Sure, summer is just around the corner and you may not be thinking about buying a hot tub. But remember last year? The end of swimming pool season when you and your family were wishing you didn’t have to close the pool? You wanted to find a way to spend more time in the water together even though summer was over and the pool was closed.
What is a family to do? How about buy a hot tub or spa and start the shopping process now. It may be difficult to think about sitting in heated water in the midst of summer, but it will be over soon enough and you will wish you’d planned ahead! A hot tub or spa is prized by those who live in the colder and snowier areas of the country because when the pool is closed for the season, hot tub time literally heats up. The time to get the project started, though is now!
A Hot Tub Buyer’s Guide
There are many questions you need to ask and answers you need to have addressed before you make a decision on a hot tub or spa investment.
- What’s the budget? Don’t talk with a pool contractor about a $10,000 hot tub dream if you have a $1,000 budget. Have your budget before you meet with your contractor. Let him know what you’re working with and he can let you know what you can get for the money you have. Remember, the hot tub purchase is about the accessories as well as the hot tub. Depending on where you will place the hot tub, you may also need to have money in your budget to pay for pouring a slab.
- Don’t forget to budget for maintenance of the hot tub. This is a required part of hot tub ownership just as it is for owning a swimming pool.
- Utility bill increases will also come into play once the hot tub is up and running!
Know what type and style of hot tub and accessories you want before you talk with a contractor. Knowing your budget and knowing what are must-haves or would-like-to-haves will help narrow down choices when you meet with the contractor.
- How many people will potentially use the hot tub — on a regular basis. Sure if you’re having a hot tub party you will need to accommodate many people, but on a regular basis how many people will be in it? You and your spouse or significant other? You and your children? A couple of people, a half dozen? Know this so you can choose a hot tub that can accommodate the “typical” number of people. When you’re having a party, maybe not everyone will fit at one time so you may need to take turns, but it doesn’t make sense to invest in a hot tub that can accommodate twenty if the usual number of people in it will be five.
- What building material do you want for your hot tub? If the hot tub is out of doors, you will need to consider getting a tub with an exterior that can withstand the weather, one that has a durable basin and one that is properly insulated to protect it from freezing. You will need to consider things like additional insulation, a durable basin, and appropriate exterior.
- Do you want a swim up spa? This means it will be constructed into one end of your swimming pool so you can swim up from the pool right into the hot tub. Make sure if you do this that the pool can be closed for the season, but the hot tub will still be available.
- How will you use the hot tub? For soaking? For entertaining? For exercising? Know the reasons you want a hot tub and how you plan to use it — relaxation, exercise or a combination.
- What shape? Do you want a circular hot tub? Rectangle? Oval or other shape? You do have options when it comes to hot tubs today and knowing what you’d like helps narrow options and keep to your budget.
Bring the suit
You will want to sit in a hot tub before you buy one. Bring a bathing suit and test out jets, seat placement and more.
Relaxation, health or both?
Will you use your hot tub to relax, to enjoy hydtotherapy or a combination. Do you consider your hot tub a place in which to relax and unwind after a long day at work and to get the chill out of your bones? Do you want to alleviate the pain of arthritis or other ailments by soaking in a hot tub? Let your hot tub contractor know the reasons for your hot tub purchase and he can help you choose jets and placement.
PPssst! Having fun? You certainly don’t want to be in your hot tub and know that the neighbors are sitting on their deck or in their second floor looking out at you in the hot tub.
It’s not relaxing to be in the hot tub and know the neighbors are watching you relax. Where do you want to place the hot tub? Decide that then look around to see if it’s a private enough area or if you will need to landscape for privacy.
Aaaahhhh. Above all, enjoy the time spent in your hot tub with family and soak away your stresses!