How to decide the best location for a swim spa or plunge pool (What to consider, ideas, and more)

Where is the best location for a swim spa or plunge pool? How do you decide where to put a swim spa? In this article, we answer all your questions and explain what you need to know so you can plan out the perfect spot for your swim spa.

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If you’re planning on installing a swim spa or plunge pool, you need to make sure you start with the right location. A well-placed swim spa not only improves the appearance and value of your home but will also be more convenient and enjoyable to use.

In this article, we discuss the best places to install your swim spa, and the important considerations to keep in mind. After reading, you should know how to pick the best spot for a swim spa at your place.

You’ll also find,

swim spa location

Where is the best place to put a swim spa?

A swim spa can be installed in most locations as long as there is enough space, it is put on a solid, level foundation and there is access to the necessary power supply nearby.

With that said, if you want to get the most out of your investment then there are a few other things you should consider.

For example, how far from the house do you want it? How much room do you need around your swim spa? Do you want it installed above ground or inground? Are you considering a deck or a pit for your new spa?

You’ll find the answers to these questions and more below. What do I need to consider when choosing my swim spa location?

Whether you’re just thinking of buying a swim spa or have already ordered one and simply waiting for delivery, figuring out where you’ll install it is one of the first things you’ll want to do.

They may not require as much space as a swimming pool, but there are still things to think about or plan for before your swim spa is installed.

Top 8 things to think about when planning your swim spa installation.

1. Solid foundation

The first thing you need to have to install a swim spa is a solid, level foundation. You need a base that is strong enough to support the total weight of your spa when it’s filled with water and has people in it. You do have a lot of options to choose from when deciding on a swim spa foundation, but we recommend consulting with a building professional so you can be sure that it has structural integrity and follows your local building regulations.

To learn more about swim spa foundations, click the button below.

2. Electrical requirements

When deciding the perfect spot for your swim spa, one of the most important considerations is the power supply. You want to have a safe and dedicated power source that connects directly to your spa.

We do not recommend using extension cords as it can lead to voltage drops and other power issues that can damage your spa or cause an accident. For your safety and to ensure that you follow the correct electrical requirements and regulations, remember all electrical work must be carried out by a qualified electrician.

Learn more about the electrical requirements for your swim spa below.

3. Easy access for service

One thing that’s easy to overlook when deciding where to place a swim spa is having service access. It’s vital that you leave enough space around the spa, particularly on the side where the electrical components are, so you can address service and maintenance issues down the line.

Make sure that there is nothing that can obstruct the service panel. If you decide to install the swim spa inground, plan out your service access accordingly like what our customer did in this video. Or you may like to add a hatch in the deck or ground for maintenance access.

Click the button below to find out more about equipment access for inbuilt or inground spas.

4. Safety barriers

Local councils may have different rules and regulations regarding swim spa safety. Depending on your area, you may need to install a swim spa safety barrier around your spa.

Before you proceed, we recommend consulting your local council so you can get an idea of what safety requirements you need to prepare for your swim spa.

5. Ventilation

Swim spas are heated, so they can build up a significant amount of steam and condensation. For this reason, they are usually installed in an open outdoor space like the backyard, the patio, or a garden.

However, this does not mean that you cannot install your swim spa indoors. You do need to plan for proper ventilation if you choose to do so. The ventilation you need will have to consider the different seasons, too.

Consult with a building professional to carefully plan out the ventilation if you want an indoor swim spa.

6. Drainage

Another important factor to consider when choosing a spot for a swim spa is the drainage situation. While most modern swim spas have self-cleaning technology and will only need to be drained and refilled with water every 12 to 18 months, having access to the drainage system is vital.

Learn how to drain and refill your spa below.

7. Privacy

No matter where you choose to put your swim spa, having adequate privacy is crucial. While indoor installation can allow you to enjoy your spa experience in total privacy, an outdoor swim spa can also have plenty of privacy with the right planning.

A fence, for example, is a great way to protect your privacy while enjoying your swim spa. Having well-placed plants or shrubs in your backyard or garden can also help you create a secluded, private space to enjoy your swim spa.

You can also choose to install an umbrella, pergola, or gazebo with privacy blinds to help you create a more private space that will fit the aesthetic of your backyard.

Visit our pergola and umbrella product pages to learn more about the best options for your swim spa.

8. Views and aesthetic requirements

Aside from the technical requirements, you may also want to consider what the view will be like once you have your swim spa installed.

Do you have a picturesque landscape or beautiful garden that you want to look at when soaking in your swim spa? Or does your property face a river or a lake that you want to look out on? Is the night sky in your place something you want to have a view of when using your spa?

Whatever the view may be, you want to think carefully about getting the most out of it when positioning your spa. You can keep in mind how you’ll be using your spa, which seats you’re likely to use, and what you would be looking at when planning your swim spa location.

Watch: Award-winning pool design idea for small backyards

Which is a better location for a swim spa: above ground or in-ground?

You can choose to install your swim spa above ground on top of a solid foundation, or you can choose to have it in-ground much like a swimming pool. Both are great options!

Having said that, there are pros and cons to each one. The final choice ultimately depends on what you feel is the best choice for you, but to help you decide here’s a comparison of the two installation types.

Above ground swim spa

above ground hydrozone swim spa

Above ground Hydrozone™ swim spa

Any swim spa can be an above ground swim spa. This means that you will be installing your self-contained and pre-plumbed swim spa on top of a solid foundation instead of inside a dugout structure.

There are many advantages to choosing above ground swim spas compared to inground swim spas, but there are certain disadvantages as well.

Pros of above ground swim spa

  • Easy installation. Above ground swim spas require very little excavation if any at all, so installation is usually quick and simple. This allows you and your family to enjoy your swim spa earlier.

