Can You Add a Spa to an Existing Gunite Pool

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Gunite pools are the epitome of luxury and sophistication, and over the years, I’ve had the privilege of designing, constructing, and maintaining these masterpieces. But what if you already have a gunite pool and are contemplating enhancing its allure by adding a spa? It’s a question I’ve encountered numerous times.

In this article, I will draw upon my extensive experience and expertise to provide a comprehensive answer to this query. We’ll delve deep into the feasibility, the challenges, and the rewards of integrating a spa into your existing gunite pool. Whether you’re dreaming of a tranquil retreat after a long day or a bubbling hub for socializing with friends and family, understanding the nuances of such an addition can be invaluable.

Join me as we navigate the intricate world of gunite pools and spas, ensuring that by the end, you’ll have the insights necessary to make an informed decision tailored to your unique circumstances.

Is It Possible to Add a Spa to an Existing Pool

Yes, it is indeed possible, but with certain considerations to keep in mind. When considering adding a spa to an existing pool, several factors will determine the feasibility of the project. Let’s delve into these key considerations:

  • Type of Pool: The type of pool you have plays a pivotal role. While gunite pools offer flexibility in terms of design and additions, not all pools are created equal. The construction and materials used in your existing pool can greatly influence the ease with which a spa can be added.
  • Existing Structure: The current layout and design of your pool will affect how and where a spa can be integrated. For instance, the existing plumbing, electrical systems, and decking may need adjustments or upgrades. Moreover, the structural integrity of the pool must be assessed to ensure it can support the added weight and water volume of a spa.
  • Budget: As with any home improvement project, budget is a crucial factor. Adding a spa will involve costs not only for the spa itself but also for any necessary modifications to the existing pool structure, systems, and surrounding area. It’s essential to get a clear estimate and understand the potential financial implications before embarking on the project.

Ideal Time for Spa Addition

In my years of helping countless homeowners enhance their gunite pools, I’ve consistently found that the most opportune time to add a spa is during a pool renovation. This strategic timing not only allows for seamless integration of the new feature but also tends to be more cost-effective and logistically simpler.

Convenience During Structural Changes

When a pool is undergoing renovation, various elements, such as the deck, plumbing, and electrical systems, are already being worked on. This gives us direct access to crucial areas and systems that will be impacted by the addition of a spa. Additionally, any structural adjustments needed to accommodate the spa can be integrated into the renovation plan, ensuring that the entire pool area evolves cohesively and efficiently.

Design Integration and Aesthetic Considerations

The addition of a spa isn’t merely a structural endeavor; it’s an aesthetic one as well. During a renovation, you have the luxury of reimagining the entire aesthetic and design of your pool area. It’s a canvas waiting to be painted with your visions of relaxation and leisure. The spa can be designed to harmonize with the existing pool, ensuring that it doesn’t just look like an afterthought, but rather, a feature that was always meant to be there.

Consider aspects like the shape, materials, and finishes of the spa to ensure it complements your pool. Think about how it will look from various angles within your outdoor space and how it integrates with the landscaping and other outdoor features. Your spa should not only offer physical comfort but also visual harmony within your outdoor oasis.

In essence, the blend of functional and aesthetic planning during a renovation opens up a world of possibilities, allowing for a smoother and more harmonized integration of a spa into your existing gunite pool. Leverage this time to bring to life a rejuvenating space that marries relaxation with elegance.

Different Styles of Spa Additions

Each spa style comes with its own set of considerations, benefits, and unique charm. Below, we’ll explore three popular styles of spa additions that you might consider for your own pool area. Drawing from your desires and practicalities of your space, select a style that not only enhances your pool area but also enriches your relaxation and leisure experiences.

Spillover Spa

The spillover spa is a beloved choice for its seamless integration with the pool. It’s typically positioned above the pool level, allowing for a gentle cascade of water from the spa into the pool. This continuous flow creates a visually stunning aquatic display and promotes circulation between the spa and the pool.

Key considerations for a spillover spa include ensuring that the water features harmonize with your pool’s aesthetic and managing the water dynamics to maintain optimal pool and spa conditions. Given its integrated nature, careful planning regarding the plumbing and filtration systems is crucial to ensure both entities operate cohesively.

In-ground Spa Adjacent to the Pool

An in-ground spa adjacent to the pool offers a separate sanctuary while maintaining proximity to the aquatic action. This style allows for more flexibility in design and operation since the spa operates with its own independent systems.

While it offers distinct separation, it’s vital to ensure a coherent design language between the pool and spa, maintaining a unified aesthetic throughout your outdoor space. Considerations such as matching or complementing materials, shapes, and finishes will enhance the overall appeal and flow of your pool and spa areas.

Above Ground Hot Tub

For those seeking a budget-friendly and versatile option, an above-ground hot tub might be the perfect solution. These standalone units offer the convenience of portability and a simpler installation process. With a myriad of styles and sizes available, you can select a unit that best fits your space and aesthetic preferences.

