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Average Cost of a Hot Tub: Your Ultimate Handbook

Sarah Kinkead | Last updated Friday, July 7th, 2023

Hot tubs have gained immense popularity in recent years, with more homeowners seeking relaxation and therapeutic benefits within the comfort of their own homes. However, before diving into this luxurious experience, it's essential to understand the average cost of a hot tub.

The price range for hot tubs is quite extensive, as it can range from as low as $2,000 to as high as $35,000. These costs depend on various factors, such as the materials used, installation requirements, and additional features.

To ensure that you make an informed decision and avoid any potential financial pitfalls, this article will provide a comprehensive breakdown of all the expenses associated with purchasing and installing a hot tub. By knowing what prices to expect and how to navigate the market, you can confidently invest in a hot tub without the fear of being overcharged.

How Much Does a Hot Tub Cost?

Determining the average cost of a new hot tub involves considering multiple factors, such as its size, material, and brand. Moreover, it is essential to consider the expenses associated with the installation process.

If you choose an in-ground hot tub, it will generally be more expensive than placing it on a spa pad or deck. Moreover, you might need to arrange plumbing or electrical work at the installation site to ensure the tub operates correctly.

1. Average Cost of Hot Tub by Cabinet Materials

The cabinet, which is the outer part of a hot tub, can be made from different materials like brick, faux stone, synthetic wood, or real wood.

Faux wood cabinets are low-maintenance and durable, but they offer little insulation (low R-value). This can result in lower energy efficiency and higher electricity costs. Real wood has a higher R-value but requires regular maintenance, including wood glaze, oil, and wax treatments twice a year.

Faux stone and brick options are long-lasting and visually appealing. However, the mortar used in these materials may need more frequent maintenance due to water susceptibility. Nonetheless, maintenance for these options is less time-consuming compared to wood.

Now, let's break down the average cost of hot tubs based on the chosen cabinet material.

Cabinet MaterialCost
Synthetic wood$2,000–$9,000
Faux stone$5,000–$12,000

2. Average Cost of Hot Tub by Size

Size matters not only in terms of space but also in terms of average cost of a hot tub. The larger the hot tub, the higher the price tag attached. If you're considering purchasing a hot tub, it's essential to have an idea of what you can expect to pay based on its size. Let's break it down:

2–3 people$2,000–$7,000
4–5 people$2,000–$12,000
6–7 people$3,000–$15,000
8–10 people$5,000–$20,000

3. Average Cost of Hot Tub by Type

When it comes to affordable above-ground alternatives, inflatable hot tubs steal the show. They possess a lightweight design and can conveniently operate using a standard 110-volt U.S. household socket, all at a price as low as $300. On the other hand, portable (or plug-in-play) hot tubs, constructed with sturdier materials, are less mobile and start at approximately $600.

For those seeking entry-level options, hard-sided hot tubs are available, with prices starting from $2,000. However, if you desire the luxury of jets, be prepared to pay in the range of $4,000. Opting for saltwater instead of chemical additives necessitates a dedicated pump and filtration system, which adds a few hundred dollars to the base price.

Now, let's delve into the expected costs associated with the most prevalent types of hot tubs.


Factors Influencing Hot Tub Cost Expenses

By considering these factors, potential hot tub buyers can gain a better understanding of the various aspects that contribute to the overall hot tub cost. It is important to carefully evaluate personal preferences, budget constraints, and long-term maintenance costs when making a decision.

1. Size and Capacity

The size and capacity of a hot tub play a significant role in determining its cost. Generally, larger hot tubs with greater seating capacity will be more expensive than smaller ones. This is because larger hot tubs require more materials and have higher manufacturing costs.

2. Materials

The materials used in the construction of a hot tub can greatly impact its price. High-quality materials such as durable acrylic, fiberglass, or wood are more expensive but offer better longevity and aesthetics. Cheaper options like vinyl or inflatable hot tubs may have a lower upfront cost but may require more frequent repairs or replacements.

3. Hot Tub Type

Different types of hot tubs are available in the market, each with its own price range. Portable hot tubs are typically more affordable and convenient to install compared to built-in or custom-designed hot tubs, which require more extensive construction and plumbing work.

The choice between above-ground and in-ground hot tubs plays a significant role in determining the price. Above-ground spas offer a price range of $400 to $20,000, whereas in-ground hot tubs start at $8,000. The major difference lies in the installation cost.

Above-ground hot tubs

For above-ground hot tubs, installation expenses can range from $3,000 to $16,000. Some options, like inflatable plug-and-play models, are simple enough for self-installation. However, certain models require professional technicians for installation.

Additional plumbing or electrical work will also raise the cost and should be handled by experts. On average, above-ground hot tubs require a monthly running cost of approximately $25 to $35.

