Ballpark Estimate: Average between $5,000 to $15,000
Imagine soaking in a hot tub every night, relaxing your troubles away. If you don’t want to wait for your next vacation to live out this fantasy, you may want to look into having a hot tub installed right in your own backyard. Hot tubs certainly don’t come cheap, but you’ll get many benefits in return for this investment. For instance, a hot tub provides relaxation, therapy and relief from soothing sore or achy muscles. It can also be a perfect spot for an intimate gathering, or even a place to hang out with a few friends and enjoy a drink.
Hot tubs come in a wide range of types and prices, making them accessible for people with all different budgets and desires. If you can afford it, you’ll probably want to go all out and splurge on a custom-style in-the-ground spa with all of the bells and whistles that will feel like your personal oasis. If your budget can’t stretch that far, though, there are also many more economic options that are worth considering. For instance, on the low end, you might consider some of the small portable varieties perfect for just one or two people. Despite the low price, there are many high quality portable hot tubs with plenty of options to choose from. Or for a bit higher price, go for a basic hot tub big enough for a group. There are many variations on these general types, meaning that with a little effort, you should be able to find something you like.
Details That Make the Grade
When you’re shopping for a hot tub, you’ll have many decisions to make. In addition to selecting the size you want, you’ll also need to select the material you want it made from. Acrylic is a common option today. Many people like this because it can be easier to care for and long lasting than some of the other materials available. Fiberglass is another population choice and is also relatively durable. If you go for a portable pool, though, you can expect it will be made from vinyl. The downside to vinyl is that it can rip and will then need to be repaired. Finally, wooden hot tubs can add a rustic touch in your backyard, so these appeal to many customers, but they can be expensive to clean and can take more time to maintain than other materials.
Extras to Consider
There are also a number of extras you can select for your hot tub to customize it to meet your preferences. For instance, you can have drink-holders, underwater lights, built-in seats and extra jets. You can also add a stereo and speakers. Finally, if you live in a cold climate, you’ll want to invest in a winterizing kit that will help the tub retain heat and also prevent the tub and pipes from freezing.
Keep in mind that since a hot tub contains water, you’ll have to cover it and take any necessary childproofing efforts in order to ensure it won’t pose a danger to your own children and pets, as well as to others who live in the neighborhood. For this reason, the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals strongly suggests using a cover with a lock on it.
If you’re comparing prices on different hot tubs, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to find out the full list of features each model offers (including how many jets, if it has seats, how large it is, etc.) In addition, you’ll also want to know the manufacturer and make sure that the product and brand has a good reputation and high customer satisfaction. You should also ask what type of warranty comes with the hot tub, since if any parts break in the near future, you’ll want to be sure you won’t be racking up any great expense. Keep in mind that many warranties will cover your parts fully for the first twelve months, but after that repairs may come with a deductible or minimum amount you’ll be charged for parts and labor, so you should know this up front.
Where to Find
You can look for hot tubs at local retailers that sell seasonal items and pools. You can find these in your yellow pages or do a search online to find stores near you. Or, visit the websites of popular hot tub manufacturers to access a list of their approved resellers. There are also a variety of organizations and companies that can help you to select and find the right hot tub for your needs. Some of them even have online directories as well. These include Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, Spa Search, (which also offers an online option to request a quote from retailers), Hot Tubs Directory, Hot Tub Prices, and Consumer Search, among many others.
If you can afford the expense of a good hot tub, chances are you can afford the associated electric costs that go along with it. To determine up front about how much the hot tub you’re considering will run you in electricity, though, check the literature that comes with the tub, since this should include information on the number of kilowatts of electricity you can expect to use and you can use this to calculate the cost per month. This usage can vary on some of the details of how you configure the tub and operate it, so remember this will only be an estimate, though.
What It Costs
What you will spend on a hot tub depends on exactly what you want and what type of extras will be incorporated into the design. Here are four basic types of hot tubs to consider.
Portable Hot Tub
If you prefer a portable hot tub, which is smaller than a standard one and can be quickly set up and broken down, this is an affordable option to explore.
The average cost for the convenience of a portable tub can be between $1,500 and $3,500.
Above-Ground Hot Tub
An above-the-ground hot tub is one of the most popular options. You can customize this type depending on what your budget is and what features you prefer.
The price of an above-ground hot tub can cost you from $5,000 to $15,000, with many people spending somewhere in the middle to upper end of the range.
Wooden Hot Tub
A wooden hot tub is available in a variety of woods, including teak, cedar and redwood. While some are heated using electricity, you can also opt for gas or wood instead. These hot tubs require more maintenance than those made from other materials, but they can also be aesthetically pleasing in your yard, which for some people makes them seem well worth the effort and expense.
You can expect a wooden hot tub to range from about $5,000 to $8,000, depending on the features you request.
The most extravagant style hot tub is an in-the-ground spa. These are constructed like a built-in pool and can be customized with all sorts of extras. Just keep in mind that the labor involved with these can be quite extensive.
A built-in spa starts at between So the cost of a spa can be anywhere from $1,500 to $20,000, depending on what you want and can afford. and goes on up.
Note that real estate experts point out that when you have a luxury spa built in your yard, your house value will increase as well, so this may help you to justify the expense.
So the cost of a spa can be anywhere from $1,500 to $20,000, depending on what you want and can afford.
Keep in mind that delivery of your tub and installation can add up to 10 percent more to the expense. So a $10,000 hot tub may be another $1,000 for these costs.
If you need to have electricity and/or plumbing hooks ups added for your hot tub, this can add several thousand or more to the cost, depending on your logistics and what needs to be done.
The operating expenses to run your hot tub can be another $30 to $50 a month.
If you decide to have a gazebo installed to house your hot tub so you can use it comfortably year round, this can cost another $5,000 to $10,000.
Try Before You Buy
If you think you’ve found a hot tub you like, but really wish you could try it on for size, you may be intrigued to know that some hot tub showrooms do let customers take a soak in a model hot tub. You’ll just need to arrange this up front and come prepared with a bathing suit and towel.