DIY Hot Tub Ideas for Your Backyard

This article will show you the variety of designs for DIY hot tubs - from common rubber container to complicated in-ground options
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Last updatedLast updated: December 03, 2022
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Relaxing in a hot tub at the end of a long day can help melt away those aches and pains and calm your mind. Of course, there are downsides to those large outdoor hot tubs. First, they are rather expensive for a brand-new hot tub and the larger they are, the more they will cost. These models also take up a great deal of space that you may not have available in a small yard.

Luckily, you can make a DIY hot tub for a fraction of the cost of those store-bought models. There are several different options to choose from, using a variety of materials, so you can get the exact model you’re looking for with the right dimensions for the yard you have. If you’re interested in a new homemade hot tub but aren’t sure how to get started, keep reading.

Homemade Hot Tub Instructions

If you want to learn how to build a hot tub, the proper method depends on the type of materials you plan to use. The following sections cover a variety of options. Of course, regardless of which one you choose, you do need to consider how long you can stay in a hot tub safely to avoid skin irritations and other possible health issues.

Rubber container

DIY Hot Tub Ideas for Your Backyard

You can use a Rubbermaid container for a DIY outdoor hot tub, though you do need to find one large enough to fit a grown person to make it worthwhile.

What you’ll need

As well as the Rubbermaid container, you’ll need a way to heat your water, like a spa heater, and you can even throw in some jets for a DIY Jacuzzi if you like, though this step is not necessary.

How to build

To build your Rubbermaid hot tub, choose the spot you want it to go. Then connect your heater carefully, using hot tub wiring instructions to ensure you’re doing so properly and safely. Add your portable bathtub spa for the jets if you’re using one of these, then fill it with water and the proper chemicals. Now it’s ready to go.

Pallets

DIY Hot Tub Ideas for Your Backyard

You can make a simple DIY pallet hot tub, using old pallets sitting around your yard or workplace.

What you’ll need

To build your own hot tub using this method, you’ll need four pallets, an IBC container, copper pipe, plumbing connectors, and a propane tank.

How to build

First, install the plumbing connectors and the pallet skin to one of the pallets. Then attach the PVC piping to the connectors. Attach the other pallet walls to make the outside of the hot tub and fold the IBC top over the top of the pallet walls. Hook up the heating system, then pipe in the pool filter. You can even add some trim over the top of the IBC material for a cleaner look. Fill with water and enjoy.

Cedar hot tub

DIY Hot Tub Ideas for Your Backyard

A DIY cedar hot tub may cost a fraction of a store-bought model’s price but has a more elegant look than some of the other homemade models.

What you’ll need

To build a DIY wooden hot tub, you’ll need enough cedar wood to make the size of the tub you want. You’ll also need a router and 2 router bits, tension bands, V-groove tongue-and-groove cedar, wood glue, a floor drain, a submersible wood stove, and a few bolts.

How to build

Cut the staves for the outer wall of the DIY wooden hot tub to the height you want, then use a router and the bits to shape the sides of each wood piece for a hinge-like system. Join the staves, using tension bands around the outer wall to secure them. Build the floor using the tongue-in-groove cedar pieces. Attach the walls to the floor and trim any excess.

Once the tub is built, you can add benches and stairs and install a floor drain. Bolt the submersible wood stove to the floor, build a small wall to separate it from the rest of the tub, and fill it with water.

Stock tank hot tub

DIY Hot Tub Ideas for Your Backyard

A stock tank hot tub DIY project is easy to complete, with only a few items needed for the job. These aren’t overly tall, so even the little ones in the house can enjoy it.

What you’ll need

All you need to build this stock tank hot tub is the tank itself, a filtration pump, and some type of heating mechanism. You can even use a fire pit to save a bit more money.

How to build

The best part of this method is that there is little to no building necessary. You may need to cut a hole in the tank to attach the filter hoses and the heating mechanism but the tank itself is otherwise ready to go.

Steel barrel

DIY Hot Tub Ideas for Your Backyard

Like the Rubbermaid container or stock tank, a large steel barrel can be used to make a quick and easy hot tub, plus it is small enough to be portable.

What you’ll need

As well as the barrel, you’ll need some type of heating system for this homemade hot tub. You can use a regular spa heater or a simple wood stove.

How to build

For your DIY barrel hot tub, simply attach the heating system you’ve chosen to the barrel, fill it with water, and hop in.

Common bathtub

DIY Hot Tub Ideas for Your Backyard

If you’re renovating your bathroom, don’t throw away the old tub. Instead, you can repurpose it for a backyard bathtub hot tub.

