View Full Version : Large stone project need hot tub idea.

PerfiCut L&L
07-12-2006, 05:36 PM
We just picked up a rather large account that will require a recessed hot tub in the side of a hill surrounded by a paver patio. The hill will accomodate three tiered retaining walls with a number of features.

One big obsticle I have to over come is designing the installation of the hot tub within the hill. No big deal, the problem is, it will be surrounded but 6' of pavers. Im a little stumped on how to incorporate access to the maintenance panel of the tub once its in place.

Any ideas? or pictures of recessed hot tubs that might help?


07-12-2006, 05:47 PM
I am not sure of the panel you speak of, but from my limited experience any tub or spa that is meant to be recessed or flush with the ground will have the controls and essential parts accessible from above. all you do is bury the lines just like a pool. if there is a problem in the future, you pull up the pavers and dig down to the lines. any electric panels etc should be contained within a panel around the top. if you are talking about a self contained standing hot tub with the prefabbed sides, those are not meant to be buried.

PerfiCut L&L
07-12-2006, 11:19 PM
the tub will have the controls on the top, but there is one side panel that is removeable for maintenance purposes. Access to the computer module, wiring, pumps, that sort of stuff.

I'm not aware of any hot tubs designed to be burried, but if there are, I'll look into it. At this time the customer does not own the tub, but it will be purchased once we work out the details.

Dreams To Designs
07-13-2006, 08:38 AM
Perhaps over top of the access panel area, you could use a decking material for a trap door to gain access. Unless they plan on pumping the water out for every water change, you will need access to that panel, as that is where the main drain valve is located. You may want to include some sort of drainage system to take care of that issue during your construction also. Having an area of decking material with space for sand or other dirt to fall through will also keep the tub cleaner as folks step into the spa.


07-13-2006, 10:34 AM
I would talk to a local hot tub dealer and get their thoughts on it. Ive never heard of a hot tub being buried.

PerfiCut L&L
07-15-2006, 07:11 PM
I'll have to post some designs and pics of the project. Its a bit difficult to explain. Basicaly, yes the tub will be burried.

Anyone have any pictures of tubs mounted flush with a paver patio?

07-15-2006, 10:34 PM
Here is a picture that I got from ICPI. I had a customer that wanted to do the same thing. I have no information on how it was done, but I decided to sell the customer on a sunken patio to provide the privacy that they wanted. I haven't started the job yet, but I couldn't get much information on doing one either. Good luck!


D Felix
07-16-2006, 08:41 AM
Recessed hot tubs aren't terribly uncommon. We just finished a job that had one, and I know I've done at least one other job that had one too... I believe that the tubs themselves were actually fiberglass shells that were set into place and then plastered/tiled. Both tubs were installed by higher-end pool companies. I don't have pictures of the latest job, and I'm not sure I've got any of the hot tub on that first one. Sorry!

All of the mechanicals (pump, heater, filter, blower, etc) are separate from the tub, just like a pool, which allows them to be placed almost anywhere.

I'd contact a pool and spa company and sub that part out.

PerfiCut L&L
07-18-2006, 09:49 PM
walt, thats prety much what Im looking for, except that one I would probably make an access door on the far wall. In my case, the customer wants something very similar. The tub sunken flush with lower level patio, but he also wants about 4' of patio all the way around the tub for seating of guests not in the tub.

Ill look into the idea of getting a tub that has all the pumps and motors seperate like Felix mentioned.

One idea I had was to get a low profile hyldralic lift, and put the tub on the lift, this way it can be raised out of the ground. Just an idea.

Any other tub pictures you find recessed in a patio please post. The more the better. Even those partially recessed. Perhaps I can show my customer and convince him a completely recessed tub is problems in the making.

wurkn with amish
07-20-2006, 08:54 PM
4ft is not much space to seat chairs a still be able to walk in front or behind.
Also what about custom making one? google recessed hot tubs and see what you come up w/.

PerfiCut L&L
07-22-2006, 02:50 PM
only need 4' around 2 sides actually. Turns out we've come up with a solution. Recess the tub 3/4 of the way, build a wall around the top 1/4 with capstones. This will provide not only a ledge to sit on but also a platform for your :drinkup: when your in the tub.

As far as accessing the panel/pumps for maintenance and or repairs, we're going to install a low profile hydraulic lift with a 4' lift / 5000# capacilty. THis will lift the tub up out of the whole for maintenance needs. (empty of course)

Now were trying to incorporate a waterfall from the top retaining down to the bottom wall and into/and around a firepit.

