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Hot Tubs vs. Swimming Pools vs. Swim Spas... Which Is Right For Your Family?

A guide to the similarities and differences between hot tubs, swimming pools and swim spas.

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and create your own backyard oasis, but where to start? Hot tubs, swimming pools and swim spas can all make great additions to your backyard space, but each has their own pros and cons. We are going to compare these three products and help you to have a better understanding of which would work best for you and your family.

Hot Tubs

hot tub on deck

Price

Of the three options, hot tubs are the cheapest and easiest to purchase and install. Prices can be as low as a few thousand dollars for a smaller, more basic model, but can range upwards of $20k for a larger model with more high end features.

Space

Hot tubs are great for small yards, patio spaces or even indoors. Some hot tub models are as small as for just two people, so they can fit in almost any space. Due to their small size, the delivery process for a hot tub is quite easy. Usually they can be moved with just a few people and little to no equipment. For a tighter fit, there may need to be some equipment, such as a crane, or slight modifications to the property such as widening a doorway or fence opening. Even with these special situations, hot tub delivery can still be performed in a matter of hours. 

Installation

Hot tubs also come with the easiest hookup and some models can even be run on 110V which means they can be plugged into a regular household outlet. Of course, if you choose to run a hot tub from a standard outlet, you will likely have to compromise on some features and power.

Customization

Hot tubs come in a variety of shapes, colors and seating patterns, but keep in mind that these options are still limited and only so much can be customized. You can however customize the area surrounding the hot tub to suit your style and needs if you would like to. This can be in the form of landscaping, decks, patios and more. 

Activities

Another potential downside with hot tubs is there are not many activities outside of lounging and relaxing. A hot tub may be a great option for older adults or people looking to host social gatherings.

Swimming Pools

swimming pool

Price

Swimming pools are a hugely customizable backyard project. However, with this customization comes the largest space requirements and highest price point. Inground pools can cost over $100k USD depending on features and upgrades.

Space

Due to their customizability, swimming pools can be practically any size. You may have some limitations with local regulations, so it is important to make sure you are following the guidelines. 

Installation

The timeline for swimming pool installation is also the longest and can take weeks or even months to complete. Swimming pools also require the most equipment and you may need to spend extra time and money to clean up the rest of your yard once construction is complete.

Customization

Swimming pools can be built entirely to your specifications, depending on the type of pool. Fiberglass pools have less customizability, but have unmatched durability. With concrete and vinyl liner pools, your pool can be built to practically any shape, size or depth. You can also select from a wide variety of liners or tile and stonework to compliment your pool's shape. 

Activities

Swimming pools are very versatile and can be used for exercise, relaxing or hosting parties. Pools may be a great option for families with small children or people looking to host a lot of events.

Swim Spas

Price

Swim spas  are a very versatile product that can range in price from around $20k to over $60k depending on the size, brand and features. This price point puts them in between a hot tub and a pool, while combining many of the key features of both of these products. 

Space

Swim spas are a great option for people who are looking to swim laps, but do not have the space for a swimming pool. Swim spas can be under 15’ in length which makes them great options for small yards, but also can be upwards of 20’ for larger spaces.

Installation

The timeline for getting a swim spa can be very quick. The prep work is minimal with having a concrete pad laid and scheduling an experienced electrician for hook up. Once your swim spa has been delivered, you can be using it within a day's time. 

Customization

Swim spas have some degree of customizability between models with colors, sizes and features. Swim spas can come with or without a designated lounge area. As with hot tubs, the area around your swim spa can be designed to elevate your backyard space. 

Activities

Swim Spas combine some of the best features of both hot tubs and swimming pools. Swim spas with a lounge area allow one person to use the swim jets and exercise while one or more people can relax and use the massage jets and seating.

In Summary

Hot tubs, swimming pools and swim spas each are great additions to your backyard oasis and, while they have many similarities, they each provide unique benefits. Take the time to do some research and speak with your local backyard products dealer about which product is best suited for you and your family. Whichever you choose is sure to make a splash!

swim spas for sale

Have Questions About Hot Tubs, Swimming Pools or Swim Spas?

The team at Custom Backyard Spaces is here to help! Call  919-444-8500 or fill out the form below to speak with a member of our team today!

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