How much does an in-ground spa cost to install?

in-ground spa cost
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Whoever said the perfect pair doesn’t exist hasn’t seen a swimming pool and an in-ground spa sitting together. It’s rare to see one without the other. 

But before you begin planning your project you need to know how much it is going to cost. 

That’s what we are looking at in this blog. How much it costs to install an in-ground spa in Scotland (and the rest of the UK). Why they are more expensive than freestanding hot tubs. And what will change the price. 

Looking for hot tub costs? You might want to have a look here:


What is an in-ground spa?

An in-ground spa is the kind of thing that you would usually see beside a swimming pool in a hotel, gym or home pool. It is, in the ground (rather than free-standing, so you usually step down into it.

The only control accessible to the users is usually a button which turns the jets on (often on a timer so they turn off after 15 mins).

In-ground spas are plumbed in, similarly to a swimming pool. The heater, filtration system and pumps and not built-in like they are in a freestanding acrylic hot tub, and they are all housed in a small plant room to the side of the spa. Sometimes if it is part of a larger pool installation the swimming pool and spa plant room will be housed in the same room for easy access and maintenance. 

How much does an in-ground spa cost?

The short answer is that, as always, it depends, but an in-ground spa usually costs between £16,000 and £28,000 on average. 

£16,000 is usually the lower end cost for supply and installation, although the high end costs can go far beyond £28,000 depending on size and design options. But this price bracket will cover the average costs. 

Why are in-ground spas more expensive than hot tubs?

If you’ve been looking at hot tubs, then you might be wondering why in-ground spas seem much more expensive. And you’d be right to wonder. Hot tubs are between £2000 – £20,000, with an average cost of around £7,000 and £12,000. Which is substantially lower than in-ground spas which are between £16,000-£28,000 on average. 

The first things to note is that freestanding hot tubs are fully contained and built off site. By, that I mean that the plumbing, heating and filters are already installed and contained within the cabinet. This means that the installation time on hot tubs is very quick. The full installation takes a couple of hours to half a day. 

On the contrary, in-ground spas come in parts. The shell usually comes in one or two parts and placed into the available space. It then has to be plumbed in and piping run from the spa to the plant room. Then all the components including the heating, filtration and pumps have to be fitted and installed. Therefore, it takes a lot longer to install than a free-standing hot tub, which increases the price.

This leads to the second reason that in-ground spas are more expensive. As well as taking longer to install, they are more complex to install. While there is no specific qualification for swimming pool and spa engineers, it requires a mixture of electrical and plumbing qualifications in order to install an in-ground spa. More skilled work, you guess it, pushes up the price. You can’t just get anyone to do it. 

So, as well as taking longer to install, which of course costs more money. The materials are usually more substantial and require more skill and experience to install. 

Related content:


Why changes the price of an in-ground spa?

There are a couple of factors that you will need to decide on that will affect the cost of your in-ground spa installation. These are:

1. Type of material (acrylic vs tiles)

2. Filtration style (overflow vs skimmer)


Tiled vs acrylic in-ground spa

One of the the things that will affect your in-ground spa is what material it is made of. 

The two most common materials is acrylic or tiles. A like for like spa made out of tiles will be approx. 5k more expensive than it’s acrylic counterpart. 


Skimmer vs overflow in-ground spa

in-ground spasI’ve done a whole video and blog on overflow vs filtration pools and the information is pretty much the same. Essentially, overflow and skimmer are concerned with the filtration system. As they both offer different designs and routes of the water from spa to filtration. 

An overflow is also known as a deck level spa. The entire perimeter of the spa is surrounded by an overflow channel. The water line is level with the edge of the spa and overflows into this channel. This channel then leads into a balance tank, which then feeds into the filtration system. 

skimmer spa is also known as a freeboard spa. In this type of spa the water sits approx. 4 inches below the edge of the spa. So there is a gap between the top of the pool and the water. A device called a skimmer is placed into the spa shell, below the spa edge. The skimmer draws the surface water into it, along with any dirt and debris. And then passes this water through the filtration system, before it is pumped back into the in-ground spa. 

When it comes to price, what you need to know is that overflow is more expensive than skimmer for in-ground spas. So the lower end of that price bracket will be a skimmer in-ground spa. And the higher end will be an overflow in-ground spa.

Some properties, usually commercial, will not have a choice and will need to go for an overflow in-ground spa in order to meet filtration requirements. 

Related content:

In conclusion

The price of your in-ground spa will mainly be influenced by two things: tiled vs acrylic or skimmer vs overflow.

The lower end of the price bracket will usually be an acrylic, skimmer in-ground spa. Whereas the higher end of the bracket will likely be an overflow spa in either acrylic or tiles. 

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Debbie Ekins
Debbie Ekins
Eagle Leisure - Sales & Marketing Manager Mission = to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the best buying decisions. Fuelled by coffee (and naps). Explorer of Scotland and the world.
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