In-Ground vs. Portable Hot Tub: What Are the Differences?

In-Ground vs. Portable Hot Tub
In-Ground vs. Portable Hot Tub

There is nothing that quite matches the relaxing and soothing feeling of lounging in a hot bubble bath after a long and tiring day. A hot tub is a luxury that if you do decide to invest in can have numerous enjoyable health benefits. A hot tub or a home spa can be a retreat right in your backyard and can make for the excellent unwinding of mind and body. It can also become the heart of any party. Whether you plan to use a hot tub yourself or entertain family and friends the benefits of owning one are countless, and it is definitely a luxury that is worth every penny that you spent on it.

While the decision to purchase a hot tub, whether an in-ground one or a portable option, is great there are numerous factors that one needs to be well versed in before adding an item to your home. Hot tubs, especially in-ground spas can be quite expensive, before the acquisition of such an item, you need to be aware of what you are getting into, can you maintain one? Would like the visual of such a thing in your yard? Would you make a separate space for it? Etc. These are just some of the questions that you need to understand and know the answer to be aware of.

The market is flooded with a wide variety of both portable and in-ground hot tub options. Both options will be discussed at length to make you understand which one is best for you and most importantly what to look for to make your purchase worth your while. Essentially, there are two main types of hot tubs; an in-ground spa which is immovable and has a more permanent installation and a portable hot tub which is movable, less expensive and doesn’t last as long as an in-ground spa. Ultimately, you will decide which option fits perfectly in your space and your lifestyle. An informed decision is the best kind, and the following details will make you an expert on all matters, “hot tub.”

The Essential Differences between a Hot-Tub and an In-Ground Spa


The differences of construction between an in-ground spa and a hot tub are substantial. In most cases, the portable tub is a free-standing unit that offers mobility; it can be deflated and taken on a vacation if need be. The common materials used in the construction of a portable hot tub are acrylic, thermoplastic, vinyl and fiberglass. Some of the materials are more durable than others and can even offer ten years to the consumer under proper care. However, the life of a portable tub cannot be compared to that of the in-ground spa.

The interior of the tub is hard due to the aforementioned materials, and the exterior is pre-fabricated. The second tier of construction in a portable tub consists of an outer cabinet that surrounds the interior to safeguard the three mechanisms of a portable hot tub:

  • The in-built plumbing
  • eercast
    The filtration system
  • eercast
    The electrical setup

These systems offer temperature modulation, insulation and bubble jets to the tub.

The decision to opt for an in-ground tub or spa is trickier because it will alter its surroundings and there can be no second thoughts after. The in-ground spa is constructed by utilizing poured concrete and steel rebar. While the name might be misleading, but it is not necessary that a permanent tub is submerged in the ground, some options can be constructed from the ground-level up. A submerged spa construct can be more time consuming than one that is constructed on ground level.

The costs and the nature of the installation become difficult. The reason for the name is the permanent nature of the construction. The construction requires a change of landscape and plumbing and electrical wire networks are laid underground. The design of an in-ground spa caters to its surroundings by enhancing its beauty or by becoming a part of the natural landscape. A superior design can really change the façade of a home by the installation of the in-ground spa. People who can afford to tend to have an added element of a swimming pool as well.

The Price Tag

In-ground hot tubs are far more expensive as opposed to the portable ones; the cost of installation and functioning requires on-ground construction, high labor costs, design cost and technical cost that usually include charges by an electrician and a plumber. In-ground hot tubs are definitely not something that the average person would ever opt for due to the high price tag associated with acquiring this luxury. However, if you truly invest in the latest model of a portable hot tub and include all accessories and amenities the portable hot tub can cost the same too. Things like custom built decking and water jets are very costly and can make a simpler in-ground hot tub installation seem cheaper. If you are in the process of having an in-ground pool being constructed the cost of merging that construction with an extended in-ground hot tub can become quite cheap. In fact, an adjoining, in-ground option might be more economical than a high-end portable hot tub.

The Competition of Ergonomics

The introduction of portable hot tubs has offered better and more enhanced ergonomics as compared to in-ground constructions. The materials being used to construct the portable hot tub, such as acrylic and thermoplastic, offer a variety of seating options. Even the water jets are more enhanced and offer greater health benefits as opposed to an in-ground option. The seating options of an in-ground hot tub are limited; two levels of seating are offered with one at the midriff and another at calf level. The bench seat range which offers less powerful water jets is not as appealing as some of the options offered in top of the line portable models. However, paying the extra buck can truly pay off when constructing an in-ground hot tub, latest technology has made it possible to have specialized jet seats within in-ground options as well. Some seats can be installed on-site. Not only are these seats contoured, but they also offer a similar level of water jets to that of an expensive portable model.


