How can I add a deck to an existing concrete patio for a new spa?


I have physical/mobility issues and want to add a hot tub/spa to an existing concrete patio outside our great room french doors. Ideally I would like to expand the existing patio creating a deck addition with the hot tub partially sunken into the deck making getting in & out of the spa/tub easier. Presently, the exit from our house onto the concrete patio needs changing. There are 2.5 steps exiting our house to the patio. the egress is very unsafe, especially for me who needs to use a cane to walk.

We got an estimate to widen the stairs, add a handrail (wrought iron) and cover the concrete with brick pavers. The cost was $5400. To purchase and add a hot tub --even a smaller three seater--(with required new electrical wiring), plus buying a deck to partially submerge a hot tub puts this project completely beyond our budgetary means. Is there a better (more cost efficient) way to add this therapeutic hot tub to our existing patio set up without having to take out a reverse mortgage? My husband and I (both retired) are in our 70's. Any other cost effective design suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  10 answers
  • Gk Gk on Jun 20, 2020

    Hello Susan! Trying to figure out if you can afford a new project is always an informational journey! I love all your ideas and the fact that you got an estimate and pursued your dream hot tub deck! Can you get a few more estimates? Can you make some changes to your original plan? Sometimes it does take going from Plan A to Plan B or even Plan C! Can you pay for part of your project and then take out a home improvement loan for the rest? You don't have to take out a reverse mortgage. You can borrow against the value of your home with a home improvement loan rather than taking out a reverse mortgage. Check around for the best interest rates. You may find out that this project IS in your means depending on how you can arrange to pay for it. Don't get discouraged yet! Where there's a will, there's a way!

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jun 20, 2020

    Without seeing photos, I would recommend a 1:12 ramp, (maximum steepness ) 3’ wide minimum, with a 3’ deep landing at the top and a 3’ clear landing at the bottom. Have a handrail put on one side.

    Those numbers above, are from the ADA requirements.

    The spa hot tub will have to sit on a concrete patio because it is too heavy for the average deck construction and you don’t have the budget for above-average deck construction.

    You can still have a deck built around it, and do another ramp instead of stairs if you wish.

    Not having any idea of the site’s dimensions, I’m envisioning maybe an alternate to two ramps and instead make a deck from the stairs to the hot tub, like a runway or gangway.

    Guardrails are mandatory for any elevated surface >24” above the ground.

    Be sure and use treated lumber unless you’re moving in 5 years.

  • on Jun 20, 2020

    Can it not just sit on the concrete?

    • Flipturn Flipturn on Jun 21, 2020

      Unfortunately, no.

      The placement of the hot tub must be where it is accessible for persons with low mobility, so that they can come out of the house, get into the hot tub, and exit it safely.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jun 20, 2020

    Please post photos of your current space for a new spa.

    It is a good idea to make it a partially sunken hot tub, this will help with your mobility issues.

    Hometalker Lifestyles Homes gave you some very good guidance on requirements from the ADA. Ramps, rather than steps, are a very viable alternative, please consider that.

    Keep shopping around for hot tubs, pricing is very competitive now, especially if you want a quality product. Sellers need to sell and you can bet they are going to up the ante to get your business. It is a buyers market.

  • Stolzy Stolzy on Jun 20, 2020

    From a financial perspective this cost can be included with your other medical expenses at tax time due to your physical limitations... one cane user to another. TBI/ stroke, my leg is taking longer to come back than I'd like. Talking is fun.. the word I want to use isn't always the one that comes out.

    Check local rehab centers for the names of reasonable/imaginative contractors. Good Luck.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jun 20, 2020

    Maybe something like this?

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Jun 21, 2020

    I would say that the $5400 quoted to you for that type of job is not unreasonable. Labour is expensive. Unfortunately if, modifications need to be done to an existing layout in the yard, before the new amenities are installed, this additional work comes with a big price tag.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 21, 2020

    Hello Susan,

    Pre made Deck Tiles might be the answer. Just lay them on top.

  • Betsy Betsy on Jun 21, 2020

    Hi Susan: The suggestions here are great. The only question I have is "Do you really want it to be sunken?" Years ago I was looking to buy a new house and one of them had a sunken bath tub. I thought that was great - until I got in and couldn't get out! Of course there wasn't any water in it, but I had to step up and it was hard for me and I was only in my 30's and pretty fit. If it isn't sunken too deep and there are steps, maybe that would help. But, it's something to consider. Good luck

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Jun 22, 2020

    Susan: you may want to consider a jetted tub in your bathroom. It could be the cheaper option.