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How Much Does an In-Ground Hot Tub Cost?

If you are in the market for a hot tub and don't plan to move anytime soon, an in-ground model is the best way to go. In-ground hot tubs are more durable than their above-ground counterparts and offer a more attractive aesthetic. They can be incorporated into your existing patio or pool deck and made to match the style of your yard. They also increase the resale value of your home, should you decide to sell. An in-ground hot tub does come at a higher cost than an above-ground model, but it also comes with higher quality and more style.

In-Ground Hot Tubs

When hot tubs were first introduced, many people viewed them as nothing more than an accessory to a swimming pool. But as time moved on and hot tubs gained popularity (especially during the 1960s), people started to see them as a standalone item. An in-ground hot tub is a great way to add some style to your home and provide yourself with a casual and enjoyable way to relax.

Types of In-Ground Hot Tubs

There are two primary types of in-ground hot tubs: custom built and prefabricated.

Custom built hot tubs are typically made from a type of concrete called gunite. They feature fewer jets and have simpler seating arrangements. They tend to be larger than prefabricated spas and have a nearly limitless amount of design options. Usually, decorative tiles are overlaid on the concrete to provide more comfort and pleasing aesthetics.

Prefabricated hot tubs have factory-built shells, most often made from acrylic or stainless steel. While there are different shapes available, there are fewer design options in comparison to custom spas. Some prefabricated shells come pre-plumbed and may seat up to 10 people.

In-ground hot tubs can also be found in wood, but that is less common. In the 1960s and '70s, wooden hot tubs were quite popular. While they're no longer as popular as they once were, wooden spas are making a small comeback. These models are available as custom built or prefabricated units.

How Much Do In-Ground Hot Tubs Cost?

The cost of in-ground hot tubs is difficult to pin down, as factors such as added features, the brand, size, and the vendor you purchase through all play a role in the final price. Cost also varies based on the type of hot tub you purchase.

Custom Built Hot Tub Costs

On average, custom built in-ground hot tubs cost around $5,000. A custom tub can realistically cost as much as your budget allows, but higher costs tend to come in at around $15,000.

Prefabricated Hot Tub Costs

Generally less expensive than custom spas, the cost of prefabricated in-ground hot tubs averages between $3,000 and $10,000. Any add-ons or extra features will add to this price. You should budget an additional $3,000 to $5,000 for installation fees. To provide an example:
  • The cost of an in-ground, pre-plumbed hot tub that seats three starts around $3,000 - $5,000.
  • The cost of an in-ground, pre-plumbed hot tub that seats six starts around $5,000 - $7,000. 
Regardless of the type of in-ground hot tub you choose, you need to also factor in the cost of maintenance and cleaning. Expect to spend between $20 and $40 per month for the electricity to run your spa and between $200 and $300 a year on the chemicals to clean it.

Benefits of an In-Ground Hot Tub

An in-ground hot tub is a major investment. They directly impact the look of your home, take time to build, and come at a higher price than above-ground spas. But they also offer a host of benefits, such as:
  • Durability: In-ground hot tubs are built to last. Whether custom built or prefabricated, they are made with materials designed to handle decades of use. They are even built with maintenance in mind, making in-ground hot tubs easy to clean and maintain properly.
  • Health: Had a long day? There's no better place to relax than your in-ground hot tub. Let the frustration and stress melt away during a nice soak. Hot tubs also offer hydrotherapy benefits, helping with aches and pains in your muscles or joints.
  • Style: In-ground hot tubs are considered the most luxurious of spa options. Able to be customized to directly fit the aesthetics of your home and yard, in-ground hot tubs give you the ability to choose the best fit for you in a way that above-ground units simply can't.

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