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Hot tubs have long been associated with relaxation, luxury, and therapeutic benefits. From easing muscle tension and promoting better sleep to creating a serene oasis in your backyard, hot tubs offer a multitude of benefits. However, before you can enjoy these benefits, there's one major consideration to make - the cost of installation. Your hot tub installation cost can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the type of hot tub, its size, and the complexity of the installation process.
With such a significant investment on the line, it's natural to wonder if a hot tub is really worth the cost. We'll explore the factors that contribute to the hot tub installation price and weigh the benefits against the expense, so you can decide for yourself if a hot tub is worth the investment.
Highlights/ Key Takeaways
- The cost of buying a hot tub can vary widely depending on a range of factors, including the type of hot tub, installation location, and related upgrades.
- Above-ground hot tub installations are generally less expensive than in-ground installations, while indoor installations are often more expensive than the outdoor hot tub installation cost.
- Prefab hot tubs are typically less expensive than custom-built hot tubs, but customization options may be limited.
- Additional factors that can affect hot tub installation costs include the hot tub's size, material, shape, heating method, and add-ons, as well as site preparation, geographic location, voltage requirements, and related upgrades.
How Much Does the Average Hot Tub Installation Cost?
How much you pay to get your hot tub installed will depend on a number of factors. You’ll of course pay for the hot tub itself, and there are many different hot tub types but there are a lot of additional costs to consider.
Before we take a look at each of those costs individually, let’s talk financing. Personal loans can be used to finance the big cost of purchasing a hot tub. Some lenders even offer hot tub financing for bad credit.
Cost of Hot Tub
The cost of a hot tub itself can vary greatly depending on the type and features you choose. A basic hot tub that you can blow up and set up in the backyard costs about $400. Saltwater hot tubs go up in price, ranging between $500 to $2,000. The in-ground hot tub cost jumps even more substantially, ranging between $6,000 to $15,000.
Hot Tub Electrical Cost
Most hot tubs require a dedicated electrical circuit to power the jets, heating elements, and other components. The cost of electrical installation can range from $800 to $1,600, depending on the complexity of the installation and the distance from the electrical panel.
Cost of Plumbing Upgrades for Hot Tub
Depending on the location of the hot tub and the existing plumbing, you may need to make some plumbing upgrades to accommodate the hot tub's drain and fill lines. This can cost anywhere from $450 to $1,800, on average.
Cost of Hot Tub Concrete Pad
A hot tub must be installed on a level, sturdy surface, such as a concrete pad. The cost of a concrete pad can vary depending on the size of the hot tub and the local labor costs, but it typically ranges from $500 to $2,500.
Cost of Hot Tub Delivery
Unless you’ve got a really big truck, you’ll need to have the hot tub company deliver the hot tub. The cost you’ll pay can vary depending on the distance from the retailer or manufacturer and any obstacles or challenges that may be encountered during delivery. On average, hot tub delivery costs between $200 - $500.
Cost of Labor to Install Hot Tub
The cost of labor to install a hot tub can range from $150 – $500, depending on the complexity of the installation and the local labor costs. In some cases, you may be able to install the hot tub yourself, which can save you money on labor costs, but use caution here, you don’t want to ruin your very expensive investment.
Cost of Hot Tub Permit and Inspection
Add hot tubs to the list of things I didn’t know you needed a permit to get. Yup, in many areas, you’ll need a permit and inspection to install a hot tub. The cost of the permit and inspection can vary depending on your location, but it typically ranges from $100 to $250.
Above-Ground vs In-Ground Hot Tub Installation Cost
|Hot Tub Type||Installation Cost||Installation Difficulty||Customizability||Aesthetics|
|Above-ground||$1,000 - $15,000||Easy||Limited||Less|
|in-ground||$15,000 - $20,000 or more||Difficult||High||More|
One major consideration when it comes to hot tub installation cost is whether to install an above-ground or in-ground hot tub. Both options come with their own unique advantages and disadvantages, as well as varying costs.
The above-ground hot tub cost is often more affordable to install than in-ground hot tubs. They can be placed on any level surface, such as a patio or deck, and typically don’t require excavation or plumbing modifications. However, they may not blend in as seamlessly with your landscaping and outdoor aesthetic.
In-ground hot tubs are a popular choice for those who want a more permanent and integrated hot tub experience. They’re typically built into a deck, patio, or added on to an in-ground pool. However, installing in-ground hot tubs requires excavation, plumbing modifications, and often additional electrical work, making them the more expensive option.
Indoor vs Outdoor Hot Tub Installation Cost
|Hot Tub Type||Installation Cost||Privacy||Convenience||Protection from the Elements||Additional Plumbing or Electrical?||Ventilation|
|Indoor||$5,000 - $25,000||High||High||High||Yes||Required|
|Outdoor||$4,000 - $20,000||Low||Low||Low||No||Not required|
Unlike a huge pool, you can opt to install a hot tub outside or inside. Each option comes with its pros and cons you’ll want to consider.
