Purchasing a Hot Tub and How to do it? A Buyers Guide
The question everyone asks when they look to purchase their first tub, “how do I buy a hot tub?”.
Well it’s not something you can pick up from your local retail store and they’re easier to find and purchase than a lot of people think. Since the start of 2020, hot tub sales in the UK have absolutely soared as the pandemic forced Britain into lock down. Suppliers, wholesalers and retailers of tubs all struggled to keep supply of major brands such as Hotspring, Clearwater and Jacuzzi. In fact Thisismoney actually reported hot tub sales being bought by Britons had increased over 1000% by June 2020 as people resorted to their gardens as a way to spend time outside.
This naturally led to a significant amount of people inquiring and purchasing tubs before conducting proper research for what they were exactly looking for and at the correct price. So we at Hammond Home and Leisure have decided to form a buyers guide, to help those looking for a new tub or even their first tub, to get the perfect Hot Tub at a great price without the hiccups and hidden costs that creep up on buyers when they haven’t been educated on the do’s and don’ts of the hot tub industry.
The first step before starting journey to having your very own relaxing tub is to create a mental or physical plan with the following in mind and consider the 3 vital criteria that you can tailor to make a hassle free purchase. We at Hammond call it the Starting Trifecta.
- Budget – Consider how much you’re willing to spend on your new tub and all its features. Tubs can range from anywhere from £1000 with basic inflatable spas such as the Lay-z spa all the way to £20,000 for the most luxurious hot tubs in the retail market. These £20,000 tubs tend to come with state of the art surround sound entertainment and a full host of luxury features only seen around that price mark. Finding where you fit within this range is a great way to keep costs down and stay grounded with how much your willing to part with for your new spa. Creating a range of budget for example £6000 to £8000 allows you to view a multitude of tubs to create a mini shortlist of a few spas of which you can choose from. We tend to see this works better than having a rigid budget which keeps you tied down from viewing slightly more expensive models which are actually better value for money. Such as our Starlight 8L
- Installation – How you plan on installing your tub is just as important as what Hot tub you ultimately purchase. There’s not much point having your heart set on a spa as grand and as luxurious as our Clearwater Orlando if you live in an apartment with no garden. Plan on where the Hot tub will be placed and its access from both your home and the delivery operators. A key part of installation is remembering that these tubs tend to become a garden feature of your home for years to come, so whether you pick to have a wooden hard shell installed or opt for a black cabinet exterior with a Tuscan Sun interior, remember to note how the tub will look and sit within your garden. A great feature which we offer at Hammond is site visits prior to installation to discuss aesthetic and procedure whilst including free delivery and installations of electrics all included within the our quote.
- Maintenance and Ongoing Costs – Hot tubs need the same TLC you’d give to a car. Granted they don’t require the same amount of maintenance and servicing but they do need regular servicing to ensure you keep the tub running at peak performance. We’d recommend a service annually at the very least depending usage. Checkatrade has the average cost of a Hot tub service at £210 for a professional technician to carry out a 26 point service which is the industry standard. They also clock in replacement jets at an average of £61 and a replacement thermostat at £38. A key point of their servicing and repair guide is that major repairs can range from £1000 to £300 dependent on the seriousness of the repair. Our expert advice would be that these situations are highly unlikely if regular servicing is being carried out.
That is the 3 points of our Hammond Trifecta to help you take the first steps towards securing a tub. Once you know your Hammond Trifecta then you’re set to move on to which spa is best for you within your budget.
Types of Hot Tubs and Spas
Hot tubs and Spas are a broad term to categorize extensive ranges of the definition of the word Hot Tub which is described as ‘a large tub full of water used for hydrotherapy, relaxation or pleasure’.
A common mistake vast numbers of people make when looking for a type of hot tub is confusing Hot tub and Jacuzzi as one and the same. Jacuzzi has expertly created a powerful brand which has become fused with a hot tub. Jacuzzi is simply a brand of tub.
There is 3 main types of tubs within the industry. They are as follows:
- Hard Shell Hot Tubs – These are typically the most common hot tub people will see. They are permanent hot tubs which have solid exterior frame tending to be made of wood with hard side panels and multitude of great features such as Bluetooth music, surround sound systems, WiFi and full foam insulation coupled with high quality pumps, LED lighting and great energy efficiency.
- Inflatable Hot Tubs – These tubs are inflatable lower cost spas which have an external heater controlling water temperature. Often include air blower to keep the tub inflated. They’re more portable than a hard shell spa but still require a solid base for use. They are equipped with less features than a hard shell and are usually smaller therefore not allowing as many occupants. They also tend to not be suitable for year round use.
- Custom and Surface Tubs – These tend to be the most expensive option of Hot tub and are more commonly referred to as Spa’s although they truly produce the most aesthetic option out the 3 main types and can be as bespoke as the customer likes with size, shape, color and theme being able to be adjusted by the customers wants and needs. They can be matched with Oak buildings, Mosaic tiling, and decking to create some truly breathtaking spa areas which are completely unique and bespoke to the customer. These come with a much higher price tag and are usually took on by hotels, spa resorts and wealthy clients.
We’ve took this section from Which UK hot tub buying guide as it’s really educational for potential buyers looking to buy a hot tub. You can view the rest of their guide here: Which UK Buyers Guide.
Jets: the number, type and positioning of jets will vary with each hot tub. Paying more will typically allow for more jets and customised positioning.
Insulation: better insulated tubs will keep the water warm for longer and ultimately reduce energy usage. 100% full foam insulation is considered one of the best.
Steps: will help you get in and out of the tub safely.
Cover lifters: will make taking the cover off much easier and help prevent damage to the tub and cover.
Seats: inflatable tubs aren’t always fitted with seats. You can buy these separately.
Head-rests: soft neck rests suitable for both hard-shell and inflatable tubs.
Side benches: to attach to the side of your inflatable tub.
Cushions: that attach to your seats for extra comfort.
Booster seat: some seats can be quite low so boosters will help shorter people sit comfortably above the water line.
Towel rail: to hang your dressing gown or towel on next to the tub.
Lights: perfect for night-time dips. Lights should come as standard with hard-shell tubs but will be a special addition to inflatables. You can also buy floating lights as an accessory.
Wi-fi: allows you to control your hot tub from your phone or tablet wherever you are. Sound system: listen to your playlist, podcast or even TV channel wirelessly
Floating trays: to hold snacks, drinks and even your waterproof playing cards.
Drinks holder: that attaches to the side of your tub.
Spa bombs and crystals: hot tub-safe skincare.
Hot tub gazebos: these enclosures are great for rainy or windy days and most can be taken down easily.
Final step: How to buy the hot tub you’ve chosen?
You’ve created a plan and conducted the best research on how to buy yourself a hot tub? Let’s say you’ve chosen a hard shell Starlight 7L from Hammond Home and Leisures site, you’ve scythed through and selected the smoky mountain shell color for your new hot tub and gone with a solid black cabinet. Your mind is set on the design you’ve crafted and you’re ready to purchase. So how exactly do you purchase the tub?
Our first step would be to book a site visit to our modern showroom in the West Midlands. This truly captivates your design and you can see our tubs first hand and the magnificent design of each and every one of them. If you’re too far away from the showroom then do not haste, we can facetime, zoom and whatsapp call yourself for virtual tours of the showroom. Plus keep you regular updated as to when your new spa is being designed built shipped and dispatched. Keeping you in the loop every step of the way.
We at Hammond Home and Leisure offer covers, steps and chemical spa kits with the vast majority of our tubs and selected models come with a cover lift included.