Should I Get A Hot Tub Or Pool? – The Big Decision

This is a common dilemma among people trying to look for the best way to enjoy water at home. Your choice between a hot tub and a pool will depend on a lot of things. However, you need to ensure that you are capable of maintaining either before picking your ideal. If you have many friends and family around, a pool would be okay, plus they come in different sizes, so you can easily install one that is more manageable.

If you do not have a big family yet or are not even planning to have one, then a hot tub could be a significantly better option. Generally, hot tubs are cheaper, better for a small space, more romantic, easier to maintain, and better for a relaxing session after work. However, if you have space and the money, you could consider having both.

Can a spa be used as a pool?

People have spas and pools for different reasons. Pools offer a great way to relax, especially during summer, when the temperatures are high, while spas are great for relaxing in the bubbles after a hard day at work. While spas are known to offer muscle therapy, you can use the pool for exercise as well. When trying to use a spa in place of a pool, you have to look at it in terms of what you seek to get from the experience.

Hot tubs might not have as much room for stretching as pools do, but their therapeutic benefits are as good as exercising in the other. You can easily turn your spa into a cool tub during the summer to enjoy some relaxing moments with family and friends. Looking at it this way, then it is quite possible to turn your spa into a pool.

What is the difference between a hot tub and a spa pool?

The terms spa and hot tubs are used interchangeably on many occasions making it quite easy to call one when meaning the other. According to Wikipedia, the two are not quite the same. Their difference mostly comes with location and benefits.

While both use hot water and you can enjoy them in the same manner, most spas are used for therapeutic reasons and at times for treatment. They are also larger in most cases and are often standalone structures. On the other hand, hot tubs can be portable, easier to maintain, and have electrical control systems.

How much does a pool and hot tub cost?

The cost of owning a pool or a hot tub is a combination of the buying, delivery, and installation prices. Hot tubs are significantly cheaper than pools given the size that they occupy.

On average, a hot tub costs as low as $500 to as high as $15,000. Installation prices could be something between $300 to $5000. This will depend on the type of hot tub you go for, plus how much work is needed in the installation process.

On the other hand, a pool is mainly priced as per building requirements. On average, to install a pool, you will need something between $15,000 to 22,000 for a medium project. However, grand pools could go as high as $50,000 plus.

Can a plunge pool be a hot tub?

Plunge pools are quite flexible, and owning one is like having four types of water luxuries at once. You can easily call a plunge pool, a swim spa, an exercise pool, a cocktail pool, and even a hot tub.

Having wall anchors around it will build secure tethering points and even harness your swimming experience. To turn it into a spa, add jets around the walls to heat the water. Some lighting will spike things up, giving you the ultimate luxurious experience.

How much does a nice hot tub cost?

Hot tubs are diverse. They vary in shapes, sizes, amounts of luxury promised, and materials. You can possibly get an ideal new hot tub within $3000 to $18000. There are cheaper options but mostly portable or inflatable ones. To give you a clearer view of what to expect, here’s a table to look through.

Tub’s CategoryInteriorExteriorWater CareEnergy EfficiencyPrice
Entry-levelFormed plasticFormed plasticStandard bottled sanitizerStandard insulation$3000-$7000
Value-pricedModern acrylicComposite panelsBuilt-in sanitizer systemsEfficient insulation$5000-$8000
PremiumModern acrylicComposite panelsAdvanced systems and saltwaterEfficient insulation$8000-$11000
LuxuryModern acrylicComposite panelsAdvanced systems plus saltwaterHigh-efficiency insulation$11000-$18000

Either of the above categories falls in the nice to the excellent choice of a hot tub. Of course, your ideal will depend on your budget and needs, but either way, you can get something affordable from a trusted brand within the prices listed above.

How much do small plunge pools cost?

When space is not as adequate, and you want something close to a swimming pool, a plunge pool is often ideal. It is relatively cheaper than a swimming pool in both buying and installation prices. It would be best if you were willing to spend $20,000 on average to build one. Many homeowners will mostly fall between the $10,000 and $50,000 plunge pool budget. 

Your labor costs will fall between $1000 and $10,000, and the materials can be something from $9,000 to $40,000. The costs will depend on how big you wish your plunge pool to be and the quality of materials you choose. However, if you seek to have some amazing landscaping added to your plunge pool, ensure you have enough for the extra costs.

What is the smallest in-ground pool you can build?

Pools come in different shapes and sizes, and anything less than 10-foot square should be considered a small pool or even an in-ground pool. While the shape and overall backyard design will be the two factors determining how big you can build a pool, something around 200 sq is quite workable. In-ground vinyl pools kits can build 10’x10′, 12’x18 and 8’x24 small pools sizes. Such designs could have a depth of about 24” to 72”. If your pool can hold any of these sizes, then you will be good to go.

How much does it cost to put in an inground spa?

In-ground spas are better built in conjunction with in-ground pools. This gives you double value for your investment. For plunge pool prices, you need an estimation between $10,000 and $50,000. If you include the spa’s requirements, something around $15,000 plus will work. Note that the prices will depend on the materials you choose to use, as in the table below.

Vinyl$10,000 – $18,000
Fiberglass$10,000 – $22,000
Concrete$20,000 – $35,000

Other costs might include

  • $400 to $1,800 in different municipalities for a building permit
  • $1,500 to $5,000 as land excavation rates
  • $1,400 to $5,200 for landscaping
  • $1,000 to $4,400 for any weather features

Since a spa comes with more requirements compared to an in-ground pool, think of all the extra amenities you will need as you estimate your quotes. Spa accessories, too, will add to the budgets, especially for items such as audio entertainment, lighting, pool’s cover, and extra jets. If you have kids, you will need a baby proofing budget as well. Maybe a gate, safely designed walkways, and quality covers.

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Emily Williams

Emily is a passionate Hot Tubs researcher who loves writing about all things Hot Tubs! She has years of experience and a knack for simplifying complex concepts, these articles are here to answer all your burning questions in a simple and easy to read style.
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