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Hot Tub Designs

Aug 9, 2017 | Building or Buying a Hot Tub

No doubt you’ve seen hot tubs before and have seen many different types of hot tub designs. There are hundreds of hot tub manufactures so naturally there will be and equal amount of hot tub designs.

However, manufactured hot tubs do have some limitations in their design criteria. One is, the outside length and width and the reason it’s limited is because of shipping restrictions. Shipping an oversize unit whether it’s a hot tub or something else can add a lot of extra cost when transporting goods from point A to point B. Therefore, most manufactures make their hot tubs to sizes that will fit inside or on common carrier trucks.

Another size restriction is the floor to deck height dimension. Many manufactured hot tubs have a deck height of just under 36”. This is so if the unit were to be turned on its side it could fit through a three-foot door entryway for and indoor installation.

These restrictions in hot tub designs can make some hot tubs rather uncomfortable.

Footwell area is often cramped and the deck height restriction means that you could easily be sitting in your hot tub with the water level only coming up to your chest area not over it. That could mean you would get a little chilly in a cold climate area if the hot tub was outdoors. At Custom Built Spas, we take a very different approach to our hot tub designs, keeping comfort for you as the customer our main goal. We do this by showing you how to build your own spa or hot tub and to build it where your own personal comfort is at the forefront.

We look at three main criteria when trying to achieve personal comfort; leg room, tub depth and the number of jets. Lack of leg room is one of the chief complaints our customers tell us about when it comes to the manufactured or portable hot tubs. Tub depth is the next issue we hear about all the time. Unless you are laying almost prone in one of their contour seating positions, you sit half out of the water, what’s the advantage of that?

The third biggest complaint we hear customers voice is that even though a hot tub has many jets, the volume of water hitting your body is weak. You see, with hot tubs and spas, it’s not about how many jets it has, it’s all about the volume of water directed at your body and area that water is being broadcast over. This brings us to the fourth biggest complaint. With a spa or hot tub design that features contour seating, numerous jets are often located all over that seat location.

Think about these hot tub designs for a minute. If you are lying in a contour seat position full of jets, you’re lying on top of at least half of those jets. What kind of therapeutic benefit do you think you will derive from that, I say probably none! Now you’re likely thinking to yourself, but these spas look so nice in the pictures with all those jets etc. Put here is where reality steps in. Looks and function can be two very different animals when it comes to hot tub designs.

With a Custom Built Spas DIY hot tub, we can provide you with high volume jets with a larger broadcast area. The therapeutic benefit is much greater for your body with this type of set up.

Let’s talk about footwell area and depth for a few minutes. In a Custom Built DIY Spa or hot tub, even in the smaller size of 6’ X 6’, you have about a 40” square footwell area. That’s almost three times more than most portable spas offer. And as far as depth goes, we call for a minimum of 40” to 42” floor to top of wall as a starting point. If you have a longer torso or you are a taller person, make the top of wall height a little more, maybe 44”. The seat height we generally recommend is 16” high with a depth of 16” about the same as a standard chair. For most adults, this is a perfectly comfortable seating position.

portable hot tub

Typical Portable hot tub. Doesn’t look that comfortable to me.

DIY hot tub construction

Spa construction nearing completion for this Custom Built Spa. Plenty of footwell area.

Keep in mind, that as you sit in water say up to your neck, you are about 90% buoyant, you are not uncomfortable. So what you don’t have contour seating that restricts your sitting position to just that spot. In Hot Tub Designs, such as what we do with Custom Built Spas does them, you are free to move around easily to experience the different jet effect set ups. Some builders make different seat heights on different sides of their spas and hot tubs to accommodate people with longer or shorter torsos, can’t do that with the portable spas.

Hope you enjoy this article don’t forget to call if you have any questions.

Gene Trumbull

Call With Questions (860) 571-8440



Remember, my Mission is to help you, as my customer, build a beautiful hot tub of your own! I can show you how to build Spas, Hot Tubs, Swim Spas, Plunge Pools, Cocktail Pools or Exercise Pools at incredibly affordable prices! Everything you need to know is outlined in my series of easy-to-follow books and videos that cover a simple, step-by-step process that I’ve developed and refined over the years.

I will teach and help you with everything you need to know about building your own spa, hot tub, or swim spa yourself, regardless of what your DIY skill levels are and at a cost, YOU determine YOU can afford. As my customer, I’ll work with you at your own pace until your project is done and comes to life! For over 25 years now I’ve been helping people just like you, build their own hot tubs, spas, and swim spa projects. So, are you’re ready to let me help you build your project? Then what are you waiting for, let’s do this!

Custom Built Spas