Even during the greatest British summers, there’s the threat of a downpour, that or the afternoon heat can be overbearing, forcing us to reconsider taking that daily dip in the hot tub! Still, wanting to make the most of your outdoor space year-round, you may be wondering:
Not all garden buildings are created equal, and there are a few important considerations you’ll have to make to protect the structure and the hot tub placed inside.
Luckily, we’ve seen plenty of successful attempts at popping hot tubs in summerhouses and other garden structures over the last ten years!
So join us as we outline the do’s and don’ts of setting up your hot tub in a garden building; we’ll tell you now that sheds are basically off the cards. Still, with the right materials and a few considerations, it’s perfectly possible to create a suitable structure to house your spa in your own backyard.
So, let’s find out how!
Can You Put A Hot Tub In A Shed?
Generally speaking, your average garden shed isn’t ideal for housing a hot tub. For starters, hot tubs create a lot of humidity and moisture that can quickly spell the end for your wooden shed, especially as the shed is unlikely to be made from pressure-treated timber!
Your hot tub will also need to be connected to utility lines, be it an electrical supply or its own plumbing system, and it’s unlikely that your humble garden shed will have the desired hookups for either.
Then there’s the fact that garden sheds are often not designed to hold large and heavy objects like a full hot tub! The average shed is for storing furniture and other outdoor supplies.
Not only will it be hard to squeeze your spa into a wooden shed, but it’s also unlikely that there’ll be enough space surrounding the hot tub for you to get in and out safely in the shed, and the shed floor isn’t going to be strong enough to hold a 2500-3000kg hot tub filled with water.
What about a metal shed?
Metal sheds get around the issue of damp and rotten wood, though without proper air vents or a cooling system in the garden shed, it’s going to get pretty hot in that little storage unit!
You’ll also still have the problem of easy access in that your garden shed is unlikely to be large enough to properly house your hot tub with enough room around the sides to maintain and use it.
Again, the problems with a hot tub installation in a garden shed stretch beyond the construction materials.
Despite plastic posing less of an issue than a wooden shed, it’s still likely to be too small to put a hot tub in, not have good enough air circulation or have a sturdy base that can hold your heavy hot tub.
Also, whilst you don’t usually need planning permission for a shed, you probably will for any garden building with access to an electricity supply or other utilities. Getting around this problem is still going to bring up more issues down the line!
How to Build a Hot Tub Shed
Creating a vent
One way to better equip a shed for a hot tub installation, provided that the shed structure is large enough and has a strong enough base, is to create air vents to help promote better ventilation and limit the moisture inside.
The best way to do this is to decide where the prevailing outdoor airflow hits your shed and install a slatted air vent high up on the walls of either side. Make sure there’s a layer of mesh to prevent bugs from flying in!
You could also install windows on the roof that can be opened to provide ventilation and temperature control or invest in a rotating roof-mounted vent that uses wind power to suck moisture-filled air out of the structure.
Why Sheds Are Not Ideal For Hot Tubs
Sheds are designed as storage units; they’re not equipped with the ventilation needed to create a hospitable environment for relaxing.
This is only amplified when you introduce the steam and moisture of a hot tub to a shed, not to mention the spa chemicals evaporating from hot tub water, producing a less than ideal (and unsafe) space to be hot-tubbing in!
Most hot tubs require at least an electrical supply, with some needing their own plumbing to power their massage systems adequately.
As in most cases, sheds are built without utility hookups. They’re not ideal for spas, and don’t think about getting around this with extension cords, as this can damage your hot tub or even start a fire!
Full of sharp things
Your shed is the ideal location for a workstation or storing tools; that’s its job! But this only increases the risk of puncturing an inflatable model if any sharp tools are stored around your spa. Not to mention the rogue nails or splintered wood that often line their walls.
It doesn’t create a relaxing ambience.
Possibly the simplest of reasons is that your shed just isn’t a particularly nice place to hang out; a shed isn’t designed to be!
A shed can be stuffy, clammy and filled with dust or DIY supplies, and there’s probably no space for any nice seating or a cosy veranda out front.
Can You Put A Hot Tub In A Summer House?
Yes, a summer house can be the perfect spot for your hot tub, but you’ll need to check off a few things first.
Primarily you’ll need a sturdy hot tub base that can hold a 2500kg+ filled hot tub, so look for a shed or house with at least 32mm thick decking and 300ctr joists to support this weight.
The walls and roof of your summer house should be made from a pressure-treated timer to ensure that moisture and heat don’t damage the shed structure, and you’ll need air vents and windows installed high on the walls to encourage airflow.
