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Homemade Hot Tub Cover For Under $100


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#1 prostar99

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 08:19 PM

I have been a member for a while but this is my first post.

I have made a Hot Tub / Spa cover for under $100. It was easy and straight forward.


Some Info:
- Easy to build with a few basic hand tools.
- on an average night the temperature lowered by 3 degree's.
less then 72 hours to build.


I have added a link to my instructions as well as a youtube video.


Hot Tub Instructions

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbuC4B3hjYA

If you have any questions just ask.

#2 Dr. Spa

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 09:09 PM

So, for about $100 and 72 hours of your time you have a cover that'll last about a year. Doesn't sound like a great value considering a quality cover for around $350 should last 6+ years,
What the heck do I know, I only started in this industry in 1981, and retired from it after 33 years.
(from service tech to co-owner of Roberts Hot Tubs, manufacturer of traditional wooden hot tubs & spa covers)

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If you can't sell it on ebay, it may not even qualify as landfill.

#3 prostar99

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 03:11 AM

Well most of the 72 hrs is drying time for the adhesives not actual labour times. I see no reason why this would fall apart, everything is sealed or painted for the outdoors. I live in Canada and will let you know how it holds up in the Canadian winters.

This cover is for the DIY person. I do not use my hot tub in the winter since it is heated by the sun, so I could put the cover in the garage.

I am leaving the cover outside against the elements to see if it will last 6+ years.

#4 djousma

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 07:05 AM

I applaud your efforts, and hope it works well for you. 2" of styrofoam really isnt enough insulation though. And what are you doing to seal the styrofoam so that water doesnt get absorbed? How heavy is the lid? It would take two to lift that cover.

If I were to attempt this, I would substitute some kind of rigid light-weight composite material for the plywood, and a piano hinge. Use 4-5" of styrofoam, and somehow seal the styrofoam with some kind of spray on material to stop water from entering. Then cover it with the same vinyl material used today.

I never liked the cover I presently have that is self-supporting tapered styrofoam. Tends to warp over time, and soak in water.

I'd pay double the cost of what Dr. Spa mentioned if it truely were the last cover I ever purchased.

#5 Dnepr Dave

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 05:41 PM

I'm interested. Maybe I'll make my own cover when I need another. I made my own cover lifter for about 1/10th the cost of a commercial one, it took me 45 minutes.

Dave
2005 Caldera Kauai

#6 prostar99

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 08:09 PM

Thank-you for the feedback. I agree that 2" styrofoam isn't quite thick enough, but it does insulate and keep most of the heat in. Like I said on an average night the Hot Tub would lower by about 3 degrees. The foam I used has reflective silver backing on one side so it repels water and moisture. The lid is approx. 50 lbs, I can move it by myself but, It would be a good idea to have someone to help remove it with you.

The trouble is you can't find 4" foam easily and it would be costly.

A hot tub without a cover would lose heat rapidly and would be costly, while my cover may not be as effective as a commercial cover it still offers much less heat loss then without a cover at all for a fraction of the price.

#7 Dr. Spa

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 06:50 AM

I'd pay double the cost of what Dr. Spa mentioned if it truely were the last cover I ever purchased.


I just now received this;

We purchased a cover from you in September 2002. Any chance you have the specifications on file and I can just re-order?

Ken D-----
Denison, TX



How long do think an average spa lasts? How about only needing the last 2 covers for half of double?
What the heck do I know, I only started in this industry in 1981, and retired from it after 33 years.
(from service tech to co-owner of Roberts Hot Tubs, manufacturer of traditional wooden hot tubs & spa covers)

`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

If you can't sell it on ebay, it may not even qualify as landfill.

#8 djousma

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 02:20 AM



I'd pay double the cost of what Dr. Spa mentioned if it truely were the last cover I ever purchased.


I just now received this;

We purchased a cover from you in September 2002. Any chance you have the specifications on file and I can just re-order?

Ken D-----
Denison, TX



How long do think an average spa lasts? How about only needing the last 2 covers for half of double?

That is pretty good. In 20 years of tubs, lids on my tubs last 4-6 years, before they weight too much.

#9 arnspa

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 04:32 PM

I am troubled by the commercial self promotion here. :( :wacko: :o



I'd pay double the cost of what Dr. Spa mentioned if it truely were the last cover I ever purchased.


I just now received this;

We purchased a cover from you in September 2002. Any chance you have the specifications on file and I can just re-order?

Ken D-----
Denison, TX

How long do think an average spa lasts? How about only needing the last 2 covers for half of double?


MasterSpa H2X Crosstrainer2
5 kW solar electric system

#10 Dr. Spa

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 07:40 PM

How do you feel about lint?
What the heck do I know, I only started in this industry in 1981, and retired from it after 33 years.
(from service tech to co-owner of Roberts Hot Tubs, manufacturer of traditional wooden hot tubs & spa covers)

`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

If you can't sell it on ebay, it may not even qualify as landfill.

#11 arnspa

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 09:22 AM

How do you feel about lint?


DrSpa, Thank you for the straight line.
I feel about lint just as I and most others feel about blatant commercial self promotion on a site such as this.
Lint, unfortunately is something we can't do much about (except to insist that everyone using the dryer clean the lint filter). As a moderator here I would think that part of the job would be to help filter out lint, I mean blatant commercial self promotion.
I've checked your website. Indeed, it looks like you produce high quality covers and tubs. But it's just ugly for you to be conducting business on a public forum you moderate. You can do this with a private message, etc.
More, I find your comments to this DIY guy to be not very supportive. Why not give him or others tips on making a better cover? They could check your site for ideas.
BTW: please know that I and others very much value the time and effort that folks like you give to these forums.