Here is an aspect where the portable hot tub easily outshines the in-ground options. Not only does the portable version offer more portability, but they are also very easy to set up and/or assemble. Since the portable options have no plumbing set up required, no labor costs and pretty much everything is built in; no amount of hard work or time goes into planning, construction, and installation.

The only demanding decision with a portable hot tub is which part of the backyard it will look best in and if it is being used indoors, then which area would be best for it. Hot tubs are permanent, and that aspect makes the entire process of installation of one to be taken very seriously considering the amount of money that is funneled into this luxury project. The costs, the planning, and the construction can take up many months before the in-ground hot tub is ready for use. Portable tubs are ready to be used within a few hours of delivery, even quicker, depending on the quality of the tub.

At the end of the day, these essential aspects must be factored before purchasing a hot tub. Whether you are going to invest for the short term or long term depends entirely on your immediate future plans. If you are living on rent or have plans of changing or selling your house in the near future, an in-ground hot tub would be wasted effort. It all depends on what the buyer has in mind.

Part 1: All You Need to Know for Setting up a Portable Hot Tub or Spa

In-Ground vs. Portable Hot Tub

Portable Hot tubs are, on average, cheaper than in-ground hot tubs but the sheer variety available in the market can be confusing. While some expensive models are in a class of their own, not everything with a glittery price tag is gold.

Cross-Sectional View of Portable Hot Tubs

Portable hot tubs are factory manufactured and tend to be available in a round or square shape. The structure of a tub is both freestanding and movable. The majority of manufacturers construct the interior like hard shells utilizing materials like vinyl, acrylic or thermoplastics. The quality of materials used can affect the price bracket of a hot tub. There are a variety of colors and sizes available. There is a multitude of outlooks; from smooth and glossy finishes to patterned and textured exteriors. Some companies even offer custom-made finishes that resemble marble or granite. These days, earthy tones are quite popular. Some of the more prevalent color schemes are oceans, sand tones, and even a “mother nature” color combination. Decorative styles can be customized to suit the setting of the hot tub, or it can be moved or placed against a background that compliments the tub and vice versa.

Companies that specialize in fabrication construct hot tubs and units that are sold to certified dealers across the states. Dealers are responsible for arranging installation and delivery, whether it is backyard or indoor. If one was to dissect the construction of a hot tub, it can be divided into two major parts in terms of its making; the interior shell and the outer cabinet. The shell can never be compromised on, it is a vital component of the tub, and it is the quality of the interior that determines the life, strength, and durability of the tub. Whether a tub’s interior can withstand chemical exposure like cleaners depends on the purity of the materials used. Many manufacturers sell cheaper tub but with substandard fabrication that will serve two to three seasons at best. For the sanitation of the tub it is important that the tub is able to stand its own when exposed to harsh conditions like temperature extremities and chemical exposure; especially chlorine for sanitation.

The main purpose of an outer shell is to protect and conceal the internal wiring and connections. The cabinet is a major factor in your décor; it is not a trivial matter because while the tub might feel great when you are in it. If the exterior is not appealing it will just be an eyesore. So, make sure that whatever you purchase becomes a part of your outdoor setting and not an odd element.

There are cheaper models on the market that are inflatable as well. These models can range from $40-$500. Luxury portable hot tubs with fine construction and a full set of features are anywhere between, 3,000 to 12,000 dollars. While this range might seem a lot to most folks with a lower budget, the inflatable hot tub variety can offer a cheaper alternative within the portable options.

According to the materials used, size and the amenities a tub offers, then the prices may vary. However, there are some great buys on the market that give excellent value for the money. Research is key, so survey the market; go through different reviews, before setting your heart on any particular model. When purchasing try to always opt for a manufacturer’s warranty of at least five years. Durable construction must be able to give this much time before any issues arise.

1) Materials Used in Cabinets

Companies recognize the visual sway of a “good-looking” cabinet, and so they offer an assortment of materials and finishes to doll up the outlook of the hot tub exterior. The standard materials used for the construction of the cabinet are either natural wood, like cedar, redwood, or mahogany. However, the more affordable and popular materials in the market right now are manmade composite materials like polymers or plastics. These plastics can be used to give the cabinets a “faux wood” appearance.

