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Everything You Need to Know about Moving a Hot Tub

When you’re facing a large move, every single piece of furniture you have becomes an individual project. Figuring out how to transport each item safely involves hundreds of details and decisions! Perhaps no item requires more thoughtful logistics, however, than a hot tub.

Why is moving a hot tub difficult—and how can you get through all of the steps without damaging your hot tub or causing anyone danger? Don’t worry; we’ll tell you everything you need to know in this handy guide.

1. What to Know Before Moving a Hot Tub

We know what success looks like when you’ve finished moving your hot tub—your hot tub will be in your new home ready for a relaxing evening of soaking your stress away. However, before you get to that point, there are several things you need to consider before you pick up a single tool.

  • Firstly, hot tubs are huge. Even the smallest models are much larger than you’d think; particularly models which are partially sunk into the ground can be deceiving. Here’s a general idea of the size of common hot tub models:
    • A small hot tub, which likely holds between 2 and 4 people, will be about six feet long, and about thirty inches high.
    • A medium hot tub, which likely holds between 5 and 6 people, will be about seven feet long, and about thirty-five inches high.
    • A larger hot tub, which will likely hold between 7 and 9 people, will be about nine feet long and almost forty inches high.

As you can see, you’ll need to have the physical space to transport that large volume, as well as halls and doors wide enough to fit this hot tub through. Some hot tubs can be dismantled and put back together or collapsed in some safe way; others cannot.

  • Secondly, hot tubs are heavy. Completely aside from their unwieldy dimensions lies their overwhelming weight. The smallest models of hot tubs, those which are only for a few people, will still weigh 300 to 500 pounds. The largest models—even when not filled—will weigh a thousand pounds. When combined with their volume, it becomes clear that even the strongest people will be unable to lift these hot tubs over any kind of distance; even the distance from your home to a moving truck.
  • Thirdly, hot tubs are expensive! Whether you bought the hot tub yourself or you inherited as part of a previous move, you’re likely aware that hot tubs require a very large initial investment as well as expensive ongoing maintenance and accessories. When moving your hot tub, you need to consider whether you’re willing to risk your investment and property by DIYing a moving solution which might be best left for those who have the correct equipment (and moving insurance or valuation).
two teal hot tubs with luxurious wooden surroundings, as seen from above
Two hot tubs, pictured from above

Along with other bulky items including pianos and pool tables, there are professional moving companies who have all the tools of the trade necessary to move a hot tub without breaking any of its delicate and expensive mechanisms—and without hurting any of the movers in the process.

It can be expensive to rent the time and tools these movers have, however. This can make it tempting for you to consider doing it yourself. As long as you’ve understood these primary facts (the hot tubs are fundamentally huge, heavy, and investments you don’t want to ruin), then you’ll be able to take care of the move.

Next, we’ll talk about exactly the steps you’ll want to take to move a hot tub by yourself.

2. 8 easy steps to move a hot tub

If you have strong friends to help you, a naturally easy path from where your hot tub is installed to your moving truck, and an easily accessible way to transport your hot tub to your new home, you might be able to save some money by moving your hot tub yourself.

We’ll give you all of the information you need to relocate your tub. Before you begin, you should take all of the accessories surrounding your hot tub, such as steps, benches, cup-holders, or anything else remotely removable, and pack them away in a separate and properly labelled box.

Next, gather all of the materials you’ll need. To properly move a hot tub, you’ll need several two-by-fours, two furniture dollies, bungee cords for securing, and extremely strong friends.

Then, you’ll want to completely drain your hot tub, preferably at least a day or two in advance, so that all of the components have a chance to dry out. Once the tub is completely dry, proceed to the first step.

  1. Ensuring that the tub is empty, turn the tub on its side. You’ll definitely need help with this; don’t try to do it on your own!
  2. Lift up one side of the tub, tilting it gently upward at a very low angle.
  3. Place a two-by-four under that end of the tub, so it’s no longer flush with the ground under its entire base.
  4. Take the other side, the side that’s still on the ground, and raise it up slightly.
  5. Place another two-by-four under that side of the hot tub. Now, the hot tub is no longer touching the ground—instead, it’s laying on two two-by-fours.
  6. Wheel a furniture dolly around to either side of the hot tub and insert its long, flat side between the two-by-fours.
  7. With the bungee cords, strap the hot tub to the dollies.
  8. Work carefully as a team to move the dollies in sync to get the hot tub to the moving van. Carefully load and strap the hot tub into the van.

