Discovering the Bliss of Built-In Spas

built-in spas

Built-in Spas? Have you ever dreamt of having your personal oasis, a sanctuary where stress melts away, and tranquillity reigns supreme? Well, that dream became a reality for me when I decided to build in a built-in spa for my home.


I embarked on a journey to create the ultimate haven within the confines of my own abode. Little did I know that this decision would end up becoming the business that it is today.


In this blog post, I want to share with you the remarkable wonders of built-in spas, how they have transformed my life, and why I believe everyone should consider indulging in this delightful luxury.


Step into my world as I take you on a journey through the serenity-filled realms of built-in spas. Whether you’re contemplating a home renovation, seeking solace from the chaos of daily life, or simply curious about this modern-day haven, prepare to be captivated.


Let’s delve into the incredible benefits, design possibilities, and the sheer joy that comes with building  a built-in spa.

What are built in spas?


Built-in spas, also known as in-ground spas or custom spas, are luxurious and permanent installations that are integrated into the design and construction of a home or outdoor living space.


Unlike portable hot tubs or freestanding spas, built-in spas are designed to seamlessly blend into the surrounding environment, becoming an integral part of the overall architectural aesthetic.


These spas are typically constructed using durable materials such as concrete, block, or ICF, allowing for a variety of customization options in terms of shape, size, and features. They can be designed to complement the existing landscape or serve as a focal point, creating a stunning visual appeal while offering a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation.


Built-in spas are often built into a deck or patio area, adjacent to a swimming pool, or incorporated into the layout of a luxurious bathroom. They can be equipped with various therapeutic features such as hydrotherapy jets, built-in seating, LED lighting, temperature controls, and even sound systems.


Some spas may also include additional amenities like waterfalls, fountains, or cascading spillways, further enhancing the sensory experience.


One of the significant advantages of built-in spas is their year-round accessibility, as they can be designed to operate in all seasons and climates. By integrating them into your home, you can enjoy the benefits of a spa retreat whenever you desire, without the need for travel or membership fees.


Whether you seek relief from muscle tension, stress reduction, or simply a private sanctuary for self-care, built-in spas offer a unique and customized solution. Their ability to seamlessly blend relaxation, aesthetics, and functionality makes them an appealing option for individuals seeking a permanent oasis within the comfort of their own home.


Can I build my own built-in spa?


Absolutely – and I can 100% help you do it!


  1. Skills and Experience: Building a built-in spa requires a solid understanding of construction principles, plumbing, and electrical work. If you have previous experience in these areas or are willing to invest time in learning, you may be better equipped to handle the project.
  2. Permits and Regulations: Check with your local building department to determine if any permits or approvals are required for constructing a built-in spa. There may be specific codes and regulations regarding safety, electrical connections, water supply, and drainage that need to be adhered to.
  3. Design Considerations: Carefully plan the design and layout of your built-in spa, taking into account factors such as available space, access to utilities, and compatibility with the existing structure. It’s crucial to ensure proper structural support, adequate ventilation, and proper water circulation to maintain optimal functionality and longevity. (Not sure about this one – don’t worry, I have lots of plans available in my online store here)
  4. Plumbing and Electrical Requirements: Building a spa involves connecting plumbing lines for water supply and drainage, as well as electrical connections for pumps, heaters, and controls. It’s essential to consult with professionals or experts to ensure that electrical systems are installed correctly and meet safety standards.
  5. Safety Considerations: Building a spa involves dealing with water and electrical systems, which can pose potential safety risks if not handled properly. It’s crucial to prioritize safety by following building codes, using appropriate materials, and seeking professional advice when needed.
  6. Budget and Time: Building a built-in spa can be a significant investment in terms of time and money. Consider your budget for materials, equipment, and professional assistance, as well as the time commitment required for planning, construction, and ongoing maintenance.


What construction considerations are there?


When considering the construction of a built-in spa, several materials can be used, including concrete, block, and Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF). Each material has its own advantages and considerations. Let’s explore them:

  1. Concrete: Concrete is a popular choice for building built-in spas due to its durability, versatility, and ability to create custom shapes. Here are some key considerations:
  • Construction Process: Concrete spas are typically built by constructing a framework using rebar and then pouring concrete into the form. This process allows for customization of shape, size, and design elements.
  • Durability: Concrete is known for its strength and longevity, making it a durable option for a long-lasting built-in spa.
  • Customization: Concrete spas can be designed to fit seamlessly into any space, allowing for customization of various features, such as built-in seating, steps, or unique contours.
  • Maintenance: Concrete spas may require regular maintenance to prevent cracking or deterioration. Sealing the concrete and proper water chemistry management are essential for preserving its appearance and structural integrity.



