Backyard Swim Spa – Everything you need to know and more.

Backyard swim spa? Yes please!

Picture this: you step out into your backyard, the sun gracing your skin, and there it is – your very own swim spa, an inviting haven of warm, bubbling water. The gentle hum of jets fills the air, and you feel an instant sense of tranquility wash over you. Imagine the invigorating exhilaration of swimming laps in your own private pool, the soothing relief of hydrotherapy jets easing away tension from your muscles, and the sheer joy of sharing this backyard retreat with friends and family.

Backyard swim spas have emerged as a popular choice for homeowners seeking to enhance their outdoor living spaces and embrace a healthier lifestyle. These versatile aquatic wonders offer a unique blend of relaxation and fitness, catering to a wide range of needs and preferences. Whether you’re seeking a place to unwind after a long day, a fun-filled family activity, or a low-impact exercise routine, a swim spa can transform your backyard into a year-round oasis of wellness and enjoyment.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll delve into the world of backyard swim spas, exploring their benefits, features, and considerations to help you make an informed decision. We’ll uncover the secrets behind their therapeutic effects, showcasing how swim spas can enhance your physical and mental well-being. We’ll also guide you through the process of selecting the perfect swim spa for your needs and budget, ensuring you find the ideal fit for your backyard and lifestyle.

So, prepare to embark on a journey of relaxation and rejuvenation as we unveil the transformative power of backyard swim spas. Discover how these aquatic havens can elevate your outdoor living experience, providing endless opportunities for fun, fitness, and relaxation.

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What is a backyard swim spa?

A backyard swim spa is a hybrid of a swimming pool and a hot tub, offering the best of both worlds. It’s a versatile aquatic amenity that can be installed in your backyard, providing a convenient and year-round source of relaxation, fitness, and fun.

Swim spas typically range in size from 8 to 20 feet long and 4 to 8 feet wide, making them a great option for homeowners with limited backyard space. They feature a powerful jet system that creates a strong current against which you can swim. This allows you to get a full-body workout without having to worry about flipping turns or navigating the crowds of a public pool.

In addition to swimming, swim spas can also be used for hydrotherapy, which is the use of water to promote healing and relaxation. The jets in a swim spa can be used to massage your muscles, improve circulation, and relieve pain. Swim spas can also be used for water aerobics, which is a low-impact exercise that is easy on your joints.

Backyard swim spas are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and features to suit your needs and budget. Some of the most popular features include:

  • Adjustable jet streams: These allow you to customize the level of massage pressure.
  • Built-in lighting: This makes it possible to use your swim spa at night.
  • Sound systems: These allow you to enjoy your favorite music while you relax.
  • Waterfalls: These add a touch of luxury and ambiance.

If you’re considering adding a swim spa to your backyard, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Cost: Swim spas can range in price from $5,000 to $20,000 or more.
  • Installation: Swim spas require a solid foundation and access to electricity and plumbing.
  • Maintenance: Swim spas require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them in good working order.

Despite these considerations, backyard swim spas can be a valuable addition to your home. They can provide years of enjoyment and relaxation, and they can also have a positive impact on your health and well-being.

How big is an average backyard swim spa?

The average size of a backyard swim spa is 14 feet long and 8 feet wide. However, swim spas come in a variety of sizes to fit different needs and spaces. The smallest swim spas are around 12 feet long, while the largest can be up to 20 feet long or more.

Here is a breakdown of swim spa sizes and their typical uses:

  • 12-14 feet: These are the most popular size of swim spa and are ideal for small backyards or for couples and families of three or four. They are also a good option for people who want to use their swim spa for both swimming and relaxation.

  • 15-16 feet: These swim spas are a good option for families of four or five or for people who want a bit more room to swim. They also offer more seating space than smaller swim spas.

  • 17-19 feet: These swim spas are ideal for large families or for people who want a lot of room to swim. They also offer a variety of features, such as multiple jet zones and built-in lighting.

  • 20 feet and over: These swim spas are the largest and most luxurious swim spas on the market. They are ideal for families of six or more or for people who want the ultimate swimming and relaxation experience.

No matter what size you choose, a backyard swim spa is sure to add years of enjoyment and relaxation to your life.

Can I build my own backyard swim spa?


While it is possible to build your own backyard swim spa, it is a complex and challenging project not recommended for those without extensive experience in construction and plumbing. It requires careful planning, precise measurements, and specialized skills to ensure the structural integrity, safety, and proper functioning of the swim spa.