While the beauty and look of a fine natural wood finish can never be matched and it makes for a combo of splendor and relaxation the maintenance can be a demanding job. Prolonged exposure to sunlight tends to damage the wood glean and shine. To give the exterior a long life regular refinishing and proper upkeep is required. While a few people might be willing to take on the challenge a lot of folks just want a hassle free hot tub that takes little time to clean and has very low maintenance needs. Since the need of the hour is for synthetic exteriors that are sturdy and resilient. Both hot tub clientele and companies are going the synthetic route because it simply makes more sense.

The combination of UV resistant thermoplastics copies the look of stone, marble, and wood with ease, while the upkeep is hassle-free. There are plenty of options on the market that offer a more durable, easy cleaning tub body as opposed to wood. There is no need to worry about the environment because these materials are eco-friendly and do not require the wastage of mature, precious cedar or redwood trees.

2) The Making of the Shells

The most popular material for the construction of the interior is acrylic. The reason most companies opt for it is because acrylic offers a wide range of colors and patterns that make the integration of a portable hot tub within a pre-existing décor’ quite easy. The best way to know the strength of the construction is by checking the thickness of the acrylic used to line it.

Usually, the stronger the shell, the more strength it offers and can support greater weight without being damaged. While the strength of the tub doesn’t come from acrylic alone, the understructure that is covered by the cabinet is what really makes the hot tub ready to handle the weight and contain copious amounts of water.

The understructure can be constructed with fiberglass as that is the most durable when it comes to providing strength and longevity to the tub. Another option for companies is high-density polyurethane foam—this is also a very strong material and can easily maintain the structural integrity of the hot tub.

However, like most manufacturing operations, the best is not always best for profit. Many companies opt for a cheaper alternative for making the shell; vinyl. This choice makes vinyl hot tubs amongst the cheapest in the market. While this material makes the luxury of a hot tub appear accessible the drawback of vinyl shell is its weakness; it can be easily damaged. It doesn’t do well when pitted against chemicals; even the wrong pH level of water can affect the vinyl shell.

Another cousin in the plastic family is thermal plastic, and while it beats vinyl, it is still pretty easy to damage. Thermal plastics have a tendency towards discoloration, especially when exposed to improper pH-levels in water. Thermal plastics can change color due to rust as well as disinfectants. Clearly water levels are a key factor when you have a vinyl or a thermal plastic hot tub. So, try to invest in a good shell material hot tub to assure that you don’t have to guard the water pH levels at all times.

3) Hot Tub Features and Accessories

The seats of hot tubs are comfortable and depending on the design and need; seats come in therapeutic to lounge styles giving more room to play with a variety of features in portable hot tubs. Hot tubs can have up to 160 jets with the majority having adjustable controls for intensity, speed, and direction of the jet spray. Some of the high-end tubs have great lighting as well as unique massage action features to really create that luxurious experience you are looking for, especially after a long day of work. Hydrotherapy is the major principle behind the amenities offered within a portable hot tub.

Benefits of a Portable Hot Tub

In-Ground vs. Portable Hot Tub

1) Mobility

A key benefit of portable hot tubs is just that—their movability. The installation is swift and easy; the hot tub can be placed anywhere, provided there is ample space. The prerequisite for a hot tub especially if you are placing it indoors is that the floor is strong enough to handle the weight of a hot tub in the long run without damaging the flooring. The weight will only increase with water and then people in it.

However, no need to worry because that’s the great thing about a hot tub, you can always take your relaxation to the backyard.

An average hot tub weighs roughly 400 to 700 pounds without water, so be very sure that your floor can handle it without any maintenance catastrophe.

2) Seats of Comfort

The average hot tub can seat four to six people with the larger varieties having the capacity of up to twelve people. The competition is stiff; every manufacturer boasts of comfort and functionality. There are hot tub models that have seating adjustments at different levels to cater to everyone from children to tall adults.

3) Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy and the soothing impact that warm water has on aching muscles is well known since ancient times. Water jets create the necessary force that aids in reducing anxiety and stress. The “hydro-massaging” that happens in a hot tub can really improve health and has numerous other benefits. Some hot tubs have hydro-massage jets that generate a potent water stream for a deeper massage for the alleviation of muscle strain. Other precision jets are designed to copy the motion of a finger massage by directing smaller jet streams of water to sore or tender spots.

4) Economic and Simple Operation

Portable hot tubs are very easy to operate, even a child could do it (doesn’t mean they should!) and they are economical as well. Thanks to humanity’s incessant desire to pursue all kinds of ridiculous amenities, a portable hot tub has everything from color-changing LEDs to spa-mounted television sets with water-proof remotes.

