Build a Hot Tub Cover in Seven Steps
A hot tub cover serves many purposes including keeping the water clear of leaves and debris, preventing animals from using it as a water source, and to deter children from taking an unsupervised dunk. They are also good for insulating the water temperature so your tub doesn’t have to waste as much energy keeping the heat where it’s supposed to. However, buying a good, top-of-the-line cover can be a big upfront expense. Fortunately, you can build your own less expensive option with a moderate knowledge of how to measure and using simple tools.
Step 1 - Measure Twice, Cut Once
Measure the size of your spa. You will need exact dimensions of the whole top of the hot tub, not just the area where water is exposed. Divide these numbers directly in half and transfer the measurements to each piece of plywood. If your tub is small, you may be able to use one piece of plywood for the cover. If so, cut the piece exactly in half once it’s trimmed to size.
Step 2 - Time to Make a Hinge
Using a 1/8-inch wide piece of the marine vinyl, make a strip that is the length of your plywood. Attach only two inches of each side to the board to allow for leeway when opening the cover. Use the washers and screws every six inches on each side of the vinyl to create a hinge on the lower side of the cover.
Step 3 - Center the Insulation
Use glue to attach the insulating foam on the bottom of your cover. The foam will be covered with the marine vinyl in the next step, so you don’t need to worry about it accumulating moisture.
Step 4 – Staple Vinyl
The vinyl will protect the wood from the hot wet steam that the hot tub produces, keeping your cover from being bogged down with moisture. Measure out how much vinyl that you will need using the plywood as a template; four to five inches of overage on each side should be sufficient. Lay the plywood in the center of the vinyl and wrap it around the edges, securing every three to five inches with the staple gun. The top will be the side with the staples showing. Do not worry, the foam padding and outer fabric will cover this.
Step 5 - Make it Pleasing to the Eye
Use your staple gun to attach a five-inch strip of fabric along the outer edge of the plywood, two inches from the edge. You can get fancy and make pleats if you choose or just make it straight around, tucking in the edges. Think of it as a skirt. You might need to use more than one strip to make it all the way around.
Step 6 – Add Fabric
Measure your padding to the exact measurements of your plywood and cover with the outdoor fabric. Use the spray on adhesive and make sure that there are no wrinkles; the fabric should wrap around the padding with about four inches on the backside. Secure the padding to the top of your cover with a strong adhesive.
Step 7 - Attach the Handles
Attach two handles on each side of the cover. Measure so that they are equidistant from each other. Secure the handles through all layers of the cover. Finally, place your DIY cover on top of your hot tub and let it do its job.