Q: I’m contemplating installing a hot tub at my ranch, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the investment. Are outdoor hot tubs still “hot”?
A: As people look to incorporate creature comforts into their properties, amenities like hot tubs have become more popular than ever. “But homeowners want more than just a slab of concrete and a box of water,” declares architect Matt Franklin with M.T.N Design, the firm affiliated with PrecisionCraft Log & Timber Homes and Riverbend Timber Framing. “They’re after a built-in-spa mentality, with mood lighting, privacy fencing and other features.”
Modern Rustic Homes’ Michael Grant agrees. “Outdoor relaxation spaces are very much in demand,” he says. “We are working with a client presently who is installing a swim spa that provides ‘swim in place’ exercise as well as a relaxing hot tub. It’s set into the home’s deck and overlooks the distant mountain range. ”
Before you take the plunge, remember that hot tubs and spas could require a boost to your electrical panel, as well as deck or patio reinforcements. You’d be wise to position the unit at least 5 feet away from the closest exterior walls (to mitigate moisture exposure to the logs as well as potential risk of flooding) and 16 feet away from any overhead electrical lines. With the proper infrastructure in place, we can’t think of a better way to soak away the stress of the day.