This is relatively
simple. Build a structural wall of 2x2's, or 1x4's (or whatever fits your
shell), to keep the spa from tipping over on its side. For the base, be
sure to use 2x4's of the pressure treated variety for long life. Be sure
to use exterior grade deck screws, (galvanized or plated) to hold everything
together. (Now's the time you wished that you'd bought a screw gun or 12
volt or better DeWalt portable drill, instead of that fishing pole last
summer!) Used with caution, a standard variable speed drill with a
screwdriver tip can work too.
For the side skirting, I find that
T-11 or T1-11 type of exterior grade home siding works and looks the
best. It also lasts longer than redwood, cedar, or other forms of
non-treated wood. Usually found at home supply stores such as Home Depot,
Lowes, and others, it's normally sold in 4x8 sheets.
Insulating the skirting is
relatively easy. The easiest and most efficient type of insulation to use
is the metal foil backed bubble wrap style of insulation, sold in rolls from
home supply stores. Simply staple it to the inside of the skirting before
attaching it to the structural frame.
It will also be a good idea to
provide a few small vents near where the equipment components will
reside. This is necessary to prevent overheating of the spa, and the
equipment. These vents can be as small as 2" holes, cut mid-way up
in the skirting material.
Note the amount of support that
I've drawn underneath the footwell. This is where most (if not all) of
the weight of the water will be focused. It is very important that the
footwell be provided as much support as possible.
It would be a good idea to also
put a piece of 5/8" or thicker exterior grade
plywood to cover the area of the footwell, especially if it is larger than
The equipment pad is an
important item. Don't just install your equipment on the ground or try to
do it using the supporting 2x4's. You will be praising yourself for
having a solid, steady, level base to put all the 'stuff' necessary to make
your spa operate.
If you want to go first class
all the way, adding an exterior grade plywood bottom to the base structure will
provide the ultimate in insulation and structural integrity.
Also, be sure to make an
equipment access door, (your choice on the style), that provides full access to
all of the equipment. A good size is 4 feet wide and about 2-3 feet
tall. You may have to frame it to be structurally sound. Use
standard hinges or screws to attach it to the skirt. A horizontal door is
easier for a spa technician to deal with than a door that opens
vertically. If you're a really creative carpenter type, you can
build a sliding door to provide access, as used in thousands of Morgan brand
spas. It may not be necessary to add a 'door', you can simply use the
entire piece of skirting as a door. Simply attach it to the supporting
frame with screws.