How Much Does It Cost to Install a Hot Tub?

by Team HomeServe
Awesome water view with hot tub in summer evening

Hot Tub Installation Costs at a Glance

  • Average price: $3,500
  • Price range: $500-$6,500
  • In-ground installation cost: $1,000-$5,500
  • Above-ground installation cost: $100-$500

Who doesn’t dream of slipping into a hot tub at the end of a long day? Warm water and soothing jets can relieve aching muscles or take the weight of stress off your shoulders. Whether you want to use it for entertaining or hydrotherapy, a hot tub can be a positive addition to any backyard.

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Hot tubs are designed to provide you with hours of enjoyment — but how much do they cost? To help you plan your backyard oasis, check out the information below on hot tub installation costs.

Scale weight above blue sky industrial crane moving a with bathtub jacuzi

Hot Tub Installation Costs

Several factors affect hot tub installation costs, including size, installation location and whether you will install an in-ground or above-ground hot tub. According to Consumer Affairs, most hot tub models cost between $500 and $6,500, with a standard-sized unit costing $3,500 on average. In terms of labor cost, an in-ground hot tub costs $1,000 to $5,500 to install, depending on how elaborate the design is. Above-ground hot tub installation typically costs between $100 and $500.

What’s the Difference Between a Hot Tub and a Spa?

The two terms are often used interchangeably. The difference comes down to how the units are constructed and installed.

A hot tub is an above-ground portable spa that's a completely self-contained unit. Hot tub components — including the electrical system and plumbing parts — are built and stored in the hot tub cabinet. On the other hand, a spa is built into the ground like an in-ground swimming pool. Oftentimes, it is attached to a pool.

According to Better Homes and Gardens, both hot tubs and spas are heated bodies of water used for relaxation and hydrotherapy. Another major difference between hot tubs and spas is the cost. The least expensive above-ground hot tubs are typically inflatable and portable, while the more expensive options include features such as sound systems, massage jets and built-in bars. Premium in-ground units can cost up to $15,000 or $20,000.

Do You Need an Electrician to Install a Hot Tub?

Hot tubs typically require either 110V or 220V of electricity. If you opt for 220V, you'll need to hire a certified electrician to make sure you have the proper electrical setup to power your unit. An electrician can run the proper gauge of wires from your electrical panel to the hot tub or spa. If you go with the 110V option and basic wiring, you can either do it yourself or hire a licensed contractor to do the job for you.

Factors Affecting Cost

Costs to install a hot tub can vary depending on the size, location and features. If you want an in-ground tub, the installation cost will be a lot higher. Before installing your hot tub, consider these factors:

Patio Slab and Backyard Location

Hot tubs should be installed on a secure foundation, such as a concrete slab. Cement slabs are extremely durable and affordable and run about $100 in materials. If you hire a professional contractor to handle the job, you can expect to pay $1,500 to $3,000.

Electrical Wiring

As discussed, your hot tub will require its own electrical connection to operate the pumps, filtration system and heater. Entertainment options, such as a sound system, need to be wired up as well. The electrical components may cost around $250 to $350. Hiring an electrician to set up these features may cost another $250 to $300.

Gazebo or Shelter

You might want to put a custom gazebo or other shelter structure over your hot tub. The final cost for this option depends on how elaborate the structure is and what you want to include. The price for this can start at $500 for a simple umbrella shelter and go as high as $15,000 for a custom wooden gazebo.

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Do Hot Tubs Add Value to Your Home?

Hot tubs, spas and jetted tubs are luxury features and can sometimes add value to a home. This depends on where you live and what the climate and weather conditions are like. Homeowners in humid, hot regions might not find a hot tub as valuable as those in cooler, drier states. In hotter parts of the country, a pool might be appreciated and valued more. On the other hand, homebuyers in the northern states may appreciate a hot tub due to the cold winters. While not having a hot tub won’t hurt your home value, having on may draw in a few potential buyers.

A hot tub might serve as an incentive for a potential buyer to select your home over other options and place an offer. To figure out whether it might be a good value for you, you’ll want to factor in the initial price of the hot tub, how often you plan to use it and the cost to maintain and clean it. Today’s modern hot tubs are equipped with energy-efficient, high-quality features designed to minimize the effort spent cleaning and maintaining the unit. Older or cheaply manufactured units demand an enormous amount of electricity to heat the water and operate the jet pumps.

You might want to talk to a professional contractor or realtor before you add a hot tub to your property as an investment only. The real value of your high-quality hot tub or spa investment will have more to do with how you and your family use the unit and the physical benefits you enjoy.

How Much Does It Cost to Heat a Hot Tub Per Month?

Many manufacturers advertise that it costs as little as $1 per day to operate a hot tub. On the higher end, it may cost $50 to $60 per month. The type of heater in the hot tub determines how much energy the hot tub draws — typically between 1,500 and 6,000 watts — which impacts the cost of operating the unit. The energy cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh), the climate and the maintenance schedule also determine the monthly operating costs.

Is a Hot Tub a Good Investment?

Whether they are in-ground or above-ground, hot tubs that are regularly maintained and cared for can be a good investment for homeowners — both financially and physically.

The benefits of a hot tub or spa are numerous: You can unwind after a long day, connect with friends over a few drinks in a bubbly spa or just enjoy the therapeutic relief for sore muscles and tension. You might even find that your home — or, more specifically, the backyard hot tub — becomes a popular outdoor gathering spot.

Since we’re all home now more than ever, being prepared for unexpected home repairs with a plan from HomeServe is important. Having a plan in place gives you peace of mind knowing that you can simply call our 24/7 repair hotline for covered breakdowns. See what plans are available in your neighborhood.