A hot tub installation is an appealing home improvement project that boosts home value and motivates homeowners to live their best life at home. While considered a non-essential home improvement to some, hot tubs can actually be quite affordable when you find a product that fits your budget. There is a wide variety of hot tubs on the market today – from basic to middle-of-the-road to luxury models – that cater to all sorts of homeowner needs. Modernize is here to help you understand the various costs that go into a hot tub installation, as well as find a hot tub that fits your target budget.
Factors that Impact Hot Tub Costs
You likely already know that there are many different types of hot tubs available to homeowners today. Not all hot tubs cost the same amount. The price range to install a hot tub is so wide because there are several factors that determine the overall cost of project. Major influences on cost include:
Type of hot tub
There are two basic types of hot tubs – in-ground and portable (aka “above-ground”). In-ground hot tubs typically cost the most, but it depends on brand, size, quality, and other factors.
Hot tubs are manufactured using different materials, such as vinyl, acrylic, remolded plastic, and even wood. Hot tub “shells,” or the outer layer, are priced differently depending on the material’s quality and durability. Molded plastic shells, for instance, are more affordable than acrylic.
Quality and design
Hot tubs are engineered differently. Some are designed with energy-efficiency in mind, and others include luxury operating components like jets, heaters, hydro-therapy features, etc. There are three main quality levels to consider when looking at hot tubs – basic, premium, and luxury.
Just like cars, there are different makes and models for hot tubs. Hot tub brands often impact the overall price, as some brands are considered higher quality or more reputable than others.
Hot tub size
Of course, there are different sizes of hot tubs available. Some accommodate 2 to 4 people while others can seat 10 or more. Oftentimes, the price will increase as the number of seats goes up. Be sure to explore typical size and dimensions of hot tubs.
You might be surprised to see how many hot tub features are available to choose from today! Create your dream hot tub spa with features like LED lighting, programmable thermostats, hydro-therapy massage jets, sound systems, advanced filtration and more. These add-ons often come with a higher price tag, but they can definitely heighten the experience.
Where you live
Do not forget to consider your geographic location when determining the cost of your hot tub. Some companies may charge for delivery, and if you are located at a distance from the dealer, this delivery charge can add up. Installation costs can also fluctuate based on location.
It is helpful to make a list of priorities for your new hot tub before speaking with professionals. Think about which factors you are willing to compromise on, versus which components are must-haves. Share this information with your professional, so they can better guide you on what to expect in terms of costs.
Hot Tub Costs by Type
The cost of a hot tub varies by the type you are going to install – in-ground, portable (also known as “above-ground”) and indoor hot tubs. Homeowners who have an existing in-ground pool, or plan to install one, may prefer an in-ground hot tub that is built into their existing pool design. Others may plan to add the new hot tub to their patio area or backyard on top of a flat surface, or even indoors. Below we outline the cost of a hot tub based on type and level of quality.
In-Ground Hot Tub Costs
|Hot tub model quality||Average cost|
|Basic||$8,000 to $10,000|
|Premium||$10,000 to $18,000|
|Luxury||$18,000 to $25,000|
Portable Hot Tub Costs
|Hot tub model quality||Average cost|
|Basic||$3,000 to $5,000|
|Premium||$5,000 to $10,000|
|Luxury||$10,000 to $16,000|
For both in-ground and above-ground, the basic or entry-level hot tubs will include your most basic bells and whistles – jets, an exterior shell, 100V electrical connection, and built-in seating.
Premium or mid-range hot tubs will include added features such as lighting, heat insulation, a higher quality exterior shell, and energy-efficiency.
Luxury hot tubs will have the most advanced features, such as hydrotherapy massaging jets, superior materials, built-in audio systems, and more.
Hot Tub Costs by Size
Keep in mind that size and seating often impacts pricing as well, regardless of the type and quality. 10-person hot tubs are going to cost more than small 2 to 3 person hot tubs. Here’s what you can expect on average when it comes to the cost of a hot tub based on seating.
|Hot tub size||Average cost|
|Small hot tubs (2 to 4 people)||$3,000 to $5,000|
|Mid-size hot tubs (5 to 7 people)||$5,000 to $12,000|
|Large hot tubs (8 to 10 people)||$9,000 to $20,000|
Premium and luxury models of the above sizes will always cost more than basic hot tubs of the same size. However, it’s important to know that buying a larger hot tub with more seating will drive up the price tag.
