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Where to install a hot tub: find the perfect spot for your new backyard oasis

Where to install a hot tub
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wondering where to install a hot tub in your backyard? Thinking carefully about where to put your new oasis will go a long way to make your leisure time as relaxing as it can be, and save you the hassle of having to re-install it if you run into problems. It can take a long time to empty and refill, and the tub itself is very heavy and liable to be damaged if you move it frequently, so deciding exactly where to install your hot tub before it's delivered is essential.

Splashing out on one of the best hot tubs is a pretty permanent decision, with models that are well looked after and cleaned regularly lasting many years. If you don’t fancy the commitment of a permanent tub, then one of the best inflatable hot tubs will be perfect for using whenever you like, then stashing away in storage. Either way, whether you opt for a portable or permanent tub, you’ll want a perfect place to kick back in it, which is where this guide can help.

1. Assess the basics: Stand-alone or in-built?

Whether you have a huge backyard or a more modest patio area, the first thing to consider is whether you want a stand-alone or in-built model. The latter can be installed within the ground or raised area of your garden, or next to your pool if you have one. Though it may cost you more money, you might prefer the look of in-ground tubs as they can appear more integrated with the landscape. It’s likely it will also add value to your property if you decide to sell up, so you could even see it as a type of investment. If you want to visualize how this might look, then the best landscape design software offers a place to play around with the design of your garden, before going for an overhaul. 

If you’d prefer a stand-alone hot tub or swim spa (either permanent or portable), then you’ll alternatively need to think about the ground your new purchase will rest on. Concrete and paving stoned areas are great, rest assured that they are level and flat, whilst any decking you want to put your new tub on should be checked to ensure its sturdiness. The surface that your tub rests on should be durable and able to withstand the draining process, which is why you may want to think twice about placing it on your decking, given the amount of water that will seep into the wood.

Where to install a hot tub - built-in tubs can look spectacular

(Image credit: Getty Images)

2. Keep it convenient - how far from the house?

Beyond this, when it comes to where to install a hot tub, you’ll also want to think about the proximity of your new spa to your house or any indoor area, such as a pool house. Having a shorter space between your nice warm tub and the inside of your home is a definite bonus, as well as proximity to getting any beverages and snacks when you’re soaking. And due to maintenance being an essential part of owning a hot tub, it’s also wise to make sure that the spot you choose is convenient for filling and draining your tub in the first place. Locating your tub near a drain is good for letting water out before refilling it back up, while keeping your electricity and water supply to hand will also help! 

Safety is another of the basic concerns when it comes to hot tubs, so it’s best to ensure that the place you choose is within sight at all times, especially if you plan on having children use the hot tub alongside you. If this is the case, you should also make sure there are no obstructions around the tub, such as steep stairs, that children will struggle with on their own. You may also need to build a safety rail too, if you want to be ultra sure.

Where to install a hot tub - don't have it too far from your home

(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. Consider your climate  

As with the shape and size of your tub, the exact temperature you’ll have when you go for a dip is entirely down to personal preference. But when it comes to where to install a hot tub, there are certain things to bear in mind that will keep its temperature consistently higher, so that you don’t have to spend as much money and time getting it back to its optimum. 

For most, keeping your tub in a position facing the southwest should maximize the number of daylight hours, and hopefully sunshine, that it gets. The sunlight, plus the insulating effect that comes from keeping the cover on, should mean that it takes less time for you to bump the temperature back up when you want it. 

Though if you live in a desert region, such as the state of Nevada, then you may want to alternatively consider the opposite tactics and try putting your tub in the north or east of your garden in order to give it some respite from the direct sunlight. This will also help if you occasionally want to use your tub to cool off rather than warm up, and mean that there are fewer potential hazards.

If the region you live in is often windy, then you may want to also consider more of a sheltered location to keep from feeling swept away. That might mean taking shelter nearer fences or outbuildings. For more tips on how to care for your spa in the coldest seasons, take a look at how to winterize your hot tub

Where to install a hot tub - consider how much shelter and sunlight you need

(Image credit: Getty Images)

4. Consider how you'll decorate around your tub

After you’ve done the groundwork and considered the weather, you might be envisioning the perfect spot for enjoying those jets and bubbles in. So the last thing to consider is how to really go to town on your newfound spot so that you can get the most from your tub. 

If you don’t feel like sharing the party, then make sure wherever you choose is private enough so that you feel comfortable any neighbors can’t see you. To do this, you could look into gazebos or enclosures to get that hideaway experience or structures like pergolas which can be decorated with the best outdoor solar lights

To really get that vacation feeling in your own home, you can also integrate your new hot tub into a space that’s perfect for socializing, by adding one of the best gas grills and one of the best patio heaters and keep your guests entertained for as long as you like. For more ideas on how to make your garden this summer’s hottest location, you can check out our feature on backyard patio ideas.