A Flare for Privacy

Consumers have many options for keeping a hot tub secluded

When it comes to products that create privacy and add design flare around a hot tub, privacy fences and plants might seem like the obvious choice. Today, however, the options are much more varied — from laser-cut metal privacy screens to wicker folding patricians, consumers have many options at their disposal.

One popular method for outdoor privacy is to invest in an outdoor shelter, like a gazebo, pergola or solarium. These items may cost more than a screen or fence, but according to Jennifer Carter, director of corporate marketing strategies for ShelterLogic Group Inc., in the long run they could end up saving you money.

“Many gazebos are made with weather-resistant materials that will keep you dry and comfortable even in the middle of a storm, along with providing shade on hot days, so you can stay cool while enjoying your hot tub,” Carter says. “Additionally, if you live in an area with cold winters, a gazebo can also provide a place to put your hot tub when it’s not in use, so it will be protected from the snow and ice.”

ShelterLogic is a globally recognized manufacturer of outdoor shelters with headquarters in Watertown, Connecticut. The company, which was established in 1991, boasts a number of brands, including SOJAG, Arrow Storage Products and Quik Shade.

While being able to protect one’s privacy while also protecting one’s investment from the elements may sound persuasive, Carter acknowledges these kinds of shelters typically don’t come ready-made out of the box.

Still, she says, installation of a hot tub gazebo can be accomplished without hiring a professional by anyone who is handy with tools and has some carpentry experience.

“When installing your shelter, make sure the structure is level and plumb, and the foundation is securely anchored to the ground,” Carter says. “Gazebos and shelters should be built on wood or composite deck or a concrete or stone patio.” If all that sounds too complicated, she adds, don’t be too proud to use hired help.

On the retailer side, All About Spas and Leisure Living in Roswell, New Mexico, offers custom solutions for hot tub privacy and design flare needs. 

Debi Skains, president of the company, explains that to begin the process, a customer will contact the store saying they’d like to build a cover over their hot tub or patio area. Then someone from the store will go to their home to determine the size of the cover and how it will be built. The customer can also choose if the posts for the cover will be standard or enhanced by wrapping them with bricks, stucco or some other material. It’s sometimes cheaper to omit two of the four posts and attach one side of the patio cover to the house, so a customer needs to determine that as well. 

Skains says that’s the beauty of their custom build patio and hot tub covers: They can either be freestanding or attached to the home’s eaves or roof.

The covers also add privacy while blocking the wind as well. According to Skains, one of their customers lived in the middle of nowhere but had a neighbor, so privacy was necessary around their hot tub. They also wanted a way of tamping down the wind. All About Spas and Leisure Living’s custom cover was the perfect solution.

The store offers two brands of patio covers — Solara and New Patio Cover — both of which have louvers that open and close. 

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“We recently built three of them for an apartment building in Hobbs, New Mexico,” Skains says. “Both brands offer the ability for the louvers to be open or closed or anywhere in between. We have also used them vertically as a privacy wall.”

In addition, All About Spas and Leisure Living offers screens that allow varying degrees of sun and wind to come through. Skains says many of their customers live on golf courses, so the screens are used for privacy as well as to keep golf balls off their outdoor space.

Ultimately, the screens and covers All About Spas and Leisure Living provide have purposes above and beyond just adding privacy around a hot tub.

“They’re good for a lot of things,” Skains says. 

A quick solution for privacy is Screenzy, a company that’s screen is designed to be installed by a customer in as little as 30 seconds. 

Tim Sparks, who founded the Denver-based company during the early days of the COVID pandemic in 2020, says the screen can quickly be installed by attaching adjustable poles with suction cups to the top or side of a hot tub. Then, by pressing a lever down, the suction cups get sealed to the hot tub and the banner gets slid onto the poles. Sparks says it is a quick, one-step process that makes the screen easy to use or remove without using tools. 

I saw there was a need for it, because in the market there’s not anything like it … It is only a matter of time before we take it to the next level.”

Tim Sparks, Screenzy

The Screenzy is made from high-density polyester, making the product soft, durable and lightweight. According to the company, the fabric offers 95% visibility blockage, and is also perforated, which means air flow is maintained. 

The biggest benefit of Screenzy, suggests Sparks, is that it can easily be removed from the hot tub. Unlike landscaping bushes or shades, which are typically permanent, the Screenzy can be taken down by a customer whenever and for whatever reason. 

One of the driving factors behind Sparks’ idea to create the product was the fact that his neighbor had got a hot tub after he did, with nothing around it to create privacy — something Sparks values. 

“I saw there was a need for it, because in the market there’s not anything like it,” Sparks says.