How much does a good hot tub cost?

HalfPriceHotTubsPrice has been a hot spot in the hot tub industry lately with big billboards screaming “Half-Price Hot Tubs!” and Wal-Mart showing blow ups in their main aisles for a few hundred dollars.

So, how much does a good hot tub cost? There are several factors to consider when looking at price.

1. How long to you plan to own this hot tub? A well-constructed hot tub can last 18 or more years. This is a major investment in your family’s health and wellness. Yes, you could find a cheap hot tub for 3,000 or 4,000 with a shelf life of 3 or 4 years.

So, if you took that amount and multiplied out to just 16 years, you have a total cost of $16,000. Add to that the cost and hard work of removing the dead hot tub, hauling it away, bringing in a new one and starting over. Final cost of the cheaper models for that period: close to $20,000.

A well constructed hot tub can range from $5,550 to $15,000. So even the most expensive one is still more cost-efficient than the cheaper models. Subtract the sweat equity and headaches that come with making decisions on whether to fix a broken tub, then hauling away a dead one, when you keep the same one for years. Set it up and let it run. That’s the most cost-effective way to go. And that’s why we carry only the top brands in the country.

2. How energy efficient is this hot tub? Recently, someone came into our showroom and pointed at one of our smaller models. “It costs me $60/mo. to operate my hot tub,” he said. “It’s about the size of that one.”

Really? Well-constructed hot tubs are well insulated and cost $20-$30/mo. to operate, even the huge ones. His hot tub was a small one, holding less than 300 gallons. So, if he’s paying an extra $40/mo. for electric, over one year he’s paying $480 above what a larger well-made hot tub would cost.

If his hot tub lasts 5 years, he’s going to pay $2,400 above the energy cost of the more well-made models. And that’s for a small hot tub. Go to a 6-person or 8-person unit, and you can multiply that out.

3. Does the price of your cheap hot tub include all the extras? Often companies who choose to compete on price will leave out some details. Is there a freight charge? This could be up to $700. Delivery charge? Another $400. What about a cover? Is that included? If not, add $450 (and you will definitely need a cover or your electric bill will zoom right off the chart, not to mention your tub being an open target for birds overhead).

A cover lifter is important because your cover will naturally become very heavy over time and your family members will be straining their backs to get the hot tub open. What about a set of steps? An ozonator? A GFCI breaker?

Beyond that, who is going to deliver the 1200 lb. hot tub to your property? Who will install it? Is there an additional charge for that?

It’s always best to work with a hot tub company who covers all the bases and includes everything you need in one price with no hidden charges. Be sure to ask because if you don’t ask, they probably won’t tell.

4. Does the seller offer water care training and support? We see it all the time. Someone comes into our showroom and talks about cloudy water, or skin eruptions, or weird stuff floating in their hot tub. When we ask, they say, “Oh, I bought it at a box store, or at a fair, or a home show.” No one has given them any guidance on how to take care of their water. And they are paying for it now.

Water care support is critical to a good owner experience. Your local dealer should have free water testing on state-of-the-art equipment. They should be available to answer your questions when you have them. They might even have monthly conference calls to help you understand more about balancing your water and how to maintain a clean hot tub for the health and safety of your loved ones.

5. Who will service your hot tub and honor the warranty? There are many companies who travel out of state to hold big hot tub sales. When the sale is over, they pack up and travel hundreds of miles home. What happens when your hot tub needs service from them? You’ll be on your own to find help when your company is in Connecticut or Michigan or California.

It’s always best to work with a local dealer who is close by and who has a full time in-house service department specializing in hot tubs. That way, when you have a question or a problem, they are only a phone call away.

A hot tub can change your life for the better, offering pain relief, healing, relaxation, and family togetherness. There is far more to consider than just the initial cost. This is a long term purchase.

Think it through before you buy. You will be so glad you did.

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