For a Portable Spa With an “In-ground” Look: Put It in the ‘Vault’

Vaults are for keeping treasures safe. And Bullfrog Spas’ “Spa Vault” was created precisely for that reason. It is a kit made of galvanized steel that surrounds your hot tub so it will not corrode, but remain safe and secure when installed in-ground.
“A portable hot tub is completely self-contained, which is partly why they are economical,” says Bill Renter, owner of Long Island Hot Tub. “But to install one in the ground, partially or completely, or to surround it in some other material, you want to be sure the plumbing etc. doesn’t corrode or get damaged, and can also be easily accessed.”
So why bother? Why not just get an in-ground spa? In addition to portable spas being more budget friendly, when it comes to Bullfrog Spas, for example, there’s their interchangeable massage jets and easy ongoing maintenance, as well as energy efficiencies to attract you. It’s just that some Bullfrog owners also want their portable spa to look like a custom built-in.
Here’s a good example. For one set of clients, the husband and wife couldn’t decide if they wanted a pond or a custom-built spa. We were happy to show them they didn’t have to choose. They could afford both. By beginning with a portable hot tub and using a spa vault, we recessed it next to the pond and their Bullfrog Spa became part of a lovely new backyard retreat.
If you’d like to watch a Spa Vault being installed in a yard, you'll find a YouTube video at the end of this post:
Recessed Portable Spa:
Installing a Bullfrog Spas’ Spa Vault inside a cutout in the deck, safeguards the hot tub while giving it the appearance of a traditional in-ground spa. Photo: Bullfrog Spas
Adding Spa After a Swimming Pool:
If you already have a pool and don’t want all the headaches of linking a custom in-ground spa to the functions of the pool, recessing a portable hot tub allows you to have the in-ground look — as well as use your spa all year round without having to heat up the pool. Photo: Bullfrog Spas
Recessing Portable Hot Tubs:
Sometimes what you want to do is match your spa installation to the style and materials already existing in your backyard. In this case, an above-ground surround was fitted over a Spa Vault in order to complement the beautiful fire pit and seat walls. This method is also a great option for those who prefer to step up — rather than down — into their spa. Photo: Bullfrog Spas
Backyard Pond and Spa:
This is the pond and spa we mentioned in the introduction. Placing the spa entirely in-ground (in a Spa Vault) was a truly inspired idea. These Long Island Hot Tub clients can actually feed their pond fish while soaking in their rejuvenating spa waters. Talk about “Ahhhhh.”
Portable Spa Plumbing:
Being self-contained, a spa unit has all it needs inside itself. However, the rain needs to be able to drain away from the tub. If not, plumbing could be damaged. Plus, any plumbing needs to be accessible for any future repairs; we removed the plumbing (an easy job for Bullfrog Spas) and ran the equipment to an above-ground location where it wouldn’t get damaged.
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation