Outdoor hot tub on back patio.

Hot Tub Cost: Installation, Upkeep And More

Holly Shuffett9-Minute Read
August 31, 2022

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Hot tubs are synonymous with rest and relaxation. Spas and hotels rarely miss the opportunity to boast if their facility offers hot tub access and many associate their steamy jets with health benefits and feelings of serenity. 

But frequent spa trips just aren’t feasible for most of us, which may make us wonder: how much does a hot tub cost? 

Let’s break down the costs of owning a hot tub and what you should expect before making a splash with this big purchase. 

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How Much Does A Hot Tub Cost? 

The true cost of owning a hot tub goes far beyond the initial purchase price of the unit itself and the upfront costs alone can vary greatly. Most portable hot tubs, those that aren’t built in-ground, can range from $2,000 on the lower-end to as much as $35,000, for luxury units. 

The costs of installation and maintenance are also important to consider when deciding whether to buy a hot tub. Installation includes things like site-prep before installation, labor and the tools or materials necessary for the job. Maintenance costs include accessories, chemicals, sanitizer and, of course, water. 

To keep things running smoothly and to get the longest life out of your unit, proper maintenance is essential. So remember, when it comes to budgeting, the costs for hot tub maintenance and upkeep are just as important as the upfront price. 

For hot tub quotes better tailored to your specific wants and needs, use HomeAdvisor to compare hot tub contractor quotes today. 

Factors That Impact The Price Of A Hot Tub

There is no one cost when it comes to the price of a hot tub. With all the different features, styles, materials and brands available, you can expect to find significant disparities in price ranges. But understanding these factors and how they impact hot tub pricing can help you find the type of tub that works best for you and your home. 

Size 

Generally speaking, the larger the hot tub, the larger the price tag. Hot tubs are typically sized – and priced – according to how many people they can seat, ranging from 2 – 10 seats. 

Here are the typical price ranges per hot tub size:

Size

Price Range

2 – 3-person

$2,000 – $7,000

4 – 5-person

$2,000 – $12,000 

6 – 7-person

$3,000 – $15,000

10-person

$5,000 – $20,000 

Source: HomeAdvisor

It’s also important to bear in mind that larger hot tubs will also make for larger installation and maintenance costs. Larger units take longer to install, thus cost more in labor, and their physical structure will cost more in materials. Additionally, you’d need more water and electricity to fill up a six-person hot tub than, say, a two-seater. 

Materials 

The material that makes up a hot tub plays a huge role in the cost, so be sure to choose thoughtfully. It helps to identify your priorities: Do you want it to fit in with the style of your home? Are you mostly concerned with the durability and lifespan of your hot tub? Typically, pricier materials will have a longer lifespan with less cosmetic wear and tear. 

Let’s take a look at the prices of the most commonly used hot tub materials:

Inflatable Vinyl Hot Tubs ($400 – $1,500) 

This low-commitment hot tub is relatively inexpensive, and the ease of its portability allows for flexibility when it comes to location. These hot tubs can be placed most anywhere in the yard or patio, although the nature of these models doesn’t allow for jets but rather, fans. It’s also important to note that vinyl material may be more susceptible to rips or tears, making for a shorter lifespan. 

Rotationally Molded Hot Tubs ($2,000 – $6,000)  

Rotationally molded hot tubs, also called rotomolded hot tubs, are made of a durable plastic, similar in look and feel to kayaks or water coolers. While rotomolded hot tubs don’t have as many options for add-ons as more popular alternatives, like acrylic or wooden hot tubs, this cost-effective option does come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. 

Wooden Hot Tubs ($3,000 – $10,000) 

This above-ground option offers more features than inflatable or vinyl hot tub units, including jets, lights and plentiful seating. Deeper than other hot tub options, wooden hot tubs typically cost more, but their maintenance is more straight-forward. If properly cared for, wooden hot tubs can last 20 years or longer. 

Acrylic Hot Tubs ($4,000 – $18,000) 

A pricier, but more permanent, hot tub option is one made of acrylic. Acrylic hot tubs are probably what you picture when thinking of a hot tub – stylish and usually square, with jets and seats. However, acrylic hot tubs do require thorough location planning and site-prep, as they need a supportive foundation due to their weight and size. 

Vinyl-Lined Hot Tubs ($4,000 – $12,000) 

Vinyl-lined hot tubs can be used in both in-ground or above-ground units. A popular option for pool add-ons, this type of hot tub has a vinyl shell which lines the inside of a unit. 

