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At long last, you’ve finally decided to buy a hot tub. Even just thinking about it, you can feel your muscles relaxing in the soothing water as your frets and cares melt from your mind.
But before that happens, you’ll want to be an informed shopper throughout the hot tub buying process. If you haven’t done it before, it’s natural to have plenty of questions, both about the process and about the ongoing relationship you’ll have with your spa. Don’t worry, though—we’re here to help. Since 1976, we’ve been listening to our buyers’ questions and concerns. We’ve discovered what most first-time buyers wonder—and we’re here with answers.
The first question many people ask is, “How much does it cost to buy a hot tub?” Of course, the short answer is, “It depends on the hot tub.” There are roughly four tiers of hot tub quality: entry-level, value-priced, premium, and luxury.
So what’s the difference between these levels of quality? Well, the price of a hot tub varies based on size, features, materials, components, and engineering. The better hot tubs will generally offer more varied sizes and configurations, have more entertainment options and more powerful jets, be built of more durable materials, and offer greater energy efficiency. To get the full details, read more in our hot tub pricing guide.
Based on your local area and your unique backyard or deck, a few other factors will affect the total price of your hot tub:
Of course, the upfront costs should be compared with the long-term value of spa ownership. It’s important to consider how you’ll benefit from your hot tub, and how many years of enjoyment it will bring you. Many hot tub owners have made their spa time part of their daily ritual, perhaps taking a quick soak before or after work. When used in this manner, the benefits of owning a spa can enrich every other aspect of your life. Hot tubs made of durable, high-end materials tend to easily last for over a decade. And while some components may wear out over time, these can be repaired or replaced. All told, a well-loved, quality hot tub can deliver daily benefits for many, many years.
The factors above account for most of the price variation in hot tubs. Still, there are more first-time buyers, frequently ask questions. Here are some other questions you may seek answers to:
It’s always a little tricky to do something like buying a hot tub for the first time. Where do you start? It’s a good idea to do a little research to help you know what you’re looking for. Check out different resources, and ask people with experience. That way you can shop for your first hot tub equipped with second-time buyer knowledge.
There are expenses in addition to the actual purchase price of your spa. Knowing the costs of installation ahead of time can help you budget and plan, making installation as seamless as possible. When it’s all said and done, your new hot tub will start paying you back in rest and relaxation.
Installing a hot tub will take a few steps, and the overall cost varies depending on size, location, and complexity, but can range from around $85 to $800+. On average, the national cost for above ground installation costs a little more than $300. Prior to installing a hot tub, you should consider and price out these elements:
Running a hot tub requires energy, so it should be no surprise that your electric bill will go up. However, certain hot tub features improve your energy efficiency and can minimize this additional cost.
While some of us are master handy persons always in search of the next project, the rest of us may be a little hesitant to take on the long-term maintenance of a hot tub without knowing how difficult or time-consuming it might be. Hot tub manufacturers and dealers understand this hesitation and have worked hard to design hot tubs that are simple and quick to maintain. They’ve also established service practices to help hot tub owners who lack the time, expertise, or interest to maintain a spa on their own.
With today’s spas, it doesn’t take a huge time commitment to keep your hot tub running. A small upfront investment in preventative maintenance pays great dividends over the life of your hot tub. A little care ensures your hot tub never adds any stress, only reduces it.
Without proper treatment, filtration, and maintenance, a hot tub can become unsanitary. Fortunately, innovation and technology have made water care easier. It only takes a small investment of time and energy to keep your water crystal clear and safe to use. In addition to changing your water and filters regularly, there are several different treatment options to keep your water pure.
Owning a hot tub can have a profound, long-lasting positive impact. A hot tub can help you grow closer to your family, enhance your sense of well-being and physical health, and reduce muscle soreness. Using your hot tub regularly will help you renew yourself, rejuvenate your body and mind, and reconnect with what’s important in your life.
One of my favorite times of the day is when I first get up and have a cup of coffee while sitting in my Caldera Spa. It a great way to reflect while getting a massage. I have done this daily since getting the spa over 2 years ago. I even do some yoga stretches in it. My backyard is my sanctuary and the spa is mainly why this is so.