  1. Block: Building a built-in spa with concrete blocks offers several advantages. Here’s what you need to consider:
  • Construction Process: Block spas involve laying concrete blocks in a desired configuration and then applying a waterproof coating to the interior surfaces.
  • Cost-effective: Concrete blocks are generally more affordable than poured concrete, making them a cost-effective option for building a spa.
  • Design Flexibility: Concrete blocks can be easily shaped and modified during construction, allowing for design flexibility and customization.
  • Insulation: Concrete blocks provide natural insulation properties, which can help maintain water temperature and reduce heat loss.
  • Structural Strength: Concrete block construction offers excellent structural strength and stability for the built-in spa.


  1. Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF): ICF is an innovative construction technique that utilizes interlocking foam blocks, which are then filled with concrete. Consider the following advantages:
  • Energy Efficiency: ICF construction provides exceptional thermal insulation, which helps regulate water temperature and reduces energy consumption.
  • Sound Insulation: The foam insulation in ICF helps minimize noise transmission, creating a more peaceful spa environment.
  • Construction Efficiency: ICF construction is relatively faster compared to traditional methods, as the foam blocks are lightweight and easy to assemble.
  • Strength and Durability: The combination of concrete and foam insulation results in a strong and durable structure, ensuring the long-term integrity of the spa.


It’s important to note that regardless of the material chosen, proper waterproofing and insulation measures should be implemented to ensure a watertight and energy-efficient built-in spa. Consulting with professionals or experts in spa construction can provide valuable guidance in selecting the most suitable material and construction method based on your specific needs and preferences.


What are the plumbing considerations for built-in spas?

Plumbing considerations for built-in spas are paramount to ensuring efficient water circulation, optimal jet performance, and overall functionality. Here are key aspects to consider:

1. Plumbing Layout and Design:

  • Design an efficient plumbing layout that accommodates the spa’s size, shape, and features.
  • Plan for proper water flow and circulation to prevent stagnation or dead zones.
  • Consider the placement of plumbing lines, valves, and drain points for ease of maintenance and repairs.

2. Jet Configurations and Number of Jets:

  • Determine the desired jet configurations and types (e.g., massage jets, directional jets, air jets) based on user preferences and hydrotherapy needs.
  • Optimal jet placement enhances relaxation and muscle relief, so consider back, neck, and foot jets for a well-rounded spa experience.
  • Balance jet distribution to maintain consistent water pressure and prevent some jets from overpowering others.

3. Heating Methods:

  • Explore various heating methods based on energy efficiency and heating speed. Common options include:
    • Gas or propane heaters for quick and efficient heating.
    • Electric heaters for consistent temperature maintenance.
    • Air source heat pumps for eco-friendly heating, utilizing ambient air temperature.
  • Ensure the chosen heating method aligns with the spa’s size and local climate conditions.

4. Filtration System and Filter Media:

  • Select an appropriate filtration system to maintain water clarity and quality.
  • Consider filter media options:
    • Cartridge filters are low-maintenance and effective at capturing debris.
    • Sand filters are durable and suitable for larger built-in spas.
    • DE (diatomaceous earth) filters offer fine filtration for pristine water.
  • Properly sized filters and regular cleaning are essential to prevent clogs and maintain efficient water circulation.

5. Pump Sizing and Placement:

  • Choose a pump that matches the spa’s water volume and jet configuration.
  • Proper pump placement and sizing are crucial for achieving the desired jet performance and water movement.
  • Variable speed pumps provide energy savings and customizable water flow rates.

6. Drainage and Winterization:

  • Incorporate a drainage system for easy water removal during maintenance or winterization.
  • Plan for effective winterization to prevent freeze damage to plumbing components.

7. Access and Maintenance:

  • Design the plumbing system with accessible shut-off valves and drain points for efficient maintenance and repairs.
  • Incorporate a bypass system to divert water around heaters and other equipment when necessary.

8. Water Treatment and Sanitization:

  • Integrate a water treatment system to maintain water clarity and safety.
  • Options include chlorine, bromine, ozone, UV sterilization, and saltwater systems.

By carefully considering these plumbing aspects when designing and building a built-in spa, you can create a functional and enjoyable spa experience that meets both your hydrotherapy needs and overall comfort. Consulting with professionals in spa design, plumbing, and water treatment will ensure a well-executed and long-lasting project.


Can I help you with your built-in spa?


Get in touch!

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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