Features 

The hot tub features you have in mind can also affect your final cost. Here are some common features to consider adding to your hot tub: 

  • In-spa lighting ($25 – $60 per light). Energy-efficient spa lighting is a popular choice for mid-tier hot tubs and is a particularly great option for homeowners who plan to soak in the evenings. 
  • Independent water heater ($150 – $1,500). Usually reserved for higher-end units, an independent heater will streamline the process of heating and powering your hot tub. 
  • Air or hydrotherapy jets ($2,000 – $12,000). If you’re interested in a hot tub to relax, you may want to get a unit with powerful jets perfect for working out tense muscles.

Design 

The actual design of your hot tub will also influence how much it will cost in the end. This goes hand-in-hand with which materials you choose for your unit. It also includes whether you want an in-ground or above-ground hot tub and how you feel about saltwater filtration versus traditional. 

Saltwater systems may be a pricier investment upfront, ranging between $200 – $700 in additional costs, but it will eliminate the need for pricey chemicals down the road.

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Hot Tub Installation Cost

The cost of installing a hot tub may be a one-time fee, but the amount will vary based on numerous factors, including: 

  • DIY versus professional installation 
  • Size and design of the unit
  • Condition of the install site 

Let’s dive into some of these costs a bit more. 

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Installation Cost 

Typically, an outdoor hot tub will cost far less than an indoor installation. Outdoor units really only require a level site and proper electrical work. The materials and tools needed for an outdoor installation usually cost less, too. 

An indoor installation may require more TLC: extra ventilation to control excess moisture, water-resistant and non-slip flooring, floor supports and, depending on your home, construction.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much a hot tub installation costs since prices are so dependent on your specific unit and home, but the average cost is $3,400.

Above- Vs. In-Ground Hot Tub Cost 

Hot tub prices will still vary by design and materials, but generally speaking, in-ground units cost more than above-ground ones. This is because in-ground installs are more labor-intensive, usually requiring more landscaping and thorough site-prep. 

On average, in-ground hot tubs cost $8,000 – $25,000 when building new or adding onto an existing pool. Above-ground hot tubs can start as low as $400 or cost as much as $18,000 – or more for luxury units. 

DIY Vs. Professional Cost

While a DIY hot tub install will certainly save you money, it may not be wise unless you have electrical and plumbing experience. Not only does it typically take two to six people to successfully move and install a hot tub, but you should also consider how you plan to transport the unit from the manufacturer or spa dealer. 

Will you need to rent a truck? How large and heavy is your hot tub model? Will you be able to adequately support and secure it during travel? These are important factors to plan for before tackling a DIY hot tub installation. 

Professional installations will take care of the transportation and install for you. Prices vary based on your unit, location and the state of your home’s electrical and plumbing systems, but you can expect to pay between $650 – $6,100. 

Other Hot Tub Costs To Consider 

The cost of owning a hot tub stretches far beyond the initial cost. While installation and the upfront price will likely make up most of your price tag, it’s important to understand the recurring costs you’ll have for maintaining your hot tub. 

Maintenance 

The right chemicals and filters are essential for ensuring your hot tub remains hygienic, safe and in working condition for as long as possible. You’ll need sanitizers, oxidizers and alkaline, plus the proper water testing kits. Chlorine alone can cost around $20 per month. 

You should also expect to pay an extra $20 – $30 per month in electricity and consider the cost of water per gallon in your area. 

Accessories

Hot tub accessories, while not essential, can certainly improve your hot tubbing experience. Here are a few to consider: 

  • Cover ($65 – $830): A hot tub cover and cover lock will protect your unit, and the water inside, from pests, critters or plain old weather. A lock will also keep out unwanted guests and make the hot tub safer when not in use.
  • Cover lift ($150 – $400): A manual or hydraulic cover lift can make using your hot tub – and cleaning up afterwards – far quicker and more convenient. 
  • Cup holders ($25 – $200): Having somewhere to set down your drink is perfect for homeowners who want to entertain friends and family. Some hot tubs have built-in drink holders, while others require you to find your own. 
  • Nonslip stairs ($60 – $400): Hot tubs can be fun but it’s important to use yours safely. Be sure to get nonslip stairs for easy access in and out of your hot tub. 

The Bottom Line: Your Hot Tub Cost Should Depend On Your Budget 

A hot tub can be a great way to get the perfect spa experience from the comfort of home, so long as you understand the responsibilities that come with its ownership. 

Planning a successful home renovation, including a hot tub, means choosing the right financing option. A cash-out refinance is one of the most popular ways to fund home upgrades, as it lets you use equity you’ve built up in your house to further increase the home’s resale value and appeal. Why not start the process to get a get a cash-out refinance today?

The prices listed in this article are based on the most recent information from HomeAdvisor and HomeGuide, as of August 26, 2022.

Need extra cash for home improvement?

Use your home equity for a cash-out refinance.

NMLS #3030

Holly Shuffett

Holly Shuffett is a staff writer who writes with a focus on homeownership and personal finance. She has a B.A. in public relations from Oakland University and enjoys creative writing and reading in her free time.