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I have a used Sundance Optima I just got. I don’t want to mess around with leveling, cement, stones, pads... I am basically going to build my deck around the tub. I want to suspend it off the ground and just support it flush mounted by the deck. Is this possible or is it pretty much required to have some sort of support under the middle of the tub??

thanks in advance!!

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I'm trying to wrap my head around what you want to do. 

Are you saying that you want to hang the shell from the deck? If so, that's a bad idea. The skirt of the tub cannot support the weight of the tub, let alone the weight of the tub and the water. You do have to properly support the base of the tub. An Optima is about 900 lbs dry and over 4,000 lbs filled and without bathers. While the shell itself is supposed to be self supporting, the skirt is not.

I would build a platform for the tub with 2x10 or 2x12 joists on 12" centers supported frequently with 4x4 or 6x6 posts set in concrete. Then 5/4 decking to sit the tub on. Then you can build the deck around the tub to give that recessed feel. Make sure all sides of the tub are accessible for service. Sundance recommends a 4" reinforced concrete base or wood equivalent built to support the wet weight of the tub. 

another option would be to build a level frame on the ground of 2x8 in a grid pattern, something like what @CanadianSpaTechposted for another poster. Then build your normal deck around the tub. It will be less expensive, considering the price and availability of lumber right now but depending on your deck design, might be too low.

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1 hour ago, cranbiz said:

Make sure all sides of the tub are accessible for service

The one thing that is a must is access for future service. Imagine you purchase a new car and then go ahead and weld the hood shut! Sounds crazy but that is exactly what you are doing when you buy a Spa and sink it in, unless you provide removable access panels. With today’s Spas you will need to access to the front of the Spa and all the sides. The reality is you may require a plumbing or lighting repair that is only accessible from the side of the Spa, not the front. So just in case you do have a problem, you need access to all sides of the Spa. Spa manufacturers do not reimburse dealers for the cost for accessing the hot tub in the unlikely event of a service repair. So to save you any access charges, it is smart to pre-plan and build removable access panels around your Spa. 

Oasis Spa Sunken in the deck

Sunken Oasis Spa with Panels Removed

Oasis Hot Tub with Panel Section out

If you sink the spa all the way in the deck...How are you getting in? Will you get down on your hands and knees and crawl in (fun in snow) because if you try and just step down into the spa from a standing position you will slip and fall and hurt yourself. If it is night time and the pumps are running you can't see where to step. If you look at the spa below... How are you going to fix it and think about how you would get in...in winter and the snow is higher than the spa.

Installation - Hydropool Dorset hot tub and swim spa installation

 

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Oh I have that planned already. I know that is a must. I have been told I should build a cradle of sorts to have it set in at least. I just don’t know for sure. 

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Thank you both for the replies btw. New here so I have to learn how to navigate this too! Cranbiz, will do. Wasn’t thinking the skirt was enough but it’s better to ask from people who know instead of assume!

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