How Much Does It Cost to Install a Hot Tub?

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

Hot Tub Installation at a Glance

  • Hot tub cost: $2,000-$35,000 (CAD 2,600-CAD 46,000), range; $6,000 (CAD 7,800), average
  • Installation cost: $175-$5,000 (CAD 230-CAD 6,500)

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.

This May Also Interest You: How to Clean a Jetted Tub: 6 Steps to Bath-Time Bliss

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 this guide to installation costs.

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 Bob Vila, most hot tub models cost between $2,000 and $35,000 (CAD 2,600 and CAD 46,000), with the average unit costing $6,000 (CAD 7,800).

In terms of labor cost, Forbes says you can expect to pay $175 to $5,000 (CAD 230 to CAD 6,500) for installation, depending on how elaborate the design is. Above-ground hot tub installation typically costs between $300 and $1,600 (CAD 390 to CAD 2,100), according to HomeGuide.

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 $18,000 (CAD 23,500).

Do You Need an Electrician to Install a Hot Tub?

Hot tubs typically require either 110 volts or 220 volts of electricity. If you opt for 220 volts, 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 110-volt option and basic wiring, you can either do it yourself or hire a licensed contractor to do the job for you.

Cost Factors

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 cost roughly $3.20 per square foot (CAD 4.20) in materials for a 5-inch thick slab. If you hire a professional contractor to handle the job, you can expect to pay $4 to $8 (CAD 5 to CAD 10) per square foot.

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.

Expect to pay a professional between $150 and $500 (CAD 200 to CAD 650) for electrical installation if you have an existing circuit. Installing a new circuit and wiring in your hot tub is likely to cost between $800 and $1,600 (CAD 1,050 and CAD 2,100).

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 (CAD 650) for a simple umbrella shelter and go as high as $27,000 (CAD 35,000) for a custom wooden gazebo.

More Related Articles:

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?

According to Bob Vila, running a hot tub usually costs between $50 and $100 (CAD 65 to CAD 200) per month. However, energy-efficient and insulated hot tubs may cost less to run than more basic models. 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.