Custom Built Spas
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Planning Your New DIY Hot Tub or Plunge Pool

Mar 3, 2019 | Building or Buying a Hot Tub

With spring around the corner, DIYers like me, you and many others are getting the itch to get outside and start working on new projects we’ve been looking at and are considering building this year. For some of you that may include a new hot tub or plunge pool for you and your family. And if you are Planning your new DIY Hot Tub or Plunge Pool, let me help you get off to the right start and avoid some common mistakes you may be unaware of.

For some home owners, permanently installed hot tubs, spas or swim spas can add equity value to your home, (unlike manufactured units which add little to no value). In addition, when you build a unit yourself, you get to build exactly what you what! You don’t have to settle for just what a retailer has available, which often forces you to pay for extras you don’t even want. That’s why I like to mention that DIY doesn’t just stand for Do It Yourself, it also means Do It Your way.

So, in Planning your New DIY Hot Tub or Plunge Pool, lets look at a variety of important considerations.

Probably one of the more important things to consider is, are you going to be required to apply for a permit to build your project? Depending on where you live, more likely than not you will be required to get a permit. No need to panic on this, local code officials are not out to stop your project, they just need to verify that you abide by codes that apply to these type projects. Because you’re dealing with a project that incorporates water and electricity, that part they will scrutinize the most. We don’t want light anyone up!

Your building department may also require you to submit a “plot plan”, (diagram of your property parcel with the location of any structure built). On the plot plan you will indicate where your project is to be constructed in your yard. This plot plan is required and reviewed prior to issuing a permit so that you don’t infringe on property line “setbacks”, (distances from property boarders you’re not allow to build on).

Yard “setbacks” can be arbitrary, and in some cases, you may be allowed to apply for a “variance”, (permission to build in the “setback” area). You don’t want to begin building your project only to find out you are in violation of “setback” requirements, then have to deal with this after the fact. A building department can force you to completely remove a project that infringes on “setback” requirements if they want to play hard ball with you.

Another reason “plot plans” are important is that they often indicate where utility lines are running through your yard. For example, water and sewer supply lines if you have city water and city sewer lines. Electrical supply line paths may be located on a plot plan if you have underground utility lines. You’re not allowed to build over any of these lines in most all cases.

Another thing that will get looked closely at, is if all the equipment you plan to use meets codes and is it UL approved. At Custom Built Spas, everything we supply to our customers is code compliant and UL rated. When we do a Spa Parts Proposal list for you, you don’t have to worry about whether or not anything on your list is questionable. We use only industry standard equipment that meets all code requirements. We can also provide details on electrical draw so that the proper electrical breakers are selected to operate your hot tub or plunge pool.

You may not be aware of this but there is another important issue to consider when selecting equipment that deals with safety, and that is entrapment. The “Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act” deals with this. In the United States there is a law named after Graeme Baker, who died in an accident in June 2002, when the suction from a spa drain entrapped her under the water. As a result of this accident, spas, hot tubs, pools, are all required to be outfitted with safety suction fittings that are designed to eliminate potential “entrapment” concerns.

When you locate a spa, hot tub or plunge pool on your property, look up as well as down. Why, because you may building in the proximity of trees or tree branches that could fall on your project. Make sure no overhead electrical lines pass over your project. Now these things sound like common sense but on many occasions, customers have sent me pictures where their projects were going to be constructed without ever looking at what passes over their project.

For 20 years now Custom Built Spas has been working hand to hand with enthusiastic DIYers. I’ve been helping them with the basic ins and outs of spa, hot tub, plunge pool and swim spa construction projects along with the mechanics associated with them. I know for a fact that my customers have saved thousands of dollars over store bought tubs just by deciding on building their own project, building it their way, and getting the FREE help provided by me during their project build until it’s completed.

How does my free help benefit you? You can contact me anytime for parts, parts selection advice, install advice, design advice, and much more. Who does that? I can assure you of very few businesses. So go ahead, take a look through my customer gallery page  and my customer testimonial page  and you will see that I do exactly what I say I will do. And, you will get to see some awesome projects completed by my DIY customers.

My newly revised spa and hot tub building books for 2019 and two complete video hot tub build projects online and on DVD, provide an information package that is second to none! It is so detailed, that I’ve taken people without any previous DIY experience and helped them complete some really awesome spa and hot tub projects.

Some of you may still be hesitant about spending the money, I get it! So, let me say this, I can share with you so many ways to save money on these projects. Ways that I guarantee you few others in this pool and spa industry would be willing to share with you!

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s make 2019 the year you take the plunge! Visit my website,, look over what I offer in my books and a video. It’s an extremely comprehensive information package showing you just how to build anyone of these type projects yourself.

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!

Custom Built Spas