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How to Choose a Hot Tub in 2022

couple in a hot tub

There are many hot tubs available on the market today, and choosing one can be confusing for some people. The main thing that you need to consider when deciding which type is best for your needs is how much space you have in your backyard or patio area. If you don’t have enough room, then you will want to look at portable models that you can move around as needed.

Hot Tub Benefits

The health benefits of owning a hot tub are numerous. It has been proven time after time that it helps reduce stress levels, improve blood circulation and lower cholesterol levels. It also provides relief from arthritis pain and muscle aches.

A hot tub is an excellent way to relax and unwind during the summer months. However, if you are looking for something more than just a place to soak up some sun, there are other options out there that may suit your needs better.

Recreation and Socializing

One of the most popular uses of hot tubs is as a recreational tool. People use them to get together with friends and family members and enjoy each other's company while soaking away their stresses. They provide a great opportunity for people who like to socialize to do so without having to leave home.

If you are planning on using your hot tub for recreation purposes, make sure that you choose a model that offers plenty of seating areas. You should also consider purchasing a spa cover that allows you to sit outside and still feel protected from the elements.

Recovery After Intense Workouts or Activities

Another benefit of owning a hot tub is that it is perfect for recovering from strenuous exercise. After working hard, you can take advantage of the soothing effects of the water to help ease your muscles back into shape.

Active people, those who exercise often, can benefit from hot tub hydrotherapy. This therapy involves immersing yourself in the water for about 20 minutes. The benefits include improved sleep, lower injury risk, less muscle soreness, faster recovery, and improved circulation. 

Relaxation and Stress Relief

Many people find that they are able to relieve themselves of stress by taking a relaxing soak in the hot tub. Stepping into the hot tub gives you time to retreat from the cares of the world for a bit. As your muscles relax, your blood pressure drops, and you'll feel more and more relaxed.

Hot tub stress relief also happens with social activities. When you join someone in your hot tub, you can chat, share some of your burdens, and enjoy their company.

How Much Should I Spend? 

When buying any product, you always want to get what you pay for. Hot tubs are an investment in your property and in your own lifestyle. The initial cost of one is the small part of what you'll spend and even smaller compared to what you gain.

There are two types to choose from: a traditional fixed-sided hot tub, or a mobile hot tub. Although both types of hot tubs offer similar benefits (such as relaxation), you should choose a particular model based on several factors including convenience and space requirements.

What about the cost?

A hot tub can cost as little as $3,000 or more than $15,000. The normal price range for standard consumer models is $3,000-$11,000, but custom model can be even more expensive.

In addition to the hot tub itself, you should also plan for between $300 and $2,000 in installation costs. This should cover levelling the ground, adding supports if necessary, connecting all the plumbing, and setting up the initial chemicals.

For local customers, you can read our guide about Hot Tub Prices in North Carolina.

What Size Hot Tub Should I Choose?

To decide which type of hot tub will best meet both your needs and expectations, think about where you intend to use it and how many people will use it. For example, if you live alone and don't host many guests, then you may be better off with a small private hot tub rather than a large group hot tub. If you have children at home, a larger hot tub might be appropriate because you could keep it out of reach when you don't want to swim.

So, there are really two things to think about when it comes to the size of your hot tub.

First, you should measure your space. You might want to have a small swimming pool for a party of twelve, but if you've only got a small area, then you'll need something smaller. Choose your hot tub to suit your space. Don't forget to include the hot tub equipment in your space calculations.

Second, think about how many people will be using the hot tub regularly. It's okay to have a few extra seats, but there's not much point in buying and running a hot tub that seats twice as many people as you need.

A Few More Things to Think About Before You Buy a Hot Tub

There are a few more things to plan during your purchase and installation of your new hot tub. We've made a short list. In addition to our list, you can also speak to a qualified contractor. They will be able to advise you about any structural requirements for your plans.

Portable Hot Tub versus In-Ground Hot Tub

Portable hot tubs are great for temporary use while you're building a house or renovating. But these hot tubs aren't suitable for permanent use. A portable hot tub is simply a hot tub that can be moved around easily. They are often inflatable, although the body of the tub is very sturdy.

An in-ground hot tub is a much more permanent addition to your property. These hot tubs require a concrete slab or subfloor, or reinforcement to your existing deck structure. However, they can also add to your home's value and can be incorporated into a full garden plan.

Hot Tub Placement

When choosing the location of your hot tub, consider safety issues such as electrical power availability and whether there is adequate clearance above the floor or walls. You should also plan for all the equipment that comes along with the installation. The pump and accessories should be easy to access so that maintenance doesn't become too difficult.

Location

The ideal spot for an outdoor hot tub is near the back door. The sun coming from behind the house helps warm up the water inside the hot tub, and it doesn't get too cold in wintertime. Locating your new purchase near your house also leads to a better hot tub experience because you won't spend time scurrying back into the house on a chilly night.

Electrical Hook-up

You'll need to connect power to your hot tub. The power supply gives service to the pump, heater, and any lights or other extras you choose. A larger hot tub may require more heating elements, and the power requirements could be higher. It may be necessary to install a special power line if the power needs exceed a normal circuit.

Jets

The number of jets you choose depends on what you want to do in your pool. More jets does not mean better, though. You can match the number of jets to the size of the pump. A properly designed hot tub will have sufficient power to create the right flow out of the jets.  Choose an option that suits your plans. Powerful jets make better therapy tubs, but may not be as relaxing as a slightly less vigorous experience.