Ample space will be needed inside to make accessing and maintaining your spa easier, at least 12-18 inches around the hot tub is recommended, and a bi-folding door will be best so that installing or removing your hot tub can be done without dismantling your summer house!
Also, consider adding insulation so your enclosure can be used in the winter, with double-glazed windows to trap a little heat during chillier nights.
Benefits Of Having A Hot Tub In A Garden Room
In built-up neighbourhoods, even our gardens aren’t fully private, so popping your hot tub in a summer house or shed provides protection for the family, and other people and can help to prevent prying eyes from peeping on your soaks fully.
With shelter from the elements and good insulation, you can relax in complete comfort inside your summer house shed, whether scorching hot outside or freezing cold! Helping you to make the most out of your hot tub year-round.
No disturbing the neighbours
A common complaint about hot tubs is that neighbours can quickly tire of noisy pumps and loud guests.
Having your hot tub in an enclosed space will add a little extra distance between these sounds and your neighbours, hopefully keeping them on side.
Although modern hot tubs are constructed with pretty durable materials, a hot tub outdoors will still eventually see some damage from weathering, UV exposure and animals, amongst other things.
A hot tub in a summer house is much better protected from unexpected damages, increasing its useful lifespan and saving you from costly repairs or replacements.
Precautions For Using A Summer House For Hot Tubs
First, the summer house needs to be built on a solid foundation, be that a concrete slab, a level patio or suitable wood decking. If you’re eyeing up a grassy area, make sure to lay a level concrete slab!
How to protect your timber
Next, if your structure has not been made from pressure-treated (tanalised) wood, you’ll need to treat the interior with an appropriate stain to prevent the wood from becoming damp and rotten.
Water and wood don’t mix; it’s not worth risking your expensive summer house fighting this!
Another important aspect is to have a professional run an electrical cable from your home into your summer house.
You’ll need to check whether your hot tub needs a 16 or 32amp supply and have this safely fitted to the interior of your structure.
Nighttime trip hazards
A final note is that a summer house positioned at the bottom of your garden could increase the risk of you tripping over it when walking back to your house at night.
Consider installing a remote-controlled light to illuminate your path or some solar lights along your route to help guide you home!
How To Drain A Hot Tub in a Summerhouse
Most hot tubs include built-in drains, which can be used to empty water directly out of an outdoor spa.
Though some models can be drained with an attached hose to run the water away to your drain, the best choice for a summer house is to buy a submersible pump.
This way, you don’t need to worry about gravity doing the work; instead, the pump with its own attached hose can safely drain the water out to your main drain without risking a sodden yard!
What’s The Ideal Hot Tub Housing?
Garden buildings that have been purpose-built for the job provide the best housing for your hot tub. See all our guides on installing a hot tub if you have any further questions or concerns.
There are quite a few specific considerations to be made in an ideal spa enclosure, so it’s best to design this shed space before you consider popping a hot tub inside.
Open-walled gazebos and verandas can be ideal, as you’ll have shelter above yet enough ventilation around the sides, though they can get chilly in the winter.
Better yet is a summer house or log cabin with bi-folding doors to easily get your spa in and out, made from treated timber resistant to the moisture and steam your hot tub produces.
- Though there are workarounds, in most cases, sheds (be they wooden, metal or plastic) are not a great choice for housing a hot tub.
- A wooden summer house must be constructed from treated (tanalised) timber to prevent it from becoming damp, rotten, and unsafe as a shed would. Untreated timber can be stained later, though you must do this before installing your hot tub in the shed.
- The foundation of your shed structure must be able to hold the weight of a full hot tub and your guests, so a concrete base, level patio or appropriate decking will be required.
- There must be at least 12-18 inches of free space around your hot tub in the finished building and enough room around the door to easily get the spa in and out.
- Air flow is vital in a shed, so think about vents and a window on at least one wall. You’ll also need a professionally installed electrical power supply and possibly plumbing run from your home.
Hopefully, that answered your question! You can build a decent outdoor structure to house your hot tub, provided you follow a few simple rules to protect your spa and the structure itself.
Your summerhouse needs to be made from tanalised timber to protect it from steam and heat and have a solid foundation to support the weight of a full spa. You will need to include ample vents to promote good airflow unlike a shed and have access to at least an electrical power supply!
Sheds are mostly unsuited for this job, and building a bespoke structure from scratch will certainly be worth your time rather than purchasing a shed.
Take all of these points into account and you should be well on your way to building an ideal home for your hot tub.