Once you’ve driven the hot tub to your destination, you’ll be able to do it all over again! Make sure that you have help on both sides, that you give yourself enough time to

White wooden hot tub atop a tiered wooden spa
A beautiful example of an indoor hot tub you wouldn’t want to break!

complete the task, and that you lift the heavy load carefully (i.e., with your legs, not your back) so that you don’t get hurt while you’re moving your hot tub.

3. How much does it cost to move a hot tub?

If you decide to move your hot tub by yourself, the cost can be either negligible—the cost of a dolly rental and a few boards of wood—or extreme, as you may damage the hot tub and find that you have to replace or fix parts of it (if not the entire thing). A good middle-of-the-road option that offers you more security and peace of mind may simply be hiring professionals to help you move your hot tub. Doing so will add to the

Woman relaxing in a white industrial hot tub
Enjoying an afternoon in a hot tub is a great way to spend an afternoon

moving costs you’ll have to take on over the course of your move, so you will have to have the budget available for covering the hot tub movers. However, as seen above, the DIY option may not be free, either, so do your research and pick the best course of action for you.

Make sure that you do your homework and get various moving estimates from a wide range of companies. Asking for discounts won’t hurt! Ensure that you read reviews and ask previous customers about their experiences with the movers you’re considering, so you can get a good idea of the level of service you can expect.

Lastly, take some time to honestly consider whether moving insurance may be right for you. While it will represent a higher cost up front, it can give you some much-needed peace of mind during the moving process; and, of course, if anything does happen to your hot tub during the course of your move, you’ll be completely covered.

As with shopping around for movers, make sure that you figure out different options for moving insurance. Don’t go with the first company you ask, and don’t go with the place that will give you the lowest price. Taking extra time here to make a smart choice will go a long way when you’re in the middle of your moving experience.

4. Extra expenses to consider when moving a hot tub

If you pay movers to relocate your hot tub for you, then they may offer you a flat fee—but others will charge you a sliding scale based on several different factors regarding your situation. Talking to several different hot tub movers can give you a good idea of what is fair; however, knowing whether your home and hot tub are likely to net you extra expenses is also a good strategy before you start asking hot tub movers about their prices.

Your hot tub moving fee may be more expensive if:

  • You’ll need to move your hot tub to a higher elevation, such as upstairs or simply to a higher grade
  • If very heavy-duty or specialized equipment is needed, such as a crane or a forklift
  • If the hot tub needs to move through a series of tight or awkward spaces
  • If you’re moving the hot tub a very long distance, for example, across multiple states or internationally
  • If your hot tub is exceptionally large
  • If you live in a state with a more expensive cost of living, such as New York or California

If any of these situations apply to you, then you may wish to save a little extra: whether you DIY or hire out the move, it will likely be much more expensive just because the job

Round hot tub in an urban environment with palm trees
A hot tub is a great place to relax on a hot summer’s day

will be harder to do. However, if you’re planning on getting your hot tub safely to your new home, that might just be something that you need to include in your budget.

Next, we’ll cover a few helpful tips and tricks of the trade that can help moving your hot tub be a much easier and safer experience.

5. 10 tips how to move a hot tub by yourself

Moving a hot tub is a monumental task. If you’re taking it on by yourself—by which is meant with non-professional help; please do have helpers with you—there are a few tips you can use to make your life a lot easier.

