How to Build a Roof for a Hot Tub Gazebo
The next best thing to having a personal hot tub to relax your muscles is having a hot tub gazebo to cover it, letting you enjoy the warmth of the bubbling water in any kind of weather. A hot tub enclosure not only keeps rain and snow from falling on you while you soak, but adds a level of privacy that is much desired. Your hot tub already rests upon a framed deck, and once you have constructed the walls of your gazebo, it will be necessary to give it a roof. Building a roof for your gazebo will require some tools, time and special knowledge, but you can do it yourself in a weekend if you have a mind to.
Step 1: Frame the Joist Support
Because it is a relatively small roof, there is no need for rafters. The joists need to attach to something, however. Around the edge of the walls, secure a layer of 2x4 lumber with the screwdriver. It should be the same shape as the walls–hexagonal or square, for example. To this layer you will attach the angled joists in a pattern consistent with the shape of the gazebo. This frame will support the weight of the roof, so be sure it is secure and perfectly level.
Step 2: Frame the Corner Joists
The joists are the angled pieces of lumber that converge at the point of the roof. Assuming your gazebo is square shaped, from each corner you will construct a 2x6 joist, with all four meeting in the center. Precise measurement is crucial. You should find the center of the walls and cut the joists to a length that leaves enough overhang to cover the hot tub. Decide on an angle for the joists. 45 degrees is steeper than it has to be. If you choose 30 degrees, be sure you cut the edges of the joist pieces at 60 degrees so the sides are perfectly vertical. In order to firmly attach the four corner joists to the support, a 90 degree cut needs to be made in the same place for each joist–that means 90 degrees relative to the angle it will sit!
Step 3: Frame the Remaining Joists
After the four corner joists are framed it’s time to install three smaller joists per side of the roof. Cut the edges at the same angle as the corner pieces, and make the 90 degree cut in the same place so they all match up at the overhang. Their length, however, will differ. On each of the four sides, one extra joist will go from the center of the support to the apex of the roof and two will run from either side of that piece up to about the middle of the corner piece. Basically, you will have three evenly spaced joists per side running at an angle to the original four corner joists.
Step 4: Lay the Plywood Roof
Now that the frame is complete, cut the plywood in the appropriate sizes with the skill saw. You will likely need two pieces per side cut at angles. Again, measure accurately so each of the roof pieces rests flush against those on the adjacent side.
Step 5: Complete the Roof
Over the plywood you will nail on a layer of tar paper for added weather protection. After the tar paper is attached, lay the shingles on the roof. Use roofing nails, and begin from the bottom edge of the roof. Complete the entire bottom and then move up a level and so on until you have reached the top. Cap the apex of the gazebo roof, and you are done.
Now that your gazebo has a functional roof, there is no such thing as weather that is too bad for hot tub use. Outdoor hot tubs are great, especially when there is a roof that covers it. Rain or snow, weather will never again keep you from enjoying a soak.