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Outdoor Resources

Calculating Your Hot Tub ROI

When you are considering buying a hot tub, you will look at a variety of factors from what size hot tub you want, to which bells and whistles will make it more enjoyable, to where you will put it. And though you will likely be looking at your hot tub as a luxury you can truly enjoy, you might also wonder about the return on investment if you choose to sell your home. Will having a hot tub on your property boost your resale value, or could it actually hurt it? Let’s take a look at hot tub ROI. 

Two people in a hot tub

Table of Contents

Types of Hot Tubs

Let’s start by looking at the different types of hot tubs – which ones add value to your home?

Built-in or In-ground 

These hot tubs are often built with a dedicated form around them, such as a deck or patio. They might even be the central attraction of the backyard landscape. Because they are an integral part of the home, these hot tubs might add to your hot tub ROI if you choose to sell. They might even be included in the property assessment if they are built into the backyard in such a way that changing the entire backyard would be necessary to remove it.


Portable hot tubs can be moved around if you want to place them in a new area. Yes, they are heavy and can be difficult to move, but they aren’t often built into any sort of deck or patio, and thus can be mobile. Because they aren’t really attached to anything, they might be seen as a minor addition and thus, not add significantly to ROI. And since they are so easy to move, they might be considered “personal property” by an appraiser and thus not included in your home assessment at all.

How to Build Up Your Hot Tub ROI

In many cases, the return on investment or resale value of your hot tub is determined by what’s around it. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, a homeowner who builds a wooden deck can expect a 65.8% return on investment. A composite deck is a bit lower but still impressive at 63.2%. When you add a hot tub to that and make it a focal point of the deck, patio, or even the gazebo, the return on investment can rise even further.

But besides the firm financial investment you’re making in a hot tub, there are other returns on investment that can make a hot tub worthwhile. 

Personal Use and Hot Tub ROI

  •   Therapeutic benefits. A hot tub brings a massive return on investment in the form of therapeutic benefits. The tub can not only provide the relaxation you might expect from a variety of jets, but it also provides a place for the family to gather and the central point for a wonderful time with friends.
  •   How frequently you use it. There are two reasons to use your hot tub quite often: one, for the therapeutic benefits already discussed, and two, for the maintenance of the tub itself. The more often you use it, the more water runs through it, and the more likely you will be to notice any problems very quickly. Repairs are much easier when problems are caught and handled fast.
  •   Good care and maintenance. Hot tubs require regular maintenance, and proper care should be taken with the tub every time you use it. Good maintenance can boost the hot tub ROI for a potential buyer, as the care given to a hot tub is often quite evident.

Hot Tub ROI and Your Home’s Next Owner

  •   Energy efficiency. Choosing a hot tub with added insulation and other energy-efficient features can help cut down on your costs of running it, as well as provide a nice bonus for those who might purchase the home in the future. Keep in mind that a great deal of heat from the tub is lost through the open top, so a fully insulated cover that you use all the time is a smart addition.
  •   Location. Purchasing a hot tub with an eye toward selling your home in the near future? Hot tubs are much more appreciated in areas that experience significant cold during the winter. 
  •   Landscaping. The hot tub should look like a part of the backyard. It should blend in well and be a focal point. To that end, make sure your landscaping takes the hot tub into account. A hot tub that is simply sitting in the yard isn’t as appealing potential buyers.
For best financial return on investment, a hot tub in a home that you rent out (such as an AirBnb) can actually bring in a higher rate per night.

The True Cost of a Hot Tub

You might be thinking: Sure, that’s a nice list to consider concerning return on investment, but what are the cold, hard numbers?

When you choose an in-ground or built-in hot tub, you’re looking at a few costs that go beyond the hot tub itself. The cover can cost between $50 and $400. Plus, you might need to purchase a new one every five years or so. The foundation for a hot tub — an essential part of installation — can run between $200 and $1,000, depending upon the size. And it might cost more if you incorporate it into the landscape with a hand-made stone surround or other appealing look.

Hot tub installation and delivery fees also come into play. Delivery can run up to $1,500, depending upon where you got the hot tub from. However, they might offer free delivery for a certain dollar purchase. Hiring an electrician or plumber to handle hooking up the hot tub – assuming it’s a permanent fixture for the home – can run between $1,000 and $3,000.

Ongoing costs for maintenance, including the proper chemicals, filters, and lights, can run up to $1,000 per year.  

Finally, consider the hot tub itself. A smaller, cheaper model can be as low as $2,000. But that is often a portable hot tub, one that won’t bring as much in hot tub ROI. A more expensive model built into a patio, deck, or gazebo can run you between $5,000 and $20,000.

What Is My Hot Tub ROI?

How much of that will you get back in your return on investment? A built-in hot tub that blends into your landscape and becomes an integral part of your home’s aesthetic won’t bring an ROI equivalent to what you paid. However, it can boost the sale price of your home by a few thousand dollars. And in a really hot home market, especially in northern cities where the weather gets very cold and space is often at a premium, you might see it boost your home sale price even more.

But it is important to remember that your hot tub purchase should, first and foremost, benefit you. The true return on investment for a hot tub lies in your personal enjoyment of it – and that is a hot tub ROI that really has no dollar amount.

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