Before you decide which model of hot tub you’d like to get and where you’re going to place it, you first need to answer one simple question: in-ground or above-ground?
To help you make your decision, we’ll go over the advantages (and disadvantages) of both so you can choose the best option for you.
In-Ground Hot Tub Pros and Cons
In-ground hot tubs are like typical in-ground swimming pools. Rather than resting on top of the ground, their rim is flush with it. This means that you could step straight from your lawn into the hot tub without climbing over anything.
Plus, in-ground hot tubs have the ability to blend into and enhance your landscaping, and can serve to raise your property value in the long-run.
Unlike above-ground spas, though, which can be installed quickly and almost anywhere, in-ground hot tubs require a bit more work.
After all, you’ll need to carve out a hot tub-sized hole in your yard, as well as run plumbing and electrical lines to and from the hot tub in a safe manner. This kind of work won’t come cheap and can’t be rushed.
Additionally, in-ground hot tubs can be a safety hazard without the proper precautions. So, you’ll need to ensure that you keep safety as a top priority, and that your in-ground hot tub is fully compliant with your area’s laws and regulations.
In summary, the pros of in-ground hot tubs include:
- Effortless entry: Just step into the hot tub and you’re done. No climbing or clambering required.
- Aesthetically pleasing: In-ground hot tubs can be a beautiful addition to your landscaping and will give your backyard a luxurious look.
On the other hand, the cons of in-ground hot tubs include:
- Difficult, costly installation: Whether you’re installing an in-ground hot tub on its own or as part of a pool, installation will take time and money.
- Safety issues: In-ground hot tubs pose safety risks that above-ground ones do not. You’ll need to make sure that you’ve taken safety into account and that your hot tub is legally compliant.
Above-Ground Hot Tub Pros and Cons
Above-ground hot tubs are probably what come to mind when you think of hot tubs. Rather than being sunken into the ground like a swimming pool, they sit on top of the ground like a large (and bubbly) bathtub.
One of the biggest benefits of above-ground hot tubs are their cost and easy installation. Since they don’t require you to dig up your yard or run special plumbing lines, they can be installed quickly and easily. This translates to less money out of your pocket.
Plus, above-ground hot tubs are safer than their in-ground counterparts, especially for pets and children. They’re not as easy to fall into, and don’t usually require as many safety measures (though you should check with your local permits office to make sure).
However, above-ground hot tubs are more difficult to seamlessly integrate with your landscaping. That’s why additions like gazebos and enclosures are popular with above-ground hot tub owners.
Additionally, some people may find it difficult to climb in and out of an above-ground hot tub, especially if they’re elderly, injured or have a condition like arthritis.
In short, the pros of above-ground hot tubs include:
- Easy, low-cost installation: All you’ll need is a simple hot tub base for it to sit on, as well as a 110V or 220V electrical outlet.
- Safety: Unlike in-ground hot tubs, above-ground hot tubs are less likely to be fallen into. This makes them an excellent choice for people with children or pets.
The cons of above-ground hot tubs include:
- Climbing in/out: Above-ground hot tubs need to be climbed in and out of, which can be difficult for some people. However, a set of spa steps can help solve this problem.
- Don’t integrate as well with landscaping: Depending on their design, above-ground hot tubs can stick out from pre-existing landscaping. That’s why many owners choose to install additional hot tub decorations.
Which Is Right for You?
So, should you purchase an in-ground or above-ground hot tub? It all comes down to your personal preferences.
You’ll likely be happy with an in-ground hot tub if you:
- Don’t mind the extra cost and time associated with in-ground installation.
- Want your hot tub to blend seamlessly with your landscaping.
- Want a hot tub that’s easy to enter and exit.
- Are willing to install extra safety features if needed.
On the other hand, an above-ground hot tub is probably the right choice if you:
- Don’t want to deal with a costly, time-consuming installation.
- Want a hot tub that’s safer for kids and pets to be around.
- Don’t mind climbing in and out of your hot tub.
- Are willing to add additional decorations to help your hot tub blend in with landscaping.
Whether you choose an in-ground or above-ground model, you’re sure to love your new hot tub as long as you keep the above considerations in mind.