HELENA — Montanans are looking for ways to stay warm as the winter approaches in the state and the snow is about to fall.
One way is relaxing and soaking in a hot tub to dethaw from the cold weather.
JD Buck, who owns and is the craftsman for Buck Design and Build LLC, wants to help with that. While living near the Pintler Wilderness, he was inspired to build a western cedar wood hot tub and got to work.
At first, it was a small hobby, building one or two hot tubs a year for people, but as more Montanans socially distanced and quarantined at home, during the 2020 pandemic, the home projects and improvements ideas became.
"I think I had like 15 tubs from September to January," said Buck.
Most of his orders came from Montana, Idaho, and Washington.
While other Jacuzzi and hot tub companies were on back-order, due to the supply chain shortage, Buck’s business thrived because he had all the cedar wood pallets and materials in his workshop to complete his orders.
"Of course, all the prices have gone up, but since I am building everything, the stoves, and the tubs, so since everything is in-house, it benefits me," said Buck.
As the perfect hot tub size, Buck says, "I recommend 8-footers with an internal stove because it takes so long to heat."
The optimal temperature for soaking is generally around 100°. Buck told MTN News he can make tubs that are electric or heated with wood-burning stoves.