Jun 162014

Hot Tub Pricing…Kids in Hot Tub

Entry Level “cheap and basic” spas  $2,500-$5,000

This category of hot tub starts at around $2,500 and consists of both plastic & acrylic spas While many of these spas are acrylic spas that look similar to higher end spas.. many are made of Plastic using the same roto-mold process as water storage tanks or childs playground slides.  Often this category of spa is “plug and play” meaning it has a very small pump & heater allowing them to run on a standard 110v outlet.   Spas running on 110v tend to use more electricity than their larger 220v counterparts.

Entry Level “cheap but flashy” spas $3,500- $7,000

This category of hot tub is often a larger spa with an abundance of whistles and bells.  Often more bling than the more expensive counterparts.  They are often available online, through big box stores or from traveling “spa shows”…  these spas are typically not offered from your neighborhood spa store… because they are poor quality.  While they seem very appealing on the surface… they tend to be made using the cheapest components and standards of construction that are often sub-par.  The monthly cost of operation for this type of spa is typically very high… up to 4 times that of a high quality spa… and their life expectancy is typically fairly short.  Don’t expect one of these spas to last for 10 to 15 years.  Making their true cost of ownership very high.

Mid Level Spas  $4,000- $10,000

Bullfrog Spa  Model A8 in Valley

Bullfrog Spa Model A8 in Valley

This category of spa is typically manufactured by one of the name brand spa manufacturers, and sold from a neighborhood spa store.  They are constructed using similar components to their high end hot tubs,  often the  “whistles and bells” will be at a minimum and the warranty won’t be as strong as a higher end spa.  Bullfrog Spas “R” series Hot Tubs spas fall into this category.

High End Spas $7,000 – $17,000

High end Spas are the best a manufacture has to offer.  Hot tubs in this category should be considered when making a long term investment… this spa should last for 20+ years they should come with a strong parts & labor warranty from the manufacture.   The very best spas in this category are built using all composite materials (wood free) and carry a lifetime warranty on the structure of the spa.  In this category of spa all manufacturers use the same acrylic and are generally equal in quality & durability.  This category often includes the creature comforts and should operate at the highest level of efficiency.  These spas should all meet or exceed the energy standards of the California energy commission *without special pumps or other changes. (*results of energy tests) . Bullfrog Spas A Series Hot Tubs fall into this category.

Fitness Pools & Swim Spas Mid Level $11,000- $25,000

Catalina Dual Zone Swim Spa with Teather

Catalina Dual Zone Swim Spa with Teather

Fitness Pools & Swim spas in this category often act as a substitute for a full size pool.  They are a single zone pool (all one temperature) with some spa like features and an area large enough to splash and exercise in.  The offer all the same features as a regular hot tub… ie: stereo, flashy lights & water features, therapeutic jet seats etc. and they usually have a current to swim against.  At the lower price point the current is adequate but not great and usually includes a harness system to facilitate swimming.  At the upper end of this category the swim jets are more complete and easier to “stay in the current”  Size of these pools starts at 8’x12′ and go up to 8’x16′ The Catalina Swim Spas  fall into this category.

Fitness Pools & Swim Spas High End $20,000 – $40,000  

Fitness Pools & Swim Spas in this category will typically have two zones. A hot tub zone & a Swim zone. and offer better swim current Jets.   Catalina Dual Zone Swim Spas fall at the low end of this category.


Hot Tub Energy Efficiency Chart

Hot Tub Energy Efficiency Chart

When shopping for a spa it is just as important to compare the upfront price of the hot tub, to the long term cost of operation, especially in cold climates.  It would be a mistake to choose a spa that may cost $1,000 or so less upfront.  That same spa can easily cost $50 more per month in the winter.  Averaging  5 months of heating per year, with a spa life as little as 15 years… that “bargain spa” will cost $2,250 over the 15 year period in energy efficiency alone… not to mention maintenance costs!