Pergola hot tub ideas

Posted by Nick Clamp in Buying on 25th March 2022

A pergola – a structure with open walls and rafters that run along its roof that you can hang fabric or curtains over – makes for particularly handsome hot tub housing.

It provides you with a shady retreat to luxuriate in out of the strong summer sun and transforms your spa into a serious style statement. 

In this short guide, we cover everything you need to know before choosing a pergola for your hot tub – and give you plenty of pergola hot tub ideas for inspiration.

Should you put a hot tub under a pergola?

Wondering whether placing a pergola around your home spa is right for you?

Here’s a look at the benefits it would bring: 

Affordable and easy to install hot tub housing

Because they’re so minimalist by design, pergolas are the most affordable and easy to install hot tub housing there is. If you’re after stylish protection from the sun while you soak that you can install in a weekend then look no further than a pergola.   

It’s a simple privacy screen

A perfectly placed pergola can help provide plenty of privacy to your home spa soaking sessions –  without blocking too much of the sun.

If the only spots in your garden that would fit a hot tub are overlooked by your neighbours then a pergola can make for an affordable and attractive privacy screen.

It protects you from sun overexposure

While sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, too much sun exposure –  especially around midday into early afternoon in the height of the summer – can be bad for you.

And given that your sun tan lotion is bound to wear off in your tub, spending hours in your spa in the direct summer sun could put you at risk of UV overexposure.

A pergola provides enough shade to keep you cool and give you the peace of mind that you’re not putting your health at risk – without blocking out the sunshine entirely.

It’s a style statement

Last but not least, a pergola can transform just about any old hot tub into a spa Shangri-La that you can retreat to each day to luxuriate in style.

© Hot Tubs Hampshire

It doesn’t protect you from the elements

It’s worth mentioning that, while a pergola will offer shade in the warmer months, it won’t be heavy-duty enough to protect you from heavy rainfall or snow.

If you’re looking to be able to soak in your spa whatever the weather, you might want to explore hot tub housing options like a gazebo, a building, or a summer house.

Do you need planning permission to put up a pergola?

In most cases, you don’t need planning permission to add a pergola to your garden. However, there are some regulations you’ll need to stick to:

  • If it’s built within 2m of your property boundary, your pergola can’t be more than 2.5m tall.
  • Otherwise, your pergola’s eaves can’t be more than 2.5m tall – and it can be no higher than 4m in total if it has a pitched roof and 3m in total if it has any other type of roof.

You’ll also need planning permission to put up a pergola if your home is in a conservation area or is a listed building – or if more than half of the land around your “original house” is already covered by garden buildings. So, be sure to check with your local council before putting your pergola plans into motion if you tick any of these boxes.

How high should a pergola be over a hot tub?

You need to be able to comfortably stand up in your hot tub under your pergola, which means it often makes sense to take advantage of the full 2.5m you have to play with before you need planning permission.

Can a pergola be too high?

If your pergola is within 2m of your property boundary, it can’t be more than 2.5m tall unless you have planning permission. If you’re building it more than 2m away from your property boundary, it can’t be more than 4m tall if it has a pitched roof or 3m tall if it has any other type of roof unless you have planning permission.

Should I attach my pergola to my house?

Pergolas usually stand on four posts, but attaching one to your house can save space and materials, make it sturdier, and look fantastic. Just be sure to check with your local council about whether you’ll need planning permission to build a pergola against the side of your house before you pull the trigger on the project.

How much do pergolas cost?

You can build a pergola in a weekend for a few hundred pounds if you’re a dab hand at DIY. However, unless you work in construction for a living, we strongly recommend you leave building a pergola from scratch to the professionals. You’ll seriously regret cutting corners on your hot tub pergola if it falls down – especially if you or your loved ones are in your spa when it does.

Hiring someone to put up a pergola for you – from scratch or from a kit – will put you back around a thousand pounds rather than a few hundred. However, you’ll be able to enjoy your hot tub in the peace of mind that a professional has put together your pergola, rather than worrying about whether your DIY skills are going to hold it up.

Not all pergolas are created equal, of course. While one made of wood will cost you hundreds of pounds, you can get sleek aluminium models that seriously look the part – but cost serious money, too. You could pay thousands for one of those.

What direction should a pergola run?

To get the most shade from your pergola throughout the day, make sure it’s angled to the east and its beams run north to south. This will give you the best protection from the sun when it’s at its strongest. 

Pergola hot tub ideas

The right hot tub pergola can transform your home spa into your own private paradise.

Here are some stylish hot tub pergola ideas for inspiration for your own space:

A soak with a view

© Hot Tub House Yorkshire

Is the perfect spot for your home spa exposed to the elements or right under a tree? A pergola can protect you while still letting you enjoy the view while you soak.

Stack the deck

© Hot Tub House Yorkshire

Decking makes for a great base for a pergola, as you can sink the posts into the decking for stability without having to lay a foundation. Staining your pergola the same colour as your decking and any fences you have in your garden is also a simple way to tie your space together visually.

Up against the wall

© Three Counties Pools and Spas

Using a wall of your home to support one of the sides of your pergola is a great way to save space and building costs – all while making the structure sturdier. Just be sure to check with your local council what the rules are for building an extension from your house.

Summing up

A pergola makes for great housing for your hot tub. It’s an affordable and effective way to protect yourself from the elements while you soak and lends an airy appearance to your space that can really set it off. 

Stick to the tips we’ve laid out in this short guide – and the ideas we’ve shared for inspiration – to get the most from your hot tub pergola.

And pick up your free copy of the latest edition WhatSpa? magazine for more expert advice on how to get the most from your hot tub – as well as our picks of the best hot tub brands for every budget.

About the author

Nick Clamp

I am the Editor-in-Chief at WhatSpa? Media Group and my job is to keep you informed about the very latest hot tubs on the UK market... the best job in the world! When I'm not being deluged with press releases and hot tub brochures I enjoy keeping fit and participating in endurance events including triathlons and distance running.

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