DIY Do's And Don'ts

DIY Coolness: A Hot Tub in the Living Room? That's How Matthew Cole Rolls

Matthew Cole hot tub living room

So, you're pulling up the old, dingy carpet in your living room when -- whoopsies! -- you accidentally damage the floor. What do you do? Well, duh, you patch it up, right? That's not the memo Matthew Cole got.

"I thought, what a lot of wasted area," Cole, 35, recalled of the time in 2003 when he was ripping up the carpet in his Colorado Springs home. "It would be cool to do something with it."

And that's how it all started: a simple carpet replacement job snowballed into an outrageous DIY project -- that ended three months later with a hot tub in the middle of his living room.

As Cole looked at a small hole that was left in the living room floor after he ripped up the carpet, he began to get ideas.

"It escalated pretty quickly," he said. "One of my friends had recently gotten a hot tub, so I thought, why not put a hot tub out there?" (Story continues after the gallery below.)


He enlisted a few friends with expertise in home improvement, and together they cut a hole in the floor big enough for a hot tub. Beneath the floor was a crawl space where they poured a concrete platform for the hot tub to sit on so it wouldn't be dangling from the floor frame (which could tear down the whole floor).

But then there was the issue of the floor itself: Condensation from the hot tub would rot the wood. Solution? Tile the whole floor.

Cole and his friends laid slate tile on the living room floor while continuing to prep the hole for the hot tub. Once the concrete platform was dry, they laid a layer of cinder blocks to achieve the perfect height for the hot tub. Then, it came time to install the hot tub.

"We lowered it down kind of like a coffin," Cole said. "That's when I realized what we were doing."

The reality hit him: Yes, there was a hot tub in his living room. But it was the point of no return. And, hey, since they'd gone that far, why not go even farther?

"The fireplace just didn't go," Cole said. The brick fireplace in front of the new hot tub area stuck out like a sore thumb against the slate tile. So he began to recover it with fake stone. Finally, he removed the glass doors covering the hearth of the fireplace and placed a TV there.

After three months of work, Cole had transformed his living room into a unique party area. And it caused quite the stir among his circle of friends.

"All my married friends thought it was a bad idea, and all my single friends loved it," Cole said.

He had planned to install a high-capacity exhaust fan in the living room along with a humidistat to control the humidity from the hot tub. But, he said, he never needed to.

"The hot tub doesn't generate the kind of steam that people think," he said.

Cole has moved since his 2003 hot tub project, but the crazy home feature has helped him rent out his Colorado Springs pad. He said that his renter loves it and uses it all the time.

"My renter had a party there last year and has funny pics of everyone in the hot tub."

See also:
10 DIY Projects to Spruce Up Your Basement
DIY Pool: Building Their Own Backyard Oasis
Kitchen Renovation: Surprising His Wife With a Weekend Remodel

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