In-ground hot tubs

On the other hand, in-ground hot tubs necessitate excavation, heavy machinery, and skilled laborers, making the installation process more expensive. Starting at around $16,000, the installation cost only increases from there.

Moreover, the maintenance cost of in-ground hot tubs is also higher, typically ranging from $30 to $100 per month.

4. Features and Accessories

Hot tubs come with a variety of features and accessories that can influence their cost. These may include water jets, LED lighting, built-in sound systems, advanced control panels, and more. The more features and accessories a hot tub has, the higher its price is likely to be.

When it comes to personalizing your hot tub, the options for upgrades and add-ons are boundless. You can enhance the aesthetic appeal by incorporating specialty decking, waterfalls, and lighting to create the desired ambiance.

Additionally, features like Bluetooth sound systems, smart speakers, and hot tub TVs can be added for added convenience and entertainment. The cost of these customizations can range from $500 to $10,000, depending on the extent of customization desired.

5. Brand and Quality

The brand and overall quality of a hot tub also impact its cost. Well-established brands with a reputation for durability and customer satisfaction tend to have higher price tags. However, investing in a reputable brand can provide assurance of a reliable product and better after-sales support.

If you're aiming for the ultimate hot tub experience, be prepared to invest in premium models from well-established brands like Jacuzzi, Caldera Spas, and Hot Spring Spas. These high-end options come with a higher price tag.

However, if you're seeking cost-effective alternatives, there are a few approaches to consider. You can opt for a smaller tub from one of the reputable brands, which tends to be more budget-friendly. On the other hand, if size is a priority, exploring lesser-known brands may offer larger tub options at a more affordable price point.

6. Installation Requirements

The installation requirements of a hot tub can affect its total cost. Factors such as site preparation, electrical wiring, plumbing connections, and permits can add to the overall expenses. Additionally, if professional installation is necessary, it will incur additional labor costs.

Indoor hot tubs

When it comes to indoor hot tubs, they are typically designed as whirlpool-type tubs. These tubs have considerable weight, which may necessitate the installation of additional floor support to handle the load. Moreover, it's crucial to think about incorporating proper ventilation to manage the excess moisture.

Neglecting this aspect could lead to costly moisture-related issues in the future. Due to the need for extra floor support and ventilation, indoor hot tub installations tend to be more expensive compared to outdoor tubs.

Outdoor hot tubs

Outdoor hot tubs also carry significant weight and require adequate support. Placing them directly on bare ground risks the tub sinking into the soil.

To prevent this, it is essential to have a foundation in place, such as a concrete slab, pavers, or decking. Although outdoor installations typically incur lower costs, it is crucial to consider the potential impact of weather exposure on the hot tub's durability.

7. Electricity Use

The addition of a hot tub to your home can result in an increase of $50 to $100 per month on your electrical bill. This amount varies depending on factors such as the specific model, size of the hot tub, frequency of use, and the climate in which you reside.

If you are concerned about reducing energy costs, it is advisable to invest in a luxury hot tub that costs $15,000 or more, as they are equipped with superior insulation and greater energy efficiency compared to lower-priced options.

In addition to the potential increase in your electrical bill, you may also need to consider modifying your electric outlet based on the voltage requirements of your hot tub.

This may involve the assistance of a licensed electrician, who can add or upgrade a specialty outlet. It's important to note that these modifications will incur additional project costs.

8. Maintenance

To keep your hot tub in optimal condition, regular maintenance is necessary, which comes with an average annual cost of $500 to $1,000. This includes expenses for cleaning supplies and chemicals. The actual costs may vary based on the frequency of hot tub usage and the level of maintenance provided.

If you find yourself short on time or planning to be away for an extended period, hiring a professional company to maintain your hot tub is a viable option. However, it's important to note that this convenience comes at an additional monthly cost ranging from $50 to $300.

Hot Tubs Budgeting and Cost-saving Tips

Remember, proper planning and smart choices can make your hot tub experience both enjoyable and affordable.

1. Tips for Budgeting

Creating a realistic budget is essential when it comes to purchasing and maintaining a hot tub. To keep yourself on the right path, it is advisable to take into account the following valuable tips:

  • Assess your finances: Evaluate your financial situation and determine how much you can comfortably allocate for a hot tub purchase and ongoing maintenance costs.
  • Factor in long-term costs: Remember to consider not only the upfront cost of the hot tub but also the long-term expenses such as water treatment chemicals, electricity, and regular maintenance.
  • Consider a smaller hot tub: Instead of focusing on installation and maintenance costs, prioritize the price of the hot tub itself. Explore smaller tub options that come at a lower price, reducing your overall project budget. To ensure suitability, visit a showroom and see the tub in person. Don't overlook the potential of a half-sized tub that can serve your needs just as well, even if you initially desired a premium tub accommodating eight people.
  • Obtain multiple estimates: It's essential to compare prices from at least three different hot tub retailers. Evaluate factors such as tub size, features, and energy efficiency. Many retailers mark up their prices significantly, sometimes by up to 40%, leaving room for negotiation. Prioritize researching the estimated purchase price of your desired hot tub and establish a predetermined price range.
  • Avoid excessive customizations: Reduce costs by opting for fewer customized features. Limit the number of jets, water features, and other unnecessary add-ons. Homeowners can also save money by considering lesser-known brands.
  • Capitalize on end-of-season sales: Late summer, when end-of-season sales occur, is the ideal time to shop for hot tubs. During the fall, retailers lower prices on quality hot tubs to clear their inventory. Homeowners should consider winter as well, as discontinued hot tub models are often available at low prices during this time.

