Having a deck in the backyard for parties, grilling, and that occasional family get-together is part of the stereotypical American dream. Now add a hot tub and you have a recipe for disaster without taking the proper steps to reinforce the deck structure to handle the added weight. Most decks constructed are not originally designed to stand up to the weight of a hot tub without reinforcement.
With a gallon of water weighing approximately 8.3 pounds, the weight a deck would need to support can be as much as 4200 pounds of water. When the weight of the hot tub itself and people are factored in, the total weight a deck would need to support can climb to the 3 ton mark. Unless a home owner has a little knowledge and experience in basic math and engineering, it is not deck builder recommended to undertake the project of reinforcing the deck as a do-it-yourself project. This type of job requires the reconstruction of the existing deck by a skilled hand and the services of a professional deck builder.
Depending on the size and condition of the deck in question, it is often cheaper and more advantageous to scrap the entire deck and build a new one from scratch. If this is the case or there is not an existing deck at all, this gives the home owner the opportunity of a custom deck design with improvements along the way. With the freedom of working with a clean slate, many amenities can be incorporated into a new deck design.
Including a hot tub into the design of the deck is a very wise choice. Recessing the hot tub into the deck provides several different benefits. By having the edge of the hot tub at a lower point, it can provide easier entry and exiting of the hot tub. Safety is also improved with a recessed hot tub. It also affords the home owner an easier time of placing the cover over the hot tub when not in use.
Whether or not a new deck is constructed, safety is the most important goal. Serious injury or worse can occur when a deck collapses due to insufficient support. Using a professional deck builder or contractor can be the best course of action. For a small fee, some contractors will inspect the structure to determine what will be required. Many jurisdictions may also have building code requirements and require permits. An experienced deck builder can take the weight from the home owner’s shoulders.