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Deck Load Calculator Hot Tub

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How Is Pool Occupancy Calculated

Should I drop my Hot Tub in a deck?

Usually, residential pools are smaller than commercial pools. One of the objectives of commercial pools is to offer relaxation and entertainment to the public. Thus, these pools can be ten times bigger than a standard pool. You can find them in resorts, hotels, education, and recreational facilities. It is essential for pool owners to determine pool occupancy. This way, they can ensure safety for all users.

How Much Weight Can My Deck Support

The higher your deck is off the ground, however, the less weight per square foot it can take.

Lets break it down, using the large 6-8 person hot tub in my chart above as an example.

  • Weight of the spa = 800 lbs
  • # of gallons of water x 8.34 lbs = 4,378.50
  • Add those 2 numbers = 5,178.50
  • # people x 175 = 1,400 lbs
  • Add that number to the previous total = 6,578.50
  • Divide that by the number of square feet = 102.79

So as you can see, the largest hot tub is just a hair over 100 lbs per square foot, and thats if 8 people are in it. For many of us, we wont have 8 people in our tubs at one time, and we might also have a smaller hot tub.

Need an easy way to calculate square footage? Check out this handy calculator from Calculator Soup.

So if thats you, and, as I said above, if your deck is ground level or under 2 off the ground, you should be just fine with no additional support.

Of course, thats assuming your deck was well-built in the first place AND is still in great shape.

We got the lights on the deck! Hot tub arrives Monday morning!

Scott Dellinger May 15, 2021

Can Your Deck Support A Hot Tub

So, will you be able to support a hot tub on your wooden deck? Probably! However, you might have trouble if your deck is older or in poor condition. Even still, there are steps you can take to reinforce your structure to ensure its sturdy.

For instance, you might add additional struts around the location of the hot tub. An extra beam or support post wouldnt hurt either.

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Build A Bench Surrounding Your Hot Tub

Photo via Archadeck of Central GA

If the sunken hot tub is too much work , another option is to build a bench around the spa for a nice clean, modern look. For most people, composite materials are more functional to use when constructing an area outdoors or around a hot tub. If you decide to use wood instead, make sure the wood is properly sealed . Your local home improvement store or contractor can assist you in what options fit best for your areas climate.

Types Of Decks Where Hot Tubs Can Be Installed

Construction Details on Hot Tub Deck Design. Loads Calculated

Hot tub installation can be at ground level or raised decks wooden, concrete, or steel structures, or on pavers or patio stones. They can be sunk fully or partially below the deck surface, or have a raised section built partially around them. are almost limitless and only constrained by the budget.

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How Much Does A Hot Tub Weigh

Before we answer this, lets look at the different kinds of hot tubs, since each will be different. Lets also assume were NOT talking about in-ground hot tubs.

We have:

  • Small 2-3 person hot tubs
  • Medium 4-5 person hot tubs
  • Large 6-8 person hot tubs
  • Inflatable hot tubs

But the average hot tub weight, empty, is about 500 lbs. Of course, its always a good idea to check with your manufacturer about your specific model.

Heres a handy chart showing an estimate of each of those and how much they weigh empty, full, and at capacity with occupants:

Type of Hot Tub

Rinato Decking Boards

Calculating Deck Weight Capacity

Before you calculate how much weight your deck can hold, you first need to understand how much weight per square foot it can hold. Most decks will hold more sometimes significantly more than 50 pounds per square foot. That number is simply a minimum requirement.

The average homeowner does not have the tools available to determine how much more weight your deck can hold than the code minimum of 50 pounds per square foot. However, you can determine if your deck is overbuilt, which can give you an idea of how much more weight your deck can hold.

One of the best tools in your arsenal to determine deck weight capacity are and max span calculators, widely available online. If you find that your deck joists are 2×10, but the deck load calculator only mandates 2×8 joists, then you can safely assume your deck is much stronger than 50 pounds per square foot.

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Cost Of Reinforcing The Current Deck

If the load-bearing capacity of your deck is not high enough, then you will need to add additional support beams. This could be costly, especially if your deck is more than a few feet above ground level. Constructing an adequate deck that meets the building code and supports the heavy load of your tub could cost hundreds of dollars.

Lower decks could be made sturdy enough with concrete footings, new decking boards, and extra supports. This could be less costly and faster to complete.

Assessing Your Decks Capacity

How to Build Decking for a Hot Tub

To determine whether or not your deck will be able to withstand 100 pounds per square foot will require the use of some engineering beam-design charts, engineering software or the expertise of a structural engineer. Youll also need to have a sketch of the placement of your decks support beams to help determine its strong and weak spots.