Safety Barriers

If you plan to take advantage of your hot tub by having children or dogs swim in it, you'll probably want to build safety barriers. This includes installing a fence or railing around the perimeter of the tub, plus additional supports at each end to keep the side walls stable. If this isn't practical for you, you can always put in a drain plug and use a hose to prevent objects from being thrown into the pool.

A thick hot tub cover is also a good deterrent for children and pets. These make your pool more energy efficient, but they also keep children, pets, or debris from falling in. Another safety feature is grip tape on each step so people can get in an out safely. External hot tub steps can also make getting in and out easier.

For more information about safety, you can read our article "Is a Hot Tub Safe for Children?"

Hot Tub Add-Ons

Whether you go in for a spa or a lap pool, you might find some useful items that can help enhance your experience when using your hot tub. Some of the most common additions include:

  • Lights
  • Speakers
  • Drink holders

Plan for the things you will enjoy using and that will add to the value of your hot tub.

Top Mistakes People Make When Buying a Hot Tub

A hot tub is a worthwhile investment for almost every buyer. However, to avoid buyer's remorse, it could be helpful to look through these common mistakes.

Buying a Hot Tub for the Wrong Purpose

Many hot tub purchasers buy one and try to justify their decision later. They may buy it thinking that it would serve two purposes at once, when it turns out that the intended purpose was only part of the overall idea. We already covered some of the purposes of a hot tub and the benefits you can get from them. Try to be as clear as possible about why you want one, and then choose the best model for that purpose.

Focusing Too Much On The Initial Cost Of The Hot Tub

The purchase price of the tub is not necessarily the most important factor. For example, a poorly constructed hot tub might be $2,000 cheaper. That's a lot for a major purchase, but it's far less than the losses in heating and service charges you'll pay for a cheap tub during its lifetime.

Not Planning for Installation Costs

There could be a wide range of costs for installation. The best way to plan for these is to speak to your local hot tub dealer or installer. They can look at your location, determine the work required, and let you know how much the installation will cost. Preparing the ground for the hot tub is the most costly aspect of these charges.

Not Considering Where The Hot Tub Will Be Placed

Once you install the hot tub, moving it is usually pretty difficult. So, choose the right location the first time. Include enough room for all the hot tub equipment, allow walking access around at least two, but preferably three, sides of the tub, and try to place it somewhere near the house entrance.

Underestimating The Amount Of Maintenance Required

Like any other home appliance, there are ongoing maintenance fees associated with owning a hot tub. You should budget accordingly. Also, if you're planning on keeping the tub year round, heat loss is going to be a problem even with the most advanced insulation techniques. Do what you can now to reduce it. And remember to check with the manufacturer to see whether they have information available regarding regular maintenance for their products or a warranty service.

We've written two guides to help you:

Not Choosing the Right Jets

The water jets and filtration power of the hot tub dramatically affect your level of enjoyment. Hot tub buyers who don't try out their tub before buying may not appreciate the level of comfort they will or will not receive. So, try to fine a dealer that has trials so you can see what your tub will feel like before you buy.

Choosing Cheap Instead of Expert

There are many hot tub dealers around, and hundreds of them on the internet. However, not all of them are experts. You should choose a hot tub from a reputable dealer who will provide you with good after-sales support and maintenance options. They may also be able to help you with your first water setup and operations.

Hot Tub Buying Process

Buying a high-quality hot tub is pretty straightforward, but the process can take a bit of time. From the time you choose your model to your first hot tub party could be a few weeks, or months.

Let's walk through the process quickly so you know what to expect along the way.

Select the Hot Tub Dealer and Model

Buying locally is a very good idea because the new hot tub buying experience will be much better with an experienced professional to help you along. The best dealers aren't pushy, but focus on giving you the right information to make a good choice.

Connected to the dealer is your choice of model. While there are many hot tub brands, your local dealer may only offer three or four of them. So, you may have fewer models to choose from. However, most dealers will have a range of products so you can find one that suits your needs.

Make the Purchase

Once you settle on your perfect hot tub, make the purchase. Many stores offer financing options to help spread the hot tub cost over a longer period of time. Whether you finance or pay in full, the purchase must happen prior to moving on to installation. While it seems obvious, you should remember to check  that you can install the hot tub you chose.

Arrange the Hot Tub Installation

Some dealers are also installers, but not all. So, plan your installation carefully to avoid delays in being able to enjoy your new hot tub. Here are a few quick reminders:

  • Even a portable hot tub may require deck reinforcement. Make sure your deck or install area can bear the weight of everything, including the hot tub cabinet.
  • Add a concrete pad or extra footers and braces for your deck as soon as possible. Don't get stuck waiting on the concrete to dry to get your in-ground hot tub ready.
  • Hot tubs can be on back order or have a waiting list. Try to pin the dealer down on the exact delivery date.
  • Arrange for any subcontractors to get their work done early. If you need a plumber or an electrician, be sure to get them sorted out as quickly as you can because they may also have a waiting list.

Bring all of the above together and your installation should be fine. Most hot tubs get installed with no problems by qualified contractors. Be sure to ask your dealer for a recommended installer.

Do You Have Any Questions About Purchasing Your Hot Tub In 2022?

If you’re thinking about buying a hot tub this year, the team at Custom Backyard Spaces is here to help. Contact us today at  919-444-8500 or fill out this form to learn more.