Installing a Hot Tub or Spa

If you are planning on building a pool, why not add on a hot tub or spa? Chances are you’ve been considering it anyway. We’re here to give you the pro’s and con’s of adding a hot tub and some of the options that are available to you when purchasing one.

Hot Tubs: A Great Investment for Families with Kids - Backyard Oasis
Shown here is a perfect example of a detached hot tub

What is the difference between a Hot Tub and a Spa?

The first question you may be asking yourself is what is the difference between a hot tub and a spa?  A hot tub is free standing tub of heated water, with filtration and jets used for relaxation and hydrotherapy. A spa does the same exact thing but is permanent and built directly into the ground. A hot tub can sit off by itself detached from the pool area but are most often attached to a pool to form a spa.

Swim Spas | Luxury swimming pools, Backyard pool landscaping ...
Pictured here is a luxury swim spa without a pool that’s been built into the ground

To-may-toe, to-mah-to as far as we’re concerned. A bigger more pressing question you may be asking is whether to have an attached spa or detached hot tub. Let’s examine the benefits of both and look at some pro’s and con’s.

Hot Tub or Spa – Above Ground or Inground?

30 Incredible Hot Tub Suitable for Small Backyard - Decor Renewal
This spa has been turned into a handsome backyard water feature with sheer descents

An inground hot tub is just like an inground swimming pool, and lots of similar pro’s and con’s. With an inground hot tub or spa you can blend that area seamlessly into the rest of the pool. To be honest, we feel it’s a more finished look to have the hot tub attached to the pool but there are some drawbacks that we will discuss.

Hot Tubs, Swim Spas, Pools, Patio Furniture & Outdoor Leisure ...
This beautiful swim spa isn’t attached to a pool either and is the focal piece of the backyard

One disadvantage is that an inground hot tub will definitely be more expensive to install and maintain than an above ground detached hot tub. You can expect to spend at least $10,000 for an attached inground hot tub. Some homeowners opt to renovate their pool later on to attach one.

Should I Build An Inground Spa Or Not?

Honestly, if it’s on your radar to do this in the future there are definite cost savings to doing it as part of your inital pool installation. Digging up lines, jackhammering concrete and tile to add on the spa will cost much more than doing it as part of the original construction. You’ll save thousands just adding it on rather than doing it later if you have the budget.

Above Ground Hot Tubs

Hot tub
Luxury hot tub with jets, stereo speakers, massage hydrotherapy jets

Opting to have your hot tub detached from the rest of the pool can be just as beautiful if planned properly. An above ground hot tub offers the exact same features and relaxation as an inground hot tub. We have a few above ground hot tubs that we exclusively recommend on our website that are easy to install, cost efficient to maintain and offer top of the line features.

Aside from the cost savings to not attach one there is a significant cost savings in terms of maintenance. Servicing an inground hot tub can be difficult and cost more than the above ground counterparts.

How To Install a Hot Tub On A Deck | how-tos | DIY
A worker installing a deck around a detached hot tub

There is a tradeoff in terms of the visual appeal that an attached hot tub has that detached hot tubs simply can’t match. As we mentioned before, attaching your hottub offers a more finished look to the pool area than opting not to attach it.

Top 7 Manufacturers of Luxury Spas

  1. JACUZZI® Hot Tubs and Spas – Jacuzzi®
  2. Hot Spring Spas and Hot Tubs – Hot Spring Spas
  3. SUNDANCE® Spas – SUNDANCE® Spas
  4. Cal Spas – Cal Spas
  5. Marquis Spas – Marquis Spas
  6. Arctic Spas and Hot Tubs – Arctic Spas
  7. Maax Spas – Maax Spas

Best Hot Tubs 2020 Edition

These are the top hot tubs that we recommend for 2020 based on ease of installation, cost, efficiency, maintenance and value.