How Much Does It Cost to Install a Hot Tub?

What is a better addition to your backyard than a hot tub? When the temperature starts to drop, you can escape to your spa for a relaxing warm soak. It’s a great way to spend time with friends and family, or just to unwind on your own after a long day. Here is a detailed guide of the costs of installing a hot tub. Read this for a detailed guide on hot tub financing.

In fact, a 2015 survey performed by spa manufacturer Hot Springs found that hot tubbing helped owners to sleep better, recover from exercise, recuperate from injuries, and bond with their families.

That all sounds great, but how much can you expect a hot tub installation to cost?

How much does it cost to install an above-ground spa?

The total cost for an installation will vary based on the hot tub you choose, the foundation needed, the delivery and transport requirements, the electrical needs, and the accessories you want.

It could be as little as $500 for an inflatable hot tub or as much as $28,000 for a top-of-the-line acrylic spa with all the bells and whistles.

The Hot Tub

According to Home Advisor, the average cost of an above-ground hot tub ranges from $5,000 to $8,000. However, low-tier spas start as low as $500 and high tier spas can go up to $18,000.

  • To go the cheapest and easiest route, you could opt for a vinyl inflatable hot tub, which is around $500 and easy to install on your own. All you need to do is clear out a level area, inflate the hot tub, fill it up, and plug it in.
  • The next option up is a (typically round) wooden hot tub made from cedar, teak, or redwood which usually range in price from $4,000 to $10,000. A big advantage here is that these often get delivered in pieces, so they are easier to install (no crane needed). However, they will require a strong foundation and may need a dedicated electrical setup.
  • Lastly, you have acrylic hot tubs which are heavier, more expensive, and harder to move. These range in price from $11,000 to $16,000. While very attractive and durable, they will also require a foundation and may need a dedicated electrical setup.

The hot tub you choose will be the largest determining factor in your overall price and will have an impact on the following associated costs.

Foundation

A mid-range hot tub can weigh from 400 to 1,000 pounds when empty, and over two tons when full. Being that it gets so heavy when filled and occupied, you will need to prepare a foundation that can support the weight.

Popular options include gravel patios, cement slabs, or specially designed gazebos. A gravel patio will run an average of $1,600,  cement slabs average about $2,200, and a gazebo averages $6,500.

Talk to your hot tub dealer about the requirements for your model. For example, Home Depot advises you to have a load capacity of 125 pounds per square foot. Then, if you need to build a foundation, be sure to check with your county or city to see if permits or inspections are required.

Delivery

A hot tub (aside from the inflatable options and those that come in pieces) will usually be delivered to your house on a trailer. Then, it will require either a crane or several people carrying it to transport it from the trailer to the installation site.

Delivery and transport usually costs around $300, while a crane can cost an additional $200, on average.

Whether your hot tub requires a crane or not will depend on how heavy the spa is, how far the distance is between the trailer and the installation site, and if there is an access route big enough for the men to carry the spa.

You may also need to temporarily take down fencing during this process, which can add an additional $300, or so, to the cost.

Electrical work

Some spas can be plugged right into a 120 VAC outlet. However, many will require the installation of a dedicated electrical set up. When the latter is the case, it is highly recommended that you bring in an electrician.

According to the Home Depot, the following set up is required:

  • A 240 volt 50 AMP neutrally protected with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
  • 50 AMP for your main breaker box
  • Hot tub wired directly into control pack
  • GFCI installed next to the hot tub on a wall at least five feet away

The total cost is estimated around $600. Note that you may need to get a permit for this project. Be sure to check with your local county or city.

Water access

You will need a source of water nearby for filling the tub and cleaning it. A garden hose will typically do.

Accessories

You may need a sturdy set of waterproof stairs for easy and safe entrance and exit from the spa. These range in price from $150- $350, on average. You may opt for a pump to quickly and easily empty the spa, which runs about $100.

A cover is required to keep the water clean, keep heat in, and protect the spa from the elements. These typically cost around $225.

The cover helper is a piece that makes it easier to open and close the cover. It prevents the cover from being damaged and eases the operation for users. These usually run around $200.

While all of the following may not apply to you, here is an extensive list of estimated hot tub installation costs.

How much does it cost to install an in-ground spa?

On the other hand, if you want an in-ground hot tub, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 total, according to Home Advisor.

Bruce Wettstein, pool builder at Blacks and Pools, says, “The major components of an in-ground project would be dig (excavation), steel, gunite (shotcrete), tile and coping, plumbing, electric, equipment installation, plaster, and start up.”

You can also cut out some of those steps (steel, gunite, tile and coping, and sometimes plumbing) by opting for a prefabricated hot tub shell, typically made of acrylic.

Here’s a breakdown of the costs.

Excavation

Excavation can be charged on a project-by-project basis, or it can be based on the yards of dirt that need to be removed. The average cost per yard of dirt is $100, while the average project cost is around $2,842, according to Home Advisor.

An inspection will be required to get an accurate quote, as it can vary widely based on the size of the area, your location, the type of terrain to be removed, the presence of trees/rocks, and the machinery that will be required.

Prefabricated shell

If you go this route, you will buy the shell which is then installed into the excavated area. The shells are prefabricated, so you won’t have the customizability offered with a concrete hot tub.

However, you may be able to save on costs and time. According to Cost Owl, acrylic shells range from $3,000 to $12,000 and the installation can add another $3,000 to $5,000.

Concrete hot tub

This is similar to an in-ground concrete pool, just on a smaller scale. It includes the materials and labor for the steel, gunite, plumbing, jets, equipment, plaster, excavation, and start up.

According to Fixr, you can expect costs to be around $72 per square foot. For a hot tub that is 7′ by 7′ and 3′ deep, this would cost about $10,500.

Tile and Coping

According to River Pools and Spas, coping can range from $6-$55 per linear foot depending on the type of coping you choose. Common types include brick, paver, natural stone, and cantilevered concrete. As for the waterline tile, costs average $600 to $800 for a hot tub.

Electric

Installing the needed electricity will be similar to the above-ground spa and will cost around $600, on average.

Here’s a summary of the costs

Wettstein says, “I used to build pools for a nationally-known health club and my prices could vary by 15K within 20 miles. Just crossing over into another county where labor (and some materials) were much cheaper made a huge difference.”

So it will be important to get a quote in your local area.

Finance your hot tub costs

Now you have an idea how much it will cost to finance your hot tub, so it’s time to figure out how to pay for it. If you are interested in financing the project, there are a number of online personal lenders like LightSream, Prosper, and Avant that make it simple.

They have changed the lending market, offering competitive interest rates, flexible terms, and an easy application process. The task you’re left with is figuring out which lender will offer you the best deal.

To find out, head over to SuperMoney’s loan offer engine, answer a few questions, and voilà! You will know what rates you prequalify for without having a bunch of lenders pestering you with emails.

Then, you can use our Personal Loans Review Page to compare them apples to apples and pick the right one. Before you know it, you’ll be lounging in your very own hot tub!

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