Modifying Existing Pool - Add Spa

Yeshelloo

Active member
Mar 13, 2019
42
Safety Harbor, Fl
Good morning, I recently posted a question about redoing my pool and over the past few days my spouse and I have been discussing our plans for the pool area. I'm thinking my current pool finish has a couple years left so I want to start planning now so I can set money aside to redo the inside but we've also been discussing how it would be nice to have a spa attached to the pool with a waterfall that spilled into the pool. I was just wondering if anyone has ever done anything like this where they've modified their existing pool to add a spa and if so, about how much should I expect to pay?
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
Aug 10, 2017
897
Morris Cnty NJ
Depends what kind of spa you want. You can get premade tub spas and then dig, plumb it, and finish coping and area around it. You can also dig and form it up, plumb it, then shoot gunite. More expensive that way. Regardless its twice as expensive to add after the fact than when pool is built. You can keep cost down if it's near you plumbing and you manage to design it by cutting into existing pool area where no rebuilding of existing pool deck is needed and you slide it in and on top of what's there
 

Yeshelloo

Active member
Mar 13, 2019
42
Safety Harbor, Fl
Depends what kind of spa you want. You can get premade tub spas and then dig, plumb it, and finish coping and area around it. You can also dig and form it up, plumb it, then shoot gunite. More expensive that way. Regardless its twice as expensive to add after the fact than when pool is built. You can keep cost down if it's near you plumbing and you manage to design it by cutting into existing pool area where no rebuilding of existing pool deck is needed and you slide it in and on top of what's there
Thanks for the reply. I was hoping to have it formed with rebar and then shot with gunite. It would probably also require that the existing pool be modified slightly and the concrete pool deck to be broken into.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
12,585
Bedford, TX
Matt,

Have you ever been in a gunite spa before? If not you need to try one before you buy one. :)

I say this because built-in spas are probably the most oversold and underused items in a pool build. When done right they are visually stunning, but they are not all that comfortable. I am not against them, I just believe that you need to fully understand what you are getting before investing $15 to $25K of your money, that you might end up not using. While many owners love them, my "guess" is that at least 50% of owners only use their Spas a couple of times a year, or not at all after the first year.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Geebot

Well-known member
Aug 19, 2013
822
That's a "trimming sideburns" proposition. You're going to need to excavate without causing too much damage to the existing pool structure, build a new spa (with added plumbing), rework the existing pool, rework the deck and coping.... Every step will likely encounter unexpected existing conditions that need to be reconfigured. Jimmy's "twice as expensive" guess is probably low. You're going to pay a ridiculous amount of money for something that can be achieved more cheaply and easily. You can buy an expensive high end free-standing spa like this and come out way ahead:

STIL™ - Modern Hot Tub Concept | Bullfrog Spas

As an aside, I had a friend who wanted to reconfigure his backyard and mentioned (very optimistically) "moving the pool" as if such a thing was possible. I kept pointing out that it couldn't be moved but would need to be rebuilt from scratch. After several such conversations it started to sink in.
 

Yeshelloo

Active member
Mar 13, 2019
42
Safety Harbor, Fl
That's a "trimming sideburns" proposition. You're going to need to excavate without causing too much damage to the existing pool structure, build a new spa (with added plumbing), rework the existing pool, rework the deck and coping.... Every step will likely encounter unexpected existing conditions that need to be reconfigured. Jimmy's "twice as expensive" guess is probably low. You're going to pay a ridiculous amount of money for something that can be achieved more cheaply and easily. You can buy an expensive high end free-standing spa like this and come out way ahead:

STIL™ - Modern Hot Tub Concept | Bullfrog Spas

As an aside, I had a friend who wanted to reconfigure his backyard and mentioned (very optimistically) "moving the pool" as if such a thing was possible. I kept pointing out that it couldn't be moved but would need to be rebuilt from scratch. After several such conversations it started to sink in.
Yeah, these are the answers I was kind of expecting. As much as I'd love the seamless look of the a hot tub attached the to pool, I kind of figured it would be a big "to do." I was hoping someone would have some positive experiences but figured deep down that these were the answers I was going to get. If it were going to be $10k to do, that would be one thing, but if it's getting to $20k +, it's just totally not even worth it. I'd rather just extend my lanai and put in a freestanding hot tub.
 

Yeshelloo

Active member
Mar 13, 2019
42
Safety Harbor, Fl
Matt,

Have you ever been in a gunite spa before? If not you need to try one before you buy one. :)

I say this because built-in spas are probably the most oversold and underused items in a pool build. When done right they are visually stunning, but they are not all that comfortable. I am not against them, I just believe that you need to fully understand what you are getting before investing $15 to $25K of your money, that you might end up not using. While many owners love them, my "guess" is that at least 50% of owners only use their Spas a couple of times a year, or not at all after the first year.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks for the reply, that's pretty much the answer I was expecting but was being hopeful it may not be. I'll probably just end up going with a free standing hot tub and call it a day.
 

Waterfan

Bronze Supporter
Apr 30, 2018
43
Chattanooga, TN
I’ve had a stand alone spa at my last house and I now have a gunite one that flows into my pool. The stand-alones are far nicer in terms of heating, spa pressure, features and comfort. My current one is a bath tub that gets hot very slowly at best - which we knew going into it. We could not have a stand alone in our neighborhood unfortunately. Maybe consider burying a stand alone next to your pool?
 

atttech-2

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 24, 2015
1,184
Central Valley CA
+1 on the standalone. hate to beat a dead horse here but...
less expensive to buy, less expensive to operate, less expensive to repair, less expensive to remove and/or replace. noticing a trend here ...
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
Aug 10, 2017
897
Morris Cnty NJ
I agree with the standalone hot tub. That's what I'm doing this year when I'm done with the pool. And I think 20k is wishful thinking for an after the fact addition add to that quite a bit when you factor replumbing and electric
 

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