How Much Does An In Ground Hot Tub Cost (2023)

A hot tub is a luxurious addition to your home that allows you to relax in warm, circulating water. Until recently, a hot tub would be a raised structure that you’d have to step into. Now, many homeowners are opting to install in-ground hot tubs. Existing at the height of luxury, an in-ground hot tub allows for a spa-like experience in a setting similar to an in-ground pool. In this cost guide, we’ll focus exclusively on the in-ground hot tub costs that you can expect if you’re hoping to add this wonderful feature to your outdoor space.

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What Is an In-ground Hot Tub?

If you’re not familiar with this type of hot tub, it’s exactly as it sounds; it’s a hot tub that sits in the ground, just like an in-ground pool. Often, in-ground hot tubs have decking, stone, tile or some other architectural element surrounding them for a classy, upscale aesthetic. Unlike a regular hot tub, an in-ground structure should be planned more carefully, since it can’t be easily moved once it’s installed. Make sure you choose a spot that works year round. Then, plan to do some landscaping around your in-ground hot tub in order to effectively incorporate it into your space.

Types of In-Ground Hot Tubs

When you decide to install an in-ground hot tub, you’ll have two main options; prefab or custom. That’s exactly what you’d have to choose from for an above-ground hot tub. Below, we’ll take a look at the features of each.

Prefab

The first type of hot tub is a prefabricated hot tub. Prefabricated spas are an economical choice. Acrylic shells sell for anywhere from $3,000 to $12,000 or more. Plan on an extra cost of $3,000 to $5,000 for installation.

This type of hot tub is built in a factory and is most often made of a hard plastic called acrylic. Another popular prefab option is stainless steel. A prefab hot tub is only available in a few standard shapes, like square, kidney-shaped, or oval. If you purchase a prefab hot tub, there’s a good chance the plumbing will likely be included, and you’ll also get jets and lounging seats already built in.

Here’s a sample of in-ground hot tub costs for prefab units:

  • A three-person acrylic model can be found for about $3,000, with plumbing included. This price typically includes delivery, but not setup and installation.
  • A larger, 10-person model begins at around $5,000, not including setup or installation.

Custom

A custom hot tub is the other option you have when looking to purchase a hot tub. Here, your options are pretty much unlimited; you can have a hot tub designed any way you’d like. However, most have simple seating arrangements, such as bench seats, and fewer jets. Custom hot tubs are typically larger than prefab options.

Either of these types of hot tubs can be installed as an in-ground hot tub. Now, we’ll take a look at the in-ground hot tub cost.

How Much Does an In-ground Hot Tub Cost?

An in-ground hot tub will cost you more than an above-ground one, which is similar to the way pricing works for a pool. The average in-ground hot tub cost is between $5,000 to $15,000, plus $1,000 to $6,000 for installation. Part of the installation of this type of hot tub includes preparing the space; often, that will require excavation of some sort, which adds to the price. And if you’re planning to have decking or some other type of material surrounding the hot tub (a common option), you’ll pay more for that as well.

In-Ground Hot Tub Cost Factors

Aside from the cost of the hot tub itself, here are the main things you’ll pay for if you choose to install an in-ground hot tub.

Heating System

You’ll need a separate heating system for an in-ground hot tub. Possible sources include electric, propane or natural gas heat, so you’ll have to factor this into the in-ground hot tub cost. Some estimates indicate that an in-ground hot tub can add about $20 to $40 to your electric bill each month.

Propane comes from a tank and is typically paid for in full when the tank is filled, but be sure to factor in costs for installing and placing the tank. Estimates indicate this could cost as much as $1,000 up front, and completely separate from the cost of the hot tub, or the installation.

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THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT AND NOT EDITORIAL CONTENT. Please note that we do receive compensation for any products you buy or sign up to via this advertisement, and that compensation impacts the ranking and placement of any offers listed herein. We do not present information about every offer available. The information and savings numbers depicted above are for demonstration purposes only, and your results may vary.

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Contractor

You’ll need to select a reputable contractor that has experience with in-ground spa installation. A pool dealer is a great option. Ask the dealer or contractor you select if their work is guaranteed. Hot tub installation costs $175 to $5,000, depending on where you want to put it.

Electrician/Electrical Installation

The cost to wire a hot tub is $600 to $2,200 if you don’t have any electricity already running to the space where you’ll install your hot tub. Ask your hot tub dealer for details about the amount and type of electricity you’ll need for the model you choose.

Permits

Regardless of whether you live in the suburbs or the country, many cities and towns have permitting rules for permanent structures on properties. This is partially to ensure you don’t build over septic systems, wells or drain fields, and partially to ensure the safety and happiness of your immediate neighbors. Regardless, check with your local town hall about whether you need a permit for an in-ground hot tub. This can add between $25 and $100 to the in-ground hot tub cost.

Concrete Pad

You’ll need to have a concrete pad poured for an in-ground hot tub if you don’t already have one. After all, a hot tub can weigh up to 6,000 pounds when filled, and it’s imperative that it stays level. The cost to pour a concrete slab ranges from $4 to $8 per square foot, or $400 to $1,000.

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THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT AND NOT EDITORIAL CONTENT. Please note that we do receive compensation for any products you buy or sign up to via this advertisement, and that compensation impacts the ranking and placement of any offers listed herein. We do not present information about every offer available. The information and savings numbers depicted above are for demonstration purposes only, and your results may vary.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you install a hot tub on an uneven surface?

One of the biggest challenges involved with preparing a space for an in-ground hot tub is making it level. It’s absolutely imperative that a hot tub sit level; sure, the acrylic shell is strong, and built to hold thousands of pounds of water, but the water must be evenly distributed. Installing a hot tub on a slope can lead to cracks in the plastic shell, or the surrounding wood. However, some spaces are intentionally sloped for a variety of reasons.

If this is the case, you can build up the area with pavers (or remove pavers, if they’re causing the hot tub to sit at an angle), or use packed sand underneath to create a level surface. If you’re unsure, have your installation professional handle this part of the job as well.

What are the benefits of a hot tub?

There’s not much that’s more relaxing than the swirling heat of a hot tub. And there are many benefits you’ll enjoy from spending time in one. The heated water enhances circulation in your body, while the strong current produced by the jets can soothe sore muscles. Buoyancy from the water can ease a variety of conditions, like chronic pain, arthritis and injuries.

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