Getting from old deck, to new deck, to soaking in our new hot tub, took a couple months. But now we’re tubbing out on the deck!
Here are some progress pictures.
Ripping out the old deck. Some of the joists were pretty rotten, and Jeff wanted to make the area under where the hot tub would go much stronger.
After the deck was removed, we were left with an icy hole in the ground.
Thankfully, Jeff put together some temporary stairs so we could still get into the back of the house.
We thought about different configurations for the hot tub. Should we sink it into the deck? Lower the deck? We decided not to do either. There are panels all around the hot tub to service it, and if we sunk it down and built the deck around it, we’d have to make a bunch of access panels in the deck and it sounded like a nightmare.
Also, in the spring, there is a big of a glacier under the deck as the water slowly melts and seeps down the hill behind us and through our yard.
The only change Jeff made was to make the hot tub area just a bit wider so we can walk around it.
It isn’t recommended to drill down into the permafrost for footings, so instead we used a series a cribs under the new support beams. (The house is sitting on wooden cribbing too.)
We had our neighbour, an electrician, wire a 240 volt line to an emergency breaker near where the tub will go. Since our house only has a 100 amp service, we ran it from the garage, which has a separate service and never has much draw.
We opted for the new brown “Sienna” pressure treated wood. It’s really pretty, but the colour varies quite drastically from board to board. I wonder how soon it’ll fade.
The deck framework came together pretty quickly (thanks to Jeff’s blood, sweat, and thankfully no tears). The new palm nailer though was so incredibly loud (sorry neighbours).
We placed the order for the hot tub a couple months ago. When they get enough, they are manufactured in Alberta and sent to the dealer in Whitehorse.
Before the deck was finished, we got word the tub was in Whitehorse and ready to be shipped up on a freight company. AHH! Jeff was able to push ahead and surface the deck in just about 24 hours.
He put some of that blue seal down on the joists under the hot tub, to keep water from sitting on the joists.
I spent a few hours sitting on my butt, screwing in the screws under the hot tub area with the impact driver. I have no muscles after this last year. The impact driver really requires a good push for the last inch of every screw. I pushed as hard as I can, and then I was broken. I hurt every muscle and bone and could hardly move. It is really frustrating to feel normal again, healthwise, but then to reach physical limits, almost daily.
But I survived! Only the hot tub area is thoroughly screwed in, but it was definitely break time! Here we are trying out our new lawn chairs Mom got us for Christmas.
Jeff rolled off his lawn chair into bed for a nap, but then I saw Pacific Northwest’s big truck arrive with the tub! No time to rest!
But how to get this thing out of the truck!? And how did they get it in there! It was fit pretty snuggly!
Thankfully a couple friends were able to stop by and help lower it off the truck to the deck. I’m so glad Jeff thought to remove the fence so the truck could back right up to the house!
For weeks I had imagined how we were going to get this heavy beast from the back alley to the deck, but it turned out to be quite painless. They lowered to the deck, spun it around to face the right way, and then just pushed it across the deck. Done!
The next morning, our neighbour stopped by to wire it up to the box he had installed earlier. And then we started filling it with water! It probably didn’t even take an hour to fill it up.
Then we turned it on to let it heat up! It said it was only 33 degrees! It probably only took about 6 hours to get up to 100. Woo hoo!
This tub is made by Arctic Spa. It is their littlest tub, the Arctic Fox. Just a 3 person tub (two chairs and one lounger). You might think, this is insane, a hot tub in the subarctic? Apparently this is the brand to get for this climate and they handle the winter just fine.
With all the documentation that came with it, it seems liked none of the questions we had were clearly answered. Everything was a bit of a struggle, but I think we’ve got it now (except for the chemical stuff, we’re still learning!)
It came configured to use internet over a powerline extender. That was a great idea, except that the tub is wired to the garage service, so we need to put a router out there to grab the signal. I used a long ethernet cord to test and the tub communicates with an app on our phones to tell us the temperature and we can set how often it should turn on to run the filtration.
We also opted for the Bluetooth speakers that pop up out of a couple corners. And an LED light package, so there are funky coloured lights all over it. Not that we can see them because it won’t get dark again until August.
We had our maiden voyage, I mean soak, the first night, and it is NICE! A friend suggested we opt into a second pump for better jets. Well when both pumps are on, the jets are so powerful, I float right out of the seats and bob around in the middle!
Right now, we have no privacy, so we feel a bit exposed out there (we had our suits on, don’t you worry!) because the neighbours are close and it doesn’t get dark at night this time of year. We plan to build a privacy wall around it because our neighbours are so close, and put a little roof over to keep the snow off. Just think how nice this tub will feel at -40!