  • More options for location. Due to the lack of excavation, you do get to have more choices when it comes to deciding where to place your swim spa. You can install it in whichever part of your property you prefer as long as you have a solid foundation and access to electrical components.

  • Safety. Aboveground swim spas tend to be safer for children or pets in general because the height already serves as a barrier to prevent toddlers or kids from getting in.

  • You can bring it when you relocate. At the same time, it is also possible to take your swim spa with you if you choose to sell your home or get a new one.

  • Budget-friendly. Aboveground swim spas also cost less to install compared to inground swim spas because they require less installation and preparation.

  • Easier to maintain. Because the internal components of your spa are easier to access, doing routine maintenance is also easier and more convenient.

Cons of above ground swim spa

  • Less accessible. An aboveground swim may be more challenging to access compared to an inground swim spa. Depending on the physical limitations of you and your loved ones, you will need to purchase steps to get in and out of the spa more comfortably.

  • May clash with design aesthetics. Swim spas tend to be bulky and certain brands and models will only have limited selections of spa shell and cabinet colour options. Because of this, aboveground swim spas tend to be more challenging in complementing the surrounding landscape.

  • More exposure to wind which can require more heating if the swim spa is poorly insulated.

in-ground Vortex Hydrozone swim spa

in-ground Vortex Hydrozone™ swim spa

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Pros of in-ground swim spa

  • Blends into the landscape. In-ground spas typically have more aesthetic value because they can easily blend in with the surrounding landscape.

  • Looks like a swimming pool. If you have limited space but want to have a swimming pool, installing your swim spa or plunge pool in the ground, either fully or partially can give you a similar look.

  • Added property value. While above ground spas can also boost your property’s resale value, inground spas tend to add more perceived value.

  • Customizable. With inground spas, you have unlimited choices when it comes to how you want it to look. You can choose among many different materials to use around the spa. You can integrate it with the deck, use flagstones, concrete, or tiles as coping, or even set it partially aboveground.

  • Easy to access. Because it is set inground, you typically have no need for steps to get in and out of your swim spa. Inground spas are a great choice if you, a family member, or a prospective guest have mobility limitations.

Cons of inground swim spa

  • Limited options when it comes to location. If you decide to have an inground spa, you may have limited choices on where to put it because of the need to excavate.

  • Complicated and lengthy installation process. Inground swim spas will take much longer to install compared to aboveground swim spas. The excavation and construction will likely add more waiting time. It will also require more expert hands to get a working design built to make sure the electrical components and drainage are all well in place.

  • Safety concerns. For inground swim spas, you will need to be more prudent regarding safety features to protect toddlers or pets from getting in the spa by accident.

Now let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions around swim spa and plunge pool locations…

How much room do I need for a swim spa?

When planning your swim spa installation, having the exact dimensions of your swim spa or plunge pool is very important. Not only do you need to have an accurate measure of the length and width of your swim spa, considering the depth can also be a vital factor.

Swim spas come in different sizes, but they are typically smaller than swimming pools but bigger than spa pools. On average, they hover around 4m to 6m in length and 2m to 3m in width.

In terms of depth, you’ll find them to be around 1.30m or deeper. To learn more about the different specifications of swim spas, you can compare different models on our website.

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How much room do you need around a swim spa?

We recommend allowing for at least 1m at the equipment bay and at least 500 mm on the other three sides of the spa to give you room to get in and out and allow for service.

Find out more about important considerations when planning your spa delivery below.

Can a swim spa be placed against a wall?

We would advise against placing a swim spa against a wall. While it’s best to have your swim spa as close to the house as possible, you need to plan out space around the spa for getting in and out. It is also important to make sure the service panel is accessible.

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How close should a swim spa be to the house?

The closer the spa is to your house, the more you will use it. We recommend staying at least 600 mm from the house, but certain localities may have varying recommendations for this. Make sure to check the rules and regulations regarding swim spas when planning for your installation.

Does a swim spa add value to your home?


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Yes! A swim spa can do absolute wonders to increase your home's resale value. A swim spa installation that prioritises design and aesthetic value will be attractive and can bump up your asking price.

Spas that are built to look like a part of your property such as ones that are built into backyard patios and decks are likely to get you more when you decide to sell your house.

Having said that, the exact amount it adds varies and there are times when having a swim spa may not add more value to your property at all. A professional appraiser or a real estate agent may help you if you want to know the precise figure.

Check out the link below for swim spa design ideas that can help you increase the value of your home.

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Do you need a fence around a swim spa?

swim spa with fence

In many states, swim spas need to be fenced with an approved pool safety barrier. For more information about swim spa regulations in New Zealand, click the button below.

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Can I put a swim spa in my garage?

If you want to convert your garage into a room for a swim spa, you may certainly do so. Having said that, make sure that you have an adequate foundation and access to the power source. You will also need to plan for ventilation and drainage to avoid issues down the line.

Should you wish to install your swim spa in your existing garage, be sure to consult with a building professional and a spa expert to help you with the technical requirements you need to prepare.

Can you put a spa in a shed?

It certainly is possible to house your swim spa within a shed, but sheds are generally not suitable for a swim spa.

Some sheds may not have the structural integrity required to hold the weight of a swim spa, or the electrical requirements needed to run one. As with all internal installations, you must seek advice from your local council and ventilation expert.

How do I prepare for a swim spa?

Whether you are planning or have already started your swim spa purchase, there are important steps you need to take into account. Check out the button below to find out all that you need to prepare before your swim spa arrives on your property.

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Choosing where to place your swim spa is ultimately a personal decision, but we hope this article has helped you in your decision-making process and answered any questions you might have.

If you need any more help or advice regarding your swim spa, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our website or drop into your local Spa World Showroom. We are here to help!

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