If you want to get the most from your hot tub all year round, it’s well worth investing in an enclosure that protects your home spa from the elements.
In this short guide, we cover everything you need to know before choosing a gazebo, shelter or housing for your hot tub – and give you plenty of hot tub housing ideas for inspiration.
Why create a hot tub enclosure?
A hot tub shelter is a great way to make the most of your spa in all kinds of weather.
Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect if you opt for a hot tub canopy, gazebo, or building:
Protection from the elements
One of the main advantages of having a hot tub installed under a gazebo or in a bespoke building is that you can go for a soak whatever the weather.
Well-thought-out housing will protect your home spa from the elements and allow you to enjoy your hot tub in the wind, rain, and snow.
This will free you from having to constantly check the weather report to see if you’re going to be able to head out for a soak, as well as allow you to continue enjoying your spa even if the weather takes a turn while you’re in it.
Use your hot tub all-year-round
A hot tub shelter will also stop your spa from being buried in snow in winter.
Leave your spa uncovered and you’ll have to get wrapped up and clear the snow off the cover before you can go for a dip, making the whole enterprise a lot less relaxing.
Without an enclosure, you’re likely to use your hot tub a lot less when the temperatures drop and your warm house seems a lot more appealing.
Don’t have a spot in your garden that can fit a spa that isn’t overlooked by neighbours?
Some well-placed privacy screens can transform the most overlooked area into a backyard oasis for you and your nearest and dearest to enjoy in complete privacy.
The harmful effects of UV overexposure have been well publicised, so it’s important to enjoy the sunshine responsibility.
Given that soaking in the water wares off sun tan lotion, spending hours in your hot tub out in the summer sun could put you at risk UV overexposure.
A shelter provides shade that not only keeps you cool, but allows you to enjoy your spa with the peace of mind that you’re not putting your health at risk.
Last but not least, a hot tub canopy or building can look fantastic and turn your hot tub into a stylish statement in itself.
Transform your hot tub into the focal point of your garden and a place you can retreat to and luxuriate in style. Make sure you take a look at our garden hot inspiration from the leading UK installers.
There are a handful of things to keep in mind when you’re creating an enclosure for your hot tub, including:
If you opt to shelter your spa in a building, it’s important to consider the fact it’s going to produce a lot of moisture.
It’s therefore important to pick a design with appropriate ventilation built in and ensure the wood has been manufactured and treated to prevent moisture damage, or else that could quickly become an issue.
Consult with a specialist to ensure your hot tub housing ticks all the boxes when it comes to ventilation.
Don’t cut corners
You could live to regret cutting corners on your hot tub housing if it leads to your spa being permanently damaged.
Dangerously constructed or poorly installed hot tub enclosures can even put you and your family at risk.
Sourcing your supplies from a rogue supplier or have it installed by a cowboy builder could land you in hot financial water and out of pocket if you have to pay to rectify faults further down the line.
Even if you’re a dab hand at DIY, you might want to think twice about building a hot tub shelter yourself, as any slips ups will be very costly.
Be sure to always consult a professional hot tub dealer on the suitability of hot tub buildings for your shortlist of spas. This will prevent you from investing in hot tub structures that are not appropriate for your hot tub or purchasing products that are unsuitable, unsafe, or too restrictive for hot tub use.
Set solid foundations
One of the key elements of a hot tub building project is a secure foundation that will be able to support the weight of a hot tub when it’s filled.
A leading hot tub dealer will be able to help you chose the foundation that’s most suitable for your spa and the enclosure you’re planning on building for it.
Within the WhatSpa? Best Buy Awards section of our magazine, there are specific ‘Dimensions’ and ‘Water Capacity’ specifications for every award-winning hot tub. This is invaluable information when it comes to planning the foundations of your spa enclosure.
Choose a reputable supplier
A poorly constructed enclosure made of materials that aren’t fit for purpose won’t last long before it needs replacing.
So, be sure not to be penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to a hot tub gazebo, pergola, or building and invest in a shelter from a reputable company with verifiable installation credentials.
