10 DIY Hot Tubs for Any Budget
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A hot tub is a great way to unwind and relax after a long day. Buying a traditional hot tub can be pretty expensive, costing you any where from $2,000 to $12,000 depending on features and size.
A DIY hot tub is an inexpensive option that you can easily build and some will cost you under $100. Depending on your skill level and wants, you can find a DIY hot tub below that won’t break your budget. Here are 10 DIY hot tubs for any budget and every skill level.
#1 Wood Burning Hot Tub
With just a little wood to build and a little more wood to heat the water, you can have this DIY hot tub up and running in a matter of days.
The perimeter frame of this hot tub is constructed from cedar planks, but any type of wood you have on hand could work to build the frame. While cedar can be expensive, this DIY plan explains how to find quality wood at a discount.
These detailed plans will also walk you through the entire DIY building process, along with videos, so that you can build a relaxing, inexpensive hot tub in no time.
#2 Steel Barrel Hot Tub
This hot tub requires a 55 gallon closed steel barrel and is great for 6 to 8 people. It will require the use of a few tools and takes about 3 hours to get up to a desired temperature. The total cost is about $650 which puts it on the higher DIY hot tub side but still a lot less than buying one.
This barrel is small enough to throw in the back of a pick up truck which makes moving it, if needed, much easier than a traditional hot tub. This one might require a little bit more plumbing knowledge and soldering skills. You can find step by step instructions here.
#3 Up-Cycled Bath Tub
If you have a bath tub you don’t use any more why not turn it into a hot tub? even if you do not have one laying around, they are easy to find on craigslist or other places. This works great since a bath tub is built to hold hot water.
This is not only an easy project but a fairly inexpensive one. For a few hundred dollars you can have a nice area set up for relaxation. You may need a plumber to install a new exterior hot water bib, or to replace an exterior hose bib with one that that can tie into a hot water line at most. To get more information about this project you can click here.
#4 Back Country Hot Tub
The crudest of DIY hot tubs is the backcountry tub. This involves filling some type of container with water and heat by dropping fire-warmed rocks into their depths. This method works well, but is labor intensive, not to mention that picking up and carrying smoking hot rocks has serious risks.
A more practical method involves flexible copper pipe, a campfire, some old garden hose, and the benefits of thermodynamics. This way the fire heats the water in the copper coil, and the warmer water moves upward through the system. This entire project can be done for under $300 depending on the container you use.
#5 Old Couch Hot Tub
This is a do it yourself hot tub that costs less than $250 if you have some old couches laying around. I’ll take it! Next you just need a rubber garden pons sheet, and some reinforcement. The sofas aren’t just for the perimeter of the hot tub, but they also act as seating.
With a lot of construction adhesive, glue, nails and a rubber liner, you will be in business. There are several methods you can choose to heat but this particular guide uses hot water from the tap. To find out more about this project, click here.
#6 Solar Hot Tub
Without getting too technical, this solar hot tub this involved combining elements with a pump, an expansion tank, a pressure relief valve, and miscellaneous valves and gauges to be able to charge the solar heating system. By using several solar panels this hot tub is not going to get cold but this could prove to be a lengthy project.
The design is rock which surrounds the tub and it extends all the way to the ceiling on the back half. The rock wall was firmly anchored into place with heavy wire secured to supports and stuffed with insulation. This hot tub could cost you $500 and up if you had to buy the rocks and parts entirely. If you already own solar panels then it could work out well for you.
#7 Pallet Hot Tub
If you have a bunch of pallets laying around, this maybe the project for you. The rustic look of this pallet hot tub is sure to add some warmth to your patio for pretty cheap. With a liner, some screws, pvc pipe and an above ground pool heater you can be relaxing in your hot tub in a day or so.
This project is very simple and can be done for around $100 if you have pallets laying around or can pick some up for free. To keep cost down you may consider other heating methods, especially if you have solar panels already in place.
#8 Concrete Hot Tub
This DIY hot tub is not just concrete but the structure is built from sandbags in a concrete base. With some strategic placing of the bags,chicken wire, bricks and plaster, this hot tub design requires little tools. It can also be used as a small pool but any type of heating element can be added to warm up the water.
This hot tub design is 60% in ground and looks like a rough version of a built in hot tub. This tutorial walks you through each step of the building process and also shows you how to add a built in area for the pump.
#9 Rubbermaid Hot Tub
If you’re working with a small budget and just need a hot tub for one, maybe 2 people, this could be the one. You can start with a 150 gallon Rubbermaid container and choose the method of heat. It wouldn’t be out of the question to add jets if you really want to be creative.
In this picture the creator of this DIY hot tub appears to be using a compressor to create bubbles. Using solar or an above ground heater would also work in heating this tub. This hot tub can be set up for under $100.
#10 Block Wall Hot Tub
A Block Wall Hot Tub may sound like something left for the professionals, but this tutorial will show you every step and save you a ton of money on a hot tub. It is built with a concrete base pad and you will need a good amount of space for it. The structure is built like a block wall then can be smoothed with gunite or cement.
This option would be one of the more expensive and more permanent DIY hot tubs. The total construction could cost you $3,000 to $5,000 but is a great alternative to a built in hot tub which would cost $50,000 or more.