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Hot Tub Spa - a Buyer's Guide

Trying to pick a hot tub spa from among all the many choices can be a bit daunting. There are so many models, manufacturers, and sizes that you can be overwhelmed if you don't find a way to make the choosing process rational and orderly. Once you come up with a step-by-step buyer's guide, you'll find that a few hot tubs jump to the head of your list.

Size

Hot tub spas come in a large variety of sizes. Your first step should be to figure out the proper size for your intended uses. If you want the spa for intimate private use (just you and your significant other), a 2-person stand-up wood tub may be the best choice. They are less costly to heat, clean, and maintain.

At the other end of the size spectrum are the hot tub spas that can comfortably hold 8-10 adults. Of course, you can use a big spa for smaller, cozier soaks as well, but they're really meant for hot tub parties and other events that include a lot of people.

Price

Prices on hot tub spas also vary considerably, from as little as $1,000 to over $10,000. Size is the biggest determinant of price, but the extras will also push up the price tag. You can get tubs with extra jets, bigger heaters, and other accessories (steps, deck rims, etc.). A good rule of thumb here is to avoid buying any hot tub you have to finance. If you can't afford to buy it outright, it's probably too dear for your budget. 2 Person Small Ofuro Soaking Tubs are also becoming more popular as the costs are usually much less!

Material

Hot tubs are made from one of two materials in the vast majority of cases: wood or fiberglass reinforced plastic. Wood tubs typically are made from Cedar, Redwood, or Teak - all types of wood that handle the constant presence of water well. These are more traditional than the newer plastic hot tub spas, and some people prefer the overall esthetic experience more. Plastic tubs are lighter, leak less, and often have more versatile and comfortable seating. Ultimately, the material you prefer is a matter of personal preference.

Brand

As with most other consumer products, hot tub brand names matter. In general, the spa maker names you've heard of for years are the less risky brands to buy. However, they can also cost more than comparable hot tubs because of their popularity. If you go with a less well-known brand, do some online research at epinions.com or a similar consumer review site to see what other customers have to say about their products. It's time well spent!

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