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A Step-by-Step Guide to Buying Your Dream Hot Tub

Are you excited about the idea of having your very own backyard oasis? This ultimate hot tub buying guide is your go-to resource for turning that dream into reality. We’ll take you through the process below, making your spa ownership journey simple and enjoyable. Here’s what you should know!

What to Expect When Buying a Spa

Many people say that shopping for a spa is a lot like buying a car. This is because the experience is similar in a few aspects. When you’re in the market for a hot tub, there’s a mix of excitement and decision-making ahead. First up, you’ll encounter a wide array of options, ranging in size, features, and prices. You’ll need to be able to strike a balance between what you want and what you can afford.

Expect to navigate through technical details as well, keeping in mind that the features you choose will play a big role in your experience. After all, your hot tub might last up to 20 years. Moreover, comparison shopping becomes key. You might have to ‘test drive’ different spa models to see which one suits you best. With a bit of exploration and enough research, you’ll soon be enjoying life as a proud hot tub owner. Let’s dive into the steps you need to take.

1. Be Clear on Why You Want to Buy a Hot Tub

Before you start diving into options for your new hot tub, it’s important to be clear about why you want one in the first place. Figure out if it’s for unwinding after a tough day, soothing sore muscles, or just for fun with friends and family. Knowing your “why” will guide your choices later on, especially when it comes to the size and key features. Maybe you’re into hosting backyard parties or perhaps you want strong jets for muscle relief. Being clear on how you want to use the hot tub will help you pick the perfect one for your needs.

2. Consider Your Preferred Type of Hot Tub Installation

Do you want an above-ground or in-ground hot tub? Will you be placing it indoors like in a sunroom or perhaps outdoors on a patio? Installing a hot tub involves a lot of considerations, so it requires careful planning. Think about where you want to put your hot tub. Additionally, consider if there’s enough room around it for ease of maintenance and future service requirements.

You should also ensure that the spot you choose can support the weight of your spa and that the surface is perfectly level. A stable ground underneath is essential, even for inflatable hot tubs. Of course, you should also check if there’s a power source nearby and if it’s easy to access.

For more expert advice on the hot tub installation process, you can also consult your local hot tub dealer.

3. Pick the Hot Tub Shell and Cabinet’s Build

The material of your spa is another important aspect to consider, as it influences appearance, durability, and maintenance.

For the shell: Hot tubs come in various shell builds. Acrylic, vinyl, and rotomolded plastic are the most popular choices. Acrylic is the most durable, but it costs more than other hot tub types. Vinyl is more affordable and has an interesting look, but it’s not that good at retaining heat. Plastic hot tubs are lightweight, portable, and budget-friendly, but they tend to look less refined.

For the cabinet: The most popular options include wood, synthetic wood, plastic, stone, or brick. It can also be a combination of different materials. The best choice will depend on the overall spa look you’re going for and the amount of cabinet maintenance you can handle.

4. Decide Which Is the Best Hot Tub Brand

If you’re looking for a hot tub that’s built to last, make sure it’s from a brand that’s known for outstanding quality and reliable service. Consider factors such as customer feedback, warranty offerings, and the availability of local dealers. Each hot tub manufacturer may offer unique advantages, so the right choice might be subjective. Take your time to compare options and find the brand that aligns best with your needs, ensuring a hassle-free spa experience.

5. Choose the Right Hot Tub Size

Want to choose a hot tub that fits your home and needs perfectly? Measure your available space and think about how many people will be using your spa. In general, these are the sizes and seating options you can choose from:

Small (2-4 Seats)

A small hot tub typically measures around 5 to 7 feet wide and about 29 to 35 inches. This is the most ideal option if you have limited space or prefer a more intimate setting.

Medium (4 to 6 Seats)

If you’re planning to get a mid-sized spa, the dimensions range from 6 to 8 feet wide and around 30 to 38 inches high. This size is great for those who enjoy occasional gatherings or family bonding, striking a balance between intimacy and socializing.

Large (7+ Seats)

For those who love hosting parties or have a big family, a large hot tub, typically measuring over 7 feet wide and 36 to 40 inches, is the way to go. It’s also perfect if you’re thinking about getting additional features or accessories since there’s more room.

When it comes to the type of seats and how they’re arranged, you can choose from several options. You might find bench-style seats that give a roomy feel, perfect for socializing. Others have individual bucket seats for personal comfort and targeted relaxation. If you like stretching out, there are also lounger seats designed for a full-body soak. You can also mix and match seat types to create the perfect setup.

6. Decide Which Hot Tub or Spa Features to Prioritize

Choosing the best spa for you means figuring out which features matter most. Is energy efficiency your top priority? Look for insulation features that can keep your hot tub warm while saving energy. Are you buying a spa for hydrotherapy purposes? Make sure to check the number and type of jets it has. Aside from these key features, you should think about the hot tub accessories that can take your soak sessions to the next level. Whether it’s LED lights, a floating tray, or a built-in speaker, pick the extras that can make your hot tub experience exactly how you want it to be.

7. Get Ready for Upfront and Ongoing Hot Tub Costs

Being aware of all the costs involved can help you set a realistic budget. Factor in not just the price tag of the spa itself but also delivery, installation, electrical work, and additional features. Think about the long-term costs as well. These include energy bills, water treatment chemicals, and potential repairs. The price range for hot tubs can vary widely, so it’s important to set a limit on how much you’re willing to spend.

While a clear budget is essential when buying a hot tub, it’s also important to consider the overall value you’re getting. A premium hot tub may have a higher upfront price, but it might be the best choice if it can help you save money on operating costs. It’s also a good idea to find out what kind of warranty comes with the spa and what it covers, ensuring that you get the most value for your money.

8. Consider the Hot Tub Maintenance Required

Proper care is one of the most important aspects of spa ownership. The key maintenance tasks include cleaning your hot tub regularly, changing the water, cleaning or replacing hot tub filters, and balancing the water chemistry. You should also do routine inspections to make sure that components like the pumps and the heater are working well. The amount of maintenance you will have to do depends on the size of your spa, how often you use it, and the climate in your area.

If you think that you won’t have enough time or energy to maintain your hot tub, you can also just choose a model that has a self-cleaning function. Self-cleaning spas automatically filter the water every few minutes. This lessens the amount of manual cleaning required to keep the water crystal clear, making it a more convenient option for busy spa owners.

9. Take Time to Weigh All Your Options

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, don’t rush. Look at customer reviews to see feedback from other spa owners. It’s also a good idea to visit local dealerships to see the options in person and ask questions. Taking your time to explore all your options guarantees that you’ll make a smart choice and end up owning a hot tub that you’ll love for a long time.

Find the Hot Tub of Your Dreams

Choosing the right hot tub can help turn your home into a cozy retreat. Beyond the warmth and relaxation, hot tubs offer numerous benefits for your well-being. Taking some time to explore your options, understanding what you want, and considering your budget will guide you to the best choice. So go ahead and dive into the process, and soon enough, you’ll be enjoying the soothing warmth of your dream spa right in your own backyard.

Download our free buyer’s guide now to learn more about choosing the perfect hot tub for your home!

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