What do I need to consider when buying a hot tub or spa?
First things first.
Probably the first thing to consider when thinking about buying a spa is where you see it going.
Spas of course can be either indoor or outside and there advantages to both locations.
If you fancy an indoor hot tub then you need to have a space that is big enough with a good, strong floor and adequate ventilation. The access to that room through doors and perhaps along corridors needs to be enough for the spa to be brought in. Spas are delivered pretty much in one piece so the dimensions are really no smaller before it is installed.
Garden rooms and poolrooms are probably the most popular locations for indoor spas as they fit the above criteria very well.
If you are thinking about an outdoor hot tub then once again, access for delivery is an important issue.
For an outdoor spa, all you need is a level, solid base for the hot tub to sit on and access to a power supply. However, you need to think about how your spa will get to that site. If it’s at the top of a flight of steps or at the bottom of a steep slope you might be looking at needing a crane to bring your spa in. That is often perfectly possible but it will of course add to the cost. Does your spa need to go through a narrow garden gate? If so, is that gate wide enough?
And of course, there is safety first. A spa or hot tub must always be wired in by a qualified electrician, for instance one who is NICEIC registered. The electricity supply must be permanently connected to a single phase, 240V source from an earth leakage protected consumer unit via a waterproof switch. Your local Sundance Spa dealer will be able to carry out this work; make sure that the spa is installed safely and give you advice on access and location.
Quiet relaxation or a focus for entertainment?
Spas offer relaxation and calm or they can be a place where family and friends get together for fun and entertainment.
These things don’t have to be mutually exclusive but it’s likely that one or the other is predominantly how you see your hot tub being used. That might affect the style of spa that you choose as well as where you locate it and how you design the setting around it.
When you choose a hot tub to share with your family and friends then you will obviously want one that has enough seats for the amount of people that you have in mind. The seating arrangements in spas differ as well as the actual number of seats. Do you want everyone to have a clear view or would you rather all the seats faced into the middle so that people are more likely to chat?
If you cover your spa with a gazebo, then you have a space for food and drink as well as allowing people to get in and out of the spa but still ‘stay with the party’ by being in that dedicated and contained space. If you do choose to enclose your spa with a gazebo then it can also be a quiet and tranquil space perhaps planted around with trees and ferns.
If relaxation is the main benefit that you are looking for then there are spas with ‘loungers’ so that you can lie back and gaze up at the sky or the stars.
In either case, whether your spa is a place for relaxing or revelry, it’s a good idea to think about sight lines and views. Who can see you and what can you see?
If there is a particularly good view from somewhere on your property then why not take advantage of it. A view out over a valley, a river or even over the sea will make your spa an even more magical place to spend time.
On the other hand, you don’t want to feel that you are overlooked when you are in your spa. Either try to find a secluded corner of your garden for your spa or use a gazebo, a pergola, fencing or planting to give a feeling of real seclusion to your hot tub. The sense of an oasis or a haven is what you are trying to achieve.
Maintenance and upkeep of your spa.
Your spa will cost no more than a couple of pounds a day in running costs – dependent on its size and how much you use it – but you will need to get used to sticking to a regular routine in terms of keeping the water clean and balanced.
Because spas are kept at a warm temperature and contain a relatively small volume of water compared to the number of bathers that are using the hot tub, keeping the water in good condition is a little more important and little more difficult than caring for a swimming pool, for instance.
Sundance Spas make the job of keeping the spa water clean and clear by using their own CLEARRAY UV Water Purification System which kills over 90% of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens.
At first, balancing the water in your spa might look like a daunting task but once you get used to what you need to do and when, it becomes second nature and take no more than a few minutes every day. Every couple of months – depending on how much use your spa gets – you will need to drain and re-fill your spa. That too is a fairly simple and straightforward task.
Spas are inappropriate for very young children, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions. Children should never be allowed to be in or around the spa when they are unsupervised and a spa cover that is ideally lockable will give you peace of mind if you do have little ones in your family.
All in all, a spa is a wonderful investment that can help you relax and de-stress or be a place to gather and spend time entertaining family and friends.