2. Cost-saving Measures

To make the most of your hot tub while keeping expenses in check, consider implementing these cost-saving measures:

  • Energy-saving practices: Opt for energy-efficient hot tub models that are well-insulated and have programmable timers to minimize energy consumption. Additionally, keeping the hot tub cover securely in place when not in use helps to retain heat.
  • DIY maintenance: Take proactive measures to maintain your hot tub on your own. Regularly clean the filters, check and adjust water chemistry levels, and ensure proper water circulation. This DIY approach can save you money on professional maintenance services.
  • Efficient water usage: Practice water conservation by limiting the frequency of water changes and avoiding unnecessary water wastage. Regularly monitor and maintain the water quality to extend the time between water changes.
  • Seek out discounts and promotions: Keep an eye out for discounts, promotions, and off-season sales offered by hot tub manufacturers or local dealers. Taking advantage of such opportunities can help you save a significant amount on your purchase.
  • Compare prices and options: Research different brands, models, and retailers to find the best balance between quality and cost. Don't hesitate to negotiate prices or ask for additional perks or warranties.

How Much Does a Hot Tub Weigh?

The weight of a vacant 2-3 person hot tub ranges from 500-600 lbs, but it can increase up to 3000 lbs with water and occupants. For a 4-5 person hot tub, the empty weight is around 750 lbs, while it can reach 4400 lbs with water and people.

If you opt for a 6-8 person hot tub, expect an empty weight of approximately 800 lbs, which can go up to 5,500 lbs when filled with water and individuals.

Benefits of Hot Tub

A hot tub offers more than just a luxurious way to unwind; it can significantly contribute to overall well-being. Dr. Mahmud Kara, a renowned expert in the field, highlights several advantages that come with regular hot tub use.

  • Stress Relief: Soaking in a hot tub creates a tranquil environment that helps to alleviate stress. The warm water and soothing jets work in harmony to relax the mind and body, promoting a sense of calmness and inner peace.
  • Muscle Pain Alleviation: The therapeutic properties of hot tubs extend to easing muscle pain and tension. The combination of warm water and targeted hydrotherapy jets stimulates blood flow, which can aid in reducing inflammation and promoting faster muscle recovery.
  • Improved Sleep: For those struggling with sleep-related issues, a hot tub can be a game-changer. The warm water raises body temperature, and as it gradually cools down afterward, it signals the brain to release sleep-inducing hormones, leading to a more restful night's sleep.
  • Lower Blood Pressure: Regular hot tub use has been shown to have positive effects on blood pressure. The warm water causes blood vessels to dilate, resulting in improved circulation and lower blood pressure levels.
  • Greater Calorie Burn: Surprisingly, spending time in a hot tub can also support weight management efforts. The heated water raises body temperature, prompting the body to burn calories as it works to regulate its internal temperature.
Can You Finance a Hot Tub?

Do you have a dream of owning a hot tub but find yourself concerned about the associated costs? As there are various financing options available for hot tub to help you turn your relaxation oasis into a reality. Let's delve into the different avenues you can explore.

  • Dealer Financing: Many hot tub retailers offer financing plans, allowing you to make manageable monthly payments directly to the dealer. This option provides convenience and simplicity, as you can secure both your hot tub and financing in one place.
  • Personal Loans: Applying for a personal loan from a bank or credit union is another viable option. Personal loans provide the opportunity to borrow a specific amount and make fixed monthly payments over a predetermined period.
  • Home Equity Loan: If you're a homeowner, a home equity loan can be an attractive financing option. This type of loan allows you to borrow against the equity in your home, offering competitive interest rates and longer repayment terms.
  • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): Similar to a home equity loan, a HELOC allows you to tap into the equity in your home. However, instead of receiving a lump sum, you have access to a line of credit, and you only pay interest on the amount you withdraw.

Unwinding in a hot tub can be a delightful experience, but it comes with a considerable commitment of time, installation, and upkeep. It's crucial for homeowners to rely on expert installers and diligently maintain their hot tubs to maximize the benefits. Luckily, with a wide range of options, finding a hot tub that fits your budget is highly achievable.

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