Hot Tub in a Basement: The Pros and Cons


A man cave is a place to unwind after a long day or week of your daily grinding. It is a place to escape reality for a brief moment in time. What could make a man cave more relaxing than it already is? If you haven’t guessed it, I got two words for you— “HOT TUB.” However, if your basement does not have the proper plumbing for a hot tub, it can be a lot of work. Here are the pros and cons of having a hot tub in a basement.

HOT TUB IN A BASEMENT: PROS and CONS

PROS CONS
REST AND RELAXATION COULD BE A LOT OF WORK
ADDS FLAVOR TO YOUR MAN CAVE UNRECYCLABLE WATER
FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
YOU WOULD ALREADY HAVE A SEWAGE PUMP THE RISK OF LEAKAGE
PRIVACY EXPENSIVE CONTRACTOR FEES
LESS HOT TUB MAINTENANCE MOISTURE AND HUMIDITY ISSUES
YEAR-ROUND USE CHEMICAL SMELLS AND FUMES
IDEAL FLOORING LEGAL PERMITS

DISCUSSING THE PROS

  • Rest and Relaxation

Putting a hot tub in your basement man cave is like having ice cream and putting on sprinkles. It is like the cherry on top of the sweetest dessert a man could ever have. Enough with the metaphors, what I’m genuinely saying is that having a hot tub in your man cave can be one of the best ways to enjoy your man cave time.

What’s not to like about having a hot tub? The warm water and the active jet streams massaging your back after a tiring and stressful week could do the trick for replenishment. I find it hard to say no to the benefits of de-stressing, plus all the health benefits your body can get with the warm water. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that your man cave can be the epitome of rest and relaxation with the addition of a hot tub.

  • Adds Flavor to Your Man Cave

If you have the extra space to add something to your man cave, a hot tub can be the thing you are looking for. Let’s say you already have a bar or a creative space; having a hot tub can be a substantial addition to your collection of activities. Adding a little flavorful relaxation would not hurt, if you say it would hurt your wallet, it might. But having the tool for ultimate relaxation might be worth all the work and money.

It can literally be worth every penny, because of all the health benefits. Being healthy means you save money on your hospital bill, and it can also keep you from getting sick. If you don’t feel well, you will lose time for work and other productive activities. Getting the right replenishment can affect your overall wellness.

Getting back on topic, a hot tub can add a little flavor to your man cave because it will look suitable for the man cave aesthetic, especially if you are going all-out Zen and meditation. Meditation and calmness are not only for a she shed but for a man cave as well.

  • Fun for the Whole Family

Having a hot tub indoors is fun for the whole family. I know your man cave is exclusive for you, but every once in a while, you can enjoy the hot tub with your partner or kids if you have any. Even without a family, you could invite your friends over to enjoy your hot tub with you. Besides, having close friends is sort of like having a family.

It could be the perfect family bonding with you and your partner. Both of you can relax and release tension in your hot tub safely inside the comfort of your home. Having a hot tub outside is also lovely, but it would require a sturdy platform and a lot of maintenance due to the outdoor elements.

  • You Would Already Have a Sewage Pump

Having a hot tub inside and in the basement will require you to build a sewage pump or drainage system. Assuming you already had a man cave before thinking about installing the hot tub, you probably had the sewage pump already. Before you finished the basement, it is always suggested that you consider having the right drainage. So, I’m pretty sure you have that part covered already.

If you haven’t installed a drainage system, you probably should install one. Even if you do not have a hot tub yet, having the right sewage pump or drainage system is still essential because you do not want to damage your favorite things located in the basement.

  • Privacy

It is nice to have the privacy you need, especially when you are relaxing. I, as an introvert, prefer to relax in private. It is one of the better advantages of having an indoor hot tub. Some people put their hot tubs outside due to the lack of space. If you are considering one for your man cave which is located in your basement, I can see why the area is not a problem for you.

Besides enjoying comfort and relaxation in private, getting a hot tub in your man cave can also be safer for you to enjoy. Even if you have a fence high enough so people won’t see you, there are other elements outdoors that you need to watch out for depending on your location. Wild animals can be a threat and a buzzkill when you are in the middle of relaxation, especially at night.

  • Less Hot Tub Maintenance

Having a tub inside your home, specifically in the basement, requires less maintenance. Any outdoor elements such as leaves and debris can fall into the hot tub and the holes. Once these materials fall into your hot tub, it might be the reason for your hot tub draining and tubes to get clogged over time. If your hot tub is located safely indoors, problems like that will be a lot less likely to occur.

You can also be water efficient because you would not have to change the water frequently. However, it is still best to be sanitary and always remove the water after use. You can always shower first before using the hot tub, so the water does not get dirty quickly. This method can save you money on your water bill, and you will also help the environment by using less water supply.

  • Year-Round Use

Besides using the hot tub any time of the day, another fantastic thing about having a hot tub in your basement is that you can use it any time of the year. You enjoy your hot tub in winter, spring, summer, or fall. All you need to do is fill it up, and you are good to go. I think frequent use of the hot tub can extend the life of a hot tub because of the constant water flowing through its tubing.

