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Installing Your Hot Tub

If you've ever installed an outdoor deck and patio and hooked up an indoor dishwasher, you've got the skills needed to install your own hot tub.

Depending on the layout of your yard, installation choices vary from a simple gravel and sand pad to a raised platform. You can get help designing your installation from one of the many good home design software packages available. They don't pour concrete, but they'll help you visualize the results, provide measurements and sometimes even contain local building codes.

Start by measuring the base of your hot tub, then add two feet around each side for access. Multiply the width (plus the four extra feet) by the length (plus the four extra feet). That gives you the area occupied by the installation.

Now find out how much water your tub holds. You could calculate the volume, but most manufacturers will list the figure in the specs.

Each gallon of water weighs about eight pounds (3.6kg). A filled tub can weigh 5,500 pounds. Add the weight for, say, four people and that total is over 6,000 pounds on average. You need to ensure that the surface holding your tub can support that weight over the area of the tub.

If you're installing on the ground, level the surface with a rake and long two by four, ensuring there aren't any rocks that can puncture the underside. If your tub has a wooden skirt, you may not have to do anything more than lay some weed paper over the dirt.

A raised wooden or concrete platform helps to increase the beauty and util