A swim spa can be a great addition to your home. However before you purchase a swim spa you need to consider a deck built around it.
A custom deck built for your swim spa will make accessing and using your new swim spa easy and enjoyable it can also reduce the risk of a slip and fall injury.
This is a Master Spa 15 Deep Swim Spa that a California homeowner purchased. They were looking for the best decking material to build a deck for their new spa.
Whats the Best Deck for a Swim Spa?
We strongly suggested Ipe wood for the deck surrounding their new spa. Here’s a few reasons why Ipe wood works so well for swim spas:
Our Ipe wood has natural slip resistance and has been ASTM-C1028-89 tested so our Ipe Decking exceeds the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for Static Coefficient of friction in a wet environment
Ipe is naturally resistant to mold, mildew and wood boring insects
Approximately seven times harder than Cedar, ASTM-D143-94 tested; our Ipe decking stands up to the harshest conditions imaginable.
Barefoot friendly compared to softwoods that deteriorate fast
These are a few reasons why our customer chose Ipe for their new swim spa deck and railings.
Swim Spa Deck Ideas You Might Like:
The homeowner designed the swim spa deck to allow simplified unrolling of the spa cover. This is achieved while standing on the 3-step side. You can easily fold and unfold the cover on the spa while walking the entire length of the spa.
Take note of how wide the top platform is, this is an important detail. When you are taking your cover on and off you are usually focused on the cover so a narrow step would leave you more likely to trip.
The wide platform reduces the risk of tripping over a narrow step while taking your cover on and off. One other detail you’ll notice is the height of the top platform.
Your walking platform should allow you to fold up your cover without being hunched over and this deck was designed with that in mind as well.
The upper deck allows for easy spa access and features a wide bench for removing your sandals as well as a nice place to set your towel and smart phone.
The railing is stainless steel cable to maximize the views of the garden. The posts are powder coated which will offer years of maintenance free railing. The top handrail is Ipe wood to match the decking and provide a nice slip resistant grip.
LED lights were built into the steps to illuminate the steps as well as add some elegance. The deck substructure is constructed of clear redwood and was designed to allow removal of the spa side panels for future maintenance of the spa if needed.
Years ago, many homes in the Northeast had front porches built directly over the basement foundation. The only thing holding back the cold snowy weather and the rain was 1 inch thick tongue and groove pressure treated porch decking that was painted to seal it from the elements and keep the water out.
This is not a good idea. It doesn’t take long for the paint to peel, and seasonal temperature changes will cause expansion and contraction, leaving hairline gaps that break the paint seal on the tongue and groove line. When bad rain storms hit and the wind blows just right, the covered roof offers little protection and the rain leaks into the basement. During the winter months, blowing snow sits on top of the porch, then on slightly warmer days it melts and leaks into the basement.
The water leaking down saturates the wood between the tongue and groove. The tight space blocks air flow and keeps the wood damp, leading to rot and decay.
This avid DIY guy and property investor in Buffalo, NY was forced to paint the porch every year and clear off snow throughout the winter. This was a lot of maintenance and just not always possible. When he bought the property, he knew it would all need to be redone. He started searching for solutions to create a water proof porch surface that would not rot and continuously leak into the basement.
He found the only products really made for this solution were special exterior vinyl sheets that could only be purchased and installed by certified installers. These sheets didn’t even come wide enough to cover his entire porch, which meant seams would need to be thermo-welded with a special heat gun.
Our customer found the average installation cost for these systems was $4,000 – $5,000, and quite frankly he did not like the look of these products. He said they just looked like the cheap flooring sheet goods you put on the interior of your house. In addition, he was having a hard time trusting the longevity of these products since they haven’t been around that long. He also worried that the seams would eventually fail or tear as shoes caught on on them.
It reminded him of the composite decking products that have had so many product failures and class action lawsuits. To top it all off, as a DIY guy who takes pride in doing quality work himself, paying someone that kind of money to lay down some sheets and essentially melt them together with a heat gun was like rubbing nails down a chalkboard for this home owner.
Here’s the solution our customer came up with: our Ipe deck tiles. They look much better, allowed him to save a lot of money by doing it himself, and kept everything rot-resistant and waterproof.
