Free Standing "floating" hot tub deck

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Old 03-11-13, 02:40 PM
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Free Standing "floating" hot tub deck

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Hello, new here, hoping to get instruction on an Idea.
currently my 8*8 hot tub is sitting on a perm deck, I'd like to reclaim that space and move it onto it's own platform. There is a small 12*14ish space next to the existing deck behind a shed I'd like to build a 10*10 platform for the tub and connect the 2 by a board walk. I do not want to dig and cement. I have thought of concrete piers with the joist resting on them but I need to be able to level slightly, then I thought of cuts of 4*4's vertically to attach the frame also sitting on the piers. Both these options seem to elevate it too much. I didn't really want to build up due to possible erotion, one side is a drop off into a sm run off creek bed and not a lot of room to dig out due to rock. Do I need to alter the joist spacing from the norm? Not sure of the weight. can I use patio pavers? Maybe dig out a little and fill with sand place the paver and rest the 4*4's directly on them. I could probably dig 2-4" the rest is a pretty solid mix of rock. I was also thinking of using a couple lags to attach to the shed since it was going to be so close.
if the pic loaded this is the basic idea and is not to scale.
Thanks for all the help, input and suggestions, Jona
 
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Old 03-11-13, 09:39 PM
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Your requirements are making it too restrictive for anyone to comment. You don't want to dig down, and you don't want to go up. The logical among us are throwing up our hands in despair.

But if no one has a better idea, why not build a wooden deck raised up a few feet above the existing deck? You could incorporate 2 or 3 risers into the walkway between the 2 decks. If the shed presents a problem (doorway conflict), raise it up as well, or relocate the door.

P.S. A 10 x 10 deck is not large enough for an 8 x 8 hot tub. Having only 12" to get in and out from/on is too tight--better to go with 12 x 12, to give you and your guests a few feet to maneuver on, all around.
 
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Old 03-12-13, 06:06 AM
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If you are that close to the ground and don't want to dig, depending on what brand spa you have, you can make a level gravel base and place concrete pavers on top of the gravel bed if needed. Many spas only have structure in a few areas on their bottom so you need to make sure those areas are properly supported.
 
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Old 03-12-13, 12:22 PM
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Thank you for replying, I was hoping this forum would get the juices flowing and give me participants to brainstorm with while giving me specific structural info.
It's not that I don't want to dig down, I can't, I live in a valley that was created by removing the mountain that sat on it. I don't have heavy equipment and if I did don't have the space to use it. I want to remove the tub from the deck completely and keep it lower than the existing deck mainly for visual privacy, the 8' dog eared fence dividing our property is maybe 2 or so feet on the other side from where the platform would be. I'd build a basic deck platform with pressure treated 2*6's on the ground if I could but I have a corner that keeps the whole thing from being level. That is my obstacle. I thought I'd tie in the back of the shed as a wall (for deco or hooks for towels) since it's right there.
The platform was only to be large enough to be used as a step I thought 10" or so was the typical tread depth. I knew 10' from the shed was the furthest out I could build, good thing my mind embellished on what I thought was the size. I measured the tub this morning and it is only 69" sq. and 29"H, it's small, a 2 person. I've contacted the old owner for it's volume and weight but is there a rule of thumb for weight distribution? How far should I have my joist spaced? Lets assume I've poured a pad and using 2*8 for joists directly on the pad. Thanks
 

Last edited by stickshift; 03-12-13 at 01:16 PM. Reason: removed formatting
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Old 03-12-13, 01:16 PM
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Jonaboon: Please type your responses within the forums, we have trouble with posts being unreadable when copied and pasted from elsewhere.
 
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Old 03-12-13, 01:25 PM
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Just as a guess I would say your spa weighs something less than 2'000 pounds when filled.

If you are considering pouring a pad you probably would not need joists. There is a 2 yard minimum in my area for individuals to have concrete delivered without a additional delivery fee. With that much concrete you could probably form it up and get to the elevation you need and not have to bother with decking.

If you want the look of a deck the size joists you need will depend on the span. If you make a level, compacted stone pad you can put a deck on top with only enough framing to hold the deck boards in place since it would be continuously supported underneath. If you go with posts/piers and a more traditional deck construction then you would have bigger joists if you only do a post in each corner. If you put 3 posts on a side and/or put a beam down the center with support posts then you can get away with smaller lumber. A consideration if you don't have much elevation to work with.
 
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Old 03-12-13, 09:08 PM
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Mitch-ok,sorry, just utilizing spell check in word. I didn't want to download iespell.

Pilot Dane-re-thinking the strategy, I've been thinking of going the route of a stone base with 2*8 resting on it. That will give me the height and allow for some leveling. I like putting the joists on the ground, makes me feel confidant about it's structural integrity.
 

Last edited by Jonaboon; 03-12-13 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 03-12-13, 10:44 PM
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"Deck joists on the ground" and "structural integrity" don't belong in the same sentence. Meaning that before too many years, the joist bottoms will start to rot, meaning you'll have to drain the tub, remove it and many deck planks, and then replace the rotted joists. And then play Humpty-Dumpty, putting everything back together again.

Most of us old-school people learned a long time ago that it's far better to build it right, and just one time, than to do it sloppy, quick and just plain wrong--multiple times.

Good thing you're young and ambitious.
 
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Old 03-13-13, 06:02 AM
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One thing to watch out for is often 2x lumber like 2x4, 2x6 and 2x8 are treated to a level for non-ground contact while larger timber type lumber like 4x4, 4x6 and 6x6 receive more preservative and are rated for ground contact.
 
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Old 03-13-13, 07:24 AM
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A 500 gallon tub holds 4,150 pounds of water

Even if your tub only holds 300 gallons, plan on it weighing around 3,000 lbs without humans sloshing around in it. Also plan on it being a 'live load'. Since the water and the humans can move about, the load is not 'static'.

What's wrong with pavers under the footprint of the tub and the free-standing deck built around it?

Whatever you do with the deck, plan on access to the equipment inside the cabinet of the tub. When I say 'access', imagine yourself working on the equipment and plan accordingly.

That may be as simple as removing the bottom cabinet panel screws before you block them with a deck or be as complicated as making a section of the deck removable. Don't expect a hot tub repair technician to stand on a steep slope or in the nearby creek to work on your tub.

Speaking of the creek, you might want to check with local ordinances on that issue too (in addition to all the obvious electrical and building code issues).

Depending on where you live, you might find you cannot build that close to the 'natural habitat' and might be surprised to find the fines are well beyond anything an electrical or building inspector might hit you with.
 
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