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Hot Tub Guide: Which Hot Tub Is Best For You?

Last updated 07/09/2020 by

Dustin Clendenen
This hot tub guide makes it easy to compare the price and maintenance costs of hot tubs by type.
Hot tubs are almost as American as hot dogs and a summer BBQ. And they’re the perfect complement to a backyard grill-fest featuring both of those things.
Many people consider having a hot tub a kind of pipe dream that’s out of their financial reach. But most probably don’t research the cost of a hot tub before making that assumption. In fact, it might be more affordable than you think.
How much does it really cost to install your very own hot tub? Let’s find out.

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Types of hot tubs and their costs

The cost for a hot tub varies greatly, with the lowest end around $500 and the highest end around $20,000. One of the biggest factors to consider is whether you want an above-ground or in-ground hot tub — the latter is the most expensive option.
The average cost for an in-ground hot tub is $15,000 to $20,000, which includes additional costs such as building a deck around the hot tub or making any additional plumbing connections.
Above-ground hot tubs are the most affordable way to go, with an average installation cost between $157 and $491.

Above-ground hot tubs

This is the most affordable (and also portable) type of hot tub. Above-ground hot tubs come in a variety of styles with different price points– anywhere from $320 to $17,000, according got HomeAdvisor. The type of hot tub and how many accessories you add on is the reason for such a huge price range.

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Soft-side inflatable hot tub

These hot tubs are made of vinyl and are an inexpensive and convenient option. Once you inflate it, add the motor, fill it up, and plug it in, your inflatable hot tub will be ready for you to enjoy. You can then deflate it for easy storage. You can get an inflatable hot tub for $500 or less.

Wooden hot tubs

Wooden hot tubs are made of redwood, cedar, or teak. They usually come in a round design and have built-in seating. Wooden hot tubs are sturdy, reliable, and generally aesthetically pleasing. They’re typically delivered in pieces, making it easy to install. But it must sit on a base strong enough to carry its heavy weight. Wooden hot tubs cost anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000.

Acrylic hot tubs

These are the heaviest and most expensive of the above-ground hot tub models. They’re also the most durable and aesthetically pleasing option. However, their heavy and sturdy structure cannot be disassembled and easily transported like inflatable or wooden hot tubs. Like wooden hot tubs, acrylic hot tubs also require a strong foundation. These cost anywhere from $11,000 to $16,000.

In-ground hot tubs

In-ground hot tubs are considerably more expensive than their above-ground counterpart. This is because of the amount of construction and materials that often go into installing them.
Tasks that installers might have to complete include fully excavating a yard, expanding the plumbing and electrical systems of your property to reach the hot tub, and building the foundation for the hot tub (not to mention the wooden or concrete deck or patio that will surround it).
The estimated total cost is $15,000 to $20,000, according to HomeAdvisor.
With this in mind, it should also be mentioned that in-ground hot tubs can significantly raise the value of your property. This is especially true if you’re in a region with year-round warm weather or a vacation destination.

Additional factors to consider

Hot tubs are associated with a way to unwind and relax, especially with guests. It’s also a great way to provide entertainment at any gathering.
But hot tubs serve other purposes as well, including relief from issues like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and muscle injuries from sports. With that in mind, make sure you also consider these factors when choosing your hot tub:

The size

Hot tubs can be as small as a two-seater or large enough to fit six or more. Depending on whether you’re looking for personal (or intimate) relaxation or want the hot tub to be a party centerpiece, choose the size that is most accommodating to your needs.

The jets

The number of jets is much less important than the kind of jets that are in the hot tub. Some are just there to make bubbles and keep the water churning, while others are designed to blast warm water into your sore muscles. Choose the hot tub with the jets that best suit you—and variety is usually recommended.

How to finance a hot tub

In a perfect world, we would all have cash on hand to pay for a large purchase such as a hot tub. But we don’t live in a perfect world, especially when it comes to money. That’s why personal loans exist.
You can finance your hot tub and other home upgrades with a personal loan.
Fortunately, lenders such as LightStream, Prosper, and Avant offer some of the most competitive rates and terms on the market. And there are many other online lenders that will gladly compete for your business.
See what you qualify for by using SuperMoney’s loan offer engine and receive personalized offers based on your unique situation. This will not affect your credit score.
You can also use our personal loans review page to compare rates and terms from a long list of top lenders.

Dustin Clendenen

Dustin Clendenen is an LA-based screenwriter, journalist, editor, and all-around storyteller. He spends most of his time thinking about the "Big Picture" and obsessing over its details.

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