Quick guide to above ground hot tubs
A hot tub, or spa, can be a fun and relaxing addition to your home. While in-ground hot tubs placed into the floor or ground typically require excavation or significant home renovation, an above-ground tub requires less--or maybe no--renovation.
Your above ground hot tub options
Whether you're adding a hot tub to an outdoor patio or an indoor sunroom, your options for an above ground hot tub are a lot like the options you have when buying a car:
- Size: Hot tubs are usually sized by how many people they seat and can range from two- to eight-person tubs.
- Seating: Your tub can have molded seats, bench seating or a combination of both.
- Color: Hot tub interior colors may include shades of tan, white, off-white, blue and silver in a variety of sparkly and marble-like finishes.
- Cabinet: The exterior cabinet can be wood, stone or composite. Various colors and finishes are available.
- Shape: oval, triangular, round, rectangular or kidney-shaped
- Jets: You can choose the number of jets and upgrade to stainless-steel jets.
- Upgrades: The fanciest hot tubs have L.E.D. lighting, waterfalls, built-in sound systems and more.
Hot tub costs vary considerably based on the manufacturer and the options you choose. Prices may range from $2,000 to $8,000, not including installation or delivery costs. Hot tub contractors can provide an accurate estimate for your situation.
Popular hot tub manufacturers
Jacuzzi® is such a well-known brand that some people mistakenly call all hot tubs or spas "jacuzzis." Other lesser-known manufacturers, such as L.A. Spas, have a "build-a-spa" feature that allows you to choose your own customizations.
Hot tub contractors and dealers work with multiple manufacturers and should be able to recommend the manufacturer with the best product for you. Some manufacturers you may want to consider:
- Coast Spas
- NewLife Spas
- QCA Spas
- Sunbelt Spas
Most manufacturers sell hot tubs through dealers, retail outlets or contractors.
Caring for your hot tub
Properly maintaining your hot tub can keep your family safe and help to ensure your tub has a long life. Each manufacturer has its own its own set of maintenance recommendations to follow.
Generally, you'll have to test and adjust both the temperature and the chemicals/pH and clean the filter regularly. The frequency of these tasks depends on the temperature at which you keep your tub and how often it is used.
According to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, you should plan to have your hot tub inspected annually by a professional.
Three ways to find a contractor
If you are ready to buy your hot tub, here are three tips for finding a contractor who can help you choose the right tub for your home:
- Complete the form on this page to be matched to a hot tub contractor in your area.
- Check with the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals for member contractors who have experience with specific types of hot tubs.
- Talk to friends, family and real estate agents in your area who can provide a recommendation.
Though an above ground hot tub doesn't require the installation preparation that an in-ground hot tub does, a contractor can help you complete any necessary safety, electrical or concrete work.