The good thing about a hot tub is that you do not have to heat the water every time; after the very first heating, the insulation of the hot tub keeps the water warm. The average cost of running a hot tub per month is between 20-30 dollars; this is subject to change based on local electricity rates. The only real expense of maintaining a portable hot tub is water treatment.

Some tubs even offer a tub cover with the purchase of the hot water tub and this is a very practical accessory because it keeps the water warm, clean and also protects the tub from pollution and weather exposure.

Hot Tub Considerations

1) Form Restrictions

If you are a person who loves designs and a variety of forms, then the portable hot tub might not offer the huge variety you are looking to find. Since the portable hot tub is made in a factory, there is little to be experimented with in terms of design and décor. In-ground tubs have the freedom to be turned into whatever you want because everything is custom built from the get-go.

However, this does not mean that the portable hot tubs have no design variations; there are a number of colors and styles that are quite attractive. Portable tubs come in a variety of finishes like stone and wood. These finishes can give your tub a natural look, making it integrate well into the environment.

2) Functionality and Performance

Another major drawback of a portable hot tub is its life. Even under the best of care, the shell or acrylic lining can separate itself from the fiberglass understructure; this is called delamination. Guarantees are pretty much the maximum life of the tub. So, try to opt for a manufacturer who offers a security of at least 8-10 years.

A good shell can be loyal for almost a decade if taken proper care of. However, poor and mixed materials interiors deteriorate faster and rarely cross the year mark. So do not buy a tub for a few dollars instead invest a few more to get yourself something worth the money you spend. Do remember to read the fine print from the manufacturer; you do not want to end up with a guarantee of the shell or the cabinet. For you to make the best of your purchase, it is important to have both parts of the tub covered.

3)Safety Issue

While the shell is smooth and comfortable for seating, it can also be hazardous because it can get slippery. While most adults might scoff this off as a strange concern. But, take heed because if tubs are being used by seniors and children, accidents can happen. To avoid issues you must install grab bars or purchase a hot tub with built-in ones.

4) A Short Life

It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on the purchase and upkeep of your portable hot tub, in the end, the life expectancy of a hot tub is lower than that of an in-ground tub. At best, you are looking at 10-15 years with a portable hot tub. Some people have pushed the limits of the material by making it last longer, but, time is precious, a commodity that most people do not have these days. So a safe bet is that the hot tub will not be so well taken care of that it last longer than it can.

Everything You Need to Know about In-Ground Spas

In-Ground vs. Portable Hot Tub

Now that we have extensively covered all our bases when it comes to portable hot tubs let’s move onto the more traditional in-ground hot tub or spa. The in-ground spa is usually constructed out of concrete, and everything from the shape to the amenities it offers can be customized to the exact taste of the client. It is important to remember that while the hot tub offers mobility and has short life expectancy, the in-ground spa can last a lifetime and it changes the environment, landscape, and lifestyle of the person opting to invest in it. While both options offer their own brand of fun and entertainment, an in-ground spa offers terrific benefits by adding both beauty and value to your home.

It is common for people that opt to have a swimming pool built to have an attached in-ground hot tub-built side by side. This substantially reduces the cost and labor of the project. But, this is not a must; you can have an in-ground hot tub with or without a swimming pool. The therapeutic benefits of an in-ground spa are plenty, and since you are looking at a lifetime amenity and it can be afforded, it is worth every dollar you spend.

Structural Anatomy of a Concrete, In-Ground Spa

The essential construction of an in-ground concrete spa is the same as that of an in-ground shotcrete-made swimming pool. A concrete spa is referred to as an in-ground spa. However, the name has more to do with the permanence of its creation, rather than an actual requirement. In-ground spas can be made in an elevated position and do not need to be underneath the ground.

Individual preferences can run wild here; there is plenty of room to be creative and add a structure that compliments the surroundings while being an embellishment for the landscape. Many people opt for features like spillways when they are having a pool and a hot tub construction done at the same time. In fact, spillways allow water from the hot tub to flow into the swimming pool creating a “natural haven” like feel to the entire setup.

Here, the in-ground hot tub is integrated within the pool’s monolithic structure. Since there is no mass production involved, there is no fixed formula and set pattern here. Since most structures rely on the client’s imagination, budget and penchant for creative luxury, no standardized formulas or mold can be set aside for the creation of an in-ground hot tub.

