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Hot Tubs - Portable or Permanent?

When deciding what kind of hot tub to buy, one of the biggest deciding factors will be the comparable pros and cons of portable, above-ground models and permanent in-ground spas, and rustic wood fired hot tubs. Each style has its good and bad points, and a lot of it depends on your particular situation. Consider the following factors as you make your choice.

Will your new hot tub accompany a pool or be placed all by itself? If you have a pool, you might want to check into having one of the permanent hot tubs installed adjacent to the main pool. This is a popular configuration throughout North America and Europe. Some owners like to blend the contrast between pool and spa by having a small waterfall or bubbling stream between them.

Is your property electrically wired with easy access points? If so, portable hot tubs offer more variety in terms of placement. Smaller spas weigh a manageable amount when drained, so it's easy to get a few friends and move it to a different location from time to time. Some hot tub owners will move theirs seasonally, to follow the position of the sun at certain times of the day.

Location, location, location! Remember that the primary reason for using a hot tub is the relaxing experience. This should include as many senses as possible, not just the sense of touch. If you choose a permanent in-ground hot tub, be very careful about where you decide to put it. You'll be stuck with that location, so be sure to factor in the view, smells, and sounds in all seasons. With portable hot tubs, location can change without a lot of fuss.

How much do you have to spend? Generally, permanent hot tubs cost more than portable ones. There are cases where you might buy a top-of-the-line portable spa and then build an elaborate deck or gazebo around it. That would push the total cost higher than a standard in-ground tub without the bells and whistles. The point is, if money is a major consideration in your decision, take the time to get all the details from a dealer. Have him or her work up a realistic estimate of all the purchase and installation costs so you can make a more informed choice.

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