Hiding A Hot Tub In Plain Sight

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Photos courtesy Mark and Jenny RonsmanPhotos courtesy Mark and Jenny Ronsman

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A Wisconsin-based couple uncovered a hot tub beneath a home office when they first moved into their new house. And with ample time at home during the quarantine, they were able to refurbish it.

The existence of the hidden hot tub was no surprise to Mark and Jenny Ronsman. The couple had initially been told about it by the previous owner. But after moving in, the lure of the hidden tub soon became irresistible.

"It was impossible to imagine what it would look like," Mark told Insider.

After moving in, he became curious and made it a priority to uncover the hot tub. What he found beneath carpeting was a wooden platform cover that had been installed to level the cavity in the floor.

"The first thing I did after we got in and a bit settled was tear up that cover and see what was going on," says Mark. "I was very excited to see how bad or good it might be."

To avoid damaging any parts of the tub while deconstructing the wooden platform, Mark opted to create small initial openings using a hole saw. He was eventually able to see enough of the tub to understand its structure and got to work carefully extracting the remainder of the cover. The process took about three hours and revealed hints of a strikingly blue floral tile pattern.

"The tile was just beautiful!" says Mark. "I was also truly grateful to discover the previous owners took such great care...that what they did could be reversed."

The removal of the wood cover left the tedious task of slowly chipping away at the leveling material that had been used around the edges of the tub. Once that was finished, the project was put on hold as the Ronsmans' lives got busier. The room became a greenhouse for Mark's cacti, succulents and other plants.

"During our first few years in the house, we did not do a lot with the hot tub other than basic clean up because we knew we didn't have the time or money," says Jenny. "[Now] with the lockdown going on, and all the increased time spent at home, we thought it was finally time to kick the restoration efforts up a notch."

Mark applied a fresh coat of sealant to the surrounding stone floor and spent time whitening the grout and sanitizing the tub. Other updates were also necessary. Weather stripping was added to each doorway of the room to better seal in the air, and existing uncovered outlets were replaced with covered GCFI outlets for safety. To prevent their young child from entering and falling in the tub unsupervised, the Ronsmans installed an alarm security system.

The hot tub isn't quite functional yet: Mark says he's in the process of working with a pool professional and an electrician to get everything finished and up to code.

"We plan to work with the Pool Envy company in the Green Bay area to work on the hot tub mechanics," he says. "The old pump was a singlespeed pump that would have been incredibly expensive to run, so we will be switching that to a Pentair Intelliflo VSF 240V variable-speed pump. Then we intend to replace the old ozone sanitation system with a ClearComfort
CCW50 system."

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