Cost comparison: Small pool vs swim spa

If you only have room for a small pool in your yard, you can opt for a traditional pool or go for a swim spa. If your decision's come down to dollars and cents, this post helps you do the math.

What's the difference in price between a small pool and a swim spa?

Pool and basic install$25,000 to $35,000$40,000 to $50,000
Waterfall feature and lights$2,000$6,000
Hot tub$0$10,000 to $15,000
Liner replacement$0$3,000 (after 15 years)
TOTAL ONE-TIME COSTS$27,000 to $37,000$54,000 to $69,000
(over 25 year lifespan)
$90 to $123/month of use
(used 12 months a year)
$480 to $613/month of use
(used seasonally)

Here's how we came up with the numbers:

Basic install of a swim spa includes a concrete pad, delivery (including craning into place), hookups and basic landscaping. The swim spa is above ground.

Basic install of a small inground pool includes delivery to the site, excavation, hookups and a basic concrete deck.

Hot tubs that are attached to traditional pools usually require expensive stonework to look attractive, which is why $15,000 is the top of the range we're giving here. If you don't want a hot tub, you can remove that cost from the calculation altogether.

We haven't factored maintenance costs into our math because they're approximately the same for a swim spa and small inground pool. If you keep your swim spa open year round, however, you'll save money on the opening and closing costs that accompany traditional pool ownership.

"We like to factor in the amount the pool will be used when considering price. A swim spa can be used year-round. A small inground pool offers seasonal use."

Think an above ground swim spa can't look good?
Take a look at these stunners.

6 amazing above ground swimpools