Your complete guide to swim spa installations

Like someone who has found an indie band of their very own, you have discovered the swim spa. It’s like a hot tub, but you can swim in it, but less expensive than a pool. The only question left is where it goes in your garden.

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

Published Nov 25, 2023

Like someone who has found an indie band of their very own, you have discovered the swim spa. It’s like a hot tub, but you can swim in it, but less expensive than a pool. The only question left is where it goes in your garden.

And then it hits you:

  • Where can it go in your garden?
  • Or should it go in your garage?
  • Maybe it should go indoors?
  • Or maybe it should partially above ground, for a lifted effect.
  • Maybe it should go entirely below? Or perhaps just sit there on top, with decking built around?
  • Or can it go on a deck itself?

So many questions. We are asked all of these and more from swim spa buyers and would-be buyers at our retail stores. So we wrote this article with the answers, so you could know what option fits you best. Have a read and hopefully by the end it will be more clear on what works best for you.

Can you put a swim spa in the ground?

Yes. Swim spas can be placed in-ground all the way or part of the way. The most popular option locally is to semi-submerge the hot tub into the ground, with more than three-quarters of swim spas being installed this way in the UK. This look is quite refined and requires additional landscaping, but done well, the swim spa will look like an integrated and expensive addition to your home and garden.

You will need to create a wide area surrounding the swim spa, so that it can be accessed for service, and a pump will need to be installed to keep that area from becoming filled with water due to rain or overflow from swimming, should you be especially energetic. 

Can you bury a swim spa?

As in put it entirely below ground? Yes you can. This is another quite popular approach with all of the caveats of putting a swim spa in the ground part of the way. You will need to build a basin to hold the swim spa so that it can be accessed for service and you will need to ensure that the basin is kept dry with a pump.

Can you put a swim spa in a garage?

Yes. There are a few thing you’re going to want to be sure of though.

To install a swim spa in a garage:

  • You will want to be sure the foundation is solid, as swim spas must live on a flat, stable, strong surface, such as concrete pad.
  • You will want to make sure there is adequate electrical capabilities, as swim spas require 240V of power.
  • You will want to have sufficient ventilation. Exhaust ventilation is expected, to forcibly expel the moisture that invariably will build up.
  • You will want to be satisfied you have access. How are you getting the swim spa inside the space you’re considering? If it’s not built, this is relatively easy. But if it is built already, you will need to ensure you have a large enough doorway to slide the swim spa through.

If putting your swim spa in the ground indoors, the same caveats apply as outdoors. You will need a concrete basin surrounding your swim spa to guarantee access, and you will want a system to ensure that basin is free of water.

Can you put a swim spa indoors?

Yes. It doesn’t have to be just a garage! A swim spa can be installed indoors. Our showrooms regularly feature swim spas that you can test before you buy, for example, so we are quite used to indoor installations.

Keep in mind the floor/foundation, adequate ventilation and electrical will all be required as well as access to the space in the first place: The swim spa will need to get in the door somehow. With indoor installations, we highly recommend you speak to a local retailer who can work with you to advise you of the particulars to your location. We find even in gardens, every delivery is unique.

Do you need planning permissions for swim spas?

Here’s the good news: In 99.9% of situations you do not need any permissions. You should always discuss this with your local retailer, however, before you buy. But it is a very rare situation where anything document is required as a swim spa is a portable unit, not a permanent one like an in-ground pool.

Can you put a swim spa on a deck?

In short, no. We do not advise this. A swim spa is extremely heavy and a deck isn’t build to take the weight. Swim spas must be placed on a secure concrete pad.

Swim spas are great contributors to gardens. While it is common to put them in the ground, it isn’t mandatory. Decking can be built around a swim spa so that you’re able to step right in and so that your swim spa doesn’t stick right out but is instead incorporated into the surroundings.

Where can I install a swim spa?

Swim spas can be more easily located in your garden or indoors than pools. There is additional work for different applications, but swim spas remain versatile units.

Most people in the UK semi-submerge swim spas, with more than 3/4s of the buying public opting for that particular approach. It requires a bit of extra effort, but the overall effect is often stunning, with access made easy through steps and decking.

Whichever way you decide is right for you, we hope we have answered many of your questions here on how swim spas can be installed. If we have missed any questions, please let us know, by contacting your local retailer here.

Jon Filson is the Senior Content Manager at Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas.