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Should You Get an Outdoor Hot Tub?

May 31, 2020 by Maurie Backman

There's nothing like enjoying a warm, relaxing soak in a hot tub after a long, hard day. It's that very fantasy that drives homeowners to install hot tubs of their own, and while some opt for indoor models, it's common to see hot tubs outdoors. But should you install an outdoor hot tub? Here are the pros and cons.

Benefits of an outdoor hot tub

There are plenty of good reasons to put in an outdoor hot tub, whether yours is attached to or on your deck or in your backyard. For one thing, a hot tub offers endless relaxation opportunities, and it can also be a nice focal point. In some cases, it can add value to your home, too.

Outdoor hot tubs are also fairly easy to install, and unless your backyard is tiny, you'll have an opportunity to buy a larger one so that your entire family can enjoy soaking together. Also, with an outdoor hot tub, you don't have to worry about ventilation -- the open air takes care of that for you.

Drawbacks of an outdoor hot tub

On the other hand, it's important to recognize the disadvantages of getting an outdoor hot tub. For one thing, the money you spend on it is money you won't have for another home improvement project that may offer a better return on investment. Hot tubs can also be a mixed bag from a resale perspective. While some prospective buyers might love the idea of having one, others might see your hot tub as a nuisance they'll need to worry about removing.

A hot tub also may not be the safest thing if you have young children at home. And to put one in, you may need to fulfill certain zoning requirements, like putting a fence up, thereby bearing an additional expense.

Also, your outdoor hot tub might take up space that prevents you from making good use of your deck or backyard. And if you live someplace with extreme winters, you may find that your hot tub sustains damage over time.

Finally, having an outdoor hot tub may cause your homeowners insurance premiums to rise. That's an added expense you'll have to deal with for years.

Is an outdoor hot tub right for you?

An outdoor hot tub might seem like a really appealing idea, but before you spin your wheels getting estimates or start making plans to install one, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Will I actually use it? Think about the number of times you've climbed into your bathtub over the past year for an extended soak. If it's less than a handful, you may not need that hot tub, and there's no sense in putting one in if it will mostly sit empty.
  2. Will it pose safety concerns? Maybe you have a toddler at home or a dog who tends to run freely in the backyard. Will that hot tub suddenly make your outdoor space dangerous?
  3. Will it take away from other things? If you install a hot tub on your deck, you'll lose out on seating space. If you put one in your backyard, it may get in the way of a playset for your kids or another feature you're hoping to add.

Ultimately, a hot tub can provide hours of relaxation, and having one at your disposal could enhance your quality of life. Just make sure it's an investment worth making before moving forward with it.

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