Now that you know if a deck can handle the weight of a hot tub, to learn more about our models.

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Deck Post Holding A Floating Deck

A 6×6 installed vertically bearing on the ground has little value. With such a low weight capacity, you will need a 6×6 post every foot and half.

As an alternative, you can replace the deck beam with a 6×6 post-treated for ground contact. Trench out the entire length where the beam will go and fill with compacted gravel. The gravel draining away water, preserving the post while making a stable base to support the beam. Being continuously supported it can support up to 8 of deck. The maximum span of dimensional deck joists.

A good option for a low floating deck.

If the floating deck will be higher than a 6×6 beams height, you will need some larger footing options.

How To Calculate Your Hot Tub Weight And Deck Load Capacity

The short answer to the question, “Can my deck hold my hot tub?” is to add up the weight of your hot tub, including all the things that go with it.

Here’s the list:

  • Weight of the empty hot tub – You’ll need to consult your hot tub’s manufacturer for this figure.
  • Total weight of the water in the tub – A gallon of water weighs about 8.34 lbs. You will need to account for the total amount of water in your tub.
  • Allowance for the people in the tub – Men weigh about 200 pounds on average, while the average weight of a woman is 140 lbs.

The next figure you need to know is the square footage of the base of the hot tub. You can use the figure to work out the amount of pressure your tub will put on each square foot of the deck it rests on.

Here is the final formula:

/ # of Square Feet = Pounds Per Square Foot

As an example, a hot tub seating four people and holding 195 gallons of water, with an empty tub weight of 375 lbs and a footprint of 29.17 ft2, would produce 93.97 pounds per square foot.

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Know Exact Hot Tub Dimensions

The size and water capacity of the tub need to be available for load calculations when designing the deck, especially if the tub sits on a deck. Purchasing the unit beforehand ensures exact dimensions and weight specifications are available for design. It also means there are no surprises with availability, hook-up requirements, or location of access panels.

Build Deck Around The Hot Tub

Hot Tub Deck Support

Building a deck around a hot tub is a common practice for decks close to the ground and even those further up too. Whether the tub sits on a concrete slab or pavers on the ground, or on a structurally strengthened deck, the main deck can be built around it. Building around the spa allows for standard deck construction and adjusting the height between the deck surface and the top of the tub.

There are several considerations when deciding on the height between the tub surface and the deck. Access to mechanical systems needs to be planned for as maintenance will be necessary. Additionally, the anchor system for many cover lift arms often drops down 20-inches or more, so deck construction needs to address the cover mechanism too. Ease of access and safety also need to be considered.

Trip and fall hazards are more common when the tub surface is slightly lower than the deck surface or several inches higher than the deck. Stepping down into the spa or over a slight elevation can result in or aggravate injuries.

The distance between the spa and railings, railing heights, privacy fences, and connection to utilities also need to be considered. It should be noted too, that the standard height of many tubs is ideal for easy access by sitting on the edge and swinging feet in or out, minimizing risk. It is also easier for older or injured bodies.

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Designing A Deck To Hold A Hot Tub

If you are building a new deck, then it can be designed for the weight of the hot tub installation. This usually means adding an additional beam or two under the area where the hot tub will sit. There is no need to overbuild the entire deck. Instead, you can just add extra support to the hot tub site.

A qualified professional can help you design a deck that will support the hot tub you want. So, whatever your hot tub deck ideas, you can almost certainly build a deck to suit it.

Pool Occupancy Formula #

In pools that are 1.5 meters or less, calculate pool occupancy based on one person occupying 15 square feet of the pools surface area. Also, do this for pools with a depth fewer than 5 feet.

Even so, before calculating the pool occupancy, deduct the surface area of the diving board from the total surface area. Diving board areas often occupy 300 square feet of the pool. Lets look at a practical example. Suppose your pools total surface area is 1800 square feet, and the depth is 5 feet. Start calculating the pool occupancy by subtracting 300 from 1800. The remaining surface area of the pool is 1500. So, to estimate the occupancy:

1500 square feet divided by 15 square feet = 100

So, the maximum occupancy of your pool will be 100 people.

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Calculate Necessary Structural Support

In order for local building authorities to approve your plan, you must show that the structural scheme will support the hot tub when its filled with both water and people. That means providing details about the size and depth of the concrete footings or slab, as well as the size and spacing of beams and joists and how they connect. In some cases, hot tub deck plans must be approved by a professional engineer before theyll be considered.

To measure the strength of a deck, start by calculating the load. The formula is simple. First, find the sum of the empty weight of the tub, the weight of the water in a full tub , and the weight of the maximum number of occupants . Then divide that sum by the size of the tubs footprint . For example, an 8- x 8-foot tub that weighs 5,120 poundswater and people includedwould require a structure capable of supporting 80 lb/ft2. Many experts recommend a minimum of 100 lb/ft2.

Hot Tub Decks: Key Considerations And How To Build One

Build Update: Framing And Hot Tubs || Dr Decks

Is it hard building a deck for a hot tub? It depends on a number of factors, but its definitely worth it if youre a homeowner who loves to enjoy their deck all year long.

Adding a hot tub or spa can dramatically transform your deck, but youll need to plan the job carefully. Its important to ask yourself questions like:

  • Is my deck strong enough to support a hot tub filled with water and people?
  • Should I try to build it or hire a builder?
  • Where should it be located?
  • What electrical upgrades are needed?

Keep reading to find out all the answers to your hot tub deck questions.

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Get The Hot Tub/deck Combo Of Your Dreams With Schafer Constructions Help

Expand the enjoyment of your outdoor oasis when you add a hot tub. Not only can you have parties, but you can reinforce relationships in the intimacy of the bubbling water. Schafer Construction is Berkeleys premier . Our team will step in and make your dream into a perfect getaway.

Call us today at 510-339-9100 or contact us online to see why homeowners across Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay Area rely on Schafer Construction for their deck construction and repair needs.

Joist Size And Spacing

Joist size and spacing for non-hot tub decks commonly are 2x6s spaced on 16 centers. The spacing to support a spa is usually 12 centers and joists may increase to 2x8s or greater. If attached to the house with a ledger board and using joist hangers, additional lag screws are necessary, and possibly a wider ledger and bigger hangers too. It is recommended that a structural engineer be consulted when designing, or redesigning a deck for a hot tub.

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Recessed Hot Tub In Deck

A recessed hot tub on the deck can be an option that might however require a reinforcement and a fully recessed installation can facilitate the access to the spa for older users.

The service provider will perform a cutout of a determined area of the deck to accomodate the hot tub required by the homeowner.

Furthermore, this recessed installation requires a reinforcement with footings in order to handle the structural load of the planned hot tub with consideration of its gross weight at full utilization.

The homeowner must consider if the requirement is of a fully recessed hot tub on deck or a partially recessed installation wherein the users can seat at its edges. This has to be decided before planning the reinforcement of the deck.

Framing For The Design Load

47 Backyard Hot Tub Ideas (Deck, Garden, Covered, Pergola and More ...

A standard 2×8 softwood lumber needs spacing at 16 o.c. spacing to meet the 50 psf design load. To compensate for increases, youll need to use 2×10 joists at 12 o.c. spacingmore weight means the joists need to be closer together.

Next, youll have to figure out the tributary areas of your deck to get the total load.

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Tributary Areas And Footings

To find out the maximum weight your deck can hold, youll need to multiply the total area by 50 psf. For example, a 100 square foot deck can support 5000 pounds. Again, this is an estimate that engineers have decided is a safe value for a deck accounting for the typical items a deck would hold. The tributary area affects how the weight is displaced onto the footings below.

Depending on the framework and size of your deck, youll need to do further calculations to find the exact weight your deck can safely hold, by calculating the four tributary areas of your deck. For example, one area is from the ledger board to the carrier beam and another is from the beam to the end of the deck. All four areas require slightly different configurations.

Buy The Hot Tub And Take Exact Dimensions

The exact dimensions are VERY helpful when framing a deck for a hot tub. Buying the tub ensures you have the model you want, and for which the deck is constructed no surprises. Knowing where all access panels on the spa are located and their dimensions and the location of hook-ups is necessary when planning and framing, especially if the tub will be inset into the deck.

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Ensure Your Structure Can Support A Hot Tub

Photo by Better Homes and Gardens

For saving sight lines around small spaces, sinking the hot tub in the deck area is an excellent idea. When recessing your hot tub into a deck, leave about 16-18 rise above the deck to allow for the cover to fit over the hot tub when not in use. Keeping your hot tub covered when not in use will save energy, prolong the life on the spa and avoid unnecessary hot tub maintenance.

Key insights:

  • Sunken decks, if not structured correctly, can create additional stress you dont want. When installing a hot tub in your deck, ensure the structure is stable to support the weight of a completely filled hot tub safely without shifting.

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