  1. Check the insurance policy on your hot tub to see if you’re covered in the event of an accident which occurs while a non-professional move is underway. It’s best to know what the paperwork says, even if you’ve already decided to DIY.
  2. Get yourself a good moving belt and gloves. Professional movers will have a lot of equipment that may be out of your reach—for example, access to heavy machinery like forklifts and cranes. However, you can purchase inexpensive pieces of equipment to make sure that you’re at least protected as well as movers are—and you should.
  3. Give yourself plenty of time to get the hot tub moved. Even if you and your friends are very strong, moving a piece of furniture that’s up to 1000 pounds is taxing and potentially dangerous. Don’t add a third layer of risk on top by forcing yourself to get the job done too quickly.
  4. Make sure that the permanent place you plan on moving the hot tub to is empty before you move. While it’s always a good idea to ensure that you only have to move an item once, when that item is a huge hot tub, that advice is even more prescient.
  5. Get more furniture protection materials than you think you need. Bundling your hot tub up in soft blankets, getting extra bungees and rope to make sure that your hot tub is very sturdy on the dollies or the truck—these are minute extra expenses and steps that will only increase your hot tub’s security.
  6. Clean your hot tub thoroughly before you move it. While it may not make moving it easier, it will certainly make moving the tub far more pleasant; and when you’re under stress, every little bit counts.
  7. Protect your doorways. If you’re moving the hot tub down any hallways or through any doors, consider removing any molding which might get damaged or thoroughly cushioning the walls and doors along the route you’ll be moving it.
  8. Have a friend to be a spotter. You’ll need several friends to assist with physically moving the hot tub, but having a pair of eyes on the moving process a few feet away is valuable as well. They’ll be able to let you know if there’s anything in your way while you move.
  9. Celebrate the occasion. on the morning you plan to move the hot tub, get a huge breakfast in, with lots of protein. Have fun snacks along the way to replenish your electrolytes. Don’t underestimate just how important it is to keep your body fueled; moving a hot tub is a huge undertaking which will sap your energy if you let it.
  10. Remember why you’re doing this! Before you drain and move the hot tub, have some friends over and savor one last night soaking in your tub. As you’re moving it, keep that memory in mind. Moving a hot tub is tough, and it would be really easy to decide in the middle of the process that it’s not worth it. Don’t let that happen to you!

6. How to find the best hot tub moving company

If you decide not to move your hot tub by yourself, your work still isn’t over yet. You have to find the best hot tub moving company with which to trust your precious property.

Woman relaxing with a chilled beverage in a hot tub in the woods
No matter where you are, a hot tub is a good idea

You may think it’s as easy as simply selecting the first online search result when you look for ‘hot tub movers’, but that’s not the case.

In fact, doing just that is a great way to make sure that you pay the highest rate possible for low-quality work! Whether you’re looking for long distance moving companies or specifically companies that handle hot tub relocations, the process is similar. You’ll want to set aside a good chunk of time to make sure that you can do all the research you need to do!

Inset hot tub in a wooden porch above a teal sea
Getting a hot tub to a higher floor can be a lot of work, but it’s worth the view

To find the best hot tub moving company — and the best long distance moving companies — you’ll want to start by collecting the names of several moving companies in your area. Then, perform a detailed and comprehensive search of each one, reading several pages of Internet search results in full so you can get a good idea of their web presence.

After that, head out on the town! Find the names of a few of the past customers of each of the moving companies you’re considering. Contact them to find out what their experience was like, how they would review the moving company in question, and whether they’ll give you a referral.

Your final step? With everything you’ve learned, narrow down your list to a few moving companies. Armed with your information, reach out to them personally and ask about what they can offer you. You’d be surprised of what you can get, often, by simply asking for a discount!

7. Top 5 best hot tub moving companies

Want our take on the best hot tub moving companies? Read on! We’ve done our homework and selected 5 dependable brands to serve as a starting place for your research. However, remember that you still need to speak to past customers and to these companies yourself before you pick a moving company. We think these are the best, but the best hot tub mover for you is as unique as you are.

  1. Alpine Hot Tub Moving and Service: Whether you need a hot tub moved to or from your home, this service is ready to help. They’re CPO certified by the National Swimming Pool Foundation!
  2. Professional Movers: This ubiquitous company does everything, from local and long distance moves and more! They also assist with the careful planning, draining, disconnection and reconnection services which goes into successfully moving a hot tub.
  3. Superior Spa Movers: Want a moving company that’s invested solely in moving hot tubs? With all of the expertise and experience you need to ensure that your tub is moved quickly and safely, these movers will get you and your tub where you need to go.
  4. All American Van Lines: If you’re looking for a company that has the transit power in place to move the bulkiest of home items, look no further than a reputable van line! This company will move your hot tub with no problem at all.
  5. Great Guys Long Distance Movers: For a long-distance company that’s able to handle hot tubs as well as anything else your relocation requires, check this company out! They specialize in safety at budget-friendly prices.

And there you have it—our recommendations! Don’t forget to do your homework to pick the moving company that will be best for you.

8. The bottom line

Ultimately, working with hot tubs is difficult. They’re fantastically heavy, unwieldy, bulky, and expensive—which means that you have a huge investment toeing a narrow line regardless of whether you hire out or DIY.

Just like when you’re moving with plants, moving with other large items like a piano, or simply trying to navigate a complicated relocation as a senior, you’ll have to take extra care to ensure that you’re able to get the job done without damaging your belongings or putting yourself (or others) in danger. Take the time to do your homework or set up your DIY move properly, and you’ll be able to get your hot tub relocated safely to enjoy for years to come.