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Hot Tub Buying Guide - 30 Questions to Ask & 7 Mistakes to Avoid
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If you're thinking about buying a hot tub, there's no doubt that you have a lot of questions. With so many models, features, and accessories to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which hot tub is right for you. To help you make an informed decision about this major purchase, we have compiled a comprehensive list of questions that you should ask yourself and the dealer before making a purchase. By asking the right questions, you can ensure that you choose a hot tub that meets your needs, fits your budget, and provides you with years of enjoyment. Whether you're a first-time buyer or a hot tub enthusiast, this guide will help you navigate the buying process and make a confident decision.
Questions to ask Yourself Before Buying a Hot Tub
At the very beginning of your hot tub buying journey, you should ask yourself some questions. Don’t pick up a hot tub magazine, browse a few websites, or wander around a dealer’s showroom. Sit down by yourself or with your family and come up with answers to these questions you are comfortable with.
How much should I spend?
When it comes to hot tub cost, you can expect to spend anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. The amount you should spend depends on several factors, including the size, features, and quality of the hot tub you want. It's important to set a budget before you start shopping and then look for a high-quality hot tub that fits your needs within your budget. For more information, check out our guide to the best hot tub brands.
Do I want a new or used hot tub?
Whether you should buy a new or used hot tub depends on several factors, including your budget, the condition of the hot tub, and the warranty or guarantee that comes with it. A new hot tub will generally be more expensive, but you'll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing it's in top condition and under warranty. A used hot tub can be a great deal, but you need to be careful and make sure it's in good condition before you buy it.
Where will I put the hot tub?
When choosing a spot for your hot tub, you should consider several factors, including the size and shape of the space, the view, the accessibility, and the privacy. Ideally, you want to place your hot tub in a spot where you can enjoy the view, have easy access to it, and maintain some level of privacy.
How many people will use the hot tub?
The number of people you know who will be using the hot tub is an important consideration when choosing a size. If you'll be using the hot tub alone or with just one other person, a smaller size may be sufficient. However, if you plan to entertain or host gatherings in your hot tub, you'll want to choose a larger size to accommodate more people.
What am I going to use a hot tub for?
The way you plan to use your hot tub is something to really think carefully about when choosing a model. If you plan to use your hot tub for relaxation and stress relief, you may want to choose a model with a variety of massage jets and therapeutic features. If you plan to use your hot tub for entertaining or socializing, you may want to choose a model with comfortable seating and built-in speakers or other entertainment features.
Recovery after intense workouts or activities
For buyers looking to use their hot tub primarily for post-workout recovery, they may want to consider models with strong jets and targeted massage features that can help soothe sore muscles and aid in muscle recovery. They may also want to look for models with comfortable seating arrangements that allow for stretching and relaxation.
Recreation and socializing
For buyers who want to use their hot tub for socializing and recreation, they may prioritize a larger size that can accommodate several people at once. They may also look for models with built-in entertainment features, such as Bluetooth speakers or LED lighting, to enhance the social experience. Easy-to-use controls and intuitive settings may also be important for these buyers to ensure everyone can enjoy the hot tub.
Relaxation and stress relief
For buyers who want a hot tub primarily for relaxation and stress relief, they may prioritize features such as comfortable seating and soothing massage jets. They may also look for models with additional relaxation features, such as aromatherapy systems or quiet operation, to create a peaceful environment for unwinding after a long day.
For buyers who need a hot tub for medical treatment purposes, they may prioritize features such as adjustable temperature controls, targeted massage jets, and ease of entry and exit from the hot tub. They may also need to consider any specific requirements recommended by their doctor or physical therapist, such as the depth of the hot tub or the type of jets. In these cases, it may be helpful to consult with a healthcare professional or hot tub specialist to find the best model for their specific needs.
What size hot tub should I choose?
The size of the hot tub you should choose depends on several factors, including the number of people who will be using it, your available space, and your personal preferences. A hot tub that is too small can be uncomfortable and limit your enjoyment, while a hot tub that is too large can be wasteful and costly to maintain. As a general rule, a hot tub that can comfortably seat four to six people is a good size for most families. Read our guide on hot tub dimensions to get a clearer idea about the size you may need.
Number of Seats
The number of seats you should choose in your hot tub depends on how many people you want to accommodate and the amount of space you have available. Hot tubs can come with a variety of seating options, including loungers, captain's chairs, and benches. Loungers are perfect for those who want to recline and relax, while captain's chairs offer a more upright seating position and are great for socializing. Benches provide additional seating space and are perfect for families and larger groups.
