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There are a lot of misconceptions about the cost to install a swim spa. You may have heard that it can range from $10,000 to upwards of $30,000.
While somewhat accurate, this is a very general estimate, as the true costs will vary significantly depending on what type and size of swim spa you want.
In this article, I'll share some detailed quotes and cost breakdowns that will help you better understand what the total costs for installing a swim spa might be.
I'll also go over some important other costs associated with installing your own swim spa such as site prep, delivery, and of course the actual installation process (it's easy to forget about some parts of this).
In order to make an educated decision on whether or not installing a swim spa at home is right for you, you need to consider all the costs in detail—they can really add up if you're not careful to stay within budget!
The initial cost of a swim spa
Let's start with the cost of the swim spa itself. There are many different types and styles to choose from, so this is just an example that will give you an idea of what to expect from your own quote.
For context, the reason why it's so hard to find swim spa pricing online is because it's often set by dealers; not manufacturers. That means the price will vary depending on where you live (and may also be negotiable).
Be sure to check if any quotes you get are inclusive or not of any sales tax if that applies where you live—taxes can be a nasty surprise if you're not expecting them.
For comparison purposes, here is a rough guide based on quotes I've seen from some of the most popular swim spa brands:
|Master Spas||$20,000 to $50,000|
|Endless Pools||$20,000 to $60,000|
|Catalina||$15,000 to $30,000|
So, on the low end you can expect to pay around $15,000 and on the high end between $50,000 and $60,000.
The only manufacturer to actually publish pricing estimates online is Endless Pools. You can use their 3D Builder tool to select different models and play around with the options to see how this affects pricing:
That's me playing around with their E700 Fitness System 17' model.
A word of warning: if you see an unbranded swim spa online for under $10,000, it's probably going to be a cheaply made Chinese import that may not last long or function well. What's more, you won't have access to local support if anything goes wrong.
With such a large purchase, it's always a good idea to find a reputable dealer that has been around for several years, and buy a quality brand. That way you'll know if anything goes wrong with your swim spa, they can assist you in getting it fixed.
It's not worth sacrificing quality just to save money on the initial purchase!
Where you plan to install your new swim spa will have a big impact on the total cost of getting it delivered and installed.
For instance, if it's going to be placed a long way from the curb, anywhere without good access, or if it has to travel over difficult terrain, expect extra delivery charges to make sure it gets there safely.
Don't get discouraged if there isn't good access. That doesn't mean you can't install your swim spa there. Did you know around half of all swim spas are installed by crane?
So, many types of installation are possible; you just need to have an idea of what's going to be required so you can budget accordingly.
Some areas require a fence with a locking gate to be installed around any hot tub or swim spa. Be sure to check if this applies where you live, and add the cost of installing this onto your budget.
Of course, cost isn't the only factor that should go into where you position your swim spa.
Other (and arguably more important) considerations are the proximity to your water and electricity supply, whether or not it's overlooked by neighbors, and the overall convenience of the location—you should always optimize for use first and foremost.
Site prep for a swim spa
You have several options when it comes to placing your swim spa.
If you're planning to install a slab for your swim spa or want an in-ground installation, there will be significant site preparation costs that may add up to several thousand dollars. This is especially true if you need any ground excavated.
But believe or not, swim spa site prep doesn't have to cost a lot. The cheapest base option is usually a synthetic spa pad. These are made of plastic, so they are light, affordable, and are specifically designed to create a stable base for siting your swim spa.
Although these are mainly aimed at hot tubs, they are modular so you can just buy more sections and extend them to work for swim spas.
Regardless of which base you choose, the site needs to be smooth, level and clear of rocks or other debris, so be prepared to at least budget for this part.
Once you have the site area prepped and ready for installation, it will need to be leveled properly so that your new swim spa can sit flat and stable.
Site leveling is one of the most important parts of the process: you don't want your new swim spa sitting on an uneven surface or it could warp and damage the shell once filled with water! That would be a very expensive mistake—and usually not covered by warranty either.
Delivery and installation costs
In order to get an accurate quote from your local dealer, you should find out exactly what service they provide. Is delivery included in the price, will you have to pay extra? Do they just offer curbside delivery, or can they take care of the full installation process?
If it's just curbside, you'll need to hire movers separately, and coordinate them to turn up on installation day.
Before any of this takes place, you should walk the path from the road to the potential installation site, carefully measuring the width and angles and taking notes of any obstructions (either to the sides, or overhead).
Then, you should have someone from the moving or installation company check the site over too. They'll be able to advise you on if it is possible (they can spot things we can easily miss), how it will best be handled, and offer an exact quote for the entire process.
Additional costs to think about for installing your own swim spa
So, we've covered the initial purchase, the site prep, delivery, and actual placement of the swim spa. What else?
All swim spas need a 240V circuit with GFCI breaker, so that's the minimum requirement for your power. If you don't have one already metered into the home electrical panel (from an old hot tub installation, perhaps), you'll need to factor in the cost of having one installed.
For a typical installation, you can plan on spending around $500 for this process, but it can go into the thousands in some cases.
If the breaker panel is far away from where you want to site your swim spa, it will be more—especially if the path there is long and includes any obstructions. It's also likely to be more expensive in high-cost-of-living areas.
Swim spa maintenance isn't really an installation cost, but it is an ongoing cost! Whichever model you buy, your swim spa will come with an extensive list of chemicals that need to be purchased in order to properly maintain it.
It is worth nothing that you need to add chemicals to balance the water when you first fill it before you can use the spa, so it's still a good idea to have that cost in mind from the word go.
I also have a detailed article on how to get started with all the chemicals. It's for hot tubs, but the same principles apply.
Last but not least, don't forget about accessories: they can really make or break your experience of your new swim spa, so you should definitely consider which ones might be worth it for you.
You'll definitely want a cover to keep out bugs and debris, as well as lock in heat. You will probably get one with the purchase that's custom-fitted to your model, but if not, a swim spa cover can cost upwards of $1,000.
There's also steps, handrails, lighting, cleaning gear, filters, and more. These are all essential parts of your swim spa experience!
Then there's the things you can put around the swim spa to make it a little more aesthetically pleasing—especially important if you plan to use it for fun or relaxation as well.
Things like tables for drinks, storage for towels or chemicals, speakers (if your swim spa doesn't have these integrated) or even tiki torches are all firm favorites. I talk about some quirky (and some practical) ideas for accessories in the post linked above.
Final thoughts on the cost of installing a swim spa at home
The cost of installing your own swim spa can vary from around $10,000 to upwards of $30,000 depending on what you want. But while cost is an important factor, don't be tempted to sacrifice quality for price—it won't be worth it in the long run.
Most importantly: before you buy, do your research and find an established dealer that offers a good warranty and has a reputation for selling high quality products and equipment. Remember, every swim spa comes with its own manufacturer's warranty too, so read it carefully to know exactly what is covered under the terms.
The total cost will depend on how elaborate you choose to be when designing your backyard for your new swim spa, but know that once the installation is done, it'll all be worth it when you're enjoying the ultimate in home workouts, hydrotherapy, and relaxation in one!