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Hot Tubs

Before Shopping For A Hot Tub

by Gabby Hyman
Repair-Home Columnist

Looking for the right hot tub to add to your home can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. For some, installing a small, relatively inexpensive hot tub can be a manageable home improvement project. But if you want to add a full featured Jacuzzi with all the trimmings and a deck to support it, you're probably going to need the services of a skilled contractor.

Like most home improvement planning, you can save time, energy, money, and needless aggravation by mapping out your needs and comparing them to the amount you have budgeted for the project. Are you going to finance the project directly, use a home equity loan, or do you have sufficient savings? Do you have the space for a hot tub or Jacuzzi? Will you need to add a concrete pad? Is electricity and water readily available for the project?

Some Common Hot Tub and Jacuzzi Features to Explore

There is little doubt that the installation of a home spa or hot tub can improve your home value and your quality of relaxation. If you're going to shop around, make a list of hot tub dealers that offer after-hours "wet tests" of their models. You want to know how the jets feel, how comfortably you fit in the seats, and whether they have used quality materials.

Shells and cabinets vary by workmanship and materials. Shells are the outer skin and come in a variety of materials and colors, including ceramic tiles. Cabinets that hold the units are available in composite materials with insulators. The quality of the insulation has a direct impact on the cost to heat the water and retain the heat.

Seating and jet options also vary greatly. Depending on your budget and the number of people you'd ideally like to entertain in the tub at one time, you want a combination of benches, loveseats, buckets, and a foot-well that accommodates everyone. Most people have specific requirements when it comes to selecting jet options. Do you want high-powered pulsating jets, soothing circular jets, bubbling jets in the foot-well, or a combination for both therapeutic massage and quiet relaxation functions?

Be sure to examine the range of filtration and control options. Some Jacuzzis offer in-house control settings that allow you to turn on the tub before heading outdoors. You may want to pay a little more for a top-of-the-line heater and filtration system if you intend to moderately or heavily use the hot tub throughout the year.

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.