Build a Wood Hot Tub DIY – Step-by-Step Guide

Imagine soaking in your very own wood hot tub DIY after a long day, surrounded by the soothing warmth of cedar wood. What if we told you that you can build your own beautiful, customized wood hot tub and save money in the process? Get ready to immerse yourself in this step-by-step guide on building a DIY wood hot tub that will elevate your relaxation experience.

Short Summary

  • Create a luxurious DIY wood hot tub with cedar, pine, oak or larch for its natural durability and pleasant aroma.

  • Assemble your hot tub securely with dado joints, vinyl-coated cables and ratchet straps. Heat it up using propane/electric heater or wood stove.

  • Enjoy an amazing relaxation oasis by adding jets, filters & pumps plus waterproofing methods to ensure longevity & energy savings!

Choosing the Right Wood for Your DIY Hot Tub

A person standing next to a cedar hot tub in a backyard

Selecting the right wood for your wooden hot tub is crucial to its longevity and appearance. Clear cedar lumber is the most popular choice due to its natural resistance to decay and pleasant aroma. Wooden hot tubs, especially cedar hot tubs, are not only durable but also have a luxurious look that adds charm to your home. In fact, a cedar tub can be the perfect addition to elevate your relaxation experience.

However, you can also consider other types of wood such as pine, oak, and larch, which have their pros and cons.


Cedar is a top choice for hot tubs because:

  • It’s naturally resistant to decay

  • It’s lightweight

  • It provides a pleasant aroma

  • Its resilience ensures that your cedar hot tub will withstand the test of time.

The aromatic cedar scent will enhance your hot soak experience, making it a perfect choice for a relaxing retreat in your backyard.

Pine, Oak, and Larch

If you’re considering alternative woods for your hot tub, pine, oak, and larch offer various benefits and drawbacks. Here are some key points to consider.

  • Pine is a dense, sturdy wood that is more cost-effective than cedar or oak but may not be as durable.

  • Oak is a strong and reliable wood, but it comes at a higher price.

  • Larch is lightweight and durable but also more expensive than other types of wood.

The choice ultimately depends on your budget and personal preferences.

Preparing the Base and Location

A person standing in a backyard, preparing the ground for a hot tub

Before you start building your hot tub, it’s essential to choose a solid, level base and the perfect hot tub location for your tub. Consider factors like accessibility, drainage, and privacy when selecting the ideal spot.

Preparing the ground properly will ensure the stability and longevity of your tub.

Ground Preparation

To prepare the ground for your hot tub, clear the area of vegetation, rocks, or debris. Make sure the ground is level and free of any irregularities by checking for unevenness and using a level.

You can choose from various base materials such as:

  • gravel

  • crushed stone

  • pea gravel

  • sand

  • concrete

To create a solid, stable foundation for your hot tub. Ensure the base material is compacted properly using a tamper or a roller.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Locations

Whether you decide to place your hot tub indoors or outdoors, each option has its advantages and drawbacks. Indoor hot tubs offer increased privacy, year-round enjoyment, and the flexibility to fit any space. However, they require more maintenance and can be costly to build.

Outdoor hot tubs are more budget-friendly, require less upkeep, and can be installed quickly. However, they are exposed to the elements and may be more challenging to keep clean.

Hot Tub Design and Stave Joinery

A person standing next to a cylindrical hot tub, made of wood

Designing your hot tub involves carefully selecting the shape and size, as well as mastering stave joinery techniques to ensure a watertight seal and maintain the tub’s structural integrity. Stave joinery is essential for creating a secure and sturdy enclosure for your hot tub, which will contribute to its success and longevity.

The joinery techniques used to construct a hot tub are complex and require a great deal of skill.

Cylindrical vs. Square Designs

Cylindrical and square hot tub designs each have their unique characteristics. Cylindrical hot tubs have a round shape and require fewer pieces and less precise measurements, making them easier to construct.

