Home building update: Pause and Hot Tub

It has been a while since I posted about our home building project. While we have been able to settle on a design we are having a challenge finding builders who can meet our budget. Apparently the pandemic has driven up the cost of materials and also everyone wants a home or add on built, right now.

Based on that we have decided to pause the build phase till spring. This will allow us more time to talk with various builders and find someone we like who can deliver at a price we want to pay. It also gives us more time to think through the details of the finished house.

Finished House Plan:

View 1 of the Garage Door and driveway is the west side, and back of the house. When you drive up our main driveway entrance you will see the house from View’s 3 and 4. We set it up that way because we want the main view of the home to be of this:

There are a on of details about the house that I will get into eventually. We are excited about the project still but we want to avoid spending all of the money building it. We have talked with more builders in the last couple of weeks and Spring is looking very promising.

Did you say Hot Tub?

In the meantime we need to prepare for winter in Colorado. That means cold and, hopefully, snow. Besides buying warm clothing the best way to deal with cold and snow is with a tub of hot water with jets, also known as a Hot Tub.

We have discussed having a Hot Tub for a few years now. Spending regular time soaking in a tub of hot water is great for soreness and heart health. Its also nice to spend time in a hot bath for relaxing. The problem is that Hot Tubs can be really expensive, especially when they are new.

So Kate fired up Craigslist and started searching for used Hot Tubs. There were a few that seemed ok but something just wasn’t right. So she kept looking and looking.

At the same time I started researching how to properly setup a Hot Tub. After watching a few YouTube videos and reading some websites it came down to building a concrete, gravel, or wood pad to place the tub on. Since this setup is temporary until we build the house we opted for gravel. Its the cheapest option and won’t stand out as much when there is nothing on it.

For location we decided on the south west corner of the cabin’s gravel patio. It would be close to a water spigot, close to the french doors of the cabin, and in direct sunlight.

Then at 10pm on a Wednesday night Kate found The Tub. They were asking almost nothing so we were suspicious. Then Kate talked with her and got the story: They had purchased the house a few years ago and the tub came with the house. They were not Hot Tub people and never used it. She wanted the corner of her porch back and the tub had to go.

The problem was that this tub was just over 4 hours away, and we would need to rent or borrow a trailer to bring it back. We also needed an electrician to setup the 240V connection cause I am not quite ready to play with 240 just yet.

Again Kate came to the rescue and found a hot tub delivery guy who is also an electrician. He agreed to pick the tub up, give it a quick inspection, deliver it to us, and connect the electrical. The catch was that I was going to need to get the hottub pad setup in just a few days.

So we had a pile of roadbase gravel delivered and I got to work:

This is the site of the pad before I added the roadbase gravel. I dug out 6 inches on the high side, left side here, and then placed landscaping fabric down to prevent weeds from coming up. Then I started wheelbarrowing the gravel under the blue tarp on to the fabric.

The process of laying down the gravel and then tamping it down took some time. However this part of the process results in the foundation that the hottub would sit on. So I took my time and got it tamped down really well so that we wouldn’t have a tub slide incident. The timing was perfect because right as I finished the hotub arrived and I helped get it into position:

Once the tub was in place I raked he clean gravel back over the pad to make things look nice.

Then we filled the tub up and turned it on. With 240V electricity the water heats up about 10℉ and hour. If we had gone with 120V it heats up 1℉ and hour. So we waited a few hours and then started what I am pretty sure will be a lifetime addiction to hottubs:

Here is another shot of the setup:

So far I have used the tub everyday before and after work. Its part of my new routine and is a great way to prepare for a day of work and then unwind when done. As an added bonus we have been watching the stars at night a lot more. We just sit back, turn the lights off, and ponder our purpose in the Universe. Oh and we can see Starlink satellites traversing the night sky.

Maintaining the hotub water is my new past time. It is a lot easier than a pool cause there is a lot less water. The hottub delivery guy gave us some good tips too: focus on chlorine, shock, and pH. So far so good as the water is clear and not overly chlorinated.

I had a house with a pool years ago in Phoenix. It was a lot of work and I wasn’t that into using it as I had thought. A hotub is great for a 15 to 30 minute soak and serves a much more therapeutic purpose: mentally and physically. I am sold, if you cannot tell.


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