How to Make a Hot Tub Cover Replacement

What You'll Need
Thick, marine-quality vinyl
Plywood board
Foam insulation
Adhesive ideal for wood, foam and vinyl
4 handles

In the months when your hot tub is not being used, a hot tub cover replacement could be just what you need to keep out the autumn leaves, winter snow and other seasonal debris, and can save you long hours of unnecessary cleaning. If you own a hot tub, you probably already know that vinyl or styrofoam hot tub covers are expensive to purchase and replace. But you're in luck. With a little effort, a hot tub cover replacement is simple and inexpensive to make on your own.

Step 1 - Take Measurements

Before purchasing the materials, take exact measurements of the top opening on your hot tub. This step will save you a lot of time and headaches later, especially if your hot tub does not assume a more standard shape. It's important to note the precise dimensions so that your cover can work the way it is meant to. Any size discrepancies may create gaps that can still allow debris inside, or overhangs that may damage the side of your hot tub. When purchasing your materials, remember to exceed the dimensions of your hot tub by at least an inch or so.

Step 2 - Cutting the Materials 

Transfer the dimensions of your hot tub opening onto the plywood board, and leave an additional 1/4 inch around the edge. You can use a circular saw or jigsaw to cut around the perimeter of your outline. Make another cut directly down the center of the board, dividing it into two equal halves.

Now that your board is cut, you can use it as a stencil for cutting your foam insulation to fit each half. Apply your adhesive to the surface of the plywood boards and press the foam firmly against the adhesive.

Cut your vinyl to 1 1/2 inches larger than each half of your plywood boards. Also cut a strip that is approximately 3 inches wide and runs the entire length of your 2 plywood halves. Finally, cut 2, 6 inch wide strips that will run the full perimeter of each half except for the center edge, with 2 extra inches to the length of each strip.

Step 3 - Assembling the Cover 

Spread each of the larger vinyl cuts over its respective board, opposite from the side you've attached to the foam, and glue it to the surface. Glue the 3 inch wide strip directly down the center of your 2 boards to create a hinge. Then glue the 6 inch wide strips around the edge of each half, allowing an additional inch on either side to overlap with the additional inch of the other half, creating a skirt around the top of your hot tub.

Screw the 2 handles to the top of each board at locations that are convenient for you.

You're all done. When summer comes around, you can uncover your hot tub and jump right in instead of spending hours cleaning it out.