Every in-ground spa is different from the rest. However, the entire process takes place on site with similarities to the construction of a swimming pool.

The Materials and the Process

The materials that are utilized for the construction of an in-ground spa are either guinite or Shotcrete. These materials have been used in construction in the States for decades. Both these materials are an amalgam of cement and sand; definitely one of the strongest combinations in construction materials. While the percentages and cooking style can vary depending on the usage, the basic formula of the mix is the same. Thanks to the strength and durability of this combo, the skeleton of the structure is rock hard and the process to achieve this strong structure is the same for a pool or a hot tub. After a design and shape is decided the area is dug up (in most cases) and the excavation site looks like the shape of the hot tub design. The next step is the installation of rebar; a grid or complex of reinforcing steel bars to give permanence and strength to the structure. The final aspect of the basic construction is laying down the plumbing, the hydrotherapy features like the jets, are also added during this time.

Electrical amenities like LEDs and power supplies for heating are all done after the plumbing framework is laid. After everything is done, the application of guinite or shotcrete must begin. High-pressure air hoses are utilized to “pneumatically apply” the concrete. This step is critical for the longevity of the spa; a specialist of the material and the job must be hired for this step. The spray will be done over the rebar reinforcements.

Upon drying the concrete is a thick and impenetrable tough shell that cannot be damaged. Interior finishing comes next, most people go with the traditional marcite; a plaster that gives the glossy white outlook. However, experimentations with color quartz aggregate or novelty items like tiny colored pebble stones are in vogue at the moment.

The decorative aspect is full of possibilities with the exterior walls giving a rock-like feel or tiled to look like a modern swimming pool. A variety of other functional and design options are available for a concrete spa. After the basic body of the hot tub is ready, you can play dress up as much as you want. Adding fountains, disco lights, mosaic embellishments are not unheard of.

Pricing and Cost Analysis

If you are adding an in-ground hot tub to the construction of a swimming pool, the price is increased by 15 to 20 percent. Naturally, if this is not fixed, it can go either up or down based on the kind of amenities that are added to the spa structure. Some designs are easier to construct than others. If you are going for something truly elaborate and lavish than expect a like-wise price tag because this is an expensive business to begin with.

If the average cost of a pool is $40,000, a spa add-on will boost that cost by $6000 to $8000 on average. Since the amenities required for the in-ground hot tub are expensive, the price will probably go higher rather than lower. So, be very sure of your budget before you venture into such expensive territory.

Concrete Spa Advantages

In-Ground vs. Portable Hot Tub

Pre-fabricated hot tubs have many cool features that make them appealing but for anyone looking to get in the business of luxury for the long haul understands that hot tubs are short-term and if you are a homeowner; an in-ground tub just makes more sense, as an investment too. Here are a few benefits that a factory manufactured hot tub just cannot provide:

1) Perfect Synchronization with a Swimming Pool

If a homeowner has a penchant for luxury they will probably fuse their swimming pool with the original monolithic structure of their pool; this adds more value for money as the price of a spa is added to the cost of a swimming pool. Another reason for opting for this amenity is that it is always in perfect harmony with the swimming pool. It is a great idea, and in fact, it is recommended. The final look and aesthetic is something truly amazing to behold. Since the spa and the pool integrate to create an artificial spring-like ambiance, the work, time and money that goes into creating it is truly worth it.

Space is the only hindrance to an integrated pool and in-ground hot tub design. Some backyards are not as spacious and executing this scheme in a limited area can be problematic for the outlay of the location as well as the aesthetics of smaller yards. In such areas, a concrete spa alone can create a wonderful effect without congesting a pool too. In other cases, an in-ground hot tub may be installed separately from the pool at a side yard perhaps.

2) Real Added Value to Property and Lifestyle

An in-ground hot tub has a really long life and properly maintained amenities adds great value to your lifestyle and your property. Houses with built-in spas and swimming pools always have a higher market value. In real estate terms, such amenities pull in the best buyer. Consider the hot tub an investment, because, if you ever decide to sell your home will have a great price. As discussed before the construction is one that lasts a lifetime.

The final construction of an in-ground hot tub is no less resilient than a building. The structural guarantees for a spa start from 10 years. This type of warranty is given by average pool builders, well-known builders can offer a limited lifetime guarantee as well. Naturally, a factory-made hot tub does not compare to this kind of service and surety. In terms of enhancement, a spa falls under the category of home improvement, as it adds value to the home, literally.

