If you're looking at hot tubs, there's a good chance you've seen a number of above-ground models. You might wonder if this approach is the right one for you. Folks considering above-ground hot tubs can decide by looking at the following five criteria.


Generally, installing a hot tub above the ground is going to be cheaper. If you want to place a hot tub into the ground, you'll need to excavate the location and pour concrete to provide support. This extra construction work tends to make the price of putting hot tubs in the ground more expensive. Likewise, it adds time to the job because you need to have contractors do the additional work.


If you're not certain that you've found the perfect spot for a hut tub, an above-ground option is probably best. You can relocate it with little trouble if you decide you don't like the current spot. Perhaps you discover that the privacy level in a particular location isn't what you expected, for example. Moving the hot tub will be simpler if it's already above the ground. Generally, you don't want to build in the ground unless you're certain you have the right location.


Many homeowners want to integrate their hot tubs. If you have a deck or patio, for example, you can build the structure around the tub to integrate it. Especially if you want to step right in from your deck, this can be a very convenient arrangement.

On the other hand, above-ground hot tubs aren't as visually integrated. However, you can use access panels to hide some of the visible elements of a hot tub. Some people also install landscaping nearby to mask some of the more visible elements.


Above-ground hot tubs are more exposed to the air, and that makes efficiency worse. Building into the ground provides the greatest thermal mass around the tub, improving heat retention. If you elect to build above the ground and care about efficiency or long use times, make sure to look for a model that uses high-quality materials to retain as much heat as possible.

Maintenance and Access

Hot tubs require maintenance. The ability to access the filters and tanks for treatment chemicals can make building the tub above ground a better choice. Homeowners will usually be able to handle the basic maintenance needs of their tubs once a contractor has walked them through the steps.