What you’ll need

For this project, you’ll need some materials to prepare the site, like gravel and a small deck area around the tub. You’ll also need the tub, pipes to tie into a hot water line or link to the existing pipes in your home, a cedar stake, a faucet, cork, and an ABS drain pipe.

How to build

To build your new bathtub hot tub, prepare your site by evening out the area with the gravel and adding your planks. Then place your tub where you want it. Attach your pipes as needed to the faucet, positioning this piece over the tub.

Seal the overflow hole and any existing faucet holes in the tub with cork and add the ABS drain pipe to the tub drain.

Japanese soaking tub

DIY Hot Tub Ideas for Your Backyard

The Japanese soaking tub Trusted Source Japanese Soaking Tub Designs Looking for some Asian influence in your bathroom? Japanese soaking tubs are smaller, deep baths that are becoming popular bath fixtures. www.hgtv.com  is similar to the cedar hot tub, with the addition of a hexagonal bench that seats six people on the inside of the tub.

What you’ll need

To build this model, you’ll need your chosen wood for most of the hot tub, including the sides, base, bench, and stairs. You’ll also need tension bands to hold it together and a heating system.

How to build

Building the Japanese soaking tub is similar to the cedar hot tub. Use the wooden staves to create the rounded tub wall and floor, then attach them. Build the hexagonal benches and secure them on the inside of the tub. Hook up your heating system and cover it for a more aesthetic look, then fill the tub with water.

Complex designs

If you want more complex designs, you can purchase a plug and play hot tub, like the Coleman 90363E Saluspa model, which includes inflatable outer walls, a Lay-Z-Massage System, and integrated water filtration. Of course, if you prefer to build it yourself, there are a few options available.

In-ground

DIY Hot Tub Ideas for Your Backyard

A DIY in-ground hot tub is a more expensive option than the others but is more discreet for those surrounded by neighbors.

What you’ll need

For this system, you’ll need some large bricks, mortar, waterproof concrete render, and waterproof paint, as well as the plumbing equipment.

How to build

To build this hot tub, dig the size of hole you want, then build the tub using brick and mortar. Add the plumbing equipment for hot water and filtration, then cover the tub with the concrete render. Paint it, backfill the tub with dirt, and it’s ready to go.

Concrete

For a long-lasting model, this DIY concrete hot tub is a good choice, though it takes some skill to create.

DIY Hot Tub Ideas for Your BackyardWhat you’ll need

You’ll need a plastic membrane, concrete, thermalite blocks Trusted Source Blockwork Block work is something of a necessity in a building. Almost all buildings will feature concrete blocks in one way or another. www.architectsjournal.co.uk , regular bricks, and piping.

How to build

Dig a hole the size of the DIY concrete hot tub you plan to build. Lay a plastic membrane inside, then fill it with a layer of concrete for the base. Build the outer walls four high of thermalite blocks with a layer of regular blocks on top. Backfill the tub with concrete for a wider base. Add the pipework for the jets and drain, grout them in place, and let them dry before adding water.

Solar-powered

DIY Hot Tub Ideas for Your Backyard

A solar-powered hot tub saves you even more money since you aren’t paying to heat it.

What you’ll need

You can turn any of the models we’ve described above into a solar-powered hot tub. The only difference is the replacement of the heating system with solar panels, like the TogoPower Portable Foldable Solar Panel, which is 60W and waterproof, with dual USB ports.

How to build

Build the hot tub according to the instructions for the model you’ve chosen, then hook up the solar panel to the tub and let the sun heat it for you.

Greenhouse

DIY Hot Tub Ideas for Your Backyard

You can add a greenhouse to your hot tub for a warmer, more relaxing place to soak.

What you’ll need

For the greenhouse, there are kits that include everything you need. You may also want to attach hooks, lights, shelves, or benches, though this is up to you.

How to build

Build your greenhouse around your hot tub according to the directions included with the kit, adding those extras when the job is complete to make it your own.

Final Thoughts

A hot tub is a great addition to any backyard, no matter where you live or what seasons you are dealing with. They are a comfortable place to relax to release the stress of the day and soothe those tired muscles. Of course, if you don’t want to spend a fortune on a professional model, building a DIY hot tub is a cheaper way to go.

This method also ensures you’re getting the exact hot tub you want to fit the number of people you need to accommodate. There are many different options available to build as well, so you can spend as much or as little as you want to get the perfect hot tub for your yard.

References

1.
Japanese Soaking Tub Designs
Looking for some Asian influence in your bathroom? Japanese soaking tubs are smaller, deep baths that are becoming popular bath fixtures.
2.
Blockwork
Block work is something of a necessity in a building. Almost all buildings will feature concrete blocks in one way or another.
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