Cedar Hot Tub Cover, Patio Updating

I'm gonna get right to the point with this post and tell it like it is ...... the typical spa/hot tub cover sucks!

Those of you with outdoor spas are nodding your head in agreement, and the rest of you are wondering why the typical spa covers suck.

I'm going to tell you why vinyl covers suck, and why our new cover from Canadian Hot Tubs is awesome, but first let me give you the cover story (pun intended) of our spa and its old vinyl cover.

Canadian Hot Tubs Roll Up Spa Cover,
Red Cedar Covers for ALL types of hot tubs and spas!
We have had our warm bubbling patio tub for 12 years, but the past two winters we didn't use it.

No problems with the mechanics of the tub itself, but the vinyl cover is another story.

Canadian Hot Tubs Roll Up Spa Cover Patio Makeover,
Patio & Spa about 2009-BB (before blogging)
The usual vinyl covers are sold in a variety of foam densities. Thicker/denser covers are suppose to help keep heat in and hold more load on top, like from a snowy winter. And they work that way for a while - a very short while.

One of the problems with the vinyl covers is that the foam inside acts like a sponge and absorbs water, so eventually it isn't lightweight or easy to use.

The cover below quit performing a couple years ago and was basically dumped in a heap onto the empty spa to keep leaves out and become an eyesore.

Canadian Hot Tubs Roll Up Spa Cover Patio Makeover,

We have forked over money for cheapo covers as well as the Cadillac of vinyl covers with the promise 'THIS one will out last the others' and guess what...... inexpensive or costly - they both still became waterlogged and gross and need to be replaced in a short amount of time.

The only thing that was really different between the vinyl covers was how much cash they extracted out of our wallet.

In the twelve years of owning the spa, it needed it's 4th new cover by year 10.  We resisted that last purchase and as I mentioned, just quit using it.  We were weighing our options on a solution, but the fact of the matter is that we put the hot bubbler outside to enjoy the night sky, so having it inside an outside structure was never our vision and not an option now.

Canadian Hot Tubs Roll Up Spa Cover Patio Makeover,

In my opinion and experience, no matter how much you initially spend on your vinyl cover, it will get waterlogged.  And when it gets waterlogged it will be hard to move on and off.  When the foam is waterlogged, the underside will also get stinky and gross, and then it's just a matter of time before you break down and buy another one that will eventually do the same thing in a couple years.

But if you are like us, disillusioned from repeatedly throwing money to the wind on vinyl covers, you will live with the rotten cover for two years and instead just not use the spa.  What is the sense in even having that giant volcano of water if you can't use it, right?  Right!

Canadian Hot Tubs Roll Up Spa Cover Patio Makeover,
I is so gross, and it's not the first of it's kind around here.

It's a vicious replacement cycle that Canadian Hot Tubs wanted to break so they built a better mousetrap.

Those friends to the North reinvented the spa cover.

I figured a company that uses their own covers during a Canadian winter would know a thing or two about keeping the heat in mine during a Minnesota one.

They also have FOUR "Best Of" awards on Houzz.

Canadian Hot Tubs also make handcrafted cedar tubs for indoors and out, so check out their website to take a peek at all those beauties - you'll want one.  Makes me sorry all those years ago we went with the ugly big square box instead of building in a cedar beauty, but that's what we've got so thankfully there is a good looking cedar cover for it.

Canadian Hot Tubs Roll Up Spa Cover,

The new cover is made from unstained western red cedar and it simply rolls up!

Having a cover that rolls up is a true bonus since no one has to have the strength of Thor to remove it.
                        It's not going to get waterlogged....
                               it's not going to smell.......
                                     it doesn't need one of those spa cover lifts.......
                                          and it looks much nicer than a vinyl cover.

Canadian Hot Tubs Roll Up Spa Cover,

The cedar cover comes in a long roll and one of my sons was anxious to get this spa going again and volunteered to help out.

Since the cedar is natural, you can choose a color of stain to match your other patio decor.  I went with the suggestion of Canadian Hot Tubs and purchased the brand stain they recommend, in a rich color that took on the beautiful red cedar tones.

Canadian Hot Tubs Roll Up Spa Cover,

We had to improvise a bit..... since the cover is large it was hard to reach the center, so a foam brush was attached to a piece of scrap wood and the short arm issue was remedied.