24 Questions Buyers Should Ask Hot Tub Dealers
When you are looking for the perfect hot tub, you will probably speak to a dealer. This is actually a good idea because a reputable dealer can be enormously helpful. Here is a list of questions you can ask a dealer before committing yourself to a particular hot tub purchase.
How many years have you been selling hot tubs?
This question can help you gauge the dealer's level of experience and reputation in the industry. A dealer who has been in business for a long time and has a good reputation is more likely to provide quality service and support.
Does this model/brand have a good track record for reliability?
Asking about service calls can give you an idea of the hot tub's reliability and durability. If the spa dealer receives a lot of service calls, it may indicate that the hot tub has issues that need to be addressed.
Is this brand known for producing high-quality hot tubs?
The reputation of the manufacturer can have a significant impact on the quality of the hot tub. Look for a manufacturer with a good reputation for producing high-quality, reliable hot tubs. The highest quality hot tubs are very energy efficient, which can save you a lot of money in the long run.
What kind of warranty coverage can I expect for this hot tub?
Understanding the warranty is important in case something goes wrong with your hot tub. Look for a warranty that covers both the parts and labor, as well as any issues that may arise with the shell, cabinet, or other components. Warranty service is a big part of maintaining your peace of mind when you buy a hot tub or swim spa.
Where is this hot tub manufactured and what are the quality standards?
Knowing where the hot tub is made can give you an idea of its quality and durability. Look for hot tubs made in countries with a reputation for producing high-quality products and where the manufacturing standards are strict and reliable.
Can I easily get replacement parts for this hot tub, and have you had any experience with this in the past?
Having access to replacement parts can be important in the event that something goes wrong with your hot tub. It's important to choose a dealer that has a history of providing replacement parts and that keeps a stock of them on hand.
What materials are used for the interior of the hot tub?
The material used for the hot tub interior can impact its durability and ease of maintenance. Look for an interior made of durable and easy-to-clean materials, such as acrylic or fiberglass.
What materials are used for the cabinet of the hot tub?
The cabinet can affect the hot tub's durability, maintenance, and aesthetic appearance. Look for a cabinet made of a durable and weather-resistant material, such as wood or synthetic material. The cabinet is a big part of determining how long the hot tub will last.
What is the water capacity of this hot tub?
Knowing the water capacity of the hot tub can help you determine how much water you'll need to add and how long it will take to heat the water. Look for a hot tub that holds enough water to meet your needs without wasting water or energy.
Will I need to hire an electrician to install this hot tub?
Hot tubs require a dedicated electrical circuit and should always be installed by a licensed electrician to ensure safety and compliance with local codes.
How much electricity will this hot tub consume and what are the ongoing operating costs?
Hot tubs can use a significant amount of electricity, so it's important to understand the energy requirements and costs before making a purchase. Look for a hot tub with energy-saving features to help reduce your operating costs.
What is the estimated cost of operating this hot tub, including maintenance, filters, and chemicals?
In addition to the initial purchase price, you'll need to factor in ongoing costs for water, chemicals, filters, and electricity. Understanding these costs can help you budget and plan accordingly.
Can I customize this hot tub and how long will it take to receive the order?
If you have specific needs or preferences, you may want to look for a hot tub that can be customized. However, it's important to understand the lead time for customization and delivery to ensure you get your hot tub when you need it.
What materials are used for the internal frame of the hot tub?
The internal frame provides support for the hot tub and can impact its durability and longevity. Look for a hot tub with a sturdy and durable frame, such as one made of steel or pressure-treated wood.
What optional accessories are available for this hot tub, such as covers and steps?
It's important to know what optional accessories are available for your hot tub to enhance your experience and make maintenance easier. Look for a dealer who can offer a wide range of accessories and can help you choose the ones that are right for your specific hot tub model. Possible optional features include:
- Cover lifters
- Water features
- Spa covers
- Color lighting systems
- Built-in audio capabilities
What is included with the purchase of this hot tub?
Knowing what is included with your hot tub can help you budget for additional expenses and avoid unexpected costs. Look for a hot tub that includes essential components, such as a cover, steps, and a water care system.
What kind of insulation is used for this hot tub?
The insulation of a hot tub can impact its energy efficiency and operating costs. Look for a hot tub with high-quality insulation, such as foam insulation or a multi-layered system, to keep the heat inside the hot tub and reduce energy consumption.
How can I find references from other customers who have purchased this hot tub?