3) Design and Decor Options

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and what your eye considers gorgeous can become a part of your in-ground tub. The freedom to express your sense of creativity when having a custom-made spa constructed is enough to drop the idea of an expensive, hassle-free portable option. If you put in the hours, you will have something truly amazing added to your home.

Design flexibility is just the beginning, your hot tub could look like a ladybug or a leaf if you want it to and that is just where the fun starts. You can have enhanced water jets, lights, mosaics, varying seating options, colorful tiles and pretty much anything that your heart desires for the project provided you are willing to spend for it. From the feel of a natural lagoon to the dusky look of an oriental finish, the room for play is plenty.

A few modern varieties have used glass on the exterior of the hot tub to give I a naked look and while it does look amazing earthy ceramic tiles and faux waterfall installations have the capacity to transform your spa into something out of a movie set. Added features like fountains and landscape enhancements around the hot tub ensure that the atmosphere coincides perfectly with your expectations and taste.

The Drawback of an In-Ground Hot Tub

1) Construction Time

The trouble with construction is the time it takes and the monitoring it requires. Not everyone has the time to take on a project to construct an in-ground hot tub, even if they have the budget. For people who can barely spare time from their busy work lives or only get the weekend are rarely passionate about spending it on planning, monitoring and allowing weeks of construction on their property.

While the idea might even be appealing to them, the sheer amount of effort and dedicated time might turn them away. The appeal of an expensive but a quick servicing portable hot tub might hold more appeal. All that requires is delivery and installation that might take up an afternoon in worst case scenarios.

While the major skeleton of an in-ground hot tub is the same, the shape, designing and the final look might take months to get just right. However, despite the duration, many homeowners attest to the fact that while the process was definitely no picnic, the final result was worth the effort.

2) Operation Costs

While it is common knowledge that a custom-made spa cost quite a lot to create as opposed to a portable hot tub what people often don’t factor in the long run is that it also costs more to operate too. From basic amenities like covers, electrical use and keeping it clean can cost quite a bit. While these expenses can be reduced when the spa is built integrated with the pool because then both amenities share the pump, heater, filter and the lighting network to a degree. Even the sanitizing technology can be shared by both installations.

In such a scenario, the maintenance is a slight add-on to that of the pool. However, an independent hot tub can require all of these systems individually and cost more in the long run. The expenditure from construction, setup, finishing, maintenance, and operation all cost more than the average portable hot tub. If you want to reduce your monthly costs of operation, opting for state-of-the-art and energy-efficient materials and equipment can be a good choice.

3) Heating

Heating and conserving it is difficult in an in-ground hot tub. The portable hot tub triumphs over here, as it is an excellent amenity when it comes to keeping water warm for longer and repeated usage. While covers for in-ground hot tubs are available the custom-shape, size usually hinder finding the perfect fit for the spa. The factory-made construction of the portable hot tub is a benefit here, because not only are their covers cheaper, the market is swamped with them.

Things become even more difficult if your spa is shaped like a ladybug or a leaf. Not only will no cover match the shape, a customized cover of this nature will be senselessly expensive.

4) Seating and Hydrotherapy

Portable hot tubs come with a variety of massage options that take hydrotherapy to another level. You should not expect the same level of technology or comfort from an in-ground hot tub. Typically, in-ground hot tubs have fewer seating options and water jets. While more variety is available, and your builder can take your spa to the next level, but that really stretches your budget more than you would like. Going the extra mile in the portable department is easier but with concrete spas to make dreams into reality requires more investment.

5) The Whopping Cost

The average installation cost of a portable hot tub can be anywhere between $150 and $800; the upper limit is for really sophisticated models that take more time to set up. However, custom-made spas have no real upper limit; the costs can be sky high for something truly customized. A little slice of heaven can cost an arm and a leg. An average pool costs $20,000-$40,000 without too much fuss or length; to have a customized spa is roughly equivalent to the cost of getting a small pool built.

Building an in-ground spa is not for everyone and neither can they afford to even if they wanted to. The costs are high, and the maintenance is equally costly and demanding. This option is not for people that don’t want to invest the time, energy and/or money on getting an out-door construction done.


At the end of the day, whether you opt for a cheaper or a more expensive portable hot tub, or blow away that college fund on something breathtakingly constructed in your backyard is entirely up to you. Just be aware of what you are getting into and opt for the best value for the money. When purchasing a portable hot tub, don’t buy something because it is expensive because you think it will be the best. Research and read reviews before investing your money into this kind of luxury item. Once you know what you want, you are then one step closer to soothing, bubbling bliss!

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