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A hot tub is a fabulous addition to a yard, but they are not always the prettiest feature in a backyard landscape. Luckily there are some simple design tips and landscaping ideas that can help integrate a hot tub into your surrounding area. We chatted with our expert team of designers to get some great ideas on creating a fluid design with this feature. 

Add a Pergola Overhead

A great way to integrate a hot tub and elevate the look of it is to add a pergola overhead with some creeping vines. This will add shade for comfort, plants or flowers for color and helps create a feeling of an “outdoor room”. It’s also a nice element of privacy in a yard. A string of lights on the pergola can add an extra level of comfort to your hot tub experience. 

Sink into a Wooden Platform

Partially sink the hot tub into your deck or build a wooden platform around it so it feels more integrated into the backyard. Not seeing the sides of the hot tub immediately give it a sense of belonging within its surroundings. 

Fully Sunken

You can also fully sink a hot tub in a wood deck or your deck design by addings walls and/or masonry work.  Generally you need to have the appropriate site condition, such as a  change in elevation because one side of the tub needs to be accessible to reach the controls.

Add Planters

The above ideas can be more costly. If you are looking for hot tub landscaping on a budget, try using planters to screen the exterior siding. This is a great, inexpensive way to camouflage the walls of the hot tub and add a pop of color and beauty from all areas of the yard. It also can provide some privacy depending what types of plants you chose. 

Style & Decor Elements

Use pavers or stepping stones to define a hot tub patio, this will help make it feel a part of your space rather than an imposing object looming in your yard. Pavers and/or stepping stones will also provide easy access, which is important for safety. You can incorporate a bench or hooks for towels nearby, which is a useful and functional addition you’ll enjoy!  

Sided Hot Tubs

There are also some cedar and wood sided hot tubs that won’t stand out as much as the traditional plastic ones that you can consider. These may need less camoflauge, but may be more expensive depending on what you select. 

How to Prepare for a Hot Tub

When selecting a location for your hot tub, keep in mind a few important things. You should try to find an area that gets good drainage so excess water doesn’t puddle at the base.  Avoid septic tanks, sewer lines or other utilities and tree roots. In addition to looking down, look up to avoid power lines or trees that will lose leaves and branches into your tub. Remember that a hot tub is heavy so it can’t just be placed on a deck. 

Make sure the location has access to a hose so you can easily refill as well as an electrical outlet. You will want to arrange for an electrician to come help with the electrical service connection. This may also require an electrical permit. 

You will need level ground where you will place the hot tub. It needs to be set on a level compacted base of either gravel, concrete pad, or existing patio. Consider having a professional help you place it to make sure it’s done correctly and to avoid any injury because of the tub’s weight. 

Hot tubs do require monthly maintenance. Swim University has some great content on how to do this and what to expect when owning a hot tub. 

For more design ideas and inspiration on how to add a hot tub to your yard, browse our Pinterest page on the topic! Tilly can help you determine where to place your hot tub within your outdoor space as well. When our landscape design team works with homeowners we consider how you use your space, who is using your space, and the best layout to accomplish your goals. Our plans showcase the best spot for the landscape features you want (hot tubs, pergolas, fire pit, water feature, deck or patio etc.), conceptural hardscape designs, and the plant layout – everything that’s required to create your backyard paradise.

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