You don’t need to worry about the cold weather in the winter, or the rainy weather during the wet season anymore. You can still enjoy your hot tub anytime. Make sure you always do a little bit of maintenance if you do not use the hot tub very frequently. As long as all the jets and the drain works properly, I would say that all is well. In addition to that, the hot tub is not the only thing that needs maintenance. Your overall plumbing and basement drainage also requires maintenance.

  • Ideal Flooring

Because basement flooring is commonly concrete slabs, it makes them a perfect spot for a hot tub. It is sturdy and can handle the weight of the hot tub, and the people using it. If you put a hot tub outdoors, you will have to build a stable deck to handle all the mass. Building a hot tub deck outside will probably equal to the same amount of work to make the hot tub suitable for your basement.

Just make sure that your flooring that surrounds the hot tub inside is slip-proof to ensure the safety of use. You can try to use laminate or vinyl floors, or place non-slip pads in the right places to avoid hazards such as slipping. The excess water left sitting on the floor can cause structural damage so that you will need a suitable drainage system.

DISCUSSING THE CONS

  • Could be a lot of Work

Installing a hot tub in your basement can be a lot of fun but will require a lot of work.  Especially if you do not have the right plumbing and drainage yet. To work on plumbing, you will need to get the legal permits from your local building code departments or zoning office. Only when you get the permission, shall you be able to start on the first step, which is the plumbing.

The second step will be installing the right drainage system to prevent flooding, and the proper sewage system, so draining the water is safe. If you do not have any experience with plumbing nor hot tubs, I suggest that you hire a professional. It may cost a lot, but it will save you a lot of time and hard work. It won’t save you any money though, so prepare your wallet or make sure you have the right skillset.

  • Unrecyclable Water

Being underground, the basement’s gravity will prevent you from recycling the water you used for your hot tub. Gravity just wouldn’t let you, not unless you install a state-of-the-art pump that can reach levels above the basement. Dumping a lot of water can be a waste of resources, so you should choose through your options wisely.

If you cannot find a way to recycle the water because of gravity properly, the wastewater might backfire t the basement if it is not done correctly. I suggest you hire a professional plumber to do all the plumbing. If you want to work on the hot tub yourself, you can do that part once the plumbing is done.

  • Fun for the Whole Family

I listed this factor as a pro before. However, fun for the whole family is both a pro and a con. Man caves are supposed to be your sanctuary. Allowing your housemates to use your hot tub will break the purpose of a man cave. However, you can work around this problem with compromise.

You can allow your housemates to use the tub with an appointment or schedule, or you can get a separate outdoor hot tub, but that idea might be too farfetched. If you have a large basement, you can put the hot tub in a separate section where people are allowed to go, and still have a private part for yourself. Anyway, the restrictions of your man cave are entirely up to you.

  • The Risk of Leakage

Having an indoor hot tub will increase the risk of leakage depending on how well you install tubing, a drainage system, and the hot tub itself. Believe me, I know it sounds fun to have a hot tub down in your man cave, but sometimes the risks outweigh the advantages. Anything is possible if you make the right decisions.

As long as you have the budget to hire an experienced contractor, or you are very confident in your skills, you should be alright. The only factor that could stop you from having your hot tub is the geographical location of your house. If you live in a tropical and sandy area, it might not be possible to have a basement at all. But on the other hand, you can use a different place for a man cave like the garage which is ideal for a hot tub.

  • Expensive Contractor Fees

If you do decide to hire a contractor, prepare your wallet for exorbitant fees. However, if you want to have a hot tub in the basement, and you are convinced that it can help you in many ways, I’m sure that it will be worth every dollar. The average cost of a hot tub installation is around $3,500 to $8000. The price will vary depending on the zip code, and the location in your house.

In a basement, it will probably cost more because of all the extra work such as installing a sump pump or sewage pump, reinforcing your concrete slab, and adding the write electrical wires and plumbing. A basement is not designed to have a lot of electrical and plumbing functions, so it will be a lot of work to add them. For contractors that charge hourly, the average cost is about $85 per hour. Here are a couple of things that may increase the price for a hot tub installation:

  • Continuous wires and plumbing to reach the tub underground
  • Electrical ground wires
  • A DC converter for the tub motor
  • Trenching and running the appropriate cables and tubes
  • Control panels
  • A GFCI breaker for safety
  • Moisture and Humidity Issues

What you don’t want in a man cave are moisture and humidity issues. These issues can make or break the decision of placing a hot tub in the basement. The combination of the heat and evaporation of water from a hot tub increases humidity in a cold room like your basement. Without treating your basement, it may not be a good idea to place a hot tub in there because of the high risk of mold build-up.

  • Chemical Smells and Fumes

The chemicals you use to treat the water in a hot tub can be entrapped in an enclosed room. If you plan to put a hot tub in your basement, you probably should go easy on the chemicals. Being indoors, you will not need that much chemical treatment anyway.