Dirty Water
07-22-2006, 06:57 PM
As far as accessing the panel/pumps for maintenance and or repairs, we're going to install a low profile hydraulic lift with a 4' lift / 5000# capacilty. THis will lift the tub up out of the whole for maintenance needs. (empty of course)

Cool idea on paper, but stupid in my opinion. Thats going to cost several thousand dollars, and what if it fails?

I'm all for the service hatch, make it out of Trex, hell you could even use some adhesive to glue pavers to it so it looks seamless with the rest of the patio.

PerfiCut L&L
07-22-2006, 08:46 PM
I hear what your saying Dirty Water, and the customer and I have discussed this in depth. One idea I had was to use 3' lintels' for structural stability, overlayed with pavers. Pull up the pavers and yank out the lintels to gain access to the tub. He doesnt want to have to do that, especially since he would have to put it all back together again. Simple, easy, and cost effective, yes. Unfortunately he likes the hydraulic lift idea.

I told him, what happens in 5 years when the lift siezes up, motor fails, line breaks? then what? you'll have to bring a crain in and lift the tub out that way.

Believe me, if we could find a simple solution that he would be happy with, I'm all for bringing it up to him.

D Felix
07-22-2006, 09:47 PM
So what is wrong with keeping the pump, heater, filter, etc, separate from the tub? It's not an uncommon thing at all. Then all you need to worry about is the water pipes and conduit for any lights.....

Sounds pretty simple to me. A lot more than putting in a hydraulic lift, and probably cheaper too. Vehicle lifts run $5-10k, I believe, and I can't imagine something like what you describe would be any cheaper....

Dreams To Designs
07-23-2006, 08:11 AM
Most of the tub manufacturers make tubs for inground applications with separate mechanicals. Has your client already picked or purchased the tub and you are trying to make that work for them? Another thing to consider, as I have been researching spa tubs for my own purchase, according to all the good salesman, all tubs will eventually leak at the jet to hose connections. It may take nothing more than regluing the fitting, but you will have to have access to be able to do that. When the tubs are fully foamed, the leaks take much longer to develop, because the foam absorbs some of the shock that is transmitted through the pipes when the pumps start, but I have been told, they will all leak at some time.

I am working with a client now that wants a tub inset into a raised patio. My solution is to create a composite decking boardwalk around the perimeter of the tub about 3' wide for water overflow and access. The decking will also allow any sand or dirt from the feet to be dropped away before entering the tub. This method will also allow for a change in tub size easily if they choose to replace or upgrade the current tub.


PerfiCut L&L
07-23-2006, 10:52 AM
Felix: I've looked into that a little and cant find a manufacturer that sells tubs with the pumps and that seperate. The one place I went into last week said he thinks that was an old concept and companies no longer do that. I'm still keeping that idea open should I find one.

DTD: I own a large tub and have had it for a few years now so I understand a little about regular maintenance, and breakdowns. Sure, leaks will happen eventually, its inevitable. Hopefuly later than sooner. I reallly want to convince the customer that a false floor/access panel is the best solution. Both cost wise, and common sense wise.

D Felix
07-23-2006, 04:23 PM
Companies no longer do that? Ok, then why have I personally seen it done twice in the last 5 years? Most recently within the last 10 months?

Call a higher-end pool company, one that does gunnite pools. Both spas I saw like this were put in by higher-end pool companies, it's probably standard for most of them. I wouldn't mess around with a hot-tub manufacturer, call a pool company instead.

Just my $.02.

PerfiCut L&L
07-23-2006, 08:25 PM
No need to get sarcastic, about it. Why do you think I started this thread to begin with? to get some ideas.

I've been to two spa dealerships around me, and between the two of them they sell about 5 different manufacturers. I got prety much the same story from both of them, so I figured there must be some truth to what there saying. Didnt see any need to spend anymore time running around to other spa companies if I was going to get the same story.

Sure, I'll check some of the pool companies, no problem. I't was suggested early on in this thread about getting a spa with the pumps and that seperate, so I checked it out. Now I'll check the pool companies.


Shoot a guy for asking a questions around here.

D Felix
07-23-2006, 08:29 PM
Sorry, didn't mean to come off that way. Type can do that sometimes! :)