Square hot tubs have a square or rectangular shape and require more pieces and more precise measurements, which can be more challenging to build. Both designs have their own waterproofing methods to ensure a watertight hot tub.

Bead and Cove Joinery

Bead and cove joinery is an impressive technique used to construct a watertight hot tub. It involves skillfully cutting a small shelf on the staves to ensure the joint fits perfectly on them.

This joinery technique is crucial for creating a secure, watertight hot tub that is ready for use.

Assembling Your DIY Wood Hot Tub

A person attaching the staves of a wooden hot tub

Now that you have your design and staves prepared, it’s time to assemble your DIY wood hot tub. Start by attaching the staves to the hot tub floor using dado joints or other methods to ensure a secure connection. Once the staves are in place, it’s essential to secure the hot tub structure using vinyl-coated cables, ratchet straps, or tension bands.

Attach the staves using a dead blow hammer. Gently tap them in place to ensure secure attachment. This will ensure the staves are securely attached to the hot tub floor. When securing the structure, use the following materials:

  • 3/16” vinyl-coated cable to keep your hot tub safe and secure

  • Stainless steel turn buckle to secure the two ends of the cable

  • Ratchet straps or tension bands to ensure the hot tub structure is secure by looping them around the staves and tightening them for maximum safety.

Attaching the Staves

To attach the staves to the hot tub floor, use dado joinery to guarantee a reliable and long-lasting installation. This joint ensures a snug fit for each stave, providing the security and durability needed for your hot tub.

By using precise cuts and measurements, you will create a secure connection between the staves and the hot tub floor.

Securing the Structure

When securing the hot tub structure, use vinyl-coated cables, ratchet straps, or tension bands to ensure maximum safety. Loop the bands around the staves and tighten them for optimal security.

The 3/16” vinyl-coated cable will provide the strength and stability needed for your hot tub. By utilizing a stainless steel turn buckle, you can secure the two ends of the cable and have confidence in your hot tub’s structural integrity.

Adding Benches and Plumbing

A person standing next to a hot tub with benches

Once your hot tub structure is assembled and secured, it’s time to add benches and install the necessary plumbing components. Building comfortable benches and installing a well-functioning plumbing system will ensure an enjoyable and relaxing hot tub experience for you and your guests.

It is important to take the time to properly construct the benches and install the plumbing components correctly.

Building Benches

Constructing benches for your hot tub can be done using leftover wood from your project or even sourced from a local lumber yard. Consider various design options such as hexagonal or tiered seating to create a comfortable and customized lounging area.

By using the right materials and power tools, you can easily create sturdy and comfortable benches that will enhance your hot tub experience.

Installing Plumbing

Installing the plumbing components for your hot tub involves:

  • Connecting drains, valves, and piping to ensure proper water flow and circulation

  • Choosing the right materials

  • Following the manufacturer’s instructions

By doing these steps, you can guarantee a secure and functional plumbing system for your hot tub.

Proper plumbing installation will provide a relaxing and enjoyable hot tub experience, with the added benefit of easy maintenance and cleaning.

Heating Options for Your DIY Wood Hot Tub

A person installing plumbing for a hot tub

Selecting the right heating method for your wood hot tub is essential for optimal performance and comfort. You can choose from various heating options, such as wood-fired stoves, propane heaters, and electric systems, depending on your preferences and needs.

Each heating option has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s crucial to consider which method best suits your requirements and lifestyle.

Wood-Fired Stoves

Wood-fired stoves are a popular choice for heating hot tubs due to their cost-effectiveness, ease of installation, and renewable energy source. However, they require regular maintenance and can be potentially dangerous if not installed correctly.

Additionally, it can be challenging to regulate the temperature using a wood-fired stove, so it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before choosing this heating method for your hot tub.