  • Legal Permits

Because you will need to fix the wiring, the tubes, and the basement itself, you will need to obtain the necessary permits. This process could take up half of your time. However, hiring a professional can make your life a lot easier, considering they will take care of obtaining the permits for you.

HOW TO INSTALL AN INDOOR HOT TUB

Considering you have all the electrical plugs, HVAC, and plumbing set up, you may now move on to the installation of your hot tub. Here are necessary steps you can follow if you decide to do it yourself:

  • Plan where you want to place your hot tub. Remember that you do not want a hot tub hovering over electrical wires. It can be a hazard, and you might get hurt.
  • Make sure you have everything in places, such as electrical input and plumbing.
  • Once you have taken care of the requirements, it is all downhill from here.
  • Install the hot tub on a solid foundation such as your basement concrete slab foundation.
  • Properly ventilate and treat the enclosed space.
  • Hook up the plumbing and power to your new hot tub.
  • Fill the tub with water.
  • Enjoy and repeat.

These are just the necessary steps in installing a hot tub. The installation process will vary on the location, and the type of hot tub, as long as you know the concept of powering, filling, and draining the hot tub. Installing it can be a breeze.

RELATED QUESTIONS?

Treating a Basement

Treating a basement is the necessary move if you are trying to move a hot tub in the basement. As you know, a basement without treatment can be humid enough even without a hot tub, so you better consider this step. There are several inexpensive ways to treat a damp basement:

  • Use tinfoil and duct tape to figure out where the condensation originates

If you have a raw concrete finish, you can use this step to find out if the condensation builds up from inside or outside the walls. After identifying the spot where moisture is building up, use duct tape to stick a piece of foil on the walls. After it rains, you will see condensation building upon the part of tin foil. If condensations build-up on the wall side, the problem comes from the outside of the foundation. But if it is the opposite, it is coming from the inside.

  • Solve the problem in or outside the wall foundation

If the problem is originating outside, make sure you check the downspouts. You can get extenders to make sure water is flowing away from the soil next to the foundations. If the problem is coming from the inside, make sure you check the air ducts and wrap the holes with foil tape.

  • Getting rid of the excess humidity

To help dry out your basement, you will need to eliminate all the sources of extra moisture. You can seal any leaky vents with foil tape. You can also close the basement windows during humid weather. If you are still experiencing condensation, you can get a dehumidifier to help lower the humidity that originates indoors.

  • Insulate pipes

You can purchase inexpensive insulation foam for your cold pipes. As you know, cold pipes can contribute to moisture build-up in your basement. To do this, you will need a pair of scissors. Some insulation foam comes with adhesive so you can install them quickly.

  • Insulate walls

You can also insulate the walls using insulation foam. You can buy foam insulation at different levels of thickness. You can refinish the walls with drywall, so the insulation foams are not visible.

  • Fix the cracks in the foundation

You can use hydraulic cement to patch the holes in cracks in the basement walls. Hydraulic cement can work even if the wall is damp so you can finish the job in the rainy season. After fixing the cracks, you can also waterproof the walls using a waterproof coating. Waterproof paint works more effectively on bare concrete walls.

How to Get a Permit to Install a Hot Tub

Getting a permit to install a hot tub is not as difficult as you think. All you need is a feasible plan and sketch that you will present to your local zoning office or building code department. Attach the idea along with the filled-out forms, and you can get the permit within the day. You do not need to pay the fees if you do not get the license.

What to Watch Out for Before Installing a Hot Tub in Your Basement

Here are a couple of things you may want to consider before starting on your hot tub project:

  • Choose the right model for you. Make sure you choose a hot tub with the right size for space, and the right features you want in a hot tub.
  • Make sure you have no problem with the flow of the water. A hot tub will be a waste if you do not have enough water supply flowing to the area where you want to place the hot tub.
  • Treat the room to fight the humidity. Humidity can cause mold and mildew build-up, which can damage the things you have stored in the basement.
  • Never hesitate to call a professional. Asking for a little help does not make you less of a man, or person. There is no shame in asking for help.

Why you Want to Consider a Professional

The average weight of a hot tub is 700 lbs. Which makes it impossible to lift by yourself. Furthermore, getting it down to the basement. You will need help lifting the hot tub, let alone the installation. Maybe a simple bathtub and bathroom may be easier to install, but a hot tub requires specialized HVAC systems which are a lot more complicated to install. You will also need a drainage system, which like a hot tub, you will need to penetrate deep into the concrete slab. In theory, the process may seem straightforward, but adequately executing the work will require a lot of skill.

CONCLUSION

Installing a hot tub in the basement has its ups and downs. You must remember, not all basements are fit to accommodate a hot tub. If this is the case, you may want to consider choosing a different place if you want a hot tub. Hiring a professional is the best alternative because they know what they are doing and will likely make the right choice for you. Whether you decide to install it yourself, or hire a professional, if the outcome is you getting a hot tub in your man cave, everything should fall into place.

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