Hot Tubs, Spas and PoolsSpas and pools offer gathering places for friends and family, a relaxing environment and a chance to exercise and play right in your backyard. Fun, fitness and relaxation, however, need to be balanced against cost, maintenance and legal liability.Swimming PoolsIf you think swimming pools automatically increase a home's value, think again. In some areas of the country outdoor spas and pools actually decrease a home's value.Generally speaking, swimming pools are more attractive to home buyers in areas with warm climates: You'll get more use out of spas and pools in Florida than in New England.Swimming Pool CostsYou also need to think about the costs of maintenance when looking at spas and pools, both in terms of time and money. Swimming pools in cooler climates need to be winterized annually. In any climate you need to consider pool cleaning, water testing and equipment maintenance costs.Spas and pools require owners to consider both pool safety and legal liability. Swimming pools must be fenced and covered to prevent children (or adults for that matter) from entering the pool unsupervised and possibly drowning. If you have young children, they must be properly educated on the dangers of hot tubs or swimming pools.Types of SpasHot tubs and home spas are, generally, less of a time and money investment than large swimming pools. You still need to maintain hot tubs and take safety precautions to protect against liability, but for the most part, spas are less work, less costly and easier to fit into your yard or home.Outdoor hot tubs offer a romantic, relaxing vibe and can be used year-round. Hopping into a hot spa while it snows can be both fun and romantic. Outdoor deck spas do, however, require more maintenance than indoor hot tubs.You also need to consider the type of spa you want. The standard is the whirlpool hot tub, which retains its popularity in spite of advancements in the field. You can opt for portable hot tubs, which can be taken down and transported as needed.If you dream of swimming pools but only have space for a hot tub, consider a swim spa. Swim spas are large hot tubs capable of generating a strong current. The current holds you in place as you swim.Need More Help?If you need professional help with your project, LendingTree Home Pros can help.The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a pro today!