It is the perfect time of year to jump into your hot tub. The only problem? You do not have one – yet! One of the first decisions you will need to make is whether you want a built-in in-ground hot tub, or an above-ground hot tub. Both have many pros and cons to take into account.
In-ground hot tub pros and cons
An in-ground or built-in hot tub is typically built into the ground, can be designed in different shapes and sizes, and is often attached to a pool or part of a pool setup.
Benefits of an in-ground hot tub:
- Unlimited potential to choose the perfect shape and size you wish
- Can be installed fully submerged or partially exposed above ground to work with your yard and space
- Easily able to blend in with any outdoor landscaping
- Gives you the ability to customize and integrate whatever features you wish – speakers, lights, fountains, waterfalls, etc.
- A wide variety of materials to choose from – stone, acrylic, vinyl, tiles and more
- It is an esthetically pleasing addition to any yard
- Perfectly complements your in-ground pool
- Since it is built as a permanent fixture, an in-ground hot tub is durable and built to last
- Will add value to your home
- Easy maintenance especially if it shares the same pump, filter and sanitizer system as your existing pool
- Easy to get in and out of the hot tub, which is great for the elderly or anyone with mobility issues
Drawbacks of an in-ground hot tub:
- More expensive to install than an out-of-the-box above-ground hot tub
- Most contain only 5 to 20 jets – which may be fewer than a portable or above-ground hot tub
- Cannot take it with you if you move
Above-ground hot tub pros and cons
An above-ground hot tub is sometimes called a portable spa. It is a hot tub that is above ground and not built into your landscaping or attached to a pool. Above-ground hot tubs are typically square 8’ x 8’ with a depth of about 31”.
Benefits of an above-ground hot tub:
- Lower cost to purchase, install and maintain
- Easy to install – most portable spas can be plugged directly into a 240-volt outlet
- Typically include lots of jets in various positions
- Feature smooth, contoured seating to amplify comfort
- Relatively low maintenance
- Easy to access mechanics that are typically built into the hot tub. You do not need a separate mechanical room or pool house
- Takes up less space in a yard
- Can be placed close to the entrance to your home
- Portability – you are able to move the above-ground hot tub from where it is first installed if you need to make changes to your yard or if you move
Drawbacks of an above-ground hot tub:
- Not aesthetically pleasing – portable spas do not blend into the landscape
- You must drain the above-ground hot tub every 3-4 months to maintain good water chemistry
- There are fewer options in size, shape and materials when compared to an in-ground hot tub, so you are not able to customize it to your specific needs
- Difficult to get into and out of, especially for seniors, children and anyone with a disability
- You must clean and maintain the outside of the hot tub to ensure it looks nice
- Cannot use the same chemicals as you use in your pool – they could significantly damage the mechanics of the tub.
Now that you have decided which hot tub is right for you, it is time to decide the best location for it – inside or outside?
If you have decided to install an in-ground hot tub, be sure to do your research to find the best, most reputable pool installation company.