Hot tub kits come in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as materials at different price points. Building a spa from hot tub kits is often far less expensive than buying a prefabricated or custom made tub, though one should remember that a do-it-yourself kit will require time and patience to assemble. Wooden hot tub kits are quite common and fairly easy to assemble, while acrylic or fiberglass tubs are less common in kit form but still readily available. Other kits are made to be portable, such as inflatable hot tubs that require very little set up time and effort.
Wooden hot tub kits are perhaps the most popular of the do-it-yourself kits available because they are easy to assemble and maintain. Unlike prefabricated acrylic tubs, wooden hot tubs are usually round and deep, and the seating options are limited. They offer a deeper soak, however, and retain heat more efficiently because of the round shape. Most wooden kits are made of cedar because of the wood's mold-resistant and water-resistant nature. The kit comes with the tub itself in addition to some sort of heating system and a circulation pump. The platform on which the tub must be placed is not included and may need to be custom-built; concrete slabs are commonly used for such purposes.
Other materials may be used for hot tub kits. Aluminum tubs are far less expensive than other types of tubs, but they are also less aesthetically pleasing and less comfortable. These tubs do not insulate the water as well as other materials, but for the cost-conscious consumer, aluminum hot tub kits may fit the bill. Like wooden kits, an aluminum kit may come with the tub itself in addition to a heater and a circulation pump. The types of heaters included with each kit vary from manufacturer to manufacturer; some heaters may be electric heaters like the ones found in acrylic tubs, yet others may feature wood-fired heating systems or even propane heaters.
An inflatable hot tub can be set up in a matter of minutes and packed up just as easily for moving or storage. This type of tub is made of a high quality nylon and polyester similar to that used on whitewater rafts, and it is surprisingly strong and durable. Such tubs can be set up anywhere as long as the ground is level. They are usually much smaller than other types of tubs, and bathers will sit directly on the floor of the tub rather than on some sort of seat.