Hot Tub Buying Guide
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When shopping for a new hot tub there are several things you should consider. After all, a hot tub can be a substantial investment, so it pays to do your research beforehand. In this article, we are going to discuss the top hot tubs with a strong emphasis on seating features.
The two most popular kinds of hot tubs today are above-ground acrylic units and in-ground spas. As you might expect, each tub has a number of pros and cons. Let us take a moment to review each of them.
Acrylic units are by far the most popular types of tubs for two simple reasons. They are less expensive and they are easy to install. The average starting price of an above-ground unit is only about half that of an in-ground one. These tubs are also available in a wide range of colors and styles. Nearly every hot tub manufacturer offers several models of above-ground tubs. In addition, they are also portable and can be taken with you if your family moves.
But above-ground units are far from perfect. For starters, they are notorious energy hogs. A person who uses his tub frequently can and should expect to see a substantial increase in his monthly electricity bills. Depending on the model, they can also be expensive, but still much cheaper than in-ground units. Although self-installation is possible, it can be extremely complicated, especially for someone who doesn't have experience with hot tub installation.
The second most popular hot tubs for homeowners are in-ground models. Just like their above-ground cousins, they are available in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors. Probably the number one selling point of in-ground hot tubs is that they are an investment in your home. Unlike in-ground units, they are not portable and they will not depreciate as much due to the fact they are much easier to protect from the elements. They also heat up quickly and hold that heat well, which means they won't raise your electric bills quite as much as above-ground units.
Now for the cons. To begin with, they are expensive. An average in-ground unit costs about twice as much as an above-ground one. Also, they will require professional excavation upon installation. This is not a job you can do on your own! Lastly, certain features like seating tend to be quite basic and standard in most in-ground.
Which to choose? It really does depend on what you can afford and how long you are planning to stay in your current home. If you do plan to stick around for a while, it is clear that in-ground units are a better investment. They will eventually recoup their initial expense by being more energy efficient and actually increasing the value of your home. On the other hand, if you are planning to move in a few years, it might be best to purchase an above-ground unit so that you can take it with you if you choose.
Now we will take a look at one of the most important features of any new hot tub, the seating. Believe it or not, the seating scheme is one of the first things hot tub shoppers consider when they look for a quality unit. After all, a hot tub isn't much use if you can't sit down and relax in it comfortably.
Though the most popular seating scheme is for 5 seats, 2 and 7 person hot tubs are also fairly common. So, which one do you want? Really, it depends on how large your family is. For example, if you are a retired couple whose children have long since moved out of the house, a two-seat model might be the appropriate choice for your backyard. However, if you have a family and you know that more than two people will use the hot tub at a time, it is best to select a five-seat unit.
Who needs a seven-seat unit? Its rather large, but many people enjoy having friends or neighbors over for little impromptu hot tub parties. They get some wine and finger foods and make a night of it. If you want to invite more than one couple over at a time, you want to purchase a seven-seat unit.
In addition to the number of seats, you can also select different types of hot tub seats. While the standard seat is a simple bench seat that allows you to sit straight up, there are also lounge seats and pivot seats. As you might expect, a lounge seat lets the user recline a bit while his feet remain on the floor, and a pivot seat lets you pivot, often so that you can receive hydrotherapy from the different jets.
These specialty seats are becoming increasingly popular and are an available option on many of the newer models. However, they do take up considerably more space than the standard bench seat, so they may only be offered in the two or four-seat versions. Consider who will use your hot tub on a regular basis. Go and sit in the tub at the dealers to see which seat types you like. You won't know until you try.