Indoor hot tubs offer a high level of privacy and convenience, as they can be used year-round regardless of the weather conditions. They’re also protected from the elements, which can help extend the lifespan of the hot tub. However, indoor hot tubs require adequate ventilation to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. They may also require additional plumbing and electrical work to be installed.
Outdoor hot tubs offer a more natural and relaxing environment, as they can be surrounded by landscaping, trees, and other outdoor features. They also don’t require additional ventilation or plumbing work. However, outdoor hot tubs are exposed to the elements, which can lead to wear and tear over time. They may also be less convenient to use during inclement weather or colder seasons. That said, living in Maine, I know plenty of people who use hot tubs in the dead of winter.
Prefab vs Custom Hot Tub Installation Cost
|Hot Tub Type||Cost||Customization||Aesthetics||Installation Difficulty|
|Prefab||$4,000 - $8,500||Limited||Less||Easy|
|Custom||$5,000 - $20,000 or more||High||More||Difficult|
Prefabricated hot tubs come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and are ready to be installed right out of the box. Custom hot tubs, on the other hand, are designed to fit your specific needs and can be tailored to your unique style and preferences. As I’m sure you can guess, one comes with a significant cost while the other is built for budget buyers.
Prefab hot tubs offer a convenient and cost-effective solution for those who want a hot tub without the added expense and time of custom design. They’re also relatively easy to install, as they come with all the necessary components and can be installed by a professional. However, prefab hot tubs offer limited options for customization and may not fit seamlessly into your outdoor living space.
Custom hot tubs, on the other hand, offer a high level of flexibility and customization. They can be designed to fit any space and can be tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Custom hot tubs are also typically more aesthetically pleasing, as they can be designed to blend in seamlessly with your outdoor living space. However, custom hot tubs can be more expensive and may require additional time for design and fabrication.
Additional Factors that Affect Hot Tub Installation Cost
While the type of hot tub, location, and installation method are major factors that influence the cost of hot tub installation, there are several other considerations that can affect the overall cost.
Hot Tub Size
Hot tub size is an important consideration when it comes to the installation cost. Larger hot tubs typically require more labor, materials, and site preparation, which can increase the cost of installation substantially. A larger hot tub will also require more electricity to operate, which can increase your energy bill.
Type of Hot Tub
The type of hot tub you choose can also impact the installation cost. For example, if you choose a swim spa, it will require more space and installation work compared to a standard hot tub. Additionally, some types of hot tubs require more complicated electrical or plumbing work, which can increase the installation cost.
Hot Tub Material
Materials like wood and concrete require more labor and specialized knowledge to install compared to fiberglass or acrylic. Additionally, some materials are more durable and have a lower hot tub maintenance cost. Fixr has a whole cost guide on different hot tub materials.
Hot Tub Shape
Surprisingly, even the shape of the hot tub can also impact the installation cost. Non-standard shapes or designs may require more labor and customization, which can increase the cost of installation.
The condition of the site where the hot tub will be installed can also affect the installation cost. If the site requires grading, excavation, or leveling, this can add to the overall cost of installation.
Some regions may require additional permits or inspections, which can add to the cost of installation. Additionally, if you live in a remote or hard-to-reach area, the cost of installation may be higher due to the added transportation costs.
Hot Tub Voltage
The voltage of the hot tub can also impact the installation cost. If the hot tub requires a higher voltage than what’s available, you may need to upgrade your electrical service, which can be costly.
Brand of Hot Tub
The brand of the hot tub will certainly have a bearing on the cost. Some brands may require more complicated installation procedures, which can increase the overall cost. Additionally, some are budget brands while other brands focus on selling luxury models, which will rightfully be much more expensive.
Hot Tub Heating Method
Hot tubs are heated in all kinds of different ways. Some run off of wood, some electric, and some even use solar panels. Some heating methods, such as natural gas or propane, require additional installation work, which can add to the overall cost. Plus, you’ll need to consider the ongoing cost of using these utilities to heat your tub.
Hot Tub Add-Ons
If you want a luxury hot tub, you’ll pay for the privilege. For example, if you choose to install a hot tub cover, drink holders, built-in lighting, or steps, this will add to the overall cost of installation.
In addition to the factors that directly affect the installation of the hot tub, there are also related upgrades that can add to the overall cost. These upgrades are typically done outside of the hot tub itself and are designed to enhance the overall hot tub experience. For example, you may consider a screened enclosure, fencing, or landscaping.
Installing a hot tub can be a wonderful investment in your home and your quality of life. However, it's important to approach the project with a clear understanding of the costs and requirements involved, because there are a lot of requirements involved. By researching your options, planning ahead, and working with a professional installer, you can ensure that your hot tub installation is a success.
Remember that the total cost of installation can vary widely depending on a range of factors, including the type of hot tub, installation location, related upgrades, and more. Be sure to factor in all of these variables when creating your budget and timeline for the project.
Additionally, keep in mind that the ongoing maintenance and operation of your hot tub will also require some time and effort. Regular cleaning, water chemistry monitoring, and other tasks will be necessary to keep your hot tub running smoothly and prevent costly repairs down the road.