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How Much Does a Hot Tub Cost?

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Hot Tub Prices

We all need a place to relax and unwind, a place where we can forget about the stress of work, errands and busy schedules. Wouldn't it be nice if that place was your own backyard? Besides just relaxation, soaking in a hot tub relieves joint and muscle pain. Hot tubs also provide a place for family and friends to gather and socialize.

You can find a hot tub to fit about any budget. The smallest portable hot tubs begin at about $500 and the largest high-end models can run upwards of $15,000. Generally, you can expect to pay about $5,000 to $6,000 for the most popular mid-sized varieties.

Hot Tub Average Costs

There are four basic types of hot tubs:

  • Portable spas seat 1-4 people and range in price from $500 to $2,000. They are best for occasional use or short soaks. They're the least durable of all hot tub varieties and they lose heat fairly quickly after the first half hour.
  • Above-ground acrylic spas seat 2-10 and usually fall between $4,000 and $7,000. These are the most popular spas, and they're what most people picture when they're thinking of hot tubs. Most models come with jets but they vary in number and type.
  • Wooden hot tubs also seat 2-10 and vary widely in price from about $1,500 to $7,000. These traditional-style hot tubs are making a comeback in popularity, but they don't always have jets.
  • In-ground spas typically seat 4-16 and are the most expensive with prices starting at around $5,000 and reaching upwards of $15,000. These tubs become a permanent fixture of your home. But, be prepared to pay several thousand dollars in installation costs alone.

Jets, by far, are the most popular hot tub feature. But you can also elect for extras like LED lighting, sound systems, TV and DVD players, lounge seats and cup holders. It's up to you how luxurious you want to go.

Here's a look at the prices of some popular hot tub models:

  • The Comfort Line Spa-2-Go portable hot tub retails for about $800 to $1,000, according to ConsumerSearch.com. It is a round, inflatable tub that seats four. It does not have a bench and the bubbles are created using an air blower, not traditional jets, which cause the tub's temperature to drop fairly quickly.
  • The Dreammaker Fantasy, a portable that is not inflatable, seats two and sells for about $3,200 to $4,000. The tub has jets instead of an air blower and is made of molded plastic.
  • A Home and Garden Spas 6-person above-ground acrylic tub with 81 jets runs about $5,000 to $6,000, not including installation costs.
  • The Belize e850L Hot Tub Lounger with 6 seats and 115 jets, retails for about $10,000 to $13,000. This is a luxury spa with digital controls.

Hot tub Installation and Operation Costs

When you're budgeting for a hot tub, keep in mind that the purchase price isn't the only expense. You'll need to pay for installation and any site work that is needed to create a surface for the tub. Then there are recurring fees to maintain the tub. Search for a dealer that provides a quote for the total cost upfront, including fees like shipping and installation.

For the smallest portable spas, no installation is necessary. Just plug in the tub and fill it with a garden hose. Above-ground acrylic spas and wooden spas need to sit on a flat surface such as a deck or concrete slab, so you'll have to create one if you don't have one already. You can create your own slab spending less than $100 in materials, but a deck could cost thousands. You will also need to hire an electrician to get the tub hooked up, which typically runs $60 to $120 per hour. An in-ground tub will require excavation work and installation by a professional contractor that could run $10,000 or more. But an in-ground tub will also add resale value to you home.

Budget an extra $20 to $40 per month for the cost of powering your hot tub, and plan to spend up to $300 per year for chemicals, replacement filters and the like.

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