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Making an in-deck hot tub cover ~ ideas?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I did a quick search and didn't find anything, so I was wondering if any of yooz have made a hot tub cover? I just moved and there is an outdoor hot tub at the house that is basically flush with the wooden deck (the edge comes up a few inches around the whole thing, but it is an in-deck tub). It came with a cheap foam/vinyl insulation cover, but that blows off with the slightest bit of wind. I wanted to make my own locking hard cover for it, mostly for safety reasons (kids, animals, whatnot falling in ). I was thinking of using 2 pieces of plywood coated with waterproof epoxy, then mounting them to hinges in the deck and fashioning some sort of locking mechanism on top. It would open like French doors, with a handle on each side.

Would that work, or am I completely nuts and have to spend a gazillion for a fancy pre-made cover? I'd like to make this with a minimal expense. Any ideas???

What sort of wood would I need, and what epoxy? I also want to paint it so it's not hideous (the little lady-to-be may not appreciate it ), so would the paint go on the wood first, or on top of the epoxy?

Pretend like I have no idea what I'm doing.....

Thanks!!!!!
post #2 of 26
Your idea is perfect but instead of paint why not consider upholstery? It would look nice and should wear pretty well in the weather, probably even better than paint.
post #3 of 26
I can see all yer points dude. But just off the top of my head I wouldnt wanna be sittin in an outdoor tub with two side views blocked off by doors. Not to mention you'd hafta latch them good in the standing position or I can see a gust of wind blowing one down on yer head - Bonk! - Then yer wife finds ya drowned in yer own little watery grave, sells the house, and all yer fishin' stuff for 1/4 it's worth and moves off to Aruba with Armando the cabana boy
Even if they opened flat, you'd still hafta latch em down, and would hafta lose all that square footage for the doors.
post #4 of 26
Hinge it in the middle so it folds up in half and is removable. That's how my neighbors works.
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kings over Queens
Hinge it in the middle so it folds up in half and is removable. That's how my neighbors works.


Good idea.
Maybe a foam gasket glued to the lid running the perimeter of the tub?
Keep more stuff out.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
**dp**
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Good ideas guys!! No, I didn't want each side to stand upright when it's open, I was thinking more of opening them 180* and laying down on each side on the deck. Yes, we would lose some deck space, but there is plenty of open space around the thing for that idea to work.

I like the idea of making the hard cover removable! The middle hinge idea is exactly what my soft cover is now. Two pieces connected by a thin piece of vinyl that fold together. I would have to work out a bracketting system of some kind around the edge where I could still lock it down, though, as THAT is my main concern!! I need it to be secure enough to where nobody can get in without unlocking it. I'll come up with something, unless ya'll have some other suggestions...


Thanks for the tips!!! Moy helpful! Anything else I should think of??

BTW, no one named Armondo is coming within 1000 ft of my house when my sweet little hottie is in her bikini in our spa....!!!
post #8 of 26
If you're using plywood, you're going to want a perimeter stiffener... like at least a 1x3 or similar screwed to the edge of the plywood. This should keep it from bowing or twisting in the sun and rain. This "lip" would also keep it in place over the tub wall. As far as securing it, why not a simple hinged padlock clasp... put one side on the 1x3 and the other to the decking.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsite
If you're using plywood, you're going to want a perimeter stiffener... like at least a 1x3 or similar screwed to the edge of the plywood. This should keep it from bowing or twisting in the sun and rain. This "lip" would also keep it in place over the tub wall. As far as securing it, why not a simple hinged padlock clasp... put one side on the 1x3 and the other to the decking.


That was my thinking.
Locked in two or four places.
Ya cant never be too safe and secure
post #10 of 26
If you want to get really fancy you could do a roll off cover out to decking boards. Do you have a picture of it so we could start designing something. Now you got my brain turning.
post #11 of 26
I made my own cover at my old house. Here are a couple things to consider before you start. Insulation, make sure you try and keep as much of the heat in the hottub. Your power company is gonna love ya if you don't. Structual foam is the route I ended up on, along with form sheet metal edges for additonal strength. The plywood, even with the epoxy may not stand up to the heat and humidity, in short the layers may separate over time. I had some vinyl from work that I used to cover it. It did not last long since it was designed to be thermoformed on instrument panels and not wrapped around anything without being heated and stretched first.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEEPSTER
If you want to get really fancy you could do a roll off cover out to decking boards. Do you have a picture of it so we could start designing something. Now you got my brain turning.


Sorry for the delay. Lots of other stuff going on lately. Took these pics this morning. As you can see, I have ample room around the hot tub for whatever I have to do. The cover is an unattached insulation cover that slides on and off, not permanently attached. The two tiny rocks hold it down from the hurricane force winds (my personal high-tech invention). The tub itself is about 6'x6' square.

I was initially thinking of making 2 hinged covers (one on each side) using the soft cover as a template. Now I'm thinking about making a removable hard cover, still with the soft cover as a template, but making it latch down (and lockable) to the deck somehow. Any other ideas?

Tub with cover on:


Tub with cover off:


Lip around edge of tub:


View of tub from other side:
post #13 of 26
2 2x4 (PT) nailed together to make the perimeter.
1/2 (PT) Plywood for the deck, hinged in the middle.
Foam insulation glued underneath (?) to help retain heat.
Marine upholstory glued to the exterior.
Simple latch hardware and padlocks (keyed to like) on the two sides for security.

Shouldn't take more than a couple of hours.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
KOQ:

Sorry, brain dead. Probably the most stupid question EVER brought up on SOL.....

What does "PT" stand for?
post #15 of 26
Presure Treated. I don't know if that's the official lingo.
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