parts save time and reduce the likelihood of problems in the future if you lack the experience necessary to build your own hot tub entirely from scratch.