TLDR – Our current tub is too small. We bought a 16′ swim spa, that was delivered today.
We have / had an 8’x8′ hot tub we bought last year for 500$ on craigslist. The tub then cost us another 700$ to install between a new cover, electrical, and concrete pad; worth every penny. The kids and I go in the tub almost every day of the week for a good half hour. When we ask them their favorite parts of the day at bedtime they often tell us the hot tub. Sometimes they say hot tub even if we did not go in the tub. The kids have progressed from being a bit afraid of water to having me hold them underwater so they can hold their breath longer. We love our family hot tub time, or as Michelle calls it family bath time.
Three kids plus a dad in the tub has slowly grown from fun for me to being too annoyingly crowded due to all of the splashing in the face I endure. The kids are jumping around all over the place. I’ve wanted to pick up a larger tub, a swim spa, for a few months now, but have not found the right one for the price, read for as cheap as I wanted to pay. Last week the Stars aligned, we found and bought a 16-foot dimension One swim spa from the, you guessed it, craigslist.
Preparing for and Moving a Tub
Finding then purchasing the tub is the simple part of the process. Moving and setting it up are the complicated parts. My original plan was to drive to the tub in Buckley Monday morning, pay for it, and prepare it to move it. Wednesday I’d meet the boom truck there to load it and I’d set it near where it would end up. I’d be able to take my time and pour a slab then move it into place when I was ready. Monday morning after preparing the tub I changed my mind and decided it would be more prudent to place the tub in its final destination while we had the boom truck on site.
For the move itself I’d thought about trying it on my own, but after some thinking and trailer logistics I gave up. Having given up I called a tub mover who said he did not do swim spas that large but he knew a guy. The guy he recommended was Tim, owner of Tim’s Crane out of Kirkland. Tim appears to be about 7 feet tall, amazing at driving a crane, super humble and helpful. He was awesome sauce to deal with.
Preparing the Tub
In accordance with the rule of happy wife happy life when I leave for the day on my odd missions I take the kids with me to give momma a break. Monday morning at 08:00 The kids and I loaded up in the car and drove to Buckley to prep the tub for moving. The girls roamed around the yard while Maddex helped me out. We started the preparation process by unhooked all of the plumbing and wiring from the tub.
Next we needed to put straps under the tub to lift the tub into the air. I used a steel bar to lift the tub in the corners and Maddex stuffed 4×4 scraps of lumber under the tub for me. Once we had the tub in the air we put straps under the tub. It was during the lifting of the corners where I changed my plan about moving the tub around our place after it was dropped off. The tub is heavy enough we kept bending the bar trying to lift the tub. It has a metal frame and a huge mass of fiberglass; sucker is not lite at all.
I didn’t want to pinch the top of the tub lifting it so I brought 8′ 4×6 beams to rest the straps on taking all of the horizontal force away from the top of the tub. Worked well in my head, and it seemed to work well in real life. In my vision we were going to use a 6×8 in the middle to provide the boom truck with a center lift point. The tub owner was going to supply that beam It ended up being a 4×6 beam and started to crack when we used it to lift. We took it out and hooked both of the straps around the boom hook and that worked no problem.
Tub all prepared for Tim to lift.
Concrete pouring and making.
On the drive home from the tub prep I called Miles sand and Gravel and ordered the soonest concrete truck they had available. Which was Tuesday at 1pm, 24 hours before the tub was being delivered. No problem, it’s been sunny and hot out the last few days. 24 hours and some calcium chloride in the mud to help it set quicker should be enough set time for the concrete.
Not much to setting it up, some 2x4s and a level.
Monday evening Maddex and I dug out the space for the tub and setup the forms for the pour. Tuesday afternoon my papa showed up to help with the pour. Somehow my math was off yet on, and we ended up short on concrete. When I called to order I ordered a bit extra to make an 11×20 slab. Then I framed the slab was 12×22. The mud came up 2 feet short and we had to redo the forms on the spot; Math it’s complicated.
Maddex helping move concrete while dad and I level out the mud
Picking up the tub
Tim, owner of Tim’s Crane out of Kirkland, showed up in Buckley where the tub was around 10:10 in the morning; right on time. Looking up at Tim in the truck his head almost touches the ceiling of the cab. He got out of the truck and we checked out where the tub was and he said no problem moving this. He also commented about being impressed with how well the tub was staged to move. It’s like I’ve done this moving large objects things a time or two and have experience. Tim then drove next to the tub and we hooked it up to the boom hook.
The original plan was to run the straps over a single beam in the middle and lift in the center. The beam we used was only a 4×6 and it started to crack, so we abandoned it. We hooked the straps directly to the hook and slowly added tension to them until the straps were where we wanted them to be. Once the tub was off the ground Tim expertly and gently lifted it over a deck onto the back of his boom truck. It was amazing simple, clean and easy to move. We strapped it down, I paid him, and away he went to our house to deliver and away I went to work.
Tub slowly moving over a deck by Tim the expert operator.
Delivering the Tub
I had to work today because we’re moving buildings and I wanted to make sure none of my stuff went missing in the process. Luckily my eldest, Trenton, offered to help set the tub in my absence. He’s been moving large objects most of his life and he’s a smart cookie who has almost made it to an age where his prefrontal lobe allows him to think of the results of actions. Tim the crane guy had a stop in Tacoma to set an AC unit on a roof then he proceeded onto our house. He was thinking 13:30 and the driveway camera indicates he made it to the house at 13:36. The tub was set and he was out the driveway by 14:01 according to the camera.
With only 24 hours of set time, even with addition of extra calcium chloride the concrete was not fully ready for the tub. I set a number 2×12’s on the slab to place the tub on while the concrete pours. While Tim was setting his crane stabilizers Trenton jumped into the tub setting the beams and straps up for the lift. Tim lifted the tub up no problem and Trenton used a 2×4 to guide the tub in place; Eazy-peezy. I watched the whole thing from my desk at work over the security cameras. I actually had two different camera angles to watch.
Trenton hooking the tub up to the crane
More pictures are always needed with all posts.
Forms all setup the night before we pour
Almost out of mud here with too much space left to fill.
Tub slowly swinging towards the truck
Tub all loaded ready to be secured with straps
Tim headed off to deliver the tub
Tim and the Tub arrive at the house
Security cam shot of the tub being placed, yes I watched from work
Tub set in place – ready for me to come home and hook it up.