How much do they cost?
A swim spa is a substantial investment. This article hopes to cover the costs involved in installing, and owning a swim spa. All estimates in this article are based in US Dollars.
What are the average prices?
This is a very difficult question to answer. The cheapest no-brand Chinese import models are priced between $5000 – $7000. While they are not as prestigious as brand names, they will save you on around $2000 – $4000 on the up front cost. However the guarantees and warranties on Chinese models will probably not be as good as domestic branded models, so you need to factor in potential repair costs.
You also need to take into account the cost of delivery from China. We have never ordered from China, but we estimate that the overall costs for delivery to mainland USA would be in the region of $1500 to $2500. This obviously reduces a lot of the potential savings incurred by buying from China in the first place. When this is combined with an often lower build quality, they can often be a false economy.
These no-name Chinese imports will cost the same amount of money wherever you live. However, the cost of reputable and brand name swim spas varies drastically depending upon your country, and often your state. The difference can be several thousand dollars.
To get accurate price quotes for your area, try using our handy tool below.
As you may see from getting quotations using the tool above, the overall costs can be different simply because you live in a different part of the world to someone else.
The difference in cost is often due to the price of installation, labor is cheaper in some areas than others. It can also vary depending on the time of year, it’s a simple case of supply and demand. Getting your swim spa intstalled in the winter or fall will be cheaper than spring or summer.
Budget / Basic
The Cheapest entry-level offerings range from between $9000 – $12,000 these do not differ in quality all that much from the Chinese units, and still do not have a particularly fashionable brand name. But the guarantees and warranty’s usually provided by US swim spa dealers are possibly worth the extra few thousand dollars investment. Plus US technicians are more likely to have replacement pumps and parts in stock and at a cheaper price if something does need repairing.
Average / Mid Range
Mid Range Swim Spas brought in the US range in cost from between $13,000 and $18,000. These are usually from reputable brands that are well known and are slightly more luxurious products than the cheaper models. The main difference between mid range and the budget options is going to be the little extras. The extra $4000-$6000 dollars you spend brings higher quality water jets, underwater LED lighting, brand name recognition (and peace of mind when it comes to warranties). The general build quality is also a bit higher from the reputable brands which may mean less maintenance and repair costs in the future.
Top Of The Range / Deluxe
These are obviously the most expensive, and best on the market. You can expect to pay between $20,000 and $30,000 for one of these monsters, in some cases even as high as $40,000! However you really do get what you pay for. The research and development that has gone into them is very apparent, every water jet is of the highest quality, at the perfect angle. The inner moulding is ergonomically designed and tested to perfection. They also usually come with very long warranties which will give you peace of mind for years to come. While these are priced much higher than the Chinese bottom end of the market units, the difference is very noticeable.
If that difference in quality is worth the extra $20,000? That is up to you to decide!
So as you can see from our swim spa price comparison just the branding can effect the cost. As a rule, swim spas cost you more the larger they are. The cheaper models will have a smaller amount of less powerful water jets which is quite noticeable when in use.
Above ground means they are very easy to install, most of them only require a simple concrete pad as a base. Most well built patio areas can support their weight, as long as it is it will be quite happy there. The only other requirement is a power source which can easily be installed from any domestic power supply. All in all about $1500 will be needed to it installed, the price will be less if you don’t need a concrete pad.
Underground however they are obviously a much larger task to install. Excavating the earth, providing supporting structures to support the cavity, and securing the spa all add up to create a large bill. You can expect to pay $2000 – $4000 to get it installed and running. This obviously depends massively on location and time of year, but should give you a rough idea of the costs involved.
Providing an above ground swim spa is properly insulated the running costs are pretty standard across all models and types, and the difference is negligible for the purposes of this article. Keeping your it warm and running under regular usage will cost you in the region of $50-$80 per month. This obviously depends on climate, in warmer locations or indoor installations this cost will be significantly lower.
Many of the larger brands come with length warranties, the smaller brands or Chinese imports usually either have no warranties or a very short one at best. Maintenance can be needed at any time. Putting aside $150 a year for maintenance should keep you covered when the worst happens (unless you are very unlucky and have some major repairs that need doing).
Money Saving Tips
Buying online is undoubtedly the cheapest place to buy, if you can – buy direct from the manufacturer. Be a little cheeky and test them out in a store, then buy online!
Before purchasing call up local installers in your area and check they will be able to fit it for you. They may try and convince you to buy one from them – bater with them and see if they will price match the online price. You will find most of the time online will still be cheaper even with their discounts. If the price difference is worth the extra hassle of purchasing yourself online – they will still be very happy to install it for you.
Call around several installers in your area and get a few quotes, the prices can often differ massively depending on how much other work they have on at any point in time.
How much did you pay? Help others who are thinking about swim spa costs by joining the discussion in the comments section below.