10 Tips for Building an in Ground Hot Tub
1.) Talk to a Contractor
2.) It is Messy
3.) What do you Call it
4.) In Ground Hot Tubs are tiny pools
5.) They are custom built
6.) Plumbing and Electrical is Different
7.) Double Check your Design
8.) This may cause issues with your pool
9.) This is NOT DIY
Who doesn’t want a hot tub, right? They always seem to be the life of the party whether its connected to your pool, at a cabin, on your deck or on a boat (very large boat)?
People freaking love hot tubs, myself and my wife included! Because of that we are on our second spa now, we started with an above ground spa and recently went through the process of building an in ground hot tub next to our in ground pool.
I am hoping to provide some pool/spa insight to help you make your own best choice, but most of this post will be geared around our recent build. It is important to understand the individual expenses that make up the whole of the in ground spa cost. The first thing to cover is what to call the specific thing you are looking for.
Is it a Spa, Hot Tub or Jacuzzi?
What is the difference and is there a difference you might be wondering? I tend to use all three but I primarily use hot tub or jacuzzi.
However, in my research I found a mishmash of definitions, and one that is very confusing is from a maker called Dream Maker Spas that essentially tells us that a spa is a place or natural occurrence but still named the company with “spa” in it.
According to one other source, a spa in addition to the traditional definition of being a business for curative treatments, it is also accepted American vernacular. It seems to be widely know that jacuzzi is a brand name of a spa/hot tub which has become common.
I would compare it to the term “google something” no matter which search engine or source you are using to look something up. .
If you weren’t confused about spa, hot tub or jacuzzi before I am sure you are now, so for these purposes the words will be essentially interchangeable. I will use them that way, with the understanding I am making the assumption that in your hot tub you want jets, a filtering system and heating element no matter what you call it.
If it makes bubbles and does those things it falls under the purview of this post. If you want info on a jetted bath tub I will do a post about that later when we finish our master bathroom remodel. For now we are talking spa, hot tub and jacuzzi as our primary terms.
For most this might be the most important question to ask yourself, because hot tubs vary widely! Now, your location or space parameters may make the choice for you and make a built in hot tub impossible.
At this point I want to clarify a little more, because there are some cool ways to dress up a portable spa to make it look more like an inground hot tub, but functionally it is still above ground. An above ground or portable spa is a self contained unit that drops into place regardless of what you put it on or what you build around it.
Built in or inground hot tubs are scaled down from a pool with different functionality. When we first built our pool, we opted for one of the above ground hot tubs, but in order to give it the in ground look we built a waterfall feature and wall surrounding. It gave the illusion that the hot tub was emptying into the pool even though they are not connected.
For our remodel we got rid of the old above ground spa that had a crack in it (again a story for another blog post) and worked on design options for inground hot tubs to replace it.
The two biggest factors in deciding for in ground spas or above ground is location and price. In general you are going to be able to get a nice above ground spa for less than building a tiny swimming pool (That is what inground hot tubs are).
If you live in a townhouse with a small back yard obviously building in ground spas will be looked down upon by your HOA. If that’s you, the rest of the blog might not be worth much, but you can always store it for later when you have a place to build your own spa.
For the rest, below are some of the many things to consider once you have decided that price and location don’t preclude you.
Pentair Equipment Used: https://www.pentair.com/