Building my own spa

Mar 29, 2008
18
Granite Bay, CA
#1
I am interested in building my own in ground spa, but the only part I figure I won't be able to do myself is the gunite.
I want my hot tub to be circular and fit 5-6 people.

How much should I expect that to cost?

Also, where do I go to get more information on spa construction. I've searched the web and I can't find a whole lot.
 

cobra46

LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2007
467
Rocklin, Ca
#2
the bbxx,

I would draw up a simple drawing and get real quotes for gunite and whatever type of plaster/pebble your doing. The rest of the cost would just be equipment and PVC.

My neighbor and I just signed contracts with Aqua yesterday. My neighbor is paying $6200 for the addition of the spa. I would assume that if you hired a pool company to build a spa without a pool it would be more. To add a spa to a pool build is not that much more because all the trades are already there to begin with, with the exception of plumbing, they just have a small bit more work.
 

vincent

Well-known member
Jan 31, 2008
109
Malaysia
#4
thebbxx,

I don't know much about your temperature but if it's mild, you could use concrete base and hollow blocks instead of gunite. Gunite for a small project will be costly due to mobilisation. With hollow blocks, you cn DIY. Here in Malaysia, we can even use red bricks. My 4ft ddep pool uses red bricks.

Vincent
 

vincent

Well-known member
Jan 31, 2008
109
Malaysia
#6
You can smooth it out during plastering. It may cost a little more plastering but you'll save a fortune fron the pb. Post some pics when done.
 

sevver

Well-known member
Mar 27, 2007
477
Morris, IL
#7
The actually have round blocks for building manholes. You should be able to get them from a supply yard for tanks, septic systems or something.
 
Mar 29, 2008
18
Granite Bay, CA
#8
Digging right now!

I decided to go with a rectangular shape after all... I realized I could have it slightly raised out of the ground, next to my deck, and I'll be able to hop right in. Also it's a lot easier to do this shape with the blocks. I noticed some curved blocks, but they are more expensive and they are solid; so you can't put rebar through them.

I've been digging by hand and I'm about 1/3 of the way done with the hole. I will take pictures along the way and post them here.

Where do contractors go to get pool plumbing supplies? (main drain, schedule 80 PVC, jets, etc) Is there a chain or is it more of a local thing?
 

cobra46

LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2007
467
Rocklin, Ca
#9
I 've been thinking about your situation over the weekend.

Have you considered the cost of operating a built in spa? We are waiting for our permit to start our build and elected to go with a standalone spa because they are far more efficient to operate, more comfortable to sit in and have way more jets.

There is a spa store in Rocklin on Five Star that has some cool pictures of standalone spas that have been built in so they are at ground level.
 
Mar 29, 2008
18
Granite Bay, CA
#10
Hey Cobra,

I haven't thought much about the cost of operation between standalone and built in. I figure it would be about the same?

One of the reasons I want to build this myself is so I can customize it to match my house and landscaping. (tile, flagstone around the rim, etc)
 

cobra46

LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2007
467
Rocklin, Ca
#11
Standalone units are significantly less expensive to run compared to a standard uninsulated gunite spa.

New standalone spas are extremely well insulated and more so when the cover is on. They are kept warm 24/7 and are always ready when you are.

I don't know about your habits but I enjoy sitting in a spa when it's cold outside. A gunite/brick spa in the winter will require a heater to heat the water from ~50 degrees to 102 degrees every time you want to use it. That requires a lot of heat and $$$$.

Whatever you decide, good luck.
 

revstriker

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2008
117
Texas
#13
cobra46 said:
Standalone units are significantly less expensive to run compared to a standard uninsulated gunite spa.

New standalone spas are extremely well insulated and more so when the cover is on. They are kept warm 24/7 and are always ready when you are.

I don't know about your habits but I enjoy sitting in a spa when it's cold outside. A gunite/brick spa in the winter will require a heater to heat the water from ~50 degrees to 102 degrees every time you want to use it. That requires a lot of heat and $$$$.

Whatever you decide, good luck.
When we were having our pool built, we opted not to get a spa installed for this exact reason. We decided instead to add on a stand alone unit at a later date. Considering we would use it mostly in the winter months, it would be more efficient with less wait time; ready to use when we are.

That said, I am very interested in following this build. Looking forward to the pics! :)
 
Mar 29, 2008
18
Granite Bay, CA
#15
30 minutes later...

The ground is so hard I have to use a pick ax to break it up first.

I'm getting really good exercise out of this and I am using it as a way to prepare for my trip to the royal peacock opal mine. I saw it on the discovery channel :)
 

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