Here are some of the challenges of building your own backyard swim spa:

  1. Structural Considerations: The weight of a filled swim spa can be substantial, putting significant stress on the foundation and surrounding structures. Proper engineering calculations are crucial to ensure the foundation can support the weight and prevent settling or cracking.

  2. Plumbing and Filtration Systems: Swim spas require a complex plumbing network to circulate and filter the water, ensuring hygiene and maintaining optimal water quality. Incorrect installation or inadequate filtration can lead to water contamination, health risks, and costly repairs.

  3. Electrical Components: Swim spas rely on electrical power to operate the jets, pumps, and heating systems. Improper wiring, faulty components, or lack of proper grounding can pose serious electrical hazards and safety concerns.

  4. Specialized Materials and Tools: Building a swim spa requires specialized materials, such as durable acrylic shells, high-pressure plumbing components, and electrical equipment that meet safety standards. Accessing these materials and using the appropriate tools requires expertise and experience.

  5. Permits and Inspections: Depending on local regulations, you may need to obtain permits for construction, plumbing, and electrical work. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to fines, legal issues, and potential safety hazards.

Can I add a swim jet to my backyard swim spa?

Yes, you can add a swim jet to your existing backyard swim spa. Swim jets are powerful water jets that create a current against which you can swim. This allows you to get a full-body workout without having to worry about flipping turns or navigating the crowds of a public pool.

There are two main types of swim jets:

  • Wall-mount swim jets: These are permanently installed into the wall of your swim spa.
  • Portable swim jets: These can be moved around and placed in different locations in your swim spa.

Adding a swim jet to your swim spa is a great way to increase the functionality and versatility of your spa. It can also help you to get more exercise, improve your circulation, and relieve pain.

Here are some of the benefits of adding a swim jet to your backyard swim spa:

  • Increased functionality: You can use your swim spa for swimming, hydrotherapy, and water aerobics.
  • Improved fitness: You can get a full-body workout without having to leave your home.
  • Enhanced circulation: The water jets can help to improve your circulation and reduce muscle soreness.
  • Pain relief: The water jets can help to relieve pain from arthritis, joint pain, and muscle aches.

If you’re considering adding a swim jet to your backyard swim spa, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Cost: Swim jets range in price from $500 to $2,000 or more.
  • Installation: Swim jets require professional installation.
  • Maintenance: Swim jets require regular cleaning and maintenance.

Overall, adding a swim jet to your backyard swim spa is a great way to increase the value and enjoyment of your spa. It can also help you to improve your health and well-being.


What are the design considerations for a backyard swim spa?

Designing a backyard swim spa requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure a harmonious and functional addition to your outdoor living space. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you plan your perfect swim spa oasis:

1. Location and Space:

  • Choose a suitable location: Select a well-drained area that receives adequate sunlight and is easily accessible from your home. Consider the proximity to existing structures, landscaping elements, and potential noise sources.

  • Determine the available space: Measure the space carefully to ensure the swim spa fits comfortably, leaving ample room for surrounding decking, furniture, and pathways.

2. Privacy and Screening:

  • Consider privacy needs: If your backyard is open to neighbors or overlooks public areas, incorporate privacy screens or fencing to create a secluded retreat.

  • Utilize natural elements: Plant hedges, trees, or tall shrubs strategically to provide shade and privacy while enhancing the aesthetics.

3. Decking and Surrounding Area:

  • Choose durable decking materials: Opt for weather-resistant materials like wood, composite decking, or stone pavers that can withstand moisture and foot traffic.

  • Plan for adequate access: Ensure there’s enough space around the swim spa for easy access and comfortable movement. Consider additional seating or lounge areas for relaxation.

4. Lighting and Ambiance:

  • Incorporate ambient lighting: Install soft lighting around the swim spa and surrounding areas to create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere.

  • Add underwater lighting: Enhance the visual appeal and safety with underwater lights that illuminate the swim spa and create a magical ambiance at night.

5. Landscaping and Enhancements:

  • Incorporate natural landscaping: Surround the swim spa with lush greenery, plants, and flowers to create a natural and serene setting.

  • Consider water features: Add a waterfall, fountain, or other water features to enhance the tranquility and visual interest of the space.

6. Maintenance and Accessibility:

  • Plan for easy maintenance: Ensure there’s ample space around the swim spa for regular cleaning, maintenance, and equipment access.