Propane and Electric Heaters

Propane and electric heaters are other heating options for your hot tub that offer different advantages. Propane heaters are efficient and easy to use, providing quick heating and temperature adjustments. Electric heaters, on the other hand, may take longer to heat up and may not maintain the desired temperature as consistently.

Both propane and electric heaters require specific installation requirements, such as venting systems for propane heaters and dedicated power sources for electric heaters.

Waterproofing and Finishing Touches

A person standing next to a wood-fired stove

To ensure your hot tub is watertight and ready for use, it’s essential to apply waterproofing methods and add any finishing touches you desire. Waterproofing techniques, such as self-waterproofing joints and pool liners, will guarantee that your hot tub is ready for a relaxing soak.

Adding optional features like jets, filters, or pumps can further enhance your hot tub experience. These features can provide a more luxurious experience, as well as help to keep your hot tub cool.

Waterproofing Methods

Self-waterproofing joints and pool liners are excellent options for ensuring a watertight hot tub. These methods are designed to provide long-lasting protection and keep your hot tub in top condition.

By applying the right waterproofing techniques, you can enjoy a relaxing soak without worrying about leaks or water damage.

Optional Features

An image of a DIY wood hot tub with natural wood finish, showcasing the wood hot tub diy optional feature.

Enhance your stock tank hot tub experience with optional features such as jets, filters, and pumps. Jets provide a soothing massage, while filters help maintain clean water and pumps ensure proper water circulation.

Customize your homemade hot tub to suit your preferences and create the ultimate relaxation oasis in your backyard with diy hot tubs.

Maintenance and Care Tips

A person waterproofing a wooden hot tub

Regular maintenance and care are crucial to ensuring the longevity of your DIY wood hot tub. Here are some tips to keep your hot tub clean and well-maintained.

  1. Regularly clean the hot tub and treat the water with the appropriate chemicals.

  2. Inspect your hot tub at least once a month to ensure it remains in good condition.

  3. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.

Using a durable cover and reflective, double-layer insulation will help maintain the desired water temperature while saving energy costs. By keeping your hot tub clean, well-maintained, and properly insulated, you can enjoy a relaxing soak for years to come.


Building your own wood hot tub is a rewarding project that can provide you with a luxurious and relaxing retreat in your backyard. By choosing the right wood, designing a watertight structure, and selecting the ideal heating method, you can create a customized hot tub that suits your needs and preferences. With proper maintenance and care, your DIY wood hot tub will be an enjoyable addition to your home for years to come. So why not start your hot tub journey today and reap the benefits of a soothing soak in your very own creation?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you build your own wood fired hot tub?

Yes, you can build your own wood fired hot tub! All it takes is a stock tank, some copper tubing and around $250. Plus, it only takes about 2 hours to build.

Building your own hot tub is a great way to save money and have a unique piece of outdoor furniture. With the right materials.

Are wooden hot tubs worth it?

Wood-fired hot tubs are low maintenance, don’t require chemicals, and provide a unique, natural experience. They are definitely worth it!

What is the best wood for homemade hot tub?

For a reliable and moisture-resistant homemade hot tub, hardwoods like larch, cedar, beech, oak and pine are recommended.

These woods are known for their durability and resistance to rot, making them ideal for hot tubs. They are also relatively easy to work with, making them a great choice for DIY projects. Additionally, they are aesthetically pleasing.

Are wooden hot tubs sanitary?

Wooden hot tubs can quickly become unhygienic if the water isn’t regularly changed and cleaned, as bacteria and algae can start to grow, in addition to numerous contaminants.

Regular maintenance is essential to ensure that the hot tub remains clean and safe to use. This includes changing the water regularly, cleaning the tub, and checking the pH levels. Additionally, it is important to use the right chemicals to keep the water clean and free from bacteria and algae.

How much does it cost to build a cedar hot tub?

It can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 to build a cedar hot tub, so it’s worth researching your project thoroughly before taking the plunge.

Doing your research ahead of time can help you make an informed decision and ensure that you get the best value for your money.