I've already blogged about my new toy- a spa.Within the next few weeks the new arrivals of spas will be arriving in stores, which means liquidation prices for the 2011 models. So great time to purchase a spa if you've been dreaming of one. (I feel like a car sales person!)
But before you run out and buy your spa, here are some tips we learned.
Nancy & Tony's 5 tips for picking a spa:
1. Fancy gadgets such as radios, ipod docks and televisions on a spa are extremely pricey and are often the first things to break. The problem is condensation. Also, if the spa has speakers or a television that pops up, in the winter ice may form at the base and then the tv or speakers can't be pushed back down into place. Try closing your spa cover with speakers protruding- impossible!
2. More jets doesn't mean anything! I tried a spa with some 90+ jets but they were so tiny and weak that you barely felt anything. Also, many jets means more wholes in the body and this can compromise its strength. The types of jets and placement are much more important than the quantity.
3. Insulation is key- especially if you live in an area with cold winters. You don't want to have a spa that will cost too much to run. A fully insulated base is key (many only have three-wall insulation). My research has shown that foam insulation is best. Also, an insulated cover is very important because a spa looses much of its heat through the top.
4. Research the dealer from which you are buying the spa. If something goes wrong you will have to deal with them. So do a quick search on the net to see if others have complained or praised them.
5. Be sure to wet test your spa. Tony and I had a great time wet testing spas a little all over town!
And now preparing the base. A spa must be laid on a strong level base that will not shift with time. The type of base needed for your spa will depend on the base construction of your spa. In some cases they require a cement pad or concrete pavers. In our case the spa had a strong base built into it so we simply needed a compacted gravel base.
We decided on a location that would be easily accessible during the winter and that looked pretty in the yard- prettiness is very important. Using a shovel we dug out between 6 to 8 inches of dirt in the measured out space. We measured 2-3 inches larger on each side of the spa just in case. We them laid a strong gardening fabric just to allow water to drain but to prevent the gravel from mixing into the dirt. We them poured our 64 bags of gravel into the pit. Compacting with a compacter every 2 inches. After each compacted layer we used a long level to make sure the entire base was level.
And then we waited for the spa to arrive. The delivery men were impressed with how level the base was! Cost of the base: app. $400 for the gravel, fabric and rental cost.
Here are some pictures of the process:
After months of research we decided to purchase a Beachcomber spa and I have to say it's fantastic!
I can't wait to try it during the first snowfall:)
Linking to Between Naps on the Porch and other parties on my Link Party page.