Deciding Between a Swim Spa and a Pool

The decision between investing in a swim spa or a pool can be tough. But once you understand the basics of how each will fit into your lifestyle, you can make an informed decision.

Below you’ll learn more about what you should think about to help you decide between a swim spa and a pool.

Consider the Space

Space should always be your first consideration when choosing between a swim spa or a pool. If you have a large backyard, a pool could be ideal, but swim spas are great for smaller spaces. It’s also important to think about other activities you like to use your outdoor area for. Even if you have a lot of space, you may want to reserve some of it for a patio, garden, or deck.

If you have minimal space but want to be able to swim every day, a swim spa is a terrific choice. It’s also a good idea if you want to use your outdoor area for a variety of different purposes. Remember that you can choose a swim spa that is the perfect size for your space and needs since they range from 12 to 19 feet in size.

Think About the Swim Season

The swim season in Canada is usually only four to six months for a swimming pool. What many people don’t know is that swim spas can be used 365 days a year. If you want to keep your fitness routine on track throughout the year, or simply want to experience leisure and relaxation in the water every day, a swim spa is the better choice.

Look into Installation

Installation costs and timelines for pools and swim spas are quite different. While the installation timeframe for a pool is one to two weeks, there is also a lot of legwork that goes into the process. You will need to apply for permits, excavate and grade, pour concrete, and install a liner all before you can think about filling the pool.

If you want a lower maintenance option, a swim spa is a good idea. The installation timeframe is around three days and the only additional construction you’ll need is a concrete pad for support. If you want an in-ground installation for your swim spa, this is also possible, depending on the brand.

If your budget is important, it’s important to keep in mind that an in-ground pool costs approximately $38,000 to install. Meanwhile, the installation cost for a swim spa is around $25,000.

Put Safety First

A cover is the single most important safety consideration you can make for a swimming pool or swim spa. Again, if your budget is important, remember that a swim spa comes with a hard cover included. These covers are designed for easy application and removal. Swimming pool safety covers cost between $2500 and $5000 and are often cumbersome to put on and take off.

Filtering and Heating

The filtration and heating systems are very different in swimming pools versus swim spas and will cost you vastly different amounts of energy and money. A typical swimming pool will take 12 to 18 hours to filter, during which time it uses a lot of energy. A high-quality swim spa, however, can completely filter its water in less than an hour, which results in superior energy savings.

Swimming pools also cost a lot more to heat than swim spas because of heat loss from the water’s surface. Swim spas are designed to reuse waste heat from the pumps, reducing the burden on the heater. Heating a swim spa costs only a quarter of what it costs to heat a swimming pool per month.

Maintenance Costs and Requirements

Chemicals, equipment, and parts are all expensive aspects of maintenance, but swimming pool maintenance tends to be substantially higher than maintenance for a swim spa. As a comparison, it will cost you $1000 to maintain a pool throughout a single swim season while maintaining a swim spa costs around $500 for the entire year.

In terms of parts, warranties are essential to covering this cost. There is often no warranty on a swimming pool or its parts, but a good swim spa will include a 10-year warranty. Another added maintenance cost for swimming pools is the liner, which you will need to replace every 10 to 15 years. This usually costs between $4000 and $5000. If you choose a swim spa, however, the shell will never require replacement.

Exercise and Entertainment

Swimming pools and swim spas are both terrific choices if you’re looking for fun and fitness, but a swim spa will give you more options for both. While swim spas don’t have diving boards, they can be accessorized to include rowing machines, resistance training, water pilates, treadmills, and other exercise options.

Because you can adjust the resistance level of a swim spa, you’ll be better able to challenge yourself as you become a better swimmer. Finally, swim spas have the ability to track your workout statistics so you can stay on top of your progress.

Now that you know more about swim spas versus swimming pools, find out about the best swim spa for you by downloading our swim spa buyer’s guide.