If it’s hot where you live and you want a pool, you may have found this article. Or maybe it’s getting colder and all you can think about is a fancy hot tub. No matter how you got here, you’re welcome! We’d love to talk about some ideas for a backyard pool or hot tub, whether you’re looking for one or both.
We thought the best way to do this would be to start with the pros and cons of hot tubs and in-ground pools, and then talk about whether or not it’s worth it to have both and what your options are.
At Kline Bros, we love making and installing inground fiberglass pools, but we are also very interested in teaching people about pools. When a homeowner wants an in-ground pool, it can be a lot to think about. Trust us when we say we’ve seen it all: the uncertainty, questions, and even doubt when homeowners are trying to decide what kind of pool is best for them. We’ve known for a long time that, even though we care about our fiberglass pools, what we really care about is helping people choose a pool that will let them spend time with the people they care about. Even if it’s not made of fiberglass.
So, let’s move on to the main topic, which is the pros and cons of hot tubs and inground pools.
Pros and Cons of Hot Tubs and In-Ground Pools
Probably about most things in life, you’ll hear this: “Everything has its pros and cons.” The same is true for hot tubs: they have both pros and cons, but which one is more important to you will depend on your situation and what you want to get out of owning a hot tub.
First, the good things:
- It gets hot. We know it’s obvious, but even if you put a heater in your pool, a hot tub usually gets hotter and is better for soaking.
- They can help people feel better. This is also true for swimming in a pool, which has been shown to be a great way to work out. But, like when you take a hot bath to ease sore muscles or joints, a hot tub’s hot water can do the same thing, but in style. The jets in hot tubs can also be a great way to relax.
- Your yard might not get as dirty as it would if you put it in a pool. Don’t get us wrong, putting anything like this in the ground is going to cause some trouble. But to be fair, the hole for an in-ground pool is a lot bigger than the one for a hot tub.
- Compared to a pool, it costs less to keep up. With less water, fewer chemicals are needed to keep it in good shape.
Here are some possible downsides:
- They aren’t all that big. Not many laps will have swum in a hot tub (or much swimming at all for that matter). If you want to try out that new water aerobics routine you saw on the Internet, your hot tub probably won’t be enough.
- You can’t make as many different designs with them. Since you don’t have a lot of space, you won’t be able to get features like tanning ledges that you might find in an inground pool. (You may not need one, but having the option is nice, right?)
- You might have to get a permit. You may have asked yourself, “I’ve heard of permits for swimming pools, but do you need a permit for a hot tub?” What you can do will depend on the laws where you live. Some places may only need a permit if the hot tub holds more than a certain number of gallons of water, so check with a builder before you buy one.
In-ground pools are a little different because, well, they are much bigger than a regular hot tub.
- They give you room to move around and swim, but you can also lounge on them. How much swimming space you have compared to lounge space will depend on how your pool is made, but in general, a pool of any size will give you much more space than a hot tub.
- They make an impression. This doesn’t mean that a hot tub can’t do the same thing, but an inground pool is more likely to draw attention and make your yard look more luxurious.
- They offer more unique design options. Depending on the type of pool and the company you buy it from, in-ground pools can have tanning ledges, courtesy ledges, zero-entry points, and more.
- You’ll probably need a permit of some kind. Like with hot tubs, the permits you need for a private home pool will depend on where you live and what the rules are in your area. Most of the time, your pool builder is the best person to talk to about what permits are needed and whether or not you need to get them.
- During the installation process, your yard is likely to get a lot messier. We like to be honest with our customers about this: when we put inground fiberglass pools in, there will be a mess to clean up. The digging, hauling of dirt, plumbing, and everything else that goes into the installation are inherently messy. Your yard won’t always look like this, and all of this work is leading up to a beautiful pool.
- Costs more to keep up than a hot tub. As we said, there’s more water to take care of and manage here than in a hot tub, so you’ll probably have to buy more chemicals to keep it balanced. How much you spend on pool maintenance will depend on the type of pool you choose. Click here to see our comparison of the three types of in-ground pools, or click the button below to get our free eBook comparing the three types of in-ground pools.
Does it make sense to have both?
So, we looked at the pros and cons of having one over the other. Is it better to have both? In theory, hot tubs could be used as pools. No, not really, we’d say. But this might depend on how you think about how a pool is used. If you think of a pool as a place to sit, relax, and float, then yes, a hot tub could serve that purpose. In a hot tub, you won’t have as much space to swim as you would in a whole pool. If you plan to use them for different things, like swimming laps in your pool and relaxing in your hot tub after a long day, it might be worth it to have both in your yard.
Choices for Pools and Hot Tubs in the Ground
You can get a pool and a hot tub separately, or you can get a pool and hot tub that go together. When you work with concrete or vinyl, which let you make custom designs, you can make a pool with a spa in it if that’s what you want. Since fiberglass pools are already built and designed, you would have to find a company that makes a pool-spa combo design. As an example, this is the Kline Bros X36 pool model. This pool is a rectangle with a hot tub and a place to lay out.
There are designs that have both a pool and a hot tub. Some are free-form, while others are in the shape of a rectangle. It’s also easy to switch from the pool to the tub to the tanning ledge in any order when you have a design like this. Plus, everything comes in one package, so you don’t have to dig any more outside of the pool shell.
Leaning more toward keeping the two apart? Don’t worry, you can choose from a lot of different things. When it comes to fiberglass, there are many different styles to choose from, including modern rectangular pools, carefree freeform pools, and classic Roman pools.
Each style of the pool gives off a different feeling, so it’s best to decide if you want a more modern/clean look (rectangle), a natural look (freeform), or a classical/historic look (Roman).
Most spas are either square or round, and you can add a spillover to either shape. You might ask, “What is a spillover spa?” It is exactly what it sounds like: a spa that is cut and made so that water flows out of it and into your pool like a waterfall. Here’s a neat diagram that shows how spillovers work compared to a normal spa:
A spillover takes water out of your pool, moves it around and heats it, and then puts it back in the pool. People often choose this option because it feels classy.
Some Final Thoughts
We hope this gave you all the ideas you need for a pool and hot tub in your backyard. In the end, pools and hot tubs are both great places to go to relax and have fun. As we said at the beginning, our goal is to help people make their homes a place where they can spend time with the people they care about. We think that an inground pool is a perfect place to invite your coworkers or book club friends over for a night of relaxation. Or maybe you like to keep things low-key and your idea of a perfect night is to relax with your partner at home, so a hot tub is calling your name. No matter what you decide, we hope you use it to have fun with good people.
No matter which way you go, if you want to do it with fiberglass, call Kline Bros for pricing.