How Much Do In-Ground Hot Tubs Cost?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your piece of paradise? What a better way to relax than to have your in-ground hot tub right in the comforts of your grounds. It’s like having access to your paradise every single day!

Nowadays, many put a premium on relaxation to relieve stress. Aside from providing relaxation, an in-ground hot tub, also termed as spa or jacuzzi, is used for hydrotherapy and socialization.

In-Ground Hot Tubs Average Cost


The hot tub unit can either be prefabricated or custom-built.

A prefabricated hot tub shell, readily available from local dealers/manufacturers online or in brick and mortar showrooms, can cost from $6,000 for a basic type to as much as $18,000 for a high-end type.

Basic installation can be done by a professional installer or can be DIY-ed.

Most dealers install the hot tubs themselves and charge additionally depending on the design, features, and size of the unit bought as well as the location of the home and the placement of the tub in the home. Many dealers also provide guides for a step-by-step DIY installation.


A custom-built in-ground jacuzzi costs’, on the other hand, would depend on the specifications of the tub. The project includes the custom-built tub and its installation. It would be best to consult a professional contractor to get an estimate. It is said to be as expensive as a mini-pool because of some similarities.


The quoted range for the hot tub covers only the prefabricated unit. The two other necessary cost items, the installation and site preparation have their cost drivers, many of which are site-specific. The site preparation include excavation, plumbing, and for dedicated electrical lines.

Whether you’ve chosen prefabricated or custom-built, the total investment for the project is primarily driven by the same factors. The one-time upfront expenses of an in-ground hot tub include the hot tub, installation, and of site preparation.


Other Expenses to Consider

Since in-ground hot tubs need to be installed, buying the tub itself doesn’t end your expenses just yet. Unless you have bargained with the supplier to include installation in the packages, of course, at an added price, then you have to take care of the project yourself. And this includes the following:

  • Installation fee – hiring an outside service to install your hot tub is the more viable option when you cannot secure the service of the hot tub’s supplier. The typical cost would range from $150 to $500 depending on your choice of contractor and the type of hot tub you purchased.
  • Equipment – crane is sometimes necessary to install in-ground hot tubs. If that’s the case, you would most like spend around $300 for it.
  • Permits – like most construction projects, a construction permit would also be required, the cost of which depends on the area of residence.


 Aside from the upfront and installation, consider the following recurring costs:

  • Additional electricity

An energy-efficient hot tub will add, on the average, $20 to the monthly electricity bill. Of course, the more often the hot tub is used, the more electricity it will consume.

  • Additional water

A hot tub is like a mini-pool. So, it will mean more use of water for the household. There is, however, no need for daily water replacement since there are filters and chemicals available to ensure that the water in the tub remains clean for a period.

Some high-end units even have their built-in water care system. Thus, the additional water cost is expected to be minimal.


The Break Out Calculator gives the formula on how often to change the water in a hot tub.

  • Maintenance

The tub’s filters should have regular checking, cleaning and replacing, if necessary. The water should also have periodic treatment using sanitizer or oxidizers.

  • Increase in insurance premium due to increased liability

Having an in-ground hot tub installed in the yard may affect the insurance premium of the home. It is best to consult a home insurance company regarding this.

Buying Tips

In-ground hot tub costs can be considerable. It is no ordinary household buying decision. It is best for a homeowner to do some research before making a decision.


There are many available options for an in-ground hot tub. Immerspa and Bullfrog Spas both offer various types and sizes of prefabricated hot tubs for in-ground installation. Both offer installation services but also provide DIY information for in-ground installation.

Custom Built Spas, on the other hand, sells an instructional package with free personal coaching for those interested in learning how to build their custom hot tub.

Often, sites of companies selling prefabricated hot tub shells or customizing spas offer free quotations to interested buyers. This feature requires certain information from the interested buyers as well specifications regarding the intended purchase. Interested buyer receives the quotation via email. You may fill the below form to get quotes.

For those interested in prefabricated hot tubs, some dealers offer would-be-buyers a chance to wet test or test soak a tub provided they bring a bathing suit and towel.

Factors That Matters

The following are the in-ground spa costs drivers:

Design, Size, and Materials

  • Prefabricated hot tub shells come in various shapes and sizes. The tub can be round, oval, rectangular, square or kidney-shaped. The smallest size can accommodate two persons while the readily available bigger size can accommodate up to fifteen persons. Lower-end types are made of vinyl while the high-end types made of either acrylic, fiberglass or other non-corrosive materials.


  • Not all prefabricated hot tubs are for in-ground installation. Most prefabricated hot tubs are for above ground installation, also known as portable. Prefabricated tubs for above ground installation cost cheaper than those for in-ground installation.
  • Custom-built hot tubs, on the other hand, are preferred by those who want their design and size. The material used is gunite, a type of concrete.
  • While prefabricated tub shells are readily available, custom-built tubs are expected to take longer to build.


Also to be considered is the brand of the hot tub. Certain brands are more expensive than others because they are known for the quality of their hot tubs. Often, they give the better warranties and service agreements. Thus, adding to the value of the hot tubs.



What sets a hot tub apart from a bath? It’s the water jets. Water jets provide the massage feature offered by hot tubs. The prefabricated hot tubs available differ in the number of jets and how powerful they are.

Nowadays, however, more and more innovative features are available to discerning would-be spa owners. The additional features available are:

  • Energy-efficiency feature
  • State of the Art Control Panel
  • Advanced jet system
  • Powerful but silent pumps
  • Premium water care system
  • Water features such as a waterfall
  • LED lighting system
  • Audio entertainment system
  • Connectivity or Wi-Fi feature
  • Longer Warranty Periods and Service Agreements


The more features a hot tub has, the higher would be the price of in-ground jacuzzi. Tubs with additional features may also increase installation charges.

Unexpected Fees

If the prefabricated hot tub or the contractor for the custom-built tub is not available locally, it spells out additional money.

What Else You Need to Know

The popularity of hot tubs is because of the increasing health benefits it brings: Soaking in a hot tub:

  • Helps you relax and unwind.
  • Helps you sleep better.
  • Helps improve your blood circulation.
  • Helps ease your arthritis.
  • Helps lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Helps relieve your pain.


To help owners decide in having an in-ground hot tub, some dealers of hot tubs offer financing options also termed as spa loans. This option provides buyers with affordable monthly installments to purchase the prefabricated hot tubs.

Lest you forget, the work required for the site preparation as well as the installation of the in-ground hot tub will require a building permit and inspection. Make sure to have the requirements and abide by the regulations before any ground works.

Also available at Amazon is a necessary accessory for the tub, the Leaf Net. The net will protect the tub from falling leaves and dirt. It will also lessen cleaning time and to have more time to relax in hot tub.

Nowadays, relaxation is no longer a luxury but a need. The ROI (Return on Investment) of in-ground spa are its many health benefits aside from relaxation. So, go ahead and have that in-ground hot tub. Make relaxing a part of your lifestyle. You deserve it!


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