Despite its ease, thoughtful placement and design integration are key to ensuring your hot tub feels connected to your pool area and outdoor space, rather than an isolated feature. Consider the visual lines, accessibility, and how the hot tub design complements your existing structures and landscaping.

Cost Implications

While the allure of adding a spa to your gunite pool is undeniable, it’s crucial to understand the financial aspects of such an addition.

To add a spa to an existing pool, the pool’s interior must be replastered after the interior finish has been applied. The cost of adding a spa to an already constructed pool can be significantly higher than if it was built initially. The price range for such remodels can vary from $12,000 to $50,000. The final cost depends on various factors, including the pool’s size and the extent of remodeling required for the spa.

Here’s a breakdown of the primary cost determinants and potential long-term financial insights:

Factors Influencing Cost

  • Type of Spa: As highlighted earlier, the choice between a spillover spa, an in-ground spa adjacent to the pool, or an above-ground hot tub significantly impacts the cost. A spillover spa, with its integrated design and water features, might be on the higher end of the budget spectrum, while an above-ground hot tub might be a more economical choice.
  • Integration with Existing Systems: The complexity of integrating the spa with your pool’s existing plumbing, electrical, and filtration systems can vary the costs. For instance, a spillover spa, which shares water with the main pool, may require an upgrade to your current filtration system or the addition of a supplementary system to handle the increased water volume.
  • Landscaping Changes: The addition of a spa might necessitate adjustments or enhancements to your landscaping. Whether it’s modifying decking, adding decorative elements, or altering plant arrangements, these changes can influence the overall budget.

Potential Long-Term Savings with Integrated Systems

While the initial investment for integrating a spa might seem substantial, it’s essential to consider the potential long-term savings. When a spa shares systems with the main pool, such as heating or filtration, there’s often an economy of scale in operation. Over time, the cost of maintaining a single, integrated system can be lower than maintaining separate systems for the pool and spa.

Moreover, an integrated system can lead to energy savings. For instance, a shared heating system for both the pool and spa can be more efficient than heating them separately, leading to reduced energy bills in the long run.

Benefits of an Attached Spa

The decision to add a spa to an existing gunite pool often goes beyond mere functionality. Over the years, I’ve observed that homeowners derive a range of benefits from this addition, from tangible financial gains to the intangible joys of enhanced leisure. Here are some key benefits of having an attached spa:

Aesthetic Appeal and Property Value Enhancement

An attached spa, when designed thoughtfully, can elevate the overall look of your pool area. The visual harmony of a seamlessly integrated spa and pool creates an inviting aquatic oasis that beckons relaxation and enjoyment. This enhanced aesthetic appeal not only offers homeowners daily visual pleasure but can significantly boost property value. Prospective buyers often view an integrated spa as a luxury feature, making your property more attractive in the real estate market.

Shared Water Supply and Systems for Cost Efficiency

One of the practical advantages of an attached spa is the sharing of water supply and systems with the main pool. This shared infrastructure can lead to cost efficiencies in several ways:

  • Reduced Operational Costs: With a shared filtration and heating system, the operational costs can be lower than maintaining separate systems.
  • Efficient Chemical Balancing: Treating and balancing the water chemistry becomes more streamlined when the pool and spa share the same water source. This can lead to savings on chemicals and maintenance time.

Seamless Transition Between Pool and Spa for Users

For those who enjoy the varied pleasures of both vigorous swims and relaxing soaks, an attached spa offers the convenience of a seamless transition. You can easily switch between the invigorating expanse of the pool and the warm embrace of the spa without the need to exit the water area. This seamless experience enhances user comfort and provides a continuous aquatic journey, from energetic laps to soothing hydrotherapy.

Maintenance Considerations

Combining a spa with your existing gunite pool offers a myriad of benefits, as previously discussed. However, it also introduces certain maintenance considerations that are crucial for the longevity and optimal functioning of both amenities. Here are some maintenance aspects you should be aware of when the two are integrated:

Balancing Water Chemistry

  • Shared Water: Since the spa and pool share the same water, any chemical imbalance in one can affect the other. Regular testing is paramount to ensure both the spa and pool have balanced pH, alkalinity, chlorine, and other chemical levels.
  • Temperature Fluctuations: Spas are typically heated to higher temperatures than pools. When the spa is in use and the water is being heated, it can impact the chemical balance. Regularly adjusting and monitoring is crucial, especially after prolonged spa usage.

Filtration and Circulation

  • Increased Load: The addition of a spa places an extra load on the filtration system. It’s vital to ensure your filter can handle the increased water volume and potential additional debris from spa usage.
  • Circulation Dynamics: The integration of a spa can alter the circulation dynamics of your pool. Regularly check the flow rates and adjust jets in both the pool and spa to ensure efficient water movement and prevent stagnant areas.

