Having a spa or hot tub installed at your home is a wonderful way to relax and unwind at the end of the day. Spas are medically proven to help with muscle and joint pain and can lead to lower stress and anxiety levels. While most people think they are an expensive luxury, spas are actually becoming increasingly affordable for many homeowners. If you are looking for a way to relax at home, while also getting all the benefits a spa can offer, you should contact your local spa dealership to learn more. Here at Oak Wells Aquatics, we have been helping residents across Jacksonville, and the rest of Florida, relax at home thanks to our spa installation services.
Finding a Spa
The first step to total at-home relaxation is finding the perfect spa for your space. Our focus is creating custom spas, tailored to your living space and specific needs. If you are new to the world of spas and need a bit of guidance, give us a call or come to see our showroom. One of our knowledgeable, friendly, and low-pressure sales staff members can walk you through the process. Through discussing your needs, living space, and preferences with you, we can recommend a custom-built spa you are sure to love.
Consider the Location
One thing you should think about before you start shopping around is where you want your spa to go. While you can put it just about anywhere in your home or on your property, there are a few guidelines you should keep in mind:
- Your spa cannot be placed within 10 feet of any overhead power lines
- Your spa’s equipment panel needs to be easily accessible (so don’t place it against a fence or tree)
- The foundation needs to be strong enough to handle the weight of the spa, water, and the occupants
- The foundation must also be level and straight
- Electrical components also need to be considered
When it comes to your spa’s foundation, you can never be too careful. Uneven foundations can cause irreparable damage to your spa and to your yard, so be sure you ask your technician for recommendations if you do not have a solid one in mind. In general, concrete slabs, stone slabs, a patio, or a hot tub pad are perfect choices. Never use grass as your foundation, as you cannot rely on grass for even weight distribution. When you are thinking about your foundation, don’t forget any steps, special seating, or storage spaces you also want to include. For example, if you want steps leading up to the spa, you need to construct a foundation that can accommodate those steps while also providing the spa with a solid base.
Never sink your spa partially or fully into the ground. This may seem like a tempting idea, and does have a certain aesthetic appeal to it. However, it can cause a lot of maintenance problems. Rain and other weather conditions can also cause the ground around the spa to change textures, going from soft to hard quite fast. As a result, your spa may not consistently sit level. If you are set on the sunken look, consider building a special deck to support your spa, with the spa set inside the deck, but still above or on the ground.
At Oak Wells Aquatics, we are happy to offer our customers free on-site inspections. A technician can come out to your home and examine the space for you, making recommendations on where the best place for a spa may be based on your yard setup and size requirements. Your technician can also make recommendations regarding base materials and options.
Putting a Spa in a Small Space
A small yard doesn’t necessarily mean that you do not have room for a spa. In fact, some of the nicest spa arrangements can happen in a smaller yard, simply because the homeowner has to think outside the box when it comes to placement. There are a few other tips you can keep in mind:
- Consider Your Shrubbery. If you have tall fences and shrubs, it can make your yard seem a lot smaller than it is. Trim your shrubs and consider replacing your fences with ones that are tall enough to still offer privacy but low enough to see the tops of your neighbor’s trees.
- Use Screens. Sheer fabrics, portable, folding screens, and hanging plants are great ways to give yourself a bit of privacy near your spa without erecting large fences or building other barriers that your yard is simply not big enough to handle
- Opt for Custom Designs. When you get a custom spa, you can have it designed in just about any shape and size you want. Homeowners with small yards should reach out to one our technicians to learn more about how we can design the perfect spa for your space, no matter how big or small it happens to be.
In some cases, you may be able to put your spa inside your home. This is the ideal situation if you have a very small yard, or if you have prying neighbors and prefer to use your spa in privacy. There are a few questions you need to keep in mind if you do decide to go this route:
- Do you have enough space inside?
- Can the spa fit through your front door?
- Do you have an even foundation? Can the floor support the weight of the spa and its occupants?
- Do you have proper flooring? You need to have a non-porous surface with a drain, meaning that carpet and hardwood flooring may need to be replaced.
- Is there the proper ventilation? You need to be sure that all the hot air can circulate outside
If you have the space on your property, you may want to think about building a custom spa room. Here, you can have a custom-sized spa installed in your very own personal oasis. This lets you design space for seating, storage, and even draining.
