Is 2013 Your Year For A Hot Tub?

As we resign ourselves to a few more months of winter, we are often drawn to the warmer things in life.  It's easy to envision ourselves relaxing in an outdoor hot tub soaking those tired muscles as the snow softly falls.  All a very nice picture indeed, but you may want to have a look at the considerations we've listed below.

Where will you put the tub?
You'll need a large enough space that is relatively flat, and will need to provide a solid foundation.  There are many ways to do so ranging from concrete to railroad ties, but this will take a little money and work.  You will also need to consider access for delivery.  Entrance through a gate is ideal, but in some cases a section of fence may need to be removed depending on tub size.  Very complex deliveries sometimes even require a crane, which would of course be the priciest option.  Don't forget to also try and find a location that is relatively private and you'll likely want to be somewhat close to your home, especially on those frigid winter days.

Who to buy from?
You basically have three options for purchasing the tub:
New from an authorized dealer - This may be your most expensive choice, but generally this is the safest option, as these tubs often come with full warranty and if you ask around, some retailers may even provide you with things like start up chemicals and bonus purchase gifts.
Refurbished - many retailers offer refurbished options to choose from.  These are often a more inexpensive choice compared to new and may also come with some sort of limited warranty.
Used from an individual - Though seemingly the most cost-effective option, buyer beware.  You aren't guaranteed to get accurate history on the tub, which can lead to extra money later on.  You also may need to incur extra costs to move the tub.  If you do go this route, contact a hot tub retailer near you who sells the brand of tub, as they may be able to service it for you once you have it installed.

When to buy a hot tub?
Keep an eye out for flyers and advertisements.  When new models come out, there are often decent sales to get rid of old stock.  Sales can happen over winters months when installation is more difficult, so if you have storage options, it may be worth your while to purchase a spa tub in the cold months and store it until you can get the area prepped in the spring.

How much does the electrical cost?
A big chunk of the installation cost will come from the electrical work required.  Before you contact a certified electrician for a quote, you will need to know specifications from the tub, as a special breaker is required for hook-up.  Along with the breaker, there will be wire and labor required to run the electrical to the house (the closer it is to your home, the less this will be).  A lot will depend on your own situation, but generally the electrical will run between $800 and $1500 annually (www.backyardindulgence.com). 
While we're on the topic of costs, also remember that you will need to regularly replenish chemicals and should budget for a new cover every few years.  Monthly heating may also be a noticeable change to your bill, however this will vary greatly depending on age and make of the tub, as well as season.

What implications are there for resale of your home?
The answer is not necessarily black and white.  Buyers may be pleased that all the work has been done and they can move in with a hot tub ready to go, however for those concerned with the maintenance and the costs associated with it may see the tub as a deterrent to the home purchase.

With winter still in full force, you have some time to make your decision, but don't wait too long, because you don't want to miss out on those soon-to-be summer evenings of barbecues and cocktails that are always finished off nicely with a relaxing spa session.

 image: spashottub.org

Bob Sheddy

Bob Sheddy

Broker of Record
CENTURY 21 PowerRealty.ca
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