A hot tub has been a long-held sign of status for homeowners. Being able to afford one meant you were probably doing pretty well financially, and having a hot tub adds value to your home. It might seem like a better deal to simply purchase a premade hot tub, but there are certain benefits to building a DIY hot tub, and it isn’t as difficult as it seems.
Building a hot tub yourself means you can customize the materials, dimensions, and features to your exact specifications. You also have the opportunity to make the tub using upcycled and repurposed materials.
You can find a lot of free DIY hot tub plans online. There is no need to purchase a plan, even if you are a complete beginner. You just have to be prepared and have all the details worked out before you start to purchase materials and build your hot tub.
Important Details to Consider When Building a Hot Tub
When building your hot tub, you have a lot of freedom. You’ll be able to build a unique project, but you will have to consider a few details before you dive in.
Hot Tub Size
An advantage to building your hot tub is that you can choose the exact size and shape. Whether you want a simple single person tub or a large DIY hot tub that accommodates an entire family, you will have complete control over the dimensions. You won’t need to “make do” with a premade hot tub that doesn’t quite fit your vision.
Types of Materials to Use
When it comes to DIY hot tubs, especially those made from upcycled and repurposed materials, you can get creative with what you use to build your tub. Lots of the plans below incorporate stock tanks of various sizes, pallet tanks, and other reworked materials. Other DIYers prefer to use cedar or pine boards.
Hot Tub Location
Also, consider where you want your hot tub to be. Most people build their hot tub outdoors or on a patio, but there are indoor plans available online as well.
The locations available on your property will influence the size of your hot tub, so make sure to measure before you build. When searching for an online plan to follow, pay attention to the measurements and determine if you can easily modify the dimensions.
When building a hot tub yourself, you will need to have every detail figured out beforehand, including your budget and the method you will use for heating the water.
The point of building a hot tub yourself is to personalize it, but you don’t want to bankrupt yourself while doing it. If you choose your plan and materials wisely, you may save money with a DIY project.
Many heat sources are available for DIY hot tubs. The most common include heating pumps, wood-burning stoves, solar power, and propane tanks. Choose the heat source that works best in your home.
Free Hot Tub Plans to Consider
Wood Fired Cedar Hot Tub Plans
This cedar hot tub is equipped with a submersible wood-burning stove. The builders in the video series are living off grid in the mountains of Idaho and wanted an option that didn’t use electricity. This hot tub is simple to make, not too pricey, and looks nice too. You don’t want to give up the beauty of your property for an ugly hot tub.
Wooden Hot Tub Plans
This video from Tools & Stuff is long, but it has handy timestamps so you can skip to a section if you want. It gives thorough instructions on how to build a simple wooden hot tub.
You need to know how to use power tools, and the builder in the video has a disclaimer saying that the video won’t “make up for lack of skills.” Make sure you have the skills necessary to build this hot tub.
Related Post: Wooden Bathtubs
Homemade Hot Tub Plans
You also need woodworking skills to make this hot tub. If you know what you’re doing with building materials, you should be able to build the hot tub after watching this video from Maple Fever. The video includes a complete list of materials in the description.
Building a Wood Fired Stock Tank Hot Tub Plans
Duluth Machine Works looks into the past to find solutions for modern problems like how to make DIY hot tubs. I know we just talked about using a coil of copper tubing to heat water for your hot tub, but the guy from DMW tries to use a more efficient method: a vertical fire tube boiler. He made the boiler out of repurposed scrap propane tanks.
Hot Tub Pallet Tank Plans
This hot tub plan from Instructables.com involves a repurposed pallet tank, copper piping for heating water, and a wood-burning stove as the main components. A pallet tank is usually used to transport large amounts of liquid, so it’s perfectly suited to its second life as a hot tub.
DIY Pallet Hot Tub Plans
Dubbed the “hillbilly hot tub,” this one is made almost entirely from upcycled materials and is very simple to make. Start with a 1000-liter IBC container and create a frame around it made of repurposed wooden pallets. Using PVC pipes for water flow allows you to create DIY jacuzzi jets.
Cheap DIY Hot Tub Plans
This video shows the time lapse process for a cheap and easy hot tub build. The final product is a stucco-like construction that fits into a garden like a water feature.
The fellow building this tub does not recommend using open fire as a heat source because (in his words) “it looks ugly.” He also mentions that it is dangerous and takes longer to heat the water. Instead, he creates a hearth out of concrete and stones that allows the tub to sit above the fire. It ends up looking like a pizza oven with a hot tub on top of it.
DIY In-Ground Hot Tub Plans
This large DIY hot tub is 4 feet deep and fits 10 people. We recommend this build for experienced woodworkers who have a lot of help available (the couple in the video put all their kids to work). A list of materials is included in the description below the video.
Block and Brick Hot Tub Plans
Make a hot tub from concrete, thermalite blocks, and bricks. Optionally, you can use PVC pipes as jets for a make-it-yourself jacuzzi. This involves using two different kinds of pipes: one for air and one for water.
Cheap Solar Hot Tub Plan
This article from Instructables.com details the steps to make a solar-powered hot tub. Create a solar panel out of galvanized tin roofing, a sheet of glass, and coiled tubing to siphon the water.
Backyard Bathhouse Tub
A bathtub is designed to hold hot water, to begin with, so why not convert it into a hot tub in its next life? This couple incorporated an old bathtub in their outdoor bathhouse.
This little hot tub is perfect for a nice relaxing soak outside. It connects via a hose to an exterior hot water line and takes advantage of the already existing plumbing in your house. Simply turn on the tap, and you’ve got hot water like an indoor bath.
DIY 1-Hour Hot Tub Plans
If you want to go the propane route when it comes to heating water, try this simple stock tank hot tub build. It’s very simple and easy to make and is a good option if you’ve never made a DIY hot tub before.
Wooden Hot Tub Plans
If you want a small, single person hot tub, but don’t like the idea of using a stock tank or an old bathtub, you can build a tub out of 2×6 cedar like this one from HomeMadeModern.
Heated Splash Pool Plans
This splash pool doesn’t use as many repurposed materials as some of our other suggestions. For example, the builder bought a heat pump for keeping the water warm. I suggest you only use this plan if you’re an experienced woodworker. The builder included a comprehensive list of materials, expenses, and measurements in the description of the video.