Buying a new hot tub is an exciting time
Whether it’s your first, or second, hot tub there are a few steps that should be taken prior to getting one into your back yard. Take a look at the next 7 steps to see if there’s anything you may have missed in planning.
Making sure you have a level surface to place the hot tub upon is not only important for protecting the structure of the tub but also to help avoid an un-level water line in the spa once it’s filled. A concrete slab is best for long-term use and should be at least four inches thick. If you’re considering putting your hot tub on the deck make sure it is able to withstand more than 125 lbs. per square foot. If you want to use stones/pavers, crushed stone, or railroad ties as the spa foundation they should be placed at the designated leveling areas of your spa to maintain even distribution of the spa weight. It is important to note that soft surfaces, even when stepping stones/pavers are used, will still have a tendency to settle unevenly, resulting in an unlevel spa. Make sure to take all steps necessary to make whatever surface chosen as level as possible.
Whether the spa is going on a 2 ft deck or a 12 ft deck, ensuring that the surface is reinforced is vital in safety for yourself and for your new hot tub. It’s recommended that your deck support a minimum of 90 pounds per square foot. If there’s doubt, bring a structural engineer out. It’s recommended to create 4 access points to the hot tubs cabinet prior to delivery to ensure your hot tub can be serviced if need be.
Spa Orientation and Cover Lifters
Most customers take advantage of the use of a cover lifter. A cover lifter, or cover assist, mounts to the hot tub itself to help remove the cover when the spa is in use. Some lifters by virtue of their design do create a privacy panel on one side of the hot tub. Figuring out which way you want to orient your spa with this in mind will save you aggravation later when you realize you’re no longer gazing at your garden but a wall of cover.
This point more applies to any deck planning but in some cases can apply to hot tubs placed on the ground. It’s important to remember that in the event that your spa does require service we have access to the appropriate panels needed. The most important panel that a technician needs access to is the main panel which is also where you would find the control panel to operate the spa. Having the appropriate access on all sides can come in handy in the years to come as the spa gets older. Planning ahead saves you time and aggravation. Don’t forget—you may need to shovel a path to your hot tub—so keep that in mind as well!
Do you need a crane to get your hot tub where you want it? Will my fence gate opening be big enough to allow access for the delivery? Will I lose any shrubbery during the delivery? Always a good idea to have an experienced spa person evaluate your site for these things. They can tell you the best (safest) and least expensive way to deliver your hot tub.
Do you have enough power coming in to your home to properly supply the spa you’ve chosen? There are several ways you can hook up spas these days—110 units—both 15 and 20 amp options, as well as hard wired 220v, 50 or 60 amp options. Your dealer can help you figure out what’s best for you—and then examine your existing power supply to determine if an upgrade is needed. How the electrical lines will be run, as well as state and local requirements are important factors in laying out plans for a hot tub. Also, getting a reliable and experienced electrician is a have to have—get a referral from your spa supplier, you’ll be glad you did.
What’s the best size/color to purchase?
There are as many choices here as colors in the rainbow. There’s no right or wrong answer to this one. You can get small samples of the interior acrylic and synthetic cabinets to take home to compare with your backyard environment. There are also “templates” available for creating the space in your yard that the hot tub would require—in order to assist you in visualizing the end results. Ask your local dealer for photos of other installations to get design/decorating ideas. A little landscaping goes a long way to integrate the hot tub into your backyard. And as far as size goes, no-one every complains they got too big a hot tub! Essentially they only come in small (1-2 person), medium (3-4 people), and large (everything else). The larges aren’t usually much bigger than 8’x8′.
Good luck in the planning and preparation of your hot tub investment. Most of our customers wish they’d taken the plunge sooner!