Getting references from other hot tub customers can help you learn about their experience and get an idea of the quality of the hot tub and the dealer. Look for a dealer who can provide references and has positive reviews from previous customers.
What kind of water care system is used for this hot tub?
The type of water care system used in the hot tub can impact its water quality, maintenance, and operating costs. Look for a water care system that is effective, easy to use, and affordable, such as a saltwater system or a chemical-free system.
What kind of preparation is needed for the space where I plan to install this hot tub?
Preparing the space for the hot tub is important to ensure it is safe, accessible, and stable. Look for a dealer who can provide guidance on the necessary preparation, such as selecting the right location, installing a proper foundation, and ensuring adequate electrical and water connections.
What will be the delivery and installation cost for this hot tub?
Knowing the cost of delivery and installation can help you budget for your hot tub purchase. Look for a dealer who can provide transparent pricing and can provide a detailed quote that includes delivery and installation costs.
What is the estimated delivery time for this hot tub?
Knowing the delivery time can help you plan and ensure that you get your hot tub when you need it. Look for a dealer who can provide a clear timeline for delivery and can work with you to accommodate your schedule.
What kind of jet options are available for this hot tub and how do they differ?
Understanding the jet options and their unique features can help you find a hot tub that meets your specific needs and preferences. Look for a dealer who can provide information on the different jet options, such as the number, type, and placement of the jets.
What is the total cost of this hot tub, including all fees and charges?
Knowing the out-the-door cost can help you budget for your hot tub purchase and avoid unexpected fees. Look for a dealer who can provide a detailed quote that includes the hot tub price, delivery and installation costs, and any additional fees or charges.
7 Common Mistakes New Buyers Should Avoid
Buying a hot tub is an exciting investment that can enhance your health and lifestyle. However, there are common mistakes that prospective hot tub buyers can make that may lead to disappointment, unexpected expenses, and even safety hazards. In this section, we will identify and discuss seven common mistakes that hot tub buyers can make and provide actionable advice to help you avoid these pitfalls and make a smart and informed purchase.
Penny wise and dollar foolish
Focusing too much on the initial cost of the hot tub. By only considering the initial cost, you might end up with a low-quality hot tub with higher operating and maintenance costs. It's better to look for a hot tub that provides good value for money over its lifetime, including its energy efficiency, durability, and maintenance requirements. Here’s a guide to the running costs of a hot tub.
Location, location, location
Not considering where the hot tub will be placed. Ignoring the placement can lead to safety issues, accessibility problems, and additional installation and maintenance costs. Before buying, think about where the hot tub will be placed, ensuring it has the proper support, electrical and water connections, and accessibility for maintenance.
Hidden installation costs
Not considering installation costs. Failing to consider installation costs can lead to unexpected expenses and difficulties in installation, such as improper electrical or water connections. When purchasing a hot tub, make sure to factor in the costs of installation and consider hiring a licensed and experienced installer to ensure proper installation and safety.
A solution in search of a problem
Not understanding why you're buying a hot tub in the first place. Without a clear purpose in mind, you might end up with a hot tub that doesn't meet your needs or expectations. Before buying, identify the reasons why you want a hot tub, such as relaxation, therapy, or entertainment, and look for a hot tub that meets those specific needs.
The wrong jet stream
Choosing a hot tub with the wrong jets. Choosing a hot tub with the wrong jets can lead to discomfort, dissatisfaction, and high maintenance costs. Before buying, consider the type, number, and placement of the jets based on your specific needs and preferences.
Underestimating the amount of maintenance required. Underestimating the maintenance requirements of a hot tub can lead to additional expenses and potential health risks. Make sure you understand the required maintenance tasks, such as cleaning, chemical balancing, and filter replacement, and budget accordingly.
Dealing with the wrong dealer
Not choosing a reputable dealer. Choosing an unreliable or inexperienced dealer can lead to poor quality hot tubs, unreliable customer service, and additional expenses. Look for a dealer with a good reputation, industry experience, and positive customer reviews to ensure a smooth buying and ownership experience.
We hope that this guide has provided you with valuable information and insight to help you make an informed decision when buying a hot tub. By asking the right questions, you can avoid common mistakes, choose a high-quality hot tub that meets your needs, and ensure that you get the most out of your investment. If you have any further questions or need additional advice, please don't hesitate to contact Epic Hot Tubs, or visit the Raleigh or Durham hot tub showrooms. Our team of experts is always here to help you, whether you're in the market for a hot tub or just need some guidance. Thank you for considering Epic Hot Tubs, and we look forward to helping you find the perfect hot tub for your home and lifestyle.
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