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A young couple in Idaho has been living the dream. After leaving their jobs in the city, Jesse and Alyssa moved deep into the mountains with the goal of constructing an off-grid homestead from the ground up. Right now they are almost one year into their adventure and are making enormous progress. They have built a small cabin for less than $300, cut and prepared their own wood with an Alaskan chainsaw mill, and have started a thriving garden. Soon they will begin work on an off grid house, but first they decided to tackle a slightly different project- building a cedar wood hot tub completely from scratch!
There are a lot of benefits to having a hot tub with a tiny house. Most tiny house bathrooms are, well, tiny, and don’t have room for a full sized bath tub. An outdoor hot tub can be a relaxing alternative and is a way to have a bit of luxury in an otherwise simple lifestyle. Building a hot tub can be a beneficial beginner project to hone your skills before constructing a house, and relaxing in the tub after a long day can be soothing to overworked muscles.
Most pre-made cedar tubs sell for $3-7 thousand, but Jesse and Alyssa managed to build theirs for around $850! Their secret? They bought #2 grade lumber at a very low price and took the time to make sure each cut they made maximized the amount of scrap wood they could use. This strategy paid off because they were able to build hot tub benches and patio furniture from all the wood remnants from their tub.
There are lots of different stoves that can work in a cedar tub, but Jesse and Alyssa opted for a wood fired stove that allowed them to heat the tub with sticks collected straight from their backyard!
The hardest part of this project for them was getting their tub to hold water. Cedar tubs need to be filled with water for several days before the wood swells enough to prevent leaks. Because Jesse and Alyssa don’t have an off grid water supply yet, they had to work for almost two weeks straight to get enough water from town to keep the tub filled. Finally, all their hard work paid off and the wood tub swelled to the point that it was leak-proof.
Now that their tub is complete, Jesse and Alyssa have been enjoying it almost every night. They have learned some important building skills that will prove invaluable when they start to work on their house, and now they have a place to relax and unwind from long days filled with physical labor. Their off-grid cedar hot tub was worth every second they put into it.
Interested in building your own tub to go with your tiny house? Jesse and Alyssa have put together a fantastic webpage full of DIY videos and instructions for building one yourself. You can also stay up to date on everything else this crazy couple is accomplishing by following them on Facebook and Instagram, and by subscribing to their YouTube channel.