Hot tubs have long been a popular way for people to relax, relieve stress, and soothe sore muscles. But with the high cost of purchasing and maintaining a hot tub, it’s no wonder many are exploring alternative options. From affordable, portable options to free and natural alternatives, there are plenty of options available to those looking for a similar spa-like experience.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular alternatives to buying a hot tub. Whether you’re on a budget or simply looking for a more natural approach, there’s sure to be an option that suits your needs and preferences. So sit back, relax, and let’s explore some of the best alternatives to buying a hot tub.
Alternative #1 to buying a hot tub – use a stock tank
A stock tank hot tub is a type of hot tub that is made using a stock tank, which is a large, galvanized metal trough originally designed for livestock water storage. People have repurposed these tanks as hot tubs by adding a heating system and often insulation to create a relaxing and warm soaking experience.
Stock tank hot tubs are becoming increasingly popular due to their affordability, durability, and versatility. They can be easily placed in a backyard or on a deck and can be used for both indoor and outdoor soaking. With the ability to customize the size and shape to fit your needs, a stock tank hot tub is a unique and stylish alternative to buying traditional hot tubs.
Alternative #2 to buying a hot tub – repurpose a horse trough
A horse trough hot tub is a type of hot tub that is created by taking an old metal horse trough and transforming it into a functional hot tub. This is a popular alternative to buying one. The trough, similar to a stock tank, is typically large enough to fit several people and is filled with water that is heated to create a relaxing and enjoyable hot tub experience. The metal construction of the trough provides durability and resistance to the elements, making it a great option for outdoor use.
This type of hot tub is often a DIY project, allowing individuals to repurpose an old horse trough and save money compared to purchasing a traditional hot tub. Additionally, the unique and rustic appearance of a horse trough hot tub can add character and charm to any outdoor space.
Alternative #3 to buying a hot tub – build a wooden hot tub
Building a wooden hot tub requires some basic woodworking skills, as well as an understanding of plumbing and electrical work. That said, it is definitely an alternative to buying a hot tub. Here’s a general 1000ft overview of the steps involved in building a wooden hot tub:
- Choose a location: Choose an area in your backyard that is level and close to a power source.
- Create a design: Determine the size and shape of your hot tub, as well as the type of wood you will use.
- Acquire materials: Purchase the necessary materials such as wood, a liner, plumbing fittings, and a heating system.
- Build the frame: Cut the pieces of wood to size and assemble the frame of the hot tub.
- Install the liner: Place the liner inside the frame and secure it in place.
- Install plumbing: Connect the plumbing to the heating system and fill the hot tub with water.
- Install electrical system: Connect the heating system to a power source and install any necessary controls.
- Finish the exterior: Apply a finish to the exterior of the hot tub, such as staining or sealing.
Building a wooden hot tub is a challenging but rewarding DIY project. I have a case study here from Brandon that did just this and built one.
Alternative #4 to buying a hot tub – IBTL or Pallet Hot Tub
An IBTL water tank hot tub is typically created by repurposing an old water tank or large container and converting it into a hot tub. The container is filled with water and heated to create a makeshift hot tub.
This type of hot tub is often a DIY project and can be a more affordable alternative to a traditional hot tub. The unique and rustic appearance of an IBTL water tank hot tub, quite often cladded with pallets can add character and charm to any outdoor space.
Check out my case study here with a customer who did just this
Alternative #5 to buying a hot tub – build a concrete or brick tub
This is of course my favourite and preferred method for building hot tubs. There is a multitude of information available on my site and YouTube Channel about this type so I will not go into too much detail in this post. However, I will concentrate on why building a concrete or block hot tub is a good alternative to buying a hot tub for several reasons:
- Cost: Building a concrete or block hot tub can be more affordable than purchasing a pre-made hot tub, especially if you’re able to complete the project yourself or with the help of friends and family.
- Customization: When building a hot tub, you have the ability to customize the size, shape, and features to your exact specifications.
- Durability: Concrete and blocks are strong and durable materials that can withstand the weight of the water and provide long-lasting performance.
- Energy Efficiency: When building your own hot tub, you have the ability to choose the type of heating system you want to use, which can be more energy-efficient than pre-made hot tubs.
- Aesthetics: Building a concrete or block hot tub can add a unique and custom touch to your outdoor living space.
It’s important to note that building a hot tub can be a significant undertaking that requires a significant investment of time, money, and effort. Before embarking on this project, it’s important to carefully consider the necessary materials and tools, as well as the skill level required to complete the project successfully. Of course, it goes without saying that I am here to help!
In conclusion, building a hot tub can be a great alternative to buying a pre-made hot tub. Whether you choose to build a wooden, concrete, or block hot tub, the process allows for customization and cost savings, as well as the opportunity to add a unique and custom touch to your outdoor living space.
However, building a hot tub requires a significant investment of time, money, and effort, and it’s important to carefully consider the necessary materials and tools, as well as the skill level required to complete the project successfully.
If you’re not experienced in building, plumbing, or electrical work, don’t worry – I have all the guides and information you need to help with your project. Regardless of the type of hot tub you choose, it can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors and relax in the comfort of your own backyard.
Happy “Don’t buy, build” Hot Tubbin’
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Thanks - Andi
Hi, Andi here. I own Buildahottub.com and also write all of the articles and info pages on the site. Some years back now, I built my own hot tub but struggled to find the information I needed. So, once my tub was complete, I started this website to help others in their own pursuit of hot tub and plunge pools DIY building information.
Today, I've helped over 1000 DIY customers just like you all over the world build hot tubs and pools. Have a good look around the site, there are lots of resources here. Please do get in touch if I can help you. - Cheers, Andi