Along with having enough space, you also need to be sure that a few other requirements are met. First, you need to have a wide enough entrance to your home or yard for the spa to be brought in. For most installations, the technicians drive the spa to your home, roll it into your hard, and set it up where you want it to go. Rarely, they may assemble a few parts, but typically, spas come “as is.” This means that there needs to be an entrance to your yard large enough to fit the spa as it comes in. When you contact a technician for your home inspection to determine placement and size, make sure you ask about entrance requirements so you can make plans for adjustments or renovations if your existing gateway is not wide enough.
You also need to be sure that there are electrical connections nearby. Most spas and hot tubs use either 110V or 220V. The lower voltage spas are usually referred to as “plug and play,” since you can basically plug them in to your existing home outlets. Higher voltage models require a bit more work. In some cases, you may even need to hire an electrician to ensure you have enough power and to run wires directly from your panel t your spa. If your Oak Wells Aquatics technician recommends a 220V model, they can also provide you with the guidance and assistance you need to figure out how to safely run it once it is installed at your home.
Most people are under the impression that spas and hot tubs also require plumbing or some type of water hookup to run properly. Thankfully, this is no longer the case. Older models did once rely on plumbing to function, but this has not been the case for years. Now, most hot tubs and spas are self-contained and easy to fill using nothing more than your garden hose. Each one has a sophisticated heating and filtration system, ensuring that you get all the benefits of hydrotherapy without any of the hassle.
On the day your spa is to be delivered and installed, you should take a few steps to make the process easier for your installation team. This makes their work go faster, and helps get you in your new spa much sooner. First, be sure there is a clear bath from your gateway to the spot you want your spa installed. Remove any obstacles that may get in the way, including any portable plants or shrubs. Next, if you are not getting your foundation through the same company that is installing your spa, make sure it is all set up, free from debris, and clearly marked. Finally, once the installation team knows where they are setting up the spa, give them space to work. If the installation has been taking a while, feel free to pop outside and ask if the team wants any water or a cold beverage and to check up on their progress.
Once the team is done, ask them if there is anything else you need to know or do before you can start using your spa. In some cases, it may have to sit for a while before you can start to fill it. Other times, your installation team may have special requirements that need to be completed. This is usually the case with custom-built spas. For example, if your spa is going into a custom room, your team may have to come back once the electrical components are installed. You should also ask about maintenance requirements that may be specific to that particular spa. Ask about cleaning methods, as well as any practice you should avoid. In some cases, products that contain harsh chemicals can strip the coating of the spa, for example, so you may be instructed to use natural or gentle solutions.
Other Installation Considerations
Depending on your municipality and the zone your home is in, you may need a permit to install a spa. For example, residents of Orange County Florida have to get a Residential Swimming Pool Permit for any spa they wish to install, regardless of location. Other counties only require permits in cases where spas are being permanently installed or where plumbing or electrical changes are required. In Jacksonville, a special affidavit is required that anyone who installs a pool, hot tub, or non-portable spa must complete and have notarized.
Keeping Your Spa Clean
Keep your spa in good working order by practicing good maintenance and cleaning habits. You should check the chemical levels frequently, making additions when needed to achieve the right balance. If levels are too high or too low, your spa may become corroded or bacteria can take over, making it a very unhealthy place. Most spa companies sell test strips you can use to check chemical balance easily if your display does not do this on your behalf. If you must adjust any chemical components, be sure to do so one at a time, to avoid oversaturation or other unpleasant reactions.
You should also be sure to clean out your filter once every two weeks. Use a hose to clean out any dirt or foreign particles that may have gotten stuck in the filter and let it dry completely before replacing it. Damaged filters should be discarded and replaced immediately. While you can use your dishwasher to clean out stubborn dirt, be sure to adjust the temperature, as anything over 140 F can cause a lot of damage.
If you have a vinyl cover, you should condition it once a month throughout the warmer months. This protects the cover, and the spa itself, from UV rays, which can lead to corrosion if left untreated. Speak with your spa technician to find out which protective products are recommended for your particular spa.
Contacting a Spa Installation Professional Near Me
For all your spa installation needs, contact Oak Wells Aquatics. We pride ourselves on offering our customers only the very best installation and information, with technicians, dispatchers, and office staff members who are passionate about what we do. Give our pool contractor a call today at 904-619-3281 or visit us at our Jacksonville, Florida location to find out more or to book your installation appointment today.