Spa, Pool, Or Both? How To Choose The Best Choice For Your Yard

Spa, Pool, Or Both? How To Choose The Best Choice For Your Yard

What do you think of when you think about taking it easy at home? Is it slipping into a bubbling hot tub, or do you picture yourself relaxing by the pool or on a nice tanning ledge? You might think you have it all. No matter what you want to do, there are ways for you to make it happen.

Our team at Kline Bros loves not only to teach about swimming pools but also to help homeowners like you make the best decision for your family, even if that decision isn’t to work with us. We’ll talk about why someone might choose a pool over a spa (or vice versa), as well as some pool and spa designs and what you can do if you want both.

Do you like the idea? Then let’s go in, noses held or not!

Why a pool is better than a spa

Both pools and spas have their own benefits, and they can also work well together. To help you decide between a pool and a spa, here are some good and bad things about each:



  • More swim room
  • enables things to happen
  • Make you feel better (but can also be heated)


  • Takes up more room (not as easy to accommodate for some yards)
  • Depending on where you live, you may have to close for part of the year.



  • Cozy/warm
  • Designed to help you relax/have therapeutic effects
  • In colder places, it can often be used all year.
  • able to fit in yards of many sizes


  • Higher water temperatures mean there are more chemicals to keep up.
  • Less room (built for relaxing, not swimming)

Some of the cons listed above might be pros if you’re looking for something different, and vice versa. What you want to do with your pool will determine what kinds of pool designs you look into. Do you plan to get lounge chairs? You would love a pool with a place to lay out and get some sun. Do you want to get more dive experience? A diving board would have to be built into a pool in a way that meets safety rules. In a spa, they are often square or round. Both are beautiful, so the choice comes down to how you want your space to look.

There are pool and spa options

Depending on the type of pool you choose, the designs for pools and spas can be almost anything you can think of. There are small pool designs, modern rectangular pool designs, square and round spas, and so on. Concrete and vinyl liner pools, for example, can be built in your own backyard and can be made to be any shape or size you want (meaning, the pool is yours to command).

Glass, on the other hand, is different. Fiberglass pools and spas are made in factories and are made using molds. The manufacturer decides how these molds look, so you will only be able to choose from what the manufacturer has to offer. But don’t worry! Fiberglass pools have come a long way over the years and now have many features that people want, such as sun shelves or tanning ledges, deep-end benches, swim lanes, and more.

When it comes to spas, there are a few extras you can get. A spillover spa is one example. You might ask, “How does a spillover spa work?” Well, a spillover spa is basically a spa that is built so that water flows into your pool like a waterfall. Pumps move the water up and over the edge of the spa. This is usually used in spas that are not connected to pools. The spillover option is a choice of style that can give your pool/spa a very elegant look. But it’s important to know that for this setup to work, you have to pull water from your pool into the spa, causing it to overflow and create the spillover effect. Because of this, your heater won’t work as well.

In a typical spa, the water is taken out of the spa, heated, and then put back in the spa. Spas heat up faster than pools because there is less water to heat in a spa. In a spillover spa, pumps pull water from the pool, which is a much bigger and cooler body of water. Since the pumps pull water from the pool to make the spillover spa overflow, the water starts out at the temperature of the pool, and the heater’s increase makes the water much colder than if the pumps pulled water from an already heated spa. In a regular spa, there is less water, so it is easier to heat. The spillover, on the other hand, is constantly heating water to pool temperature.

In a spillover, heat comes from the pool instead of being heated and circulated directly in the spa. The flow of water directly from the heater to the spa and back to the heater is much more efficient than the flow of water from the heater to the spa to the pool and back to the heater. This is because the water has to travel less distance to heat up. Ultimately, if you want a hot spa without heating the pool, you need either a main drain in the spa and valves to divert water from the pool to the spa, or a separate set of equipment for the spa (recommended). We’ve made a helpful infographic to show the difference between heating a spillover spa and a regular spa:

You can also add more jets to make it feel even more like a resort. (It’s fun to know that you can also add jets to your inground fiberglass pool!)

What is a pool/spa combo, and will it work for you?

We’ll answer the question you’re probably thinking about: what do you call a pool and spa together? How do pool-and-spa combinations work? Pool and spa combos are pools that already have a spa or hot tub built in. When it comes to fiberglass pools, the spa is built into the pool, so the mold includes both the pool and the spa. When your pool and spa are connected as one, they share the same filtration system. This can make maintenance easier than if your pool and spa were separate. But your maintenance costs will be higher than if you just had a pool, since you’ll need more chemicals to clean it and more electricity to heat it up than if you just had a pool.

Does it make sense to put a spa in a pool? This is completely up to you, and it may or may not make sense for the way you want to design and manage your pool. If your yard doesn’t have enough room for a separate pool and spa, you like the idea of being able to move from your pool to your spa without getting out of the water, or you like how luxurious these designs look, a pool and spa combo might be the way to go. Also, if you need to cover your pool, having the combo means you only need to use one cover instead of two, which is a big plus.


Friends, that’s the story. Or at least what it was about. So, is it worth it to put a pool or spa in your backyard? We hope that this article helped you decide what to do.

Kline Bros makes and installs one-piece fiberglass inground pools for people all over the country. If you want more information about fiberglass pools or spas, you can talk to a Kline Bros dealer in your area (click the button below). Want to know more about how our pools are built and put in?