How to Choose the Best Spot for Your Hot Tub or Swim Spa: A Complete Guide

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

So you’ve decided to buy a hot tub or swim spa. It’s a question that some people leave to the end but is usually best tackled right off the bat: Where do I put it? 

Exactly where a hot tub or swim spa should go is crucial to making sure you make the most of your experience with it. For example, deciding whether the hot tub or spa is a focal point, or an element meant to blend is a choice that people face in their backyards. 

We’re often asked about technical requirements in our stores on placement as well: “Where can my swim spa go?” or “How much space do I need to leave for it?” are common questions that we deal with in every installation. 

That’s why we wrote this article, to give you our best tips and tricks on where to place your hot tub or swim spa. We will cover:

•  What’s the best location for my hot tub or swim spa? 

•  How much space do I need for it? 

•  How much space do I need to leave around it for a cover?

•  How can I create a sense of privacy? 

•  Which way should my hot tub or swim spa face? 

Since we’ve been in business for more than 40 years, we’ve learned a few tricks to about where to best place the hot tub or swim spa, so you’ll enjoy it the most. Here they are! 

Where Is the Best Location for my Hot Tub or Swim Spa?

You can put a swim spa or hot tub anywhere, provided you follow two rules (and one piece of advice is worth considering):

1) you can get a flat surface large enough to support the spa or tub you want and that is strong enough to support it. That can include decks and balconies, provided they are sufficiently reinforced. (If you’re looking at that option, you’ll want to talk to a dealer early in the process, find the closest one by clicking here).

2) It’s close to an electrical hookup. 

3) This one is advice as much as a rule: We also advise that you put the hot tub or swim spa as close as possible to your house and have a set path built to it that can be open year-round. This can mean a deck leading up to it, a walkway or any way of easy access. Why do we say this? Because what we have seen is that the farther away the hot tub or swim spa is from your home, the less you will use it. So the path to the hot tub or swim spa matters. If you live in a cold area, with Canadian-style winters, you will certainly want to minimize the shoveling or any kind of chilly outdoor exposure to reach the hot tub. Even in a warm area, the further away it is, the less likely you will be to put on a swimsuit and walk through your backyard to get to it. 

How Much Space Do I Need For a Hot Tub or Swim Spa? 

The two rules for space are:

1) that you need to be able to access the tub or spa to actually be able to get into the water on at least one side. 

2) You need to be able to access the unit on all sides for servicing down the road. You can go down to two feet of space around areas not used regularly, but you want to ensure all sides of the hot tub or swim spa are accessible for potential servicing.  

This gap is also required if you decide to put in a deck or submerge your hot tub or swim spa. You’re going to need a couple of feet of space around the unit to ensure you can get to it at a later date for any potential repairs. 

•  You can also try our 3D Visualizer on any product page on our website, like this one, for the Signature 570 Gold.

Will I Need Space for My Cover and Lifter? 

A cover lifter is a great option that few people come to regret. With the pull of a level, your cover is off and you’re in the water. But your cover has to go somewhere. You’ll want about a two-foot span for the cover and lifter to reside for a hot tub and double that for a swim spa, which should already be built into your plan because you’ve left room for anyone to come service the hot tub or swim spa. 

Think carefully about where the cover lifter and the cover end up when they are in use. You may want them in-between the hot tub or spa and a fence, so they are out of the way. Or the sight of them may not bother you. Or you could even use your cover as a privacy wall when it’s not in use. So how your cover can best work for you is worth planning out in advance. 

Do I Need Privacy to Own a Hot Tub or Swim Spa? 

What we have found over the years is that most people prefer privacy when it comes to their hot tub or swim spa. They want to be able to access it without a lot of neighbors looking in. They can be intimate spaces for conversation and as a result you might prefer to have those without having your neighbors overhear. 

So privacy matters. Adding height to fences, umbrellas, pergolas, hedges and trees are all possibilities for you and worthy of consideration as you plan. Keep in mind trees lose their leaves, which can mean a lot of cleanup for you, and also potential gaps in-between branches so people can see you.  

What About my Neighbors? 

Privacy away from your neighbors is desirable. No one wants to be watched while swimming or sitting in a hot tub (well, most people!). Secondly, you don’t want to be a hassle to your neighbors either. While hot tubs and swim spas are generally quiet to operate, sometimes the people inside of them can be quite loud. We are okay with this, of course, but you may want to design your area with the level of noise you either want to make or block out in mind, deadening the sound wherever possible, especially if you’re in an urban area. 

Which Way Should my Hot Tub or Swim Spa Face? 

Do you have a lounger in it or a preferred chair of some sort? It’s worth starting there and planning your location around that. There are a few parts that matter here: 

1) How do you want to get into the hot tub or swim spa and once you’re in, where do you want to be facing? If your goal is to read or relax in the spa or tub, you may want to face the rest of your backyard for the best view from that particular seat. 

2) You also don’t want people having to climb in over you, so you’ll want to ensure any stairs or entry point is placed opposite or away from your preferred seat if possible. 

3) Lastly, you’ll want that entry point to the tub aligned with the door to your home, for easiest access, again, if at all possible.  

The Best Possible Spot for Your Hot Tub or Swim Spa is …

Where can my swim spa or hot tub go is a common question we are asked and one we get in our stores frequently. We wrote this guide to give you some of our best tips and tricks on where they can be placed, how much space you need to leave around them, and how to ensure you leave a place for your cover, while keeping the neighbors out of sight. 

Installation is a key part of any hot tub or swim spa purchase, and it’s entirely possible you have other questions. We have other articles for you to consider, by checking out our Learning Centre. Or if you’d prefer to talk to a retailer, find one closest to you here

Jon Filson is the Senior Content Manager at Hydropool Swim Spas and Hot Tubs.  


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