How to Build a Hot Tub cover for less then $100.

Before and After Hot Tub Cover

2 x 4′x8′ plywood ½ “                              $34
2 x 4′x8′ Styrofoam 2”                            $44
1 gallon Outdoor Primer                      $9 on sale
1 tube of PL300 caulking                     $4
4 x door hinges                                           $8
Total                                                                   $99

- Exacto/Utility knife – Scissors
- Pencil / Marker – Paint Brush
- Jigsaw – Caulking gun
- Drill

Step 1:
Take the 2 pieces of ½ “ plywood and place them on top of the hot tub centered and even on both sides. Then trace the hot tub shape onto the plywood with a marker. Remove the plywood from the hot tub and flip the wood over. Get the jig saw and cut out the hot tub shape you just traced onto the plywood.


Step 2:
Next take a sheet of 2” thick Styrofoam and get one of the pieces of plywood that has been cut. Trace out the shape of the plywood onto the Styrofoam with a marker.Remove the plywood sheet and get out the Exacto knife, extend the blade all the way out so 2.5″-3″ is sticking out of the top. Start cutting the Styrofoam along the line you made with the marker. Make sure you go all the way through the Styrofoam, next get the second sheet of plywood and repeat this step with the Styrofoam again for the other half of the hot tub cover.

Step 3:
Get the can of outdoor primer and shake it well, lay out the ply wood on the ground. Make sure to read the directions on the can for proper use, start painting the plywood sheets that you cut earlier. Once you do one side you will need to do the other side I used a few bricks to lift the plywood off the ground. I also recommend a minimum of 2 coats of outdoor paint since it will have some contact with water.

Cut plywood being primed

Step 4:
Once the paint is fully dried and you have applied at least two coats of paint, get the Styrofoam that you cut to the shape of the plywood sheets. Get the caulking gun and the tube of PL300 (don’t forget to read the directions on the tube) and cut the tip off, apply a even layer around the perimeter of the Styrofoam as well as in the center in a wave pattern. Press the Styrofoam to the plywood for a minute then pull them apart for another minute to let the caulking activate. Now press the plywood and Styrofoam together and make sure it is all lined up. ( Make sure the Styrofoam is right at the edge where the two halves of the cover will meet, as this is a great place for heat to escape. Repeat this process for the other half of the cover and lay them on top of each other for 24 hrs. I also recommend putting some bricks or stones onto of them to make sure they bond well together.
PL300 on Plywood

Step 5:
Once the PL300 (caulking) has cured place the two cover halves on top of the hot tub and make sure everything lines up and creates a good seal where the Styrofoam meets the hot tub. Next make sure the two halves are centered in the middle of the hot tub and get the hinges and mark the location where the hinges can freely move without hitting anything. Get the drill and screws and screw one side of the hinges to the cover and line it all up, next make sure the other side is still lined up and screw the hinge down. Repeat this step with the remaining 3 hinges.

Hot tub cover

Hot tub

Step 6:
Open and close the cover making sure it opens without any rubbing.

You now have a complete Hot tub cover.


The hottest the hot tub reached in the peak of summer here in Canada is 113 degrees.
The hot tub with the cover on would lose 3 degree’s over night( I have a spill over hot tub so some heat lose is due to the spout not fully sealed).

Results may vary,


  1. Stefanie says:

    What material did you use to make the outside cover that is shown in the picture. …

  2. Stefanie says:

    What material – cloth – plastic – did you use for the outside cover

  3. Amelia says:

    Where did you find the styrofoam?

  4. Andy says:

    Apparently answers aren’t included….

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  6. Lu says:

    Hi…I’m not the author, however all the materials you need are at Home Depot or Lowes. Use shower pan liner for the outside covering and the styrofoam sheets are in the insulation department. I would also add either the foil bubble insulation ( it’s in a roll in the insulation area) or a couple layers of survival blankets that you can get at Walmart. I would also use OSB rather than plywood….much cheaper. Do paint it a couple of coats though, even the edges. It will last better even being covered. Hope this helps!