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#12 Dr. Spa

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:38 PM

Look, $100 and a bunch of time to make a cover, IMHO is a total waste. Why? Because for around $300 - $350 you can get a quality cover that will last 7 to 9 years. You want proof?

On October 1st. 2010 I got an email that read;
We purchased a cover from you in September 2002. Any chance you have the specifications on file and I can just re-order?

Today, October 6th, I got a phone call from someone asking if we could look them up from 2003 to reorder a cover.

Spam? Not at all!. It's very relevant to the topic being discussed.
What the heck do I know, I only started in this industry in 1981, and retired from it after 33 years.
(from service tech to co-owner of Roberts Hot Tubs, manufacturer of traditional wooden hot tubs & spa covers)

`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

If you can't sell it on ebay, it may not even qualify as landfill.

#13 Jake the dog man

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 03:40 PM

[/quote]

DrSpa, Thank you for the straight line.
I feel about lint just as I and most others feel about blatant commercial self promotion on a site such as this.
Lint, unfortunately is something we can't do much about (except to insist that everyone using the dryer clean the lint filter). As a moderator here I would think that part of the job would be to help filter out lint, I mean blatant commercial self promotion.
I've checked your website. Indeed, it looks like you produce high quality covers and tubs. But it's just ugly for you to be conducting business on a public forum you moderate. You can do this with a private message, etc.
More, I find your comments to this DIY guy to be not very supportive. Why not give him or others tips on making a better cover? They could check your site for ideas.
BTW: please know that I and others very much value the time and effort that folks like you give to these forums.

[/quote]

Lighten up. Sometimes buying a product is better than making one out of hardware store supplies. I'd much rather spend the money on a real cover than waste money on making one. But I too like to see people explore & fiddle. That's how many learn.

We can't all live on unicorn farts in a kitten's dream.


BTW- As for a private message, you should have followed your own advice here. I don't see anybody requesting your advice on these boards.

#14 Roger

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 05:10 AM

Look, $100 and a bunch of time to make a cover, IMHO is a total waste. Why? Because for around $300 - $350 you can get a quality cover that will last 7 to 9 years. You want proof?

On October 1st. 2010 I got an email that read;
We purchased a cover from you in September 2002. Any chance you have the specifications on file and I can just re-order?

Today, October 6th, I got a phone call from someone asking if we could look them up from 2003 to reorder a cover.

Spam? Not at all!. It's very relevant to the topic being discussed.


I'm with Doc on this one, people constantly factor out labor because it's love. 100 bucks for material and even 8 hours is to much. We put labor at 60 bucks per. At home you can put it wherever you feel your worth is. But if your lower than about 25-30 then your time isn't very valuable to you. Well mine is!! So put it at 4 hours labor and 100 bucks for material that's 200 bucks for a sh**ty cover or 350 for a top of the line cover. I guess to each his/or her own!! Buy a Box Store tub for 4-5 grand or buy a top of the line tub from a dealer for 7-9 grand. You'll get more out of the top of the line tub. But if mediocrity is good enough for you then go for it. If your one of those people that value your time at 25 then this cover project is perfect to get a crappy cover.
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#15 Shaamus

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 06:20 AM

I agree with Doc on this one as well. I would go a step further and say that this anti-self-promotion thing gets way overblown. I can't tell you how many times that I've had to neuter my posts in response to someone's question because linking to our website is frowned upon. There are a lot of dealers here with a lot of information. I think that's why this forum is so valuable to consumers. However, for us to not be able to link to our website or lay out what we offer as products and solutions it really dampens what we can offer. I admit that there are many times I don't offer a reply because I don't feel like retyping something that's already posted on our site and then have to edit out the prices and links in that text.

IMHO, if you are offended by self-promotion than hold it against that company and don't buy from them. Vote with your dollars. While I am for self-promotion, I am not for blatantly ripping competitors which is probably where this ban started.
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#16 DaveR

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 06:36 AM


Look, $100 and a bunch of time to make a cover, IMHO is a total waste. Why? Because for around $300 - $350 you can get a quality cover that will last 7 to 9 years. You want proof?

On October 1st. 2010 I got an email that read;
We purchased a cover from you in September 2002. Any chance you have the specifications on file and I can just re-order?

Today, October 6th, I got a phone call from someone asking if we could look them up from 2003 to reorder a cover.

Spam? Not at all!. It's very relevant to the topic being discussed.


I'm with Doc on this one, people constantly factor out labor because it's love. 100 bucks for material and even 8 hours is to much. We put labor at 60 bucks per. At home you can put it wherever you feel your worth is. But if your lower than about 25-30 then your time isn't very valuable to you. Well mine is!! So put it at 4 hours labor and 100 bucks for material that's 200 bucks for a sh**ty cover or 350 for a top of the line cover. I guess to each his/or her own!! Buy a Box Store tub for 4-5 grand or buy a top of the line tub from a dealer for 7-9 grand. You'll get more out of the top of the line tub. But if mediocrity is good enough for you then go for it. If your one of those people that value your time at 25 then this cover project is perfect to get a crappy cover.


Sorry guys while I might agree with your $ assessment I will always support the DIY'er for their efforts. Would I build a spa cover - no. I just bought one from Spa-Mart.

I can't agree with the anti DIY'er tone at all. I have $120K worth (appraised) of DIY projects in and around my home with only $35K invested (including tools) - the crash didn't impact us as bad as others in the area based on a current appraisal.

How do I calculate my time, easy every hour I spend on a DIY project I am not spending money on something else (or watching TV). Golf use to cost me at least $50-75 an hour with memberships & green fees, new clubs etc...

Dave
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'02 Sundance Optima (free) rebuilt to like new for $750 - gave to daughter
'04 D1 Chairman (free) est. rebuild cost $1,000 - have buyer for $3,000
'01 Jacuzzi (free) haven't seen it yet

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