Opting for a respectable supplier with plenty of experience building spa enclosures will give you peace of mind that your investment will stand the test of time, and that your hot tub and its enclosure is installed and fitted safely and securely to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Hot tub housing options
It’s well worth paying a visit to a hot tub showroom when you’re weighing up your options when it comes to the different kinds of shelter on offer.
While you’re there, keep an eye out for the three main kinds of hot tub enclosures:
A hot tub gazebo
A gazebo is a building with open walls and a permanent roof.
They make fantastic hot tub shelters, as they protect you from the weather without blocking your view of your garden or causing any ventilation issues.
They’ll also keep the snow off your hut tub in winter, so you won’t have to wrap up warm and clear the cover every time you want to go for a dip after it’s snowed.
A hot tub pergola
A hot tub pergola is an outdoor structure with open walls and rafters or cross beams that run along its top you can hang fabric or curtains over.
This will offer shade and protection from the weather in the warmer months, but because it doesn’t have a solid roof, it won’t be heavy-duty enough to withstand heavy rainfall or snow.
A pergola is a great option if you’re drawn to their airy appearance and don’t mind not being able to use your spa in the very worst weather.
Hot tub housing
You can also house your hot tub in a dedicated building. This is the perfect way to create your own private retreat where you never have to worry about the wind, rain, or snow.
Today, there are plenty of specialist structures that facilitate all-year-round hydrotherapy. These fully-insulated garden buildings have double-glazed windows and are manufactured to withstand the very worst of weather conditions.
Specialist companies can even create a bespoke building for your garden that will shield your hot tub from the elements in style.
A few things to look out for from hot tub shelters:
Cantilevered or bi-folding doors that give you complete access to your garden.
Atrium roofs with strengthened glass, which will allow you to watch the clouds go by overhead or stargaze during an evening soak.
The right hot tub housing can transform a corner of your back garden into your own private escape.
Here are some stylish hot tub enclosure ideas to suit every budget to give you inspiration for your spa shelter:
A bespoke building
If you have the space and a financial means, a bespoke building can make for a luxurious hot tub shelter. This will allow you to enjoy your hot tub no matter what the thermometer says or the weather throws at you.
Opt for a design with plenty of ventilation and doors that fold out so you and your nearest and dearest can easily make their way between your hot tub and the garden.
A natural enclosure
A great way to protect your spa from the elements and prying eyes is to tuck your hot tub into a natural enclave. Installing your spa in a corner will provide natural protection from the wind and the sun without setting you back a penny.
Use your greenery
Some carefully chosen plants can act as a natural and elegant windbreaker and privacy screen. Surround your spa with fragrant flowers and you can even enjoy their aroma while you soak – not to mention their beautiful bouquets.
An overhanging roof
If you’re lucky enough to live in a property with an overhanging roof then it’s the perfect place to put your hot tub. It will give you year-round protection from the worst of the weather and ensure your spa is only a few steps from your home.
Let there be light
Your hot tub enclosure is the perfect place to introduce some light into your garden to illuminate evening soaks. Many hot tub platforms come with built-in LED lighting that serves as a stylish feature and a huge help when you’re travelling from your tub to your home in the dark.
Under a gazebo
Visit your nearest hot tub dealership and you’ll find dozens of sturdy, weather-proof, and water-resistant gazebos that will protect your hot tub from the elements without breaking the bank.
Work with what you’ve got
Take advantage of your garden’s existing features to shelter your spa from the sun’s rays and the worst of the weather. For example, in the photo above, a spa has been slotted into an enclave that offers natural protection from the raised area to one side. If your garden has a spot like this be sure to take advantage of it.
Not as heavy and imposing as a gazebo or building, a pagoda makes for an attractive hot tub shelter that doesn’t need its foundations. That makes them a great option if you’re not looking for a permanent fixture in your garden.
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I am the Editor-in-Chief at WhatSpa? Media Group and have been actively involved in the hot tub and swim spa industry for over 20 years. I fell in love with hot tubbing in 2002 and since then have dedicated my career to helping millions of hot tub buyers to make more informed choices when navigating their buying journey.