What should I think about before I purchase a hot tub?
An outdoor spa is one of life’s little luxuries and can turn your backyard into the perfect staycation destination. If you’re a first-time buyer, there are a few things to consider before diving in. First, check local building regulations to see if permits, inspections or fencing requirements apply. Next, consider your budget—the average cost for a new tub is $5,000 to $7,000, depending on size and quality. Be sure to measure your space and consider how you’ll use your spa. Will it be a party spot or used for relaxation or therapy? This will determine how many seats and jets you’ll need.
What about installation and regular maintenance?
Hot tub installation can be tricky, so you probably want to leave that to the pros. “Many tubs can be delivered and installed within days of purchase,” says Bob Smith, owner of Le Dipping Parlor Spas, so you can be soaking under the stars right away. According to Smith, spas are very easy to care for, thanks to new technology that makes tubs more efficient and much easier to maintain. “Weekly maintenance will take 15 minutes or less to keep your spa sparkling,” he says. Another tip Smith recommends is changing the water three to four times per year. All you need to fill up your tub is a regular old garden hose. Hot tub chemicals and electricity costs vary depending on the size of your spa, but your dealer can give you a good estimate of what to expect. If you’re sensitive to chlorine, you can explore saltwater spas. The initial cost of adding a saltwater purifier is a little higher, but don’t fret. Salt is less expensive than traditional spa chemicals.
What about the extras?
Nearly all hot tubs come with built-in lights, but there are plenty of ways to customize your spa to further enhance your experience. “A cover remover is the best investment you can make,” Smith recommends. This tool makes it easier to peel off the tub’s cover and store it off to the side. For added safety, you might also want to look into adding a handrail at the steps. Beyond that, the sky’s the limit with what you to do. You can add fragrances for relaxing aromatherapy, stream music or video, bring in games (floating beer pong, anyone?) and umbrella shades, and there are even cold water options for those sultry, summer days.
What are the benefits of a hot tub?
In addition to providing fun and relaxation, spas can offer much-needed relief for muscle and joint pain. If your doctor prescribes a hot tub for pain reduction or to promote better circulation, it might even be covered by your medical insurance. Nixa resident Mark Blethroad wasn’t convinced he would get much use out of a spa, but now he’s a big fan and that skepticism has subsided. “We use our tub more than I expected,” he says. “I can’t imagine not owning one. I can’t think of another amenity that offers so much year-round enjoyment for so little upkeep and effort.”