Adding a hot tub to your home can add to the value of your home, make it easier to relax and unwind after a long day, and even increase your socialization opportunities with like-minded friends. Your hot tub site will need to have a high weight tolerance, as the tub, the frame, the pump mechanism and the water will all put a great deal of pressure on your deck or patio. You'll need dedicated electrical service before you start your hot tub addition, and easy access to water will certainly make your life easier. Finally, it's a good idea to site your hot tub as close as possible to an access door with a spot to dry off or shower as needed. No one wants to track a bunch of water over some deep carpet.
Hot Tub Sizes
A square hot tub spa can generally be found in three different sizes:
- 78 inches by 78 inches
- 84 inches by 84 inches
- 94 inches by 94 inches
If you want to use your spa as a swimming trainer, bigger tubs and stronger water jets can also be found. Depending on access to your hot tub site, your dimensions may or may not be limited. Depending on the manufacturer and the model, your height can vary. Carefully review the manufacturer's instructions on the clearance you will need around your hot tub. A hot tub too close to the house can eventually be hard on your foundation. Once it's full, moving your hot tub is not really an option.
Hot Tub Styles
To start, you may want to use a portable or soft sided hot tub. As a general rule, a portable hot tub is square and a soft side tub is round. Both will need power and water. If your tub isn't under cover, such as an awning, you will want to add some type of cover to keep debris out.
A formed fiberglass tub will include seats. A permanent tub in a three-season room can be a great choice if you are able to keep the water lines warm all year around. Do make sure you put in the HVAC necessary to avoid any freeze risk if you plan to use the hot tub year-round. One small water leak can create a huge mess and expense.
Costs of Installing and Maintaining
A soft tub on your deck or patio is a good start and probably the cheapest initial investment. Make sure that pets cannot get into your soft tub, especially if you have a chewy puppy. Additionally, make sure you invest in a cover. Do take care to check the tub for algae regularly. Managing a small bit of algae growth is simple, but a fully slimed tub will take a lot to bring it back. Your tub manufacturer will give you information on the best maintenance schedule and cleaners.
Debris will scratch your fiberglass tub and severely damage your foam tub. Silt and sand that get into the water cycling system can do even more damage. The first step in protecting your hot tub is a cover. The second step is to create a small staging area where visitors to the hot tub can rinse their feet before they get in the water. Sand will wear down the base of your foam tub.
Relaxing in a hot tub after a long week can make the investment and labor of owning a hot tub worth every penny. Do set up a regular maintenance schedule to avoid letting algae or mold get started.