Is a homemade tub for me?

While there are certainly exceptions, most homemade hot tubs are built not as a way to save money compared to an acrylic spa, but more as a way to create a bathing experience you just can’t have with a plastic or even a wooden hot tub.

Someone may desire a special shape or contour, or a tile interior, and although a plywood vessel is not unheard of (usually fitted with a vinyl liner), probably the most common material used nowadays to fashion a home built hot tub is indeed some form of masonry – concrete, block or gunite – usually either with a natural, plaster or tile interior.

Outfitting such a vessel has been a specialty of ours for quite a number of years, and they represent our most beautiful and exotic installations. However, unless you can do the masonry work yourself, you can expect to pay much more for such an spa than you would for a plastic hot tub.

The exception would be the surprising number of people over the years that we’ve helped to convert an existing vessel into a hot tub, most often a plastic tank designed to water stock farm animals.

However, when you’re comparing the cost of an acrylic spa to such a system, it’s worth noting that only about a third of that cost is represented by the value of the vessel. Therefore, all other factors being equal, you’re still going to spend about two thirds the cost of a commercially built spa for the equipment that you need to support this vessel.

We feel obliged to part with a warning. As you shop around for a way to get you and your family into hot water, beware of the acrylic spas that presently flood our market that are made in China. These are the spas that you see being sold by the mass merchandisers, and by many of the other companies selling spas – both on the internet and brick and mortar.

Do not assume that even a well known brand name is still made here in the U.S., as many have moved their manufacturing off shore.

The Chinese made spas are the epitome of substandard merchandise. They are guaranteed to fail within the first year or two, and usually it’s difficult, if not impossible, to get replacement part and equipment.

Unfortunately we make a good business helping hapless customers that have purchased these cheap spas and are faced with the task of gutting and replacing the entire equipment compartment.

You’ll find plumbing schematics and other support and suggestions for homemade hot tub builders available here for free download, and we’re always happy to address your specific questions directly via a call (304-645-2310), e-mail ( or live chat accessible by clicking on the live chat button in the upper right of any page on our main website at