Round cedarwood hot tub, pergola, decking & paving 09 pr

3 Jun 2005
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United Kingdom
Hello there fellow Diy'ers,

My names Joe and i do like a bit of DIY. The upcoming year main project is the garden. My famliy and i completed an extension on the house in 08. This reduced the size of garden we had left so we bought the property next door and nicked the garden!

So far i have limited myself to a bit of mild chainsawing to remove 8 of 20 year old trees along the old boundary fence and putting up a new fence on the new boundary line. This was mere busy work while the final details percolated through my brain for the main project.

Do any of you out there use google sketch up when developing garden projects?
I have found it to be a brilliant tool on the development of this project. In the great tradition of diy'ers it has of course changed since i posted this version! Its a small change, we decide that 100sqm of decking was a bit OTT so we are looking to pave the areas closest to the house and leave the social area over beside the tub as decked. Anyway here's the link

To really see the model properly you would have to download sketch up. Its SOOO gooodddd!

My son and i felt we were being a bit lethargic post xmas so decided to crack on with the hot tub foundation yesterday, photos below.

Rough position of Pergola vertical posts pegged out

And they're off!

Mostly dug out but needing some depth

Dug out, broken up and dragged over with a rake.

We used a 6Lb sledgehammer as a compression tool on the earth and then laid in some boards. This is Martin, he turned 14 on Xmas eve, all 6'3" of him! We had a great day doing this and he's officially a real grafter now!(that's ma boy).

After the extension was finished we had a few old blocks, slabs etc lying around. Being of the kilted persuasion i decided to keep them for a base for the concrete tub base, Here they are. Also laid in a roofing felt membrane, the foundation is approx 150mm deep.

I'm away up to my mates today to pick up a cement mixer and then on to buy various bags of stuff to pour the first section of the base. I will update as the job goes along i am expecting to be finished around Aug/Sept 09.
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watch the temperature when your mixing and make sure you keep it well and truely covered up. You need to be at 5 degrees and rising before you do it.
Thanks Thermo,

My mate gave me a shot of his cement mixer(homemade by his father in law). Cracked on and got it mixed and poured this morning through to lunchtime.

It looks like this and thankfully we have been sitting at 6 degrees at my house today, due to your advice about covering, it now looks like this

I will leave it tomorrow and temp permitting i will lay a slightly off flat screed approx 10mm thick across the top on the 31st and lay 9 of 600mm slabs onto the screed. This will give me a low point for drainage of the tub, also keeps the tub off any damp ground.
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Looks like a good project.

So how much does Google Sketch Up cost?
Sketch up is free, its good fun. I laid the 9 2'x2' slabs on top of the mat on the 1st as punishment to myself for the hangover i had! As stated before this means the base of the tub should be well clear of any ground moisture. Off to a local sawmill on the 7th to price 5 of 125 to 150mm dia round posts to sink in as the basic verticals of the pergola frame.

Hoping to get some sort of recessed joints going on the frame of the pergola, ye olde worldy look with wooden pegs to hold in place. never tried anything like that before but that shouldn't stop me! Happy New Year!
A photo of the slabs. Getting in touch with the sawmill tomorrow to see about landscaping poles. Does anyone know of a pallet moving company who does not want the leg along with the arm? I have 5 of 1/2 tonne pallets of slabs to bring up to Scotland and the prices to ship are scary, any advice appreciated.

Got going with the frame for the pergo. Sunk the posts 500mm into the ground. Dug out piers instead of straight sided holes. Now waiting on coach bolts to fix the horizontal 4" beams and a drawknife to clean up the 6" vertical poles to a good 'non skelfing when wearing a swimmer' standard(its in the British Standards book). :)


Bloody freezing this morning and some serious frost, think i'll fire up the chiminea for the outside work today!
You're doing a great job, I don't know if you're going to use the hot tub in the winter, if so, you may need to build a summerhouse over it, although you can do this in the future, I have my hot tub inside the summerhouse with the cast iron fire in the winter. Also you may need to post on the Electric section for the best way of wiring it up.
Thanks Masona,
I had a power cable ran in under the house and out to the area last year when i was doing an extension. Just got to get in touch with my sparky to check the max load rating. That will dictate if i go for a 4.5kw or a 11.5kw electric heater. I am also going for a wood fired chofu as well in the pergola so that should radiate plenty of heat.

The plan at the moment is to run in 5 horizontal beams across the top(3 went in today) and then lay a crisscross trellis pattern across the top of those. The sides of the pergola will be panelled to around 4 foot height and then trellis pattern the rest of the way up to top of horizontal beams. For screenage i intend to grow evergreen ivy up the trellis and across the roof from a couple of directions, that way i will in the fullness of time get a living roof type deal going on. If anyone can advise me on a good hardy fast growing evergreen ivy it will be much appreciated as i am clueless.

Any chance of a look at your tub/summerhouse Masona?
Nice tub and nice summerhouse, you have been busy. That's not all summerhouse is it? I'd live in there no problem at all.

I've probably got another week of work(max) before we would be in a position to order the tub from the states. I am also waiting for the dollar to weaked again as i didn't fancy the exchange rate last month. If it gets towards $1.75 to the £ i will buy.

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