Help with deck design

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  #1  
Old 07-23-07, 05:57 AM
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Help with deck design

Here is a pic of the back yard of my house, and a quick idea I put together with some software - its not to scale yet, but want to get a good idea on what im not thinking about...
Deck will be 12" off ground, then the raised portion with hot tub will be 36" tall so the hot tub will be flush with the deck.
Thanks for any ideas!

http://hostmyjpg.com/imageuploads/2f5fe6b3900ee58ce602ec12d16a4abd.jpg

http://hostmyjpg.com/imageuploads/80d7eafd49f1924a8251dfdcd25579cd.jpg
 
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Old 07-23-07, 07:43 AM
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To Sink or Not to Sink?

Do you really want to "sink" the hot tub into the deck?

Hot tubs require maintenance on a weekly basis (chemicals, filter cleanings etc. and you will be doing all of this on your hands and knees with the tub at deck level. Just getting into the tub will be challenging for some as there is nothing to hold onto and you are stepping down into a wet slippery surface. Some of your guests will have to sit on the deck first and then get into the tub.

Should you need extensive repairs, the inner workings are accessible by taking off the exterior panels of the hot tub. This will be very difficult if you have floor joists for the deck surrounding the panels and working under the deck will be difficult because you will have about 2 feet of space from the ground to the bottom of the floor joist.
 
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Old 07-23-07, 11:52 AM
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Thanks for the insight. I guess I assumed chemicals were added to the top and that there would only be one panel that would come off for maintanence type work. I keep thinking it will be up pretty high, but it will hardly be a crawl space. Sinking it into the deck was just to give it more character and make it look better, and adding another level to the deck too...
 
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Old 07-23-07, 06:50 PM
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Hot tub maintenance means that you have to have access to the side panel where the pump, drain valve, etc. are located. Adding chemicals, cleaning the filters, etc., that's all done from the top. But once every 3 or 4 months, you have to drain the water. That's when you need to get into the side panel.

Plan accordingly!!

A trap door so that you can remove a small section of decking works. Or just planning so that you can access the side panel from below is also an option. Talk to your spa dealer BEFORE you build the deck and get it figured out.
 
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Old 07-24-07, 05:33 PM
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I'm not a big fan of recessing spas into decks. It's a safety thing.

The 36" high side of a spa will be an obstacle for toddlers. A spa that is decked to just below the fiberglass of the tub, so that there is only a 3" or 4" lip of the spa above the level of the deck is just INVITING a 2 year old to take a dive!!

Probably not so much your family, but THINK about all of the scenarios of who may be visiting, and what kids may be involved.
 
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Old 07-25-07, 04:39 AM
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Possibly a Code issue also

Building on Lefty's safety concerns, the spa at deck level might involve some code issues.

In my jurisdiction in MD, my cover has to lock to the side panels to meet code. The code is obviously desinged to prohibit kids from just flipping the top back and getting into the hot tub.

I'm not sure how you would lock the cover down if you have it flush to the deck. Besides talking to your spa/hot tub dealer about panel access issues, you might run this by your local inspector to see if they require the top to be locked when not in use.
 
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