How to build your own cheap DIY Jacuzzi
On this page you will learn how to build your own Jacuzzi hot tub easily and cheaply.
My friend Hank and I came up with this idea while lamenting the difficulty of smuggling drinks and smokes into a public outdoor swimming pool. We decided we would construct our own DIY Jacuzzi in our backyard. Commercially available Jacuzzi’s cost upward of $5000, we managed to build ours for approximately a tenth of that by using old sofa’s and readily available construction materials.
The basic idea is to put two old sofa’s facing each other, box them in, reinforce the construction and then cover it all with a garden-pond rubber sheet. Read on for step by step instructions on how to build your own DIY Jacuzzi.
Step 1: Finding your sofas
The backbone of the Jacuzzi will be the two sofas. They will provide a lot of the structure and will be the main seats of your hot tub. I suggest going to a third-world charity shop, a local flea market or perhaps a landfill to find your old sofas. Basically any place that has old furniture cheaply.
You will be looking for some qualities that aren’t often looked for in sofas, most notably a strong frame and a high back. You will need the sofas to be as strong as possible, depending on the size of your Jacuzzi they will have to bear the load of a small to medium sized car. For this reason sofas that stand on legs or struts are a bad idea (unless you can remove the legs so the sofa sits flat on the floor). The high back comes in to play when filling up your Jacuzzi, obviously the lowest point of your sofas will define the maximum water level, you want this as high as possible so everyone can sit submerged comfortably.
Secondly you want the thickest pillows you can find, the weight of all the water will compress them incredibly much so you want as much cushion to start with as possible. Keep in mind the sofas will be covered with rubber sheet and will never get wet, so it doesn’t matter at all if they are dirty, ugly or have other cosmetic flaws. Last but not least, you will need to select two sofas that are of similar dimensions. It’s not necessary (although it does make things easier) to get identical sofas but make sure that if put opposite one another they form an approximate square.
Step 2: Groundwork
Decide where you want to build your Jacuzzi, think about easy access to water and drainage. Thoroughly sweep the floor to remove any bits of sharp rock, glass or whatever may be present that could cause tears and rips in your homemade Jacuzzi. What I did was sweep the floor and then put down a square of cheap carpet. That gave the garden a homely vibe as well, but became dirty quickly after some rain and mud got into it.
After preparing the spot, put the sofas opposite eachother with enough space between them to comfortably handle the legs of people on both sofas. If you make it wide ‘the middle spot’ will also be a coveted Jacuzzi seat for taller guests (shorter guests will drown in it!).
Step 3: Structure (I)
With your sofas in place take some wood and create a square box around the sofas. MCF board does nicely for this. The wood used does not have to be waterproof because it will also be covered by the sheeting, but a little water resistance is good for peace of mind. Attach the wood to the sofas using any method you like, nails, screws or even glue. These fastenings can be superficial since they will NOT have to hold the weight and pressure of the water, load bearing straps will be used for that.
Step 4: filling the holes
Look at your boxed in sofas and imagine filling it with water. Think about in which places it would exert the most pressure on the rubber sheet. For example near the floor, where many sofas have open spaces. Another spot will be the connection of the armrest and the wooden boards, unless your sofa is perfectly straight (which would be ideal) you will have a gap there. Fill any gaps you find with sturdy material, I used tiles and polyurethane foam sprays. You want these gaps filled as best as possible to eliminate places where the rubber sheet will have to hold back the water without support from a solid surface. The exact places where this will be necessary will vary depending on the sofas you get, but you can never go wrong by grabbing a polyurethane can and spraying everything!