In continuing our blog series about the most common reasons we hear from people on why they don't own a hot tub, #4 is a consistent one - fear of what it takes to prepare your space for a hot tub. This one is actually not too bad if you know the right people to call - or in some cases, your hot tub retailer may even be able to take care of it for you!
The first step for a new hot tub is the location. You will need to have a flat, level surface ready - approximately 10' x 10' will fit most standard hot tubs. You can level your surface with paving stones or have a concrete pad poured, if you don't already have an existing surface ready.
A concrete slab is generally your best bet, and most cost effective. Most slabs run $8 - $12 / square foot, so for the 10' x 10', you are looking at $800 - $1,200. Ask your hot tub retailer if this is a service they provide - if it is, you can finance it in with your purchase if you opt to use financing.
You want to avoid placing your new hot tub directly on grass or leveled dirt - in most cases this will void the warranty - and it allows for moisture to find an easier path in and wreak havoc on the equipment. Also, hot tubs are heavy - with a heavy rain, you may wind up with a sinking hot tub...
The second step to prepping your area for a new hot tub is the electrical connection. If you are purchasing a 110v hot tub and you have a dedicated outlet near the location you want to place your hot tub, you are done and have nothing else to worry about!
In most instances though, your new hot tub will require a 220v connection. In these cases, you will generally need to have a licensed electrician come out to prepare the electrical service for you.
You may get lucky and if the previous homeowner had a hot tub, there may be a connection ready to go! To be safe, you may still want to have a licensed electrician come out and test the service and ensure everything is ready for your hot tub delivery. The team delivering your hot tub generally cannot help in this area, so to curb the disappointment, better to be safe and have it checked out.
If you don't have the electric where you need it, an electrician will need to come out and install a new 220v electric service in the area you are placing your hot tub. The cost for this service will vary based on how far the new service is from your main electrical breaker for your house. The further the run, the more material that is required.
Generally running new 220v electrical service will cost $750 - $1,500. Ask your hot tub store if they have an electrician they recommend - most stores have a 'go-to' electrician that knows the requirements for their hot tubs, and will be sure to take good care of you - better than scrolling through Google hoping you make the right selection!
In most cases, this is about all the preparation that is required for a new hot tub. If you have a tight backyard, or small gate, you may need to take down a fence panel or two, just depending on the size of hot tub you purchase. Most hot tubs are wheeled into their location on their sides, so you don't need that much clearance to get it into your backyard.
If you are looking to install your hot tub on a 2nd story patio, that will require specialized equipment, but your hot tub retailer can help you get those bids prior to your purchase so you know the exact cost you are looking at.
With just a few items on the 'hot tub prep' checklist, this one should ease your anxiety about getting ready for a new hot tub. In some cases, depending on your hot tub retailer, all of the prep can be included with your purchase and your retailer will coordinate everything for you. One less thing for you to worry about and you can start planning your first hot tub soak!