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Hot Tub Makeover

Jun 27, 2017 | Building or Buying a Hot Tub

Sometimes things happen that you have no control over and can cause you a lot of grief and aggravation. I’m going to share with you a series of events that I experienced over the last several months that will highlight this and share with you what led to having to do my own hot tub makeover.

In a nutshell, what happened was this huge tree in our backyard decided to come down a few months ago after a brief but strong wind episode. Not only did the tree do substantial damage to our house, one very large branch came over the top of house and blasted a large hole in our deck. That in itself was bad enough however the deck surrounds our hot tub and the deck framing is securely anchored to the outer wall of the hot tub.

The impact was quite violent and the initial shock of the impact stressed the hot tub walls enough to cause cracks as I later found out. Unfortunately, the cracks were hidden by the tile facade and it took a few days to realize the water level was dropping and leaking out from underneath one of the access doors. Once noticed, even the standard dye testing procedure could not pinpoint the leak source, (leaks are very difficult to find with a tiled hot tub).


After months of fighting with the insurance adjusters as to whether the damage from the tree falling could be the cause of the hot tub to leak, we decide to go ahead at our own expense to prove what we were quite confident we would find in the way of damage. First, I had all the plumbing system lines pressure tested and no issues were found, leaving only the water vessel itself as the suspected source of the leak issue. Unfortunately, because the tile used on the hot tub facade was no longer available, a complete hot tub makeover was the only option once the walls were stripped of the present tile facade.

It didn’t take long to find the issue as the first wall we had stripped was the wall on the side where the tree damaged the deck surround. Below are the cracks discovered behind the tile facade. It doesn’t look like much but it doesn’t take much of a crack to lose a lot of water. We were losing 20 + gallons of water a day. And of course, the insurance company was trying to say that the cracks were a previous condition. Funny how the only wall that had cracks was the wall on the side where the tree branch impacted the deck and the leaking didn’t start until a few days after the impact.


So now we had this ugly looking hot tub shell stripped of all the tile facade and collecting dust. I made a decision to go ahead and finish all the repair work out of my pocked and just deal with the insurance company later. After a few days of wall repair, (replacing cracked block) and hours of wall preparation work the hot tub was ready for re-water proofing and application of the finish coatings.

DIY hot tub construction  DIY hot tub waterproofed

At this stage of the hot tub makeover we decided not to do complete tile facade this time but to do a combination of tile and epoxy paint finish. Below are pics of the finished result.

Finished DIY hot tub after hot tub makeover  Finished DIY hot tub

And here is the hot tub back in operation again!

DIY hot tub operational after hot tub makeover  DIY hot tub lighting

The upside of this hot tub makeover is that everything is working perfectly again.

The downside, still fighting with the insurance company. If you’re one day late with a payment they are all over you but when it comes to paying on a claim they string you out for as long as they can in hopes you’ll get tired of dealing with them and just settle. (NOT happening!).

So, as you can see the end result of this hot tub makeover is quite nice even though it was not a planned project. We are very happy about the hot tub being up and running again as we have always used it rather frequently even in the cold months. What we do in the fall is put up a set of removable surround panels and simple door unit, creating a little hot tub room. Inside we have a small propane heater to preheat the room a little before we use the tub.

I hope you appreciated me sharing this journey of the unfortunate incident of a huge tree coming down on our house. Nobody was hurt when this happened and 8 months later all is pretty much back to normal again, with the exception of still battling with our insurance company. (feel free to personally contact me if you would like to know which insurance company we had, they are bad news and have a bad reputation throughout the country, had I known this my choice would have definitely been different)!

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Thanks for the visit!

Gene Trumbull
Custom Built Spas

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!

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