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Outdoor Luxury Upgrades

Blog entry by ReubenD posted 09-30-2014 08:46 PM 11877 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

“You want a hot tub? Outside? You understand we get about 5 feet of snow a year here…you do remember that?” Apparently she did, because yes, that is what she said she wanted. Once the initial shock and surprise wore off I started to ponder the feasibility. First off, plumbing is not my strong point. Having no real idea how a hot tub worked or how they are set up all I could think about was the bathroom upgrade we had done and that was with just connecting new fixtures to replace old. In my mind this would be 10x that work.

Happily, a small amount of research showed that my initial fears and worries of giant plumbing projects was completely unfounded as it was little more than connecting a water hose for the plumbing aspects. Turns out hot tubs have all the real plumbing and electrical done (which, in retrospect, common sense should have told me). While there was some concern about frozen pipes in the winter which would be a disaster, the real issues would be in other areas.

After taking some time to look around the internet for preliminary research and inspiration (learning that it is best to have “safe search” on when searching Google images for Hot tub Entertainment) to find ideas for how a hot tub could be incorporated into an overall landscaping I set off to a pool and spa store for a firsthand look. Pricing was, as always when starting a new home project, a severe shock to the system. As usual, it became clear if this project was something we did, I would need to do the majority of the work and installation myself to make it affordable.
There are a lot of different options available on hot tubs and pricing ranges from ultra-cheap portable (basically inflatables) to close to $20k. I did find that I was able to buy “just the guts” hot tubs that had the tub and plumbing made for built in designs and get higher end components for the same money if I was willing to build the enclosure myself. This also allowed greater flexibility in the rest of the project.

We decided to make best use of it and to keep heating costs reasonable and reduce odds of frozen pipes on the -15f January nights we get here every winter we would build an octagon gazebo with removable windows. In the dead of winter it could be completely enclosed, while still open air the rest of the time. We wanted an upscale look, but still to keep costs under control so for floor of the gazebo we decided on wood effect tiles which looked beautiful but in addition to being more cost effective would be far easier to install in this shape and the many cuts it would require rather than actual hard wood floor.

To keep it from becoming too formal looking, in the gazebo around the hot tub we went with traditional indoor/outdoor garden furniture. It is still comfortable and upscale in appearance, but still is “fun looking” and once again was a considerable savings over conventional furnishings and better suited to getting wet or being in the elements when the windows are out.

A standard 12 foot octagon garden gazebo finished the project, but we did a fully completed one with shingled roof, double layer walls to build the removable windows into, and two entrances. I did run power to the gazebo with a small GFCI box built in. The insulated walls, and fully insulated floor and ceiling, combined with a higher quality windows cost more to build but should recoup that cost in a couple winters by making it affordable to heat for year round use, and does give the option for air conditioning by way of a portable floor model A/C in the summer if feeling particularly decadent.



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ReubenD

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dbray45

157 posts in 1864 days

posted 10-01-2014 11:53 AM

What is the saying here? Without pictures it didn’t happen ;-p

is it more like this:

Or like this:

-- Love woodworking and fixing most anything

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AshleySchwarzer

1 post in 1460 days

posted 05-26-2015 11:36 AM

Thank you for sharing. Managing to the some of the work on yourself is quite important I guess. Especially if you are good with tools then it would not be a problem. Looking for more information is a must, simply because it would be easier to get some future ideas and finding some tips.

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ati

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posted 05-15-2019 09:47 AM

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nicky269

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posted 05-15-2019 05:58 PM

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