How To Build A Wooden Hot Tub

Wooden hot tubs are a great luxury so you might want to know how to build a wooden hot tub.  While it can be really expensive to build a wooden hot tub, don’t be discouraged by this. 

In order to build a wooden hot tub you will need:

  • A wood tub bottom
  • Wooden hot tub staves (3 to 5 feet in length)
  • Hot tub bands
  • 2x4s for benches
  • Chine joints
  • Dowel pins
  • Nails and screws
  • A 1 ¾ HP water pump
  • Tools: a level, screwdriver, hammer and saw
  • A drill
  • Thermowell
  • A hot tub filter and heater
  • Hot tub jets
  • Suction fittings
  • A timer with a manual on/off switch
  • GFCI
  • Epoxy
  • PVC piping
  1. Decide where to put your wooden hot tub.  It needs to be on level ground and sheltered from the wind and elements.
  2. Get approval from your local building.  They want your wooden hot tub to be safe and abide by local building ordinances.
  3. Cut the lumber you need for your wooden hot tub.  These dimensions will vary depending upon the size of your wooden hot tub.
  4. Lay down the chine joists.  These need to be evenly spaced.  Their length depends upon the size of your hot tub.
  5. Lay down the bottom of your wooden hot tub and its joists.  The wood you use needs to be the right size and contain holes for the pumps and suction.  Don’t cover any of the holes.  Use dowel pins, heavy nails or bolts to secure the bottom into place.  Make sure they are flush with the bottom of your hot tub so that you don’t stub your toe.
  6. Install the suction fittings.  You will want tight screws but not so tight that they leak when the wood swells.
  7. Position and fit the staves on the bottom of your wooden hot tub.  Make sure that the seams are tight and that your skimmer hole is located close to the suction pump.  Place tub bands over this (18 to 30 inches from both the top and the bottom of the tub).
  8. Place four to seven nails directly above and below the bands.  These should be equally spaced around your tub and not poke into the inside of it.
  9. Add epoxy to the seams between the wooden planks.   Allow 24 hours for it to dry.
  10. Measure wooden planks for your benches.  The twelve planks should be no deeper than 26 inches below the water line and 1.5 inches shorter than your watermark.  Cut these and the 2x4s that will support them.
  11. Fit the 2x4s into place.  Use bolts to secure these to the sides of your hot tub.  Do not cover the jet holes.  Use long bolts to reach into the side of the hot tub without poking through.
  12. Mount your bench planks.  These go on top of your 2x4s.  Use bolts or screws to secure them into place.  Make sure they are flush with the wood.
  13. Attach the tub skimmer.  Use screws to secure it to the side of the hot tub.  Apply epoxy to prevent leaks.
  14. Run the PVC piping from your skimmer and suction.  Use PVC sealant so that they won’t leak.
  15. Attach your hot tub jets with bolts or screws.
  16. Use PVC piping to connect the low speed jets, pump lines and skimmer to your water pump.  The high-speed jets need connected to your water pump.  Apply sealant to prevent leaks.
  17. Use PVC piping to connect the water pump’s output to a water filter and heater.  Apply sealant to prevent leaks.
  18. Run more PVC piping leading away from your filter.  Connect to the thermowell to regulate the temperature.
  19. Connect the timer and control box wires to your water pump.  This allows you to regulate the water and keep it from becoming stagnant.
  20. Fill up your wooden hot tub.  Turn your heater on and let them run for a bit so the water warms up.

Now that you know how to build a wooden hot tub, all you have to do is start building and enjoying it.  Expect for it to leak until the wood swells and a tighter bond forms.  However, a few leaks should not be enough to deter you from enjoying your newly created hot tub.

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