Hot Tub Installation 101: Guide for New Spa Owners In Courtenay, BC


So you’ve bought a hot tub and now have to prepare for its delivery, but where do you start? A proper hot tub installation is just as important as selecting the right spa, and it’s crucial to follow a few key steps to ensure your spa is ready to provide years of uninterrupted bliss.

If this is your first hot tub and you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to walk you through the process step-by-step.

By the end, you’ll be well and truly ready to settle into the depths of your spa and enjoy your very first refreshing soak!

Hot Tub Installation Steps: Before Delivery Day

Prior to delivery day, there are various steps you’ll need to take to prepare your backyard for your new backyard addition. Here are six steps you’ll need to take to ensure delivery day goes as smoothly as possible.

Step 1: Obtain Any Necessary Permits

Before you do anything, you’ll want to look into any potential permits you may need prior to installing your spa.

Permits will most likely be needed if installing your hot tub requires you to make any structural changes to your home, but some municipalities may deem hot tubs a structural change in themselves.

To avoid any issues down the road, check with your city municipality for any required permits and apply for any necessary ones. Do not start any work until you have your approval.

Step 2: Choose Your Location

While you await your permits, assess your backyard and consider where you’d like to install your hot tub.

Ideally, this should have been done before selecting your hot tub, since you want to ensure the model you chose fits within the space. However, if you haven’t, now’s the time.

To help you decide where to place your spa, consider the following factors:

  • Natural protection from the elements
  • Level of privacy
  • Ease of accessibility
  • Sun and shade exposure
  • Nearby foliage
  • Access to a water source
  • Electrical accessibility

By considering these elements, you’ll be able to determine which areas of your yard offer the best advantages for your hot tub installation.

For example, opting for an area with plenty of shade can reduce wear and tear from excessive sun exposure, while placing your spa close to your backdoor ensures it’s easy to enjoy it even on the coldest, snowiest days of the year.

outdoor hot tub installation with pergola and outdoor kitchen

Step 3: Prepare Your Foundation

Next up, your foundation!

Unfortunately, you can’t just install a hot tub in your backyard and call it a day. Installing your hot tub directly on the ground can result in various issues, such as the soil slowly giving way, causing your spa to sink into the ground, or weight becoming unevenly distributed, significantly impacting the structural stability of your investment.

A foundation helps prevent these things from happening, providing a stable, durable, and level base for your hot tub.

Hot tub foundations can take many forms, with the most popular solution being a concrete pad, offering ample durability and affordability.

Alternatively, you could also use your existing deck or patio, but it’s crucial to have it inspected by a professional beforehand to ensure it’s structurally sound and capable of supporting the filled weight of your hot tub.

Some other options include crushed gravel, paving stones, or prefabricated spa pads.

Step 4: Complete The Electrical Work

Another key element of your hot tub installation is setting up your electrical hookup.

While some spas only require a 120V plug and can be plugged directly into a standard outlet, the majority require a 240V outlet and a GFCI breaker.

This process requires the expertise of a professional electrician, to ensure your hot tub installation is both safe and reliable.

If you’re unsure where to hire an electrician, talk to your dealership. They likely have a licensed contractor they work with for installations.

Never try to prepare the electrical yourself, as you can risk not only your investment but yourself if something is done incorrectly. Look for licensed, certified, and insured electricians.

Step 5: Get Your Backyard Ready

Now that you’ve laid your foundation and had your electrical work done, it’s time to start planning the route your delivery team will take to get your spa to your chosen location.

Most likely, your hot tub will be transposed through your yard on its side, ensuring it can fit between smaller spaces, such as pathways and fence entryways.

Consider how much space you’ll need for your model, and follow your planned route, measuring any tight spaces to ensure there’s enough clearance for your spa.

Ideally, you’ll want at least two inches more than the size of your spa to ensure it can easily be moved through the space.

If you’re looking at your yard and realizing there’s no good pathway to get your spa to its new home, you may need to consider having a crane lower your spa into your backyard instead.

If this is the case, talk to your dealership to plan the appropriate steps prior to delivery day.

Step 6: Stock Up on Your Water Treatment Products

The final step in your hot tub installation prep is arguably the easiest: buying the necessary products to treat your water. The last thing you want on installation day is to realize you can’t even fill your spa right away because you don’t have your chemicals!

You can stop by your dealer any time before delivery and work alongside them to select the best products for your model.

To make this even more effective, consider dropping off a water sample at any local store that performs water testing. This can give you deeper insights into your water quality and help guide you towards products specifically beneficial for it, such as calcium hardness increaser if your water is too soft.

Delivery Day Tips

Delivery day has arrived and you’re eager to get your new spa settled in your backyard. Before your spa arrives, here are two things you’ll need to do.

  • Clear Your Access Route: Remember that route you planned above? Do a final sweep and ensure it’s completely clear.
  • Have Your Electrician on Site: Even though your electrical hookup is already prepared, it’s recommended to have your electrician on site on delivery day. This will ensure they can get your spa hooked up and verify everything is in good working order.
custom hot tub installation with steps, shower and outdoor tv

Post Installation: Make it Your Own!

Congratulations! Your new private oasis is officially installed and ready to go! Now comes the fun part: adding the perfect elements to bring it all together!

Your hot tub is just the beginning, and once it’s installed you can start visualizing the various other elements you can add to your space to enhance your outdoor space.

This could include decorative elements like hanging lights, functional accessories like steps and a cover lifter, or additions to achieve your desired level of privacy, such as retractable screens or a pergola.

Here are some of our top suggestions to truly make your backyard paradise your own:

  • Add patio furniture to bring loved ones together inside and outside the water.
  • Hang fairy lights or place lanterns around your spa for visual appeal while enhancing safety.
  • Add plants and shrubs to enhance your relaxation and add a pop of colour.
  • Place a bench or table alongside your spa’s cabinet to easily store towels while you enjoy the water.
  • Add an umbrella to block out those harsh UV rays during mid-afternoon soaks.
  • Consider privacy elements to keep prying eyes at bay, such as privacy walls, gazebos or pergolas.
  • Create a cozy outdoor retreat with a nearby firepit, adding to the ambiance of your evening spa sessions.

The options are truly endless!

Hot Tub Installation in Courtenay, BC

Whether you’re looking for the perfect elements to bring your backyard retreat to life or have just begun considering investing in a hot tub, the experts at Rainforest Outdoor Living are here to help.

We carry everything you need to transform your outdoor space into a haven of relaxation. From premium swim spas and hot tubs and the accessories and supplies you need to complete your experience, to outdoor leisure essentials like patio furniture and firepits, we’re your one-stop shop for everything backyard living.

Stop by our showroom in Courtenay, BC, today and discover a world of endless possibilities!


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