Looking for a relaxing – yet exciting – way to spend time at home? Or perhaps you’ve suffered an injury or have a degenerative condition that could benefit from hydrotherapy? Or maybe you’re just up for some DIY fun every now and then? In any of these situations, a hot tub could be just the thing!
If your home feels incomplete without a hot tub, maybe it’s time to think about choosing one that’s right for you. Today’s hot tub market features more tubs than you could imagine, in every shape and size imaginable. While some hot tubs are indoors, the Savannah, GA area is better suited to outdoor tubs. With our mild weather, outdoor use can be practically year-round. Unlike indoor hot tubs, outdoor tubs are easier to install, provide increased ventilation to prohibit excess humidity and deter mold growth, and are less limited by available space.
First of all, check with your homeowner’s association or local zoning office to make sure you can put a hot tub on your property. Some local laws don’t permit the installation of a more permanent hot tub, but will allow residents to use portable, inflatable hot tubs like this one. When the mood strikes you, inflate, fill and enjoy…and break it down when you’re done!
If your local ordinances allow a more permanent fixture, it’s time to think about what you’re looking for in a hot tub.
How large the tub will be depends on the number of people that will typically use it at a time, and by how much space you have to devote to it. Smaller tubs will typically seat 2-3 people at a time, medium tubs will seat 4-6 people and large tubs can seat from 8-12 people, depending on the size. Different seating arrangements in the tub can make a difference in its size as well. Be sure the space you’ve set aside will be large enough for the tub, including leeway space for maintenance. Check for adequate drainage and ventilation as well. You need to be sure your new tub doesn’t destroy your lawn or steam paint from the side of your house.
The cost of very similar hot tubs can vary widely between manufacturers, size, and features, so it’s best to shop around a bit to ensure you’re getting top value for your dollar. Be sure to research the hot tub manufacturer carefully. Select a company that is highly reputable and had a good track record in quality. The TradeCertified™ award is given by SpaRetailer Magazine, the hot tub industry’s flagship publication. Make sure the manufacturer you’re considering is a member of this particular club. Keep in mind that there are expenses related to the upkeep of a hot tub, so be sure to work them into your final budget. Do not try to install a hot tub on your own – unless you’re a professional plumber or licensed contractor. Installing even entry level hot tubs is a complex task. Expect to pay upwards of $150 for installation, depending on the size and brand of unit you choose. It’s important that ANY tub you choose has a lifetime warranty.
Keeping your water healthy and safe is critical, so make sure you’re using a quality filtration system. Water filtration systems capture debris floating on the water surface while water purification gets rid of microorganisms you can’t see. There are three types of filtration systems:
Salt Systems – Use naturally produced chlorine to kill germs. Often preferred to adding chlorine tablets and bromine to your tub, this system gives a silkier, smoother feel to the water.
Ozone Systems – works in combination with chlorine and bromine, killing germs and bacteria. Ozone systems also break down residues from soap, shampoo and makeup that contaminate the water.
UV-C Systems – These innovative new systems use high-intensity UV germicidal light rays to kill germs.
Choose Your “Extras”
If you’re looking for certain features, they will help you make a decision more easily. For instance, if you’re looking for a tub with hydrotherapy benefits instead of a tub that simply relaxes you, these extra features will be on your “must have” list. The number of jets, their location, the seating arrangement and the type of jets available could be deal makers or deal breakers for you. Make sure you ask your physician, physical therapist or chiropractor for advice on selecting the type of jets, jet quantity and optimal placement of the jets for your specific needs.
If you’re looking for mood lighting, stereo capability, hand rails, towel racks or remote control, these elements are usually only available at the mid to upper range hot tubs. Most hot tubs come with covers, but upgraded “coverall” models are available at an extra cost. If the tub is to be used less frequently, these covers help protect your investment from the elements.
And one last tip…if possible, visit a hot-tub showroom that offers “wet tests”…the chance to try before you buy. Check with some local retailers to see if they allow either wet or dry seat tests for the models they sell.