A Deck With A Hot Tub On A Slope
Decks on sloped grades can be perfect for built in hot tub spas.
Don't let a challenging landscape hold back your vision of how you want your backyard to be.
This was a particularly challenging site to build on.
The slope is actually convex. So it gets steeper as you move further away from the house.
But with an open mind you can design something similar to suit your home.
Hot tub decks can be incorporated into slopeside locations
Take a look at the top down view of this site.
You can see a deck on the back side with two stairs running off both sides.
When I arrived that deck was 6'x 12' with the staircase on the left (top down view).
The idea was to enlarge this deck - extend if further away from the
house by another 4'. Then build a low level deck that would sweep away
from the grade as you move futher down the backyard.
The other design refresh ideas we suggested was to install a
waterproof vinyl membrane flooring material - similar to what you see on
the floor decks of boats. This would give the homeowner a dry area
underneat the enlarge deck.
A Chance To Use Some Unique Materials
the upper deck we pushed it out from 6' to 9'.
This meant that the existing
beam had to be moved further out from the house so that the cantilever was
a maximum of 18".
The existing deck railing had to be removed and a combination of beautiful
cedar surface mounted deck railng posts with aluminum rails and glass panels
a special touch I built double sided louvred removable panels with low voltage
lighting underneath the top rail.
The louvres diffuse the light ever so
The old 2x6 deck boards were replaced with 5/8" tongue and groove
sheating, glued and screwed to the joists.
A 40 mil vinyl flooring material
was installed to completely water proof the deck.
No more water dripping
down to the area below and no more annual maintenance.
Upper Deck Extended
If you look closely you can see the original carrier beam closer to the house.
So by building another bean and sistering longer joists together
with the originals the upper deck became a much more useful space.
Now there is room to actually live up there.
Tables and chairs, an umbrella. All you need is a cold drink.
The original stairs were the only means of getting to an from the old deck.
Here are the original stairs running alongside the house.
This was the only means of access prior to the re-design.
You should always think seriously about how many stairs you want
and where locate them. It is rarely sufficient to have a single stair
It tends to make it more of an inconvenience to get to and from
your deck from the backyard. And so with the addition of a new lower
deck we had the perfect opportunity to really open things up.
Lower Deck With Hot Tub Spa
The design called for the hot tub to go around the corner
of the house which wasn't quite as steep.
There was lots of room to create
a great gathering area with built-in benches around the hot tub deck.
An added touch was a wide open wrap around stair case with closed risers
to block the view under the deck.
The hot tub was set upon a concrete pad that was cut into the slope. To
ensure drainage, drain tile was placed around the pad and covered with granular
stone before the cement was poured.
nice touch you might consider for your own deck was setting the deck boards
for the hot tub deck at 45 degrees rather than perpendicular to the house.
The idea here was to create all kinds of subtle hints of connectivity
between the upper deck and the lower deck. The angle of the deck boards
seems to carry the eye from either level to the next.
Linking The Decks With More Stairs
To join everything together we built 6' wide stairs to link the
decks and closed the risers.
The effect is one of openness and no visual
breaks or distractions because you can't see between the stair treads.
the end this concept served to unite the two decks which otherwise could
have ended up being completely separate.
The open end of the hot tub deck where the stairs were located was cut
at 45 degrees to make room for a bit of foot traffic around the deck and
to reduce the size of the deck.
A 1x8 skirt was installed underneath the
hot tub deck to hide the remaining view under the deck where the hot tub
benches double as a place to sit and gather around the hot tub and as a
railing to protect people from falling.
Bench seating was used to close in the lower deck.
The building code did not call for
a mandatory guard rail because it was less than 30" but its still a
good idea to combine the bench railing concept.
It's a really simple trick.
And now that the 2015 code is being re-written to set the top of the
bench to 36" from the deck, you can use this as a railing if you have
From nothing to something stunning
Use these design ideas as principles to start the discussion.
Don't limit yourself to a simple shape or single level. Work with
what Mother Nature gives you and turn that hillside building site into
Watch this video on our Youtube channel about design principles.