Heating Systems

  • Energy Consumption: With the spa requiring higher temperatures, there’s an increased demand on the heating system. Consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient heater or investing in solar heating solutions to offset the increased energy consumption.
  • Heater Maintenance: The more frequent usage of the heater for the spa can lead to faster wear and tear. Regularly service the heater to ensure it operates efficiently and has a longer lifespan.

Physical Structure and Surfaces

  • Wear and Tear: The area where the spa integrates with the pool might experience more wear due to the constant flow of water, especially in spillover spas. Regularly inspect this juncture and seal or repair as necessary.
  • Cleaning Routines: The spa area, given its warmer temperatures, can be a hotspot for algae growth. Ensure that your cleaning routine pays special attention to the spa, using appropriate algaecides and brushes.


The allure of merging the tranquil embrace of a spa with the expansive luxury of a gunite pool is undeniable. As we’ve journeyed through the nuances of this integration, from feasibility to maintenance, it becomes evident that while the benefits are profound, careful consideration and informed decisions are paramount.

However, as with all things of value, it demands respect, care, and a commitment to upkeep. Whether you’re contemplating this addition or have already embarked on this aquatic enhancement, remember that with the right knowledge and approach, your integrated pool and spa can remain a haven of relaxation and luxury for years to come.

If you are considering embarking on additional revamping projects for your pool, we have a plethora of informative articles available on gunite pool expansion and renovation. By exploring these resources, you will gain valuable insights into the possibilities of expanding your existing pool and the various renovation options available.

Can a Gunite Pool Be Expanded: If you desire to extend your gunite pool, you can explore the possibilities of expansion while considering the feasibility, design adjustments, and construction process to achieve your desired pool size.

How to Prepare for Gunite Pool Renovation: Before undertaking a gunite pool renovation, thorough preparation is essential, encompassing aspects such as careful planning, budgeting, selecting reputable contractors, and ensuring compliance with local regulations to ensure a successful and satisfying pool transformation.

Can You Change the Depth of a Gunite Pool: Altering the depth of a gunite pool can be considered, but it involves a precise construction process, safety evaluations, and compliance with relevant codes to achieve the desired pool depth modification effectively.

Can You Change the Shape of a Gunite Pool: If you wish to transform the appearance of your gunite pool, you can explore options to change its shape, understanding the complexities, design adaptations, and technical aspects involved to bring your vision to life.

Can You Change the Size of a Gunite Pool: Whether enlarging or reducing the size of your gunite pool, assessing structural implications, design adjustments, and regulatory considerations will guide you in making informed decisions for your pool size modification.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you add spa jets to a pool?

Yes, you can add spa jets to a pool. By installing hydrojets, you can create a spa-like experience in your pool, providing soothing water massages and enhancing relaxation. The addition of spa jets can transform an ordinary pool into a therapeutic oasis, making your swimming experience even more enjoyable. Whether you want a few jets strategically placed or a full hydrotherapy system, pool professionals can help customize the jet configuration to suit your preferences.

2. Can I customize the design of the spa to match my pool?

Absolutely! When adding a spa to your existing gunite pool, you have the flexibility to customize the design to match your pool’s aesthetics and your personal preferences. Gunite pools offer the advantage of versatility as they are constructed on-site, allowing for a seamless integration of the spa into the existing pool structure. You can choose from various tile options, shapes, sizes, and finishes to create a cohesive and visually appealing pool and spa combination.

3. Can I heat the spa separately from the pool?

Yes, many spas can be heated independently from the pool. This feature allows you to enjoy the spa at your desired temperature without affecting the pool’s water temperature. During colder months or when you want to relax in warm water, you can conveniently heat the spa without having to heat the entire pool. This energy-efficient option ensures comfort and enjoyment all year round, regardless of the pool’s temperature.

4. How long does it take to install a spa in an existing gunite pool?

The installation timeline can vary depending on the complexity of the design and the specific features you want. Typically, it may take a few weeks for planning, obtaining necessary permits, and completing the construction. The process involves excavation, plumbing, creating the structure, and adding finishing touches. It is essential to work with experienced pool contractors who can provide a realistic timeline and keep you informed throughout the installation process.

5. Will adding a spa increase the property value?

While the increase in property value varies depending on several factors, adding a spa to an existing gunite pool generally enhances the overall appeal and desirability of your property. Many potential buyers consider a pool with a spa as a valuable feature, especially for those seeking a luxurious and relaxing outdoor living space. The added functionality and visual enhancement can positively impact the property’s value and may attract more prospective buyers in the future.

6. What is the best time to install a spa in a pool?

The best time to install a spa in your pool may vary based on your location and climate. It’s often ideal to do it during the offseason or colder months when you’re less likely to use the pool regularly. This way, the spa construction won’t interfere with your peak swimming season. However, it’s essential to consider weather constraints and the availability of construction services in your area. Consulting with pool professionals will help you determine the most suitable timing for your spa installation project, ensuring minimal disruptions and maximum enjoyment.

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Written By Scott Keller

Scott Keller is an experienced pool industry professional with over 20 years of expertise in gunite pool design, construction, and maintenance.

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