First he laid a few tiles the length of the porch to see where they would need to be cut:
He decided he wanted to have a continuous 6 inch Ipe board screwed into the outer rim joist and framing the entire porch. This way the tiles could float without any penetrations in the ice and water shield. Once he accounted for the width of the picture framed border, he cut the tiles to fit and decided to put the cut pieces against the house so there would be full tiles on the outermost edge of the porch.
He fixed a few rotted spots in the original porch by cutting them out and replacing them with one inch thick pressure treated wood, matching the existing material. Next he laid ice and water shield over the entire porch according to the manufacturer’s requirements, overlapping the ice and water shield appropriately and keeping everything water positive – starting at the outside edge of the porch and overlapping the seams as you work your way toward the house.
Now that the entire porch was waterproofed, it formed a suitable foundation on which to float the tiles.
One important and obvious note to consider: make sure your front door will clear the tiles when floating on top with the deck tile connectors. In this case our customer had enough room, but he was planning on replacing the old outward-swinging door with an inward-swinging one, so it wouldn’t matter anyway.
We custom milled a 2 x 6 board to match the thickness of our 20 x 20 Ipe deck tiles. This board served as the picture frame for the deck tiles.
He also replaced the old crumbling concrete steps with Ipe decking, white vinyl risers, and vinyl railing.
Our customer said he’s been absolutely thrilled with the results, and the deck tiles have exceeded his expectations. He said the installation was a breeze since they just snap together with the DeckWise tile connectors. This picture is at the end of the first winter in Buffalo (you can see the snow pile in the back at the curb). The deck tiles still look amazing and he still can’t believe how much money he saved opposed to those ugly vinyl sheet products.
He needed 65 of our 20 x 20 Ipe deck tiles, which cost him just over $1,000. He purchased the railings from a local building supply store for around $700, and he got the Ipe deck boards, DeckWise tile connectors, and vinyl products for his risers and skirting. In the end, he completed the project for around $2,000.
Everyone in the neighborhood has complimented the new look – even the pizza delivery guy!
You can purchase deck tiles directly from us and we’ll ship them to your house or job site. No job is too big or too small.
We get it, exotic hardwoods are expensive. It’s natural for you to want to save your pennies and order just the right amount of material for your deck, but this is probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Materials like decking aren’t made to fit exact specifications; they are crafted on-site by cutting each board to meet the dimensions of your design. It’s these characteristics that necessitate ordering extra material just in case something happens. The extra material ordered is normally between 10% and 15% of your original amount and is referred to as “waste.” Continue reading →
The decking industry is constantly growing and it seems like there’s always a “new miracle material” made with fairy dust and rainbows that promises beautiful looks without lifting a finger. However, when we take a deep look into exterior decking products, we begin to see the shortcomings of the miracle materials and the benefits of the tried and true wood decking. Continue reading →
This is probably the question asked most often by both our potential and current customers, along with the entire internet. Everyone wants a maintenance-free deck that once it’s installed, you do absolutelynothing and it’ll stay looking just like the first time you stepped on it. This popular belief was pioneered by some of the manufacturers of synthetic decking products, promising a maintenance-free, trouble-free surface that would last for years without lifting a finger. These fantastic claims resonated well because people were tired of the same Southern Yellow Pine, Cedar or Douglas Fir that would need yearly stripping, sealing and painting just to try to keep it together for a few years. Continue reading →
Ipe isn’t just for decking anymore. This versatile wood is perfect for a variety of outdoor projects because of its durability. Its strength and dimensional stability can make it a little harder to work with than other woods, but with a lifespan of 75 years, it’ll be worth it to put the little extra elbow grease into your project.
Today we’re going to show you how to build a fence out of Ipe. Not only will this give you added privacy, but it will look fantastic in your yard!
Natural beauty and elegance should not be limited to the indoors only. We believe comfort and beauty should be extended outdoors to create an escape from daily life. Our lumber is used by architects for commercial and residential projects because of its beauty and incredible durability.
This gorgeous Ipe and Garapa deck will last for years with no chemical treatment.