I hate to break it to you, but winter is right around the corner. Soon we’ll be building snowmen instead of sandcastles. Baseball gloves will be exchanged for winter gloves. There will be no more driving with the windows down since we’ll need an ice scraper just to see out of the window.
I admit I may be getting a little ahead of myself being that we’re still in September. However, the truth is, winter will be here before we know it. The reality set in with me this past weekend while I was golfing in weather that literally changed every 10 minutes. The day started off about 55 degrees and sunny but suddenly changed to about 45 degrees and rainy after playing only two holes. A couple holes later, the rain stopped and the umbrellas were put away. Three holes later, I was shivering uncontrollably and am almost positive I was developing frostbite on my fingers.
You get the point. Michigan’s weather is unpredictable. After finishing up a poor round of golf (I blame the weather), I couldn’t help but think about how nice it would be to go home and jump in the hot tub and relax. Sounds like a great way to finish up a weekend, right? It would have been had my house had a hot tub to relax in.
A lot goes into purchasing a hot tub. How much does it cost to install? How difficult and how expensive is the upkeep? Where should it be installed? These are just a small sample of the questions that go into buying a hot tub. Before the weather takes a turn and you’re left wishing you had a hot tub, maybe it’s time to consider purchasing one of your own.
Here are some tips to keep in mind if you decide to look into purchasing a hot tub:
Shop around: Hot tubs cost quite a large chunk of change. You’ll find that many businesses offer similar brands at similar costs. Make sure you find a business that offers solid customer service and doesn’t use pressure sales tactics to persuade you into a purchase.
Get the full price: When you purchase a hot tub, you’re going to need more than just the hot tub. Other items you’ll need include an insulating cover, water care products and delivery/installation. In other words, ask about the “add-ons” that aren’t included in the purchase price.
Location, location, location: Hot tubs can be as small as a 4’ X 7’ two-person and as large as an 8’ X 11’ that fits 10 people. In terms of height, 36” is the most common, although it can range between 30”- 40.” Before picking out the size of your hot tub, you’ll want to decide where you plan to place it. Do you want it outside? If so, it’s important to consider ease of access. During the winter, how far are you willing to trek through the snow to get to the hot tub? You’ll most likely want it located on a deck or a short distance from your backdoor.
If you want to avoid the snow altogether, you could opt to install it in a spare bedroom. Depending on the size of the bedroom, you might find you’re limited in the size of the hot tub. Also, you’ll need a ventilation system in place for controlling humidity and the smell of chemicals.
Shape: Hot tub shapes have transformed greatly over time. Some companies allow you to customize your shapes, while others such as The Home Depot offer customers a variety of shapes and sizes to choose from. When picking out a shape, it’s important to remember that certain shapes will allow for a larger occupancy, while other shapes will restrict capacity.
Price: How much are you willing to spend? Your budget will help determine the size of your hot tub, as well as if you’ll want to have a deck built. For a standard six-person hot tub, you’re looking at spending approximately $6,000 according to one company. Monthly fees range between $15 and $35. Other costs to consider include the cover, which can range in price from $300-$700, and steps, which differ based on size but can be anywhere from $175 to $400.
Upkeep: As with other big investments such as cars and swimming pools, you can’t expect the hot tub to take care of itself. Approximately every four months, you’ll need to drain and refill, which will allow you to wipe down the walls and clean the cover. You’ll also need to replace the filter. As far as weekly tasks, you’ll need to add chemicals such as bromine and chlorine and ensure the water composition is suitable for use. On average, you’ll spend about 15 minutes per week testing the water and adjusting the chemicals.
A hot tub is a big investment. While winter is easily my least favorite season, a hot tub may be just what I need to get me through the coming months. What do you think? Do any of you have a hot tub? What are some of the pros and cons? Let us know in the comments section below!
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