Nothing says luxury like a hot tub. With its steaming hot water and pulsating jets, it’s impossible not to relax when you’re lying in a jacuzzi. While most people must wait for their summer vacation before they can experience the pleasure of a hot tub, there are some who prefer to do so in the privacy of their own homes.
Whether you live in a penthouse or a country mansion, a desert rambler or an urban rowhome, you can bring the extravagance of a hot tub home with you. We’ve compiled the best ideas for hot tubs based on budget and space.
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Portable Hot Tubs
Sometimes a full-size, permanent hot tub just isn’t an option. Maybe you’re renting an apartment, or you know you’ll be moving within the next couple of years. Whatever the case may be, you don’t have to wait to own a hot tub.
- Inflatable Hot Tubs
If you’re picturing one of those little blue kiddie pools you used to have in your backyard, you’re dead wrong. Inflatable hot tubs are typically large enough to fit two adults comfortably and hold over 250 gallons of water. Many of them look and feel exactly like a normal hot tub; the only difference is you can deflate them for easy storage and transportation.
The high-end versions have water jets and seating just like a permanent hot tub, or you can get a base model with air jets instead for under $500. A deflated hot top usually weighs between 75 and 100 pounds, and they have handles to make them easier to carry. A fully inflated hot tub with water in it can weigh over 3,000 pounds though, so you’ll need to make sure you set it up on a surface that can support its weight.
- Self-Contained Hot Tubs
A self-contained hot tub is a normal acrylic or fiberglass model with all of the pumps and other mechanical equipment inside the casing. That means it can be picked up and moved as one piece, rather than having to dig up a bunch of equipment from your yard or basement. Other than that, they look just like any other hot tub, and you can have all the bells and whistles you want. If portability is your top concern, you’ll want to install your hot tub on the surface of your deck, patio, or lawn, rather than recessing it or building it in-ground.
Patio Hot Tubs
Patios are a great alternative to decks if you enjoy outdoor living but don’t want to deal with the extra maintenance. Whether your house has an existing patio or you’re looking to build something new, there are a variety of ways to incorporate a hot tub.
Concrete has a bad rap for being boring and utilitarian. It’s by far the cheapest and easiest to clean patio material though, which is why they’re so common. While your simplest option would be to just sit your hot tub on top of your concrete patio, there are some creative ways to dress it up, such as building a concrete seating wall around the outside of the hot tub or painting the concrete with interesting colors or designs.
Flagstone patios are an elegant choice for those who want to create a flat surface outdoors while blending in with the surrounding landscape. Matching stones can be used to create a wall around your hot tub to conceal the mechanical equipment, provide extra seating, or create steps leading up to the hot tub.
If your sloped yard doesn’t have enough flat space to create a large patio, you could consider a terraced patio. Building a terraced patio involves smoothing out sections of the hill at varying levels, then building patios on each level with steps connecting them. This would allow you to put your hot tub on one level while using your other levels for a firepit, a grill, or seating.
Deck Hot Tubs
Though decks require a little more upkeep than patios, they’re popular with homeowners who have sloped yards, no ground-level access, or who just prefer the look of a wooden deck. It can also be a lot easier to install a hot tub on a deck because you can easily conceal the pumps and other equipment underneath.
Similar to a terraced patio, a multi-level deck is a great way to make use of a smaller, sloped yard. Instead of cramming your hot tub on one small deck with your grill and other outdoor equipment, you could add a second level and spread out!
If you don’t like the look of a bulky hot tub, you could consider having it recessed into your deck. Typically, that involves installing your hot tub on the ground and then building the deck around it, but there are ways to build one into your existing deck as well. Many homeowners choose to have their hot tub partially exposed above the surface of the deck, to make it easier to get in and out of, but you could accomplish the same thing by installing a hot tub with built-in steps.
Screened porches are perfect for hot tubs because they can be protected from the elements, and the screen adds some privacy. If your porch or deck doesn’t already have a screen, or if you want part of the deck to be open, you could use a retractable awning or floor screens to achieve a similar effect.
Garden Hot Tubs
Maybe you don’t want to clutter up your deck or patio with a hot tub, or perhaps you prefer to be surrounded by nature while you soak. Either way, installing a hot tub in your yard or garden is a great option.
Though above-ground hot tubs are much more common in private homes, in-ground hot tubs are a stylish alternative that is taking the internet by storm. It can be installed just like a swimming pool, with a concrete or wooden deck around it, or you can get creative by surrounding it with plants and trees, rock formations, or even sand.
Another growing trend is the rustic hot tub, usually made of wood and designed to match a country theme. A common design involves covering the outside of a round hot tub with distressed wooden slats, making it look like an old barrel. You could do the same with tin sheeting, to make your hot tub look like an antique washing tub.
If you need a little bit of shelter from the sun or the rain, but you don’t want to interrupt the view from your hot tub, you could install it on a gazebo, or build a custom canopy. If you have an existing gazebo, you’ll, of course, need to make sure it can support the weight of a hot tub, or you’ll need to have it reinforced. If you want to build a custom canopy, consider using light-weight, environmental-friendly materials such as bamboo, which will filter some of the light and rain without making you feel claustrophobic.
If you live in an apartment building, especially in a large city, you may be thinking that you’re out of luck. However, many apartment-dwellers have found ways to install a hot tub without breaking city codes or aggravating their neighbors.
A lot of apartment balconies are criminally underused, mainly because people have no idea how to use that space. If your balcony is large enough, a hot tub could be a great way to take advantage of your little slice of the outdoors. If a traditional hot tub is too big and bulky, inflatable hot tubs might be a better option for you.
If your lease or condo association gives you private use of your roof, that could be the perfect place to put a hot tub. Rooftop decks are becoming more and more popular as the population in large cities rises and people crave more space. Just imagine relaxing in your hot tub, high above the hustle and bustle of the city, where you can watch the sun et beyond the skyline. Perfection!
There has been a recent trend towards updating older apartments with luxury bathrooms, including Jacuzzi hot tubs to replace the standard bathtub. This option eliminates the need for outdoor space while giving you more privacy. Most models can be used as a normal bathtub, with the option to turn on water jets for a whirlpool effect.
If you’ve always wanted a hot tub, but thought you’d never have the space or the money for one, think again! There are many affordable options on the market today, including portable models that are perfect for renters or people who move a lot because of work or the military. Hot tubs come in all shapes and sizes and can be customized to match any landscape or décor. Make your dreams of a luxurious home spa a reality
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