Secrets to Building a Strong Foundation

Secrets to Building a Strong Foundation

The saying “you’re only as strong as the foundation you build on” is as true in construction as it is in life.

When it comes to preparing the final destination for your hot tub or sauna, it isn’t nearly as intense compared to most home renovation projects.

That said, it’s equally as important so you can ensure the maintenance and longevity of your newly invested private home sauna or hot tub. The key thing here is creating a solid — level — base with good drainage. 

cedar hot tub and barrel sauna on raised wooden deck

First thing is first, and that's figuring out type of foundation you want... remember, a large hot tub full of water and humans could weigh as much as +3,000kgs.

This is why it’s important to prep your surface and ensure it’s got a proper foundation ready for your build.

The most common types of foundation are:

Paving Stones / Tiles / Slabs

Paving Stones underneath Wood-Fired Hot Tub

Gravel / Rock

Gravel foundation for hot tub or sauna


concrete foundation for cedar hot tub or barrel sauna

Raised Decking / Patio

raised patio for cedar hot tub or barrel sauna

With concrete and raised decking we recommend that, unless you’ve got an extensive background in these practices, to use a professional; in almost all cases it is easier and more cost effective to place your hot tub or sauna on the ground and build a deck around the tub.

Some other important factors to think about when picking the final resting spot for your hot tub or sauna are:

  • (if electric) Distance from the power source: electric tubs require wire to be run to from your home and will need to ultimately be connected by a licensed electrician.
  • Wet(ter) season drainage: what does this area look like at it’s wettest prior to adding the foot traffic and weight to that location (this is more important for hot tubs which are heavier once filled with water!)
  • Privacy and View: as you pick your spot reflect on the reason for this purchase. If it’s to to admire the view, make sure exactly where and what you build here optimises that. If it’s to relax in private - double check you’ve got it in the right spot.
  • Getting to/from your personal oasis: Similar to thinking about the location of your hot tub or sauna… what does will your pathway look like at the worst of times and are there some simple changes you can make to make this as enjoyable as possible.
  • Amenities and conscious benefits: if health and wellness or relaxation is a key part of why you’re making this investment have a think about what else you might want to consider alongside this purchase. A common one is adding a cold shower both for contrast therapy (hot/cold therapy) as well as just keeping your tub or sauna clean but setting a house rule on being clean prior to each soak or bathe.
  • Making this your own personal paradise: this really is a summarisation of everything above, but making sure you really think about what you’re wanting from your new hot tub or sauna can make sure you get the absolute most out of its addition to your property. Don’t hesitate to take a look at some inspiration simply by checking Pinterest, looking at Instagram or even just doing a quick google search to see what you like best. 

OK, so now you’ve you got a sense of what you need to do to identify the place your hot tub or sauna will sit? Now it's time to actually prep. this location.

When preparing the foundation on the ground or if you’re pouring concrete we recommend you mark out an area of approximately 30cm than the outside dimensions of the unit (all our dimensions are shown on each product, or you can talk to our installation and support team by phone if you’d prefer help that way)

Once this foundation has been marked out you’ll want to remove all grass and top soil. We recommend you dig down as deep as you feel will be necessary to effective drainage. From here, add sand followed by crushed limestone, crushed limestone or other drainage rocks and/or paving stones. This combination allows water to freely flow below your structure while also providing a safe and level base foundation for your tub or sauna.

Finally we suggest you pack down the top layer ideally with a mechanical packer to get the base firm and level. If you’re adding paving stones you’d do so now.

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