  • Consider accessibility features: If necessary, incorporate steps, ramps, or handrails to make the swim spa easily accessible for individuals with mobility challenges.

Remember, designing a backyard swim spa is a personal endeavor that should reflect your unique style and preferences. Take your time, gather inspiration, and consult with professionals to create a haven of relaxation and enjoyment that perfectly complements your outdoor living space.

What are the sanitation considerations for a backyard swim spa?

Maintaining proper sanitation is crucial for ensuring the cleanliness, safety, and enjoyment of your backyard swim spa. Here are some essential sanitation considerations:

  1. Water Filtration and Circulation:
  • Regular filtration: The filtration system is responsible for removing contaminants and debris from the water. Ensure the filter cartridges are cleaned or replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, typically every 2-4 weeks.

  • Proper circulation: The circulation system ensures the water is evenly distributed and heated throughout the swim spa. Check for any blockages or leaks in the plumbing system and ensure the pump is functioning correctly.

  1. Water Chemistry and Balancing:
  • Chemical balance: Maintain proper water chemistry to prevent bacterial growth, corrosion, and skin irritation. Regularly test the water’s pH, chlorine, and alkalinity levels and adjust as needed.

  • Sanitizer levels: Use a suitable sanitizer, such as chlorine or bromine, to eliminate bacteria and maintain water quality. Follow the recommended sanitizer levels and adjust as needed based on usage and water testing results.

  1. Cleaning and Disinfection:
  • Regular cleaning: Regularly clean the interior of the swim spa, including the walls, floor, jets, and seats. Use a mild cleaning solution and a soft brush to remove dirt, debris, and biofilm buildup.

  • Disinfection shock: Perform shock treatment periodically to eliminate accumulated contaminants and reinforce the sanitizer’s effectiveness. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for shock treatment frequency and dosage.

  1. Preventing Contaminants:
  • Shower before entering: Shower before entering the swim spa to remove dirt, sweat, and lotions that can contaminate the water.

  • Avoid bringing in dirt or debris: Use a swim spa mat or towel to remove excess water from your body before entering the swim spa to prevent dirt from being tracked in.

  • Rinse swimsuits thoroughly: Rinse out swimsuits thoroughly after each use to remove chlorine or bromine residue, which can affect water chemistry.

  1. Professional Maintenance:
  • Schedule regular maintenance: Consider hiring a professional pool or spa service company to perform periodic maintenance checks and cleaning to ensure optimal water quality and prevent equipment malfunctions.

  • Address issues promptly: If you notice any unusual odors, discoloration, or changes in water quality, address the issue promptly to prevent further contamination or damage.

Remember, maintaining proper sanitation is an ongoing process that ensures the safety and enjoyment of your backyard swim spa. By following these guidelines and taking preventive measures, you can create a clean, healthy, and inviting aquatic oasis in your backyard.

How much does a backyard swim spa cost to build?

The cost of building a backyard swim spa can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the size and features of the swim spa, the type of installation, and the location. Here’s a breakdown of the typical costs involved:

1. Swim Spa Unit:

The swim spa unit itself is the most significant expense, ranging from $2,000 to $20,000 or more. The price depends on the size, brand, features, and materials used. Larger swim spas with more features, such as multiple jet zones, built-in lighting, and sound systems, will cost more.

2. Installation Costs:

Installing a swim spa typically involves site preparation, foundation work, plumbing and electrical connections, and decking or patio construction. These costs can range from $2,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the installation.

3. Additional Considerations:

  • Permits and inspections: Depending on local regulations, you may need to obtain permits for construction, plumbing, and electrical work. These fees can add to the overall cost.

  • Landscaping and enhancements: If you plan to incorporate landscaping elements, such as fencing, privacy screens, or water features, these costs will be added to the total project expense.

4. Estimated Total Cost:

In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 or more for a backyard swim spa installation, including the swim spa unit and installation costs. The exact cost will depend on the specific factors mentioned above.

Here’s a breakdown of the estimated total cost range:

  • Small swim spa (12-14 feet): $10,000 – $15,000

  • Medium swim spa (15-16 feet): $15,000 – $20,000

  • Large swim spa (17-19 feet): $20,000 – $25,000

  • Luxury swim spa (20 feet and over): $25,000 – $30,000 or more


Can I Help You?

If I can help you in any way I would love to hear from you. You can get in touch using the form below.

Thanks - Andi


Hi, Andi here. I own 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

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