Darc, Caldera owner since 2012
My husband & I use our hot tub daily, sometimes twice a day. We are mountain bikers,and i am a member at a gym so after a long ride or workout we wind down in the tub to relax our muscles. It is simply heaven.
Mare, Caldera owner since 2014
Some prospective hot tub owners worry that their hot tub won’t see much use, and they won’t experience its renewing effects. And of course, a hot tub that sees little use isn’t going to help its owner much. The best way to make sure you get a good amount of use from your hot tub is to make it part of your routine. Here are a few ways to make using your hot tub on a regular basis as easy as possible:
When we ask people why their hot tub doesn’t get used, their answers usually fit one of a few patterns. Each reason can be inhibitive, but is also easily preventable.
Owners have a poor water experience. Poor water quality in your hot tub easily makes for a poor experience. This can be prevented by assessing and adjusting your levels and replacing filters as necessary.
Owners have high energy bills. Some customers dislike the impact their hot tub has on their energy bill. While hot tubs will always require energy, higher-end hot tubs are more efficient than low-cost spas, resulting in a much less dramatic increase to the electric bill.
Owners don’t feel like hot tub ownership has positively impacted their lives. Infrequent users sometimes feel as though the experience of owning a hot tub hasn’t made a profound difference in their lives, or isn’t ‘worth it.’ But those who consistently and intentionally use their hot tub will begin to experience the physical, mental, emotional, and relational benefits of spa ownership day after day, week after week.
Owners have difficulty getting in and out of their hot tub. People with limited mobility can experience problems entering and leaving their spas. For these customers, designing the deck or surrounding area to facilitate movement can greatly improve the hot tub experience. In addition, matching steps and hand rails are available with many spas.
Owners have trouble removing the hot tub cover by themselves. As hot tub covers can be heavy, removing them often requires more than one person. If you have difficulty lifting the cover by yourself, it may be tempting to forgo a soak. Hot tub cover lifters eliminate this obstacle by turning cover removal into a simple one-person job.
Also, generally speaking, investing in a low-quality hot tub may not deliver ideal results. The more you like your hot tub, the more you’ll want to use it. When choosing the model to take home, think about what you’ll want most from your spa down the road, and find the model that best supplies that.
An experienced hot tub dealer can connect you with the help you need to ensure a smooth and easy spa installation. They’ll be there for consultation, to help you design a custom backyard solution, or to point you to a dependable local contractor. In fact, this underscores the importance of working with a good, local dealer who has national support. These professionals will make each step of the hot tub purchase, installation, and maintenance a breeze.
Free site visits and consultations are generally available to take the worry and guesswork out of the process. Your dealer will help you plan for:
The most important feature to look for in a hot tub is functionality. After that, shop for performance, comfort, and style. Your hot tub will be part of your life for years to come, so it’s a good idea to choose features you’ll be happy with down the road. Here are some of the basic questions on features you should ask your dealer:
A good dealer will be happy to answer your questions and help you find the hot tub that suits you best. They can even arrange a time for you to stop by and test how it feels to sit in the spa, dry or wet. They’ll be your partner down the road as well, providing you the service you need year after year.
This depends on your preference. If something goes wrong with your hot tub due to a defect, you’ll probably be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. When something wears down after years of use, if you have the time and enjoy the challenge, you might be able to conduct most repairs yourself. If you’d rather use a professional, your dealer should be able to handle any repairs and maintenance onsite. If they can’t, they should be able to point you to a trusty technician or contractor.
Now that you’ve got a pretty good idea of what the process entails, you can comfortably begin your hot tub search. It’s okay to take your time and be patient. Remember that any time you put into searching out the best spa for you will be paid back with years of enjoyment. Think ahead to your next decade of bliss—and relax.
Our Caldera spas are engineered with precision, built with top-of-the-line components, and designed to delight the eye and soothe the muscles. Take a look through our modelsto find the spa that has the features you need. Or, if you’re ready to see what’s available in your area, enter your zip code to find and contact your local dealer.