Shelter Ideas for Your Hot Tub

As a hot tub owner, you've probably encountered debris clogging up your drains, or maybe you're tired of leaves falling on you as you soak. If so, it's time to consider adding a shelter to your hot tub. In fact, leaving your hot tub uncovered is one of the biggest mistakes you can make for its maintenance and longevity.

Sheltering your hot tub solves these problems while adding an extra layer of privacy and comfort, and also provides a unique aesthetic. Plus, a shelter saves you time and effort on maintenance while prolonging the lifespan of your hot tub.

While an enclosed structure like a pool house would be lovely for housing a hot tub, you can also opt for a permanent structure like a gazebo or pergola or more temporary options like umbrellas or retractable canopies, there's something to suit every style and budget. Here are some different options for sheltering your hot tub with backyard structures and what you need to know about each.

Retractable Awning

A retractable awning offers an ideal middle ground if you aren't ready to commit to a permanent structure to shelter your hot tub. It gives you the benefit of a cover when you need it without permanently altering the aesthetics of your backyard. It's a secondary covering attached to the exterior wall of your house and consists of a metal framework covered with weather-resistant fabric. 

Getting and installing a retractable awning over your hot tub is not difficult, but takes some planning. 

  1. First of all, you should choose an awning that matches the size of your hot tub, complements your home's exterior, and is durable and weather-resistant.
  2. Ensure the wall where you plan to attach the awning is strong enough to hold it. Clear any obstacles that might interfere with installation or operation.
  3. While installing an awning yourself is possible, we recommend hiring a professional to ensure it's done correctly and safely.
  4. Once installed, you only need to extend the awning when you need coverage and retract it when you want some sun.

A retractable awning adds a touch of luxury and gives you the power to control your spa experience. 

Pop-up Canopy

A pop-up canopy is a portable shelter that pops up to provide instant shade and protection wherever needed. There are several places you can buy a pop-up canopy. Online marketplaces have a wide selection of sizes, colors, and styles available for purchase. Home improvement stores also carry a range of pop-up canopies. 

Shade Sail

Shade sails come in all sorts of shapes and sizes — from triangles to rectangles and multi-point options. They are stretched pieces of fabric that anchor at several different points, creating a shaded area beneath them. Browse home improvement stores to find the perfect shade for your area. Once you’ve found one, the installation process is simple.

  1. Determine the best location for your shade sail, ensuring it covers your hot tub adequately and doesn't obstruct any walkways.

  2. Shade sails need to be attached to sturdy anchor points. These could be existing structures like a fence post or part of your house, or you may need to install posts.

  3. Once your anchor points are secure, attach your shade sail. Start by connecting one corner and gradually work your way around, pulling the fabric taut as you go.

  4. After all corners are attached, adjust and tighten the sail to ensure it's secure and provides maximum shade.

Once you've got your shade sail installed, you can safely enjoy your hot tub without being subject to excess sun exposure. 


A gazebo is a freestanding, roofed structure often open on all sides, providing a shady, decorative spot to enjoy your outdoor space. Since gazebos are permanent structures,  you should be certain about where you want it and your hot tub to be because moving both later could be quite a task. Think about the view you want when you're soaking, the proximity to your house, and the level of privacy you desire.

Once you've decided on the best place for your gazebo, it’s time to start the building process. 

  1. Start by visualizing what you want your gazebo to look like. Consider traditional, octagonal gazebos and modern, rectangular designs.

  2. Compile your materials – this usually includes wood or metal for the frame, roofing material, screws, and other hardware.

  3. If you take on a DIY approach, start by constructing the frame, followed by the roof. Add any additional features like screens, windows, or built-in seating. If DIY doesn’t suit your skill levels,  hire a professional contractor.

Once your gazebo is up, add the details. Consider adding a table and chairs or a softer option like ground pillows nearby if the hot tub does not take up the entire space. 


A pergola is an outdoor structure with columns supporting a roofing grid of beams and rafters. Unlike a gazebo, which is more enclosed and offers full shade, a pergola is open and provides partial shade.

You can build a pergola around an existing hot tub, or install a hot tub once the pergola is built. However, building a pergola around an existing hot tub may pose challenges, such as limited space and potential damage to the hot tub during construction. So, installing the hot tub once the pergola is completed is recommended.

Take the following steps to install a pergola over your hot tub. 

  1. Imagine your ideal pergola. Consider factors like size, design, and material.
  2. Ensure the ground is level and stable enough to support the pergola and the hot tub.
  3. You can opt for a DIY kit or hire a professional contractor to build a custom pergola.
  4. Once ready, it's time to bring in the hot tub. Leave space around the edges for easy access and maintenance.

Finally, you can install outdoor lights, hang curtains for privacy, or hang some plants to decorate your pergola. 

Rock Wall

For built-in hot tubs, building a rock wall around the hot tub can create an ideal natural shelter. It enhances the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space and offers practical benefits like wind protection.

Creating a rock-wall shelter for a hot tub involves several considerations. 

  • The stone you choose affects the appearance and feel of your hot tub shelter. Each type of stone has a unique color, texture, and durability. Consider your climate when deciding, as certain choices may be more suitable. 
  • Building a rock wall can be pricier than alternatives because of material and labor costs. Yet, they're durable and functional and boost property value.
  • Building a rock wall takes careful planning and execution. It involves preparing the ground, selecting and arranging the rocks, and ensuring proper drainage. While you can do it yourself, hiring a professional landscaper ensures a correct and safe job.

As you can see, several options exist for creating the perfect hot tub shelter. From a gazebo, pergola, or rock wall, you can find the right solution for your needs and budget

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