How to Build a Cheap Hot Tub Cover

Covering your hot tub will keep you from having to clean it as often.
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An uncovered hot tub is a never-ending job. Leaves and other debris constantly find their way into your relaxing tub, which adds significantly to your housekeeping routine. A hot tub cover will reduce the amount of debris that makes its way into your tub. Hot tub covers can cost hundreds of dollars, and they are typically made out of very simple materials -- materials that the average person can get a hold of without much fuss. These materials can then be fashioned into a design that looks similar and works just as well as many professionally-made spa covers.


Step 1

Measure the length and width of the hot tub opening. Then add one inch to both the width and length. Hot tubs often come in round or square shapes. When measuring a round tub, find the length and width through the center of the tub. For a more square tub, find the measurement for the widest and longest parts, if it is not perfectly square.


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Step 2

Place a piece of one-inch thick plywood, larger than the hot tub opening, on a work surface or between two saw horses.

Step 3

Transfer the measurement to the piece plywood. Draw an outline of the tub opening on the plywood using a pen. For a round tub, draw a straight line to represent the length and another the width. Then create a perfect circle (see Tips).


Step 4

Cut the around the outline with a circular saw. When using a circular saw, place the saw flat against the plywood, then use medium-pressure to move the saw along the outline.

Step 5

Place the plywood cutout over a piece of foamboard and trace the shape of the plywood onto the foamboard with a pen. The foamboard must be a little larger than the cut plywood.


Step 6

Remove the plywood and cut the shape out of the foamboard with a utility knife.

Step 7

Trace the plywood shape over a piece of vinyl as well. But extend the size of the shape on the vinyl by two inches on all size. This allows the vinyl shape to be slightly larger and wrap around the plywood and foamboard.



Step 8

Remove the plywood and cut the outline out of the vinyl with scissors. Then cut one additional outline out of the vinyl material, so you will have two vinyl shapes.

Step 9

Divide the plywood and foamboard cutouts in half using the circular saw and utility knife. This will allow you to open only one-half of the hot tub cover at a time. Cut the two vinyl shapes in half using a utility knife or scissors.


Step 10

Apply outdoor primer paint to both surfaces of the plywood halves with a paint brush. This will prevent moisture from invading and degrading the plywood. Allow the first side to dry before flipping it over to paint the other side.

Step 11

Glue the foamboard halves to the top-side of each half of the plywood cover using foamboard adhesive.


Step 12

Turn the plywood covers over, then bead wood or vinyl adhesive all over the free side of the plywood. Cover the free side with vinyl, and wrap it snug around the plywood and foamboard cover. Turn it over and glue the additional pieces of vinyl to the foamboard with foamboard adhesive. Wrap the vinyl snug around the side of the cover.



Step 13

Cut an excess pieces of vinyl from the side with scissors to make it neat. Then make sure the edge of the vinyl cover is glued down.

Step 14

Repeat the process to put vinyl over the other half of the hot tub cover.


Step 15

Line each half of the hot tub cover beside each other as they would lie on top of the fireplace.

Step 16

Secure each half of the hot tub cover together with two hinges. Place one hinge four to five inches from both the top and bottom between the two covers. Drive screws through the hinges into the one-inch plywood with a Phillips screwdriver or electric drill. Make sure the barrel of the hinge is facing up, so the hot tub cover will be able to flip upward.


Wrap a piece of string around a push pin, and push the pin to the center of the circle. Extend the string straight out from the center until you reach the top or bottom length mark. Then wrap the other end of the string around the pencil; make sure the total distance between the pin and pencil doesn't exceed the distance between the center and length mark. Then use the string as a protractor to create a perfect circle with the pencil on the plywood.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure

  • One-inch thick plywood

  • Saw horses (optional)

  • Pen

  • Circular saw

  • Foamboard

  • Utility knife

  • Vinyl fabric

  • Scissors

  • Outdoor primer paint

  • Paint brush

  • Foamboard adhesive

  • Wood glue

  • 2 narrow hinges

  • Screws

  • Phillips screwdriver or electric drill



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