Pre-Owned Hot Tubs
Some homeowners might be tempted by the low price tag of a used or pre-owned hot tub. Pre-owned hot tubs can cost as little as $1,000 – $3,000 when there is still a warranty remaining on the product. But be careful! Oftentimes, used hot tubs come with a slew of repairs that need to be made to get the hot tub into an adequate working condition.
If you are looking for the best return on investment, we recommend working with a professional installer to find a new hot tub that will boost your home’s value.
However, if you are seriously considering a pre-owned or used hot tub, make sure to go through a accredited hot tub dealer rather than finding one online. Check to see if the hot tub still has a valid warranty remaining so you can worry less about the cost of repairs.
Add-on Features and Accessories
Hot tub companies will allow you to choose or add-on features to your hot tub. Features elevate and customize the hot tub experience for the homeowner, so paying more for certain features can be worth it. Here are just a few features to consider for your new hot tub:
- Non-slip stairs
- Custom lighting
- Self-cleaning system
- Salt water
- Hydrotherapy jets
- Audio system
- Safety rails
- Drink holders
Your hot tub professional should have a list of available add-on features and accessories for you to choose from. Make sure to ask the cost of each desired add-on and total the additional cost. Then, factor that cost into your overall budget to make sure it fits within your ideal price range.
Hot Tub Maintenance and Upkeep Costs
Beyond upfront installation costs, you should budget for monthly maintenance and upkeep costs for your hot tub. Hot tubs need to be cleaned and monitored regularly, and also require regular water care and filter replacements. It is important to keep in mind that hot tubs use a good deal of electricity, which you will have to pay for monthly.
|Maintenance need||Average monthly cost|
|Professional servicing and maintenance||$100 to $150|
|Energy and utility||$25 to $40|
|Chemicals and water care||$20 to $30|
|Filter replacement||$20 to $60|
Monthly hot tub servicing typically costs between $100 – $150, and includes cleaning, filtration, chemical balancing, and water balancing. Chemicals and equipment repairs may cost extra, depending on the hot tub servicing company. Also keep in mind that some hot tub professionals work on an hourly basis. When buying your new hot tub, it’s wise to ask the company if they offer monthly maintenance and servicing. If so, ask their cost and what is included.
On a monthly basis, at the very least, homeowners should plan for chemical testing, filter cleaning, and water balance adjustments. Some homeowners opt to perform these maintenance tasks as often as weekly. You can plan to handle maintenance duties on your own if you are familiar with how to clean and operate a hot tub. However, many homeowners hire a professional hot tub technician to perform thorough monthly maintenance on an ongoing basis.
Financing and payment plans are also available to homeowners who do not want to pay the full cost of a hot tub upfront. Homeowners can typically finance a new hot tub for 36-60 month terms, usually over 3 to 5 years.
Monthly payments are usually between $150 – $250 per month, depending on the financing agreement, type and cost of the hot tub, and term length. Since quality hot tubs can last 20 years or more with proper maintenance and care, financing a hot tub can be a great investment for homeowners.
If you do plan to finance your new hot tub, be conscientious of the financing agreement APR. Interest rates can depend on the financial institution issuing the hot tub financing agreement and the homeowner’s credit history, among other factors. While some agreements involve interest rates of as much as 10 percent or more, it is possible to find a hot tub financing agreement with a 0 percent interest rate in some circumstances. Make sure to shop around and explore different financing options, so you can find the best agreement for your budget and needs.
Return on Investment
Homeowners who eventually want to resell their home can benefit even more from a hot tub installation because it boosts home value. In-ground hot tubs are especially worthwhile when homeowners have the return on investment in mind. A well-designed backyard area with an in-ground hot tub and/or pool, well-manicured landscaping, and patio space can add significant value to your home when it comes time to sell. Homeowners who maintain and clean their hot tub regularly and effectively normally earn back their hot tub investment plus much more when the house is sold.
Finding a Hot Tub Installer
If you are ready to connect with professionals and start your hot tub installation, Modernize can help! Our network of reliable hot tub professionals is ready to provide you with more information about the installation process as well as give you more accurate pricing based on your location, preferences, and budget.