Good morning my sunshiney friends!
Yes, spell check is unhappy with my adjective, but I don’t care – I am rebelling against proper English and creating my own word of the day and today it is “Sunshiney”! (because you bring light to my life)
I’m pretty excited about today’s project for a few reasons;
- It was part of my no-spend July challenge and I managed to build it for almost nothing
- because I repurposed wood that would have otherwise gone to landfill
- because my poor daughter will no longer have to wedgie herself to get in and out of the hot tub.
That’s a win all around right?
Remember my above ground pool steps from a couple of years ago?
Well, the girls stopped using the pool last summer, so I sold it. The pool steps however, were too big and cumbersome to fit in a truck, so they stayed here. My Step-Dad dismantled them for me so they weren’t a giant eyesore in the middle of my yard, but the wood was still… there.
That would have been a lot of wasted wood….
IF I didn’t need steps for my hot tub!
Hot Tub Steps
My pool steps were 4 risers high, so I took the existing risers and cut them in half, leaving me with 2 steps. If you are buying wood for this, they do sell risers that are only 2 high. Depending on the width of your hot tub steps you’ll need at least three – the sides and one in the middle.
I’m sure there is an easier way to do this (but I just couldn’t come up with it) so I cut rear braces on my mitre saw – the vertical 2″x4″ at the back – by setting the riser so that it was level and then tracing a line right onto the 2″x4″. Repeat 3 times – sides and middle.
Attach the verticals to the rear of the risers with wood screws.
Determine how wide you want your hot tub steps to be – I went with 48″ which left me 12″ on either side to build my planters.
Cut four 2″x4″ to length (less the width of the risers) and attach between the lower steps, the top step, the middle step and between the vertical braces you cut earlier.
Before attaching the tread boards (5/8″ pressure treated cut to 48″ long) – leave a small gap behind the first step; this is where you’ll tuck your riser faces. You can see in the above photo I’ve tucked a 1″ x 6″ cedar board in place before screwing down the first tread with wood screws.
Attach your treads leaving a small gap between each board to allow for water to drain and with a 1″ overhang to conceal the riser faces.
Alternatively, and it’s just coming to me now, attach your risers before your treads and it will be much easier (facepalm).
I never claimed to be the sharpest knife in the drawer. lol
The planter on either side of the hot tub steps is made up of 2 rectangles of 2″x4″ wood – 12″ wide and as deep as your hot tub steps.
I used pocket hole joinery to put the rectangles together. I attached the bottom rectangle to the side of the steps and later added the top rectangle after I’d created a fascia with 5/8″ pressure treated (scrap wood).
This is a crazy-ass build – I know – but again, I was working with scrap wood and wanted to keep my budget as minimal as possible.
I finished the top of the planter box with 1″ x 2″ boards with mitred corners. You could finish out the entire planter box with wood, fill it with soil and plant, but I just wanted to drop a pot into the opening – so a 12″ frame was perfect.
I won’t even lie, I took this apart three times before getting something sturdy and aesthetically pleasing enough to share.
There are a LOT of swear words behind these hot tub steps.
They were particularly loud after I’d attached all of the vertical riser fronts and then realized I was out of wood to fill in that last teeny-tiny section on the left.
The pile of wood to the right of the hot tub steps is all that is left of my pool stairs – so very little went to waste.
I did have to buy four 1″ x 6″ x 6′ cedar boards to use as my riser fronts. I tried to live with the gap for a couple of weeks, but it made me crazy, so I had to spend a few bucks on this build.
I sanded everything smooth – removing lumber stamps and residual paint from my pool stairs – with my WORX Sandeck 5-in-1 cordless sander. (affiliate link – please see full affiliate disclosure in sidebar) The cordless was fantastic, particularly for a backyard project like this.
Backwards hat, Crocs and one bicep that is now 2″ bigger than the other – I’m so delicate and feminine. lol
I finished my hot tub steps with just one planter – although I still have the 12″ of space to add another to the other side.
Maybe next year – but it wasn’t within my $0 spend July or my scrap wood pile for this build.
My hot tub is REALLY old – like hand-me-down-from-my-parents-old, so the exterior is due for a good cleaning, sanding and new stain/sealer.
I’m debating on going black again because I love how black recedes from your vision, but really makes the flowers pop.
For now it’s perfect. Sturdy, safe, decorative and functional – and my daughter no longer gets a wedgie climbing in for a dip. (I have it cooled to 86° for the summer, so we’re actually using it more as a plunge-pool than a hot tub).
… and I need a pedicure. (facepalm again)
I think that’s enough writing about hot tub steps don’t you?
Time to put them to use – with my hot tub shelf, a glass of sweet tea and an episode of Friends!
Have a great one “Sunshiney friends”!