Canadian Hot Tubs Roll Up Spa Cover,

We will re-coat the wood regularly which I'll tell ya is a whole lot easier than waxing a vinyl cover, and waxing doesn't really keep it looking new anyway plus is a lot more work than staining wood.

And of course when you get a beautiful new hot tub cover you also have to give the patio a little update.

Canadian Hot Tubs Roll Up Spa Cover,

Absolutely gorgeous cover!

We were still dealing with snow at the end of April this year so projects are behind schedule thanks to Mother Nature and those projects always take longer than anticipated too.

Giving the spa an exterior upgrade has some challenges. On this brand spa, three of the four sides need to be accessed for maintenance or in case of repairs, so we had to design any update wide enough to lean in so hands could reach parts or to slide the side panel off and out of the way.

Although the updates are a work in progress they are all thanks to Canadian Hot Tubs and their classic cover.

You will have to wait to see the cover doing it's job on our spa until all the *sculpting* around it is done.....

Canadian Hot Tubs Roll Up Spa Cover Patio Makeover,

Wet cement above, some hand made boulders in progress below, which will both get concrete stain after they cure for a couple weeks, then the water will go back in the dormant volcano.

Canadian Hot Tubs Roll Up Spa Cover Patio Makeover,

Stay turned for more to come on this DIY patio spa makeover, with the details of making fake boulders, the beautiful roll up cover topping it all off, and of course shirtless buff males and bikini clad women having a leisurely relaxing soak.

However don't be surprised if the buff males are age 10 and under, one sporting water wings for the Popeye look, and there might only be one bikini clad female that doesn't run from the camera and she's only about 47 inches tall.  That leisurely soak?  Yeah it will probably involve squirt guns and splashing. 

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  1. I am so glad you posted this! I didn't even know such a thing existed. Our hot tub was here when we bought the house 10 years ago and the cover is hideous!!! And ugly too :) I'm at the point I was just going to pay to have someone remove the whole thing, but this may be the answer!

  2. How interesting! I live in the south and have had a hot tub for 3 years now. I am hoping we won't have this problem with the cover and so far so good. But I sure like the idea of a cedar cover. I can't wait to see your reveal.
    :) gwingal

  3. What an awesome idea and DIY! It's just beautiful!

  4. Wow! This looks great! Those Canadians know what they’re doing—and Kitchener is a nice place to visit.

  5. The cover kooks great! We gave our tub away, it was so gross. Such a great looking solution! Can't wait to see more!

  6. Okay, okay. I'll let you buy me a hot tub and I promise I'll get one of these awesome covers when you do. =D


  7. Used to own a huge hot tub - loved it - but sold it when we put in a stone paver covered patio. Miss it all the time - especially in the cool fall nights....but you are spot on right about those horrible covers! LOVE this cover and if ever I buy another I am sooooo getting one of these! Thanks for the idea. Visiting from over at At The Picket Fence.

  8. I just love these awesome covers. Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome post for cedar hot tub cover, patio updating.

  9. My brother and siser-in-law have a hot tub. I'll have to pass this on. Vinyl and hot water shouldn't even be in the same sentence, lol. Can't wait to see the reveal.

  10. UGH I hate those vinyl covers with a passion and our tub is undercover and that thing is still gross. Unfortunately we stay in South Africa and I doubt if we'll be able to find that bit of awesomeness you guys have just bought. But I sure am going to keep an eye out for something similar

  11. As a hot tub dealer I get this complaint daily. Regularly a alternative is aluminum covers which can cost upwards of $2,000-$3,000 depending on your size. Just outrageous. I can't wait to see if we can carry these covers and ditch the vinyl replacements.

  12. I am excited to try this cover. I purchased my home with a hot tub in it; literally in a room built to be an enclosed porch. There’s no other use for the room at all. The hot tub didn’t work so of course I just had to replace it. I ended up getting a larger unit and it uses the maximum space available. It’s great! No regrets there! But the cover is difficult. There’s no good place to move it and it’s heavy and annoying. Since the hot tub is surrounded by decking I was hoping to be able to find something that can roll up and sit next to the tub just under the deck. I know, I all for a lot. I do this often. Anyway this gives me great hope!

  13. Do you have any trouble with wind blowing the cover off? I don't see any fasteners.

  14. I'm so interested in this cover!!! I'm in Canada - you are in MinnesotA - very similar winters. Does this cover really insulate well and how is it for rolling when it is covered in snow


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