to a Satisfying Spa Ownership Experience
most important determinate of a satisfying spa ownership experience is choosing
the right spa. To make sure you are
making the right spa purchase for you and your familyís lifestyle, you really
need to make sure you understand the different types and the pros and cons
associate with each. There are
basically two categories of spas: aboveground portables and in-ground types.
The following is a general description of each type, as well as the
advantages and disadvantages of each.
lowest initial cost, movable, self-contained, 110 VAC models plug into regular
outlet, always heated, and contoured seating.
to be kept covered at all times, heating costs range from $50-$150/month, slippery
when entering, yearly
maintenance required on wood frame and vinyl cover, electric heaters are not
very powerful and donít allow you to make temperature adjustments during use,
and takes up valuable patio space.
Happy portable spa owners
are those who:
Oil their wood cabinet and
Armor-All their cover 2 or 3 times a year to keep it looking nice.
2) Are prepared to spend $50 to $200 per month for electricity to keep it hot all the time.
Realize that they can only have
one temperature choice for each spa session, as they are not practically
adjustable during use..
Place it where it adds to their
landscaping environment, such as pouring a separate concrete slab in the yard
and adding landscaping around it to hide it from view.
Portable Spa Locations
Pros: Allows you to look at the sky, which provides a natural relaxing atmosphere.
Cons: Exposes your spa to
the harmful effects of the weather, which if not maintained will generally shorten the life of the spa.
Pros: Protects your spa from the weather.
Cons: Takes away the atmosphere of being outdoors, takes up half of your patio, and becomes a handy place to set junk on.
Pros: Adds a nice landscaping piece and atmosphere to your yard.
Cons: You now have both the
spa and the gazebo exposed to the elements, and have more to maintain.
Plus, the birds like to sit on the lattice and drop bombs on or in your
Pros: Adds a nice landscaping piece and atmosphere to your yard and protects your spa.
Cons: You still have a structure to maintain, and once in your spa, you lose the natural outside atmosphere. If you want an enclosed area, just put a Jacuzzi tube in you bathroom.
In-ground Spas -
The best way to go!
In-ground spas are a more permanent built-in option. There are several types that vary in construction method and material. They differ from portables in the fact that the equipment is put in an inconspicuous place, similar to most pool equipment setups. In-ground spa installation usually cost more, but your spa will generally last longer and get used more frequently.
becomes a part of your landscaping, eliminates the spa's exterior
maintenance, doesn't take up valuable patio space, equipment can be located
anywhere in yard, have lower monthly utility bill costs, and generally have
larger and more responsive heaters.
Cons: higher installation and equipment costs.
of In-ground Spas
Cement (Gunite) - Similar
to typical pool construction.
Pros: Can be any size and shape you want and can be added to blend into your existing pool if you have one.
Cons: Un-insulated, long installation time, bench style seating is not as comfortable to sit in, no therapy jet seats, lounges, or head rests, takes longer to heat and you can feel the cold cement while your sitting in it, cannot be moved, and requires resurfacing like pools.
Pros: Fully insulated, very comfortable to sit in, has a therapy seat & lots of jets, etc., and it can be moved and reused.
Cons: Acrylic is sun sensitive, and should be covered at all times when not in use. This tends to limit its use to a hot spa only.
is made from real rock that is pulverized, combined with resins, and
remanufactured. Itís color,
texture, feel and wear is like that of real rock. The
underneath is fiberglass reinforced for strength, and fully insulated for
heating efficiency. Itís unique
combination of heat-retention and a powerful heater allows it more versatile use
than any other pool or spa product on the market.
Itís five products in all in one, a refreshing cool water pool, heated
pool, water feature, hot spa, and landscape centerpiece all in one.
insulated, very comfortable to sit in, has a therapy seat & plenty of jets,
does not need a cover, and it is not sun sensitive like acrylics, Plus it adds a
beautiful landscaping centerpiece to your yard with the therapeutic sound of the
waterfall, and it can be moved and reused.
& Spa Heater Type & Size Options
vs. Natural Gas or Propane
The decision of what type and size of your heater will be determined by how often you will use your spa, spa size, installation type, & budget. Electric heaters cost less initially, but take longer to heat your spa (often 1 or 2 days initially), and cost more per month to operate. Gas heaters will cost more initially, cost less per month to operate, can heat your spa in 10 minutes, and allow you to change the temperature during your spa session. They also allow you to use the RockSpoolTM for a cool pool, heated pool, waterfall landscape centerpiece, and a hot spa, and allow you to do so within minutes of each other.
Required to Heat 400 gallons from 40į to 100į F
Electric 6 kW = 20,500 btu/hr
7 hours (note: largest available heater in a portable spa)
Electric 11 kW = 39,300
Model 50 gas = 50,000 btu/hr
Model 125 gas = 125,000
Model 265 gas = 265,000
Model 400 gas = 400,000
Happy owners of full sized swimming pools or play pools are the ones who really understand what a pool is, how often they will use it, what the maintenance is, and how much they cost to own. The biggest disadvantage to a pool is that for most people they don't get used as much as they thought they would. We believe the biggest reason is that the water is usually too cold. If its not comfortable, people just don't use them. No one showers or gets in the ocean much when the water is too cold.
Typical Pool Use
have a swim season of about 3 months. For adults it is usually about 6 to 8
weeks. The rest of the year it is a landscape feature in your yard. Most adults
typically use a pool by floating on a raft, sitting on the steps, or sitting
around the side. If you want year round use you can add a gas heating system and
insulated cover at a cost of $3,000 to $5,000 initially and $200 to $300 per
Pool Maintenance and Cost
pumps should be run 4 to 6 hours per day in the winter and 8 to 12 hours in the
summer to keep them clean and the chemical levels evenly distributed. This adds
$30 to $60 per month to your electric bill. It is smart to add your water
feature to your filtration cycle pump so that while the pump is running you also
have your waterfall running. Waterfalls add about $4,000 to $10,000 to the cost
of your pool.
balance should be checked every week and chemicals added as needed. Cost for
chemicals runs from $20 per month in the wintertime to $60 per month in the
summer. It takes about 1 hour per week to perform proper cleaning. The pool will
need to be acid washed every couple years at a cost of $300 to $600 and
re-plastered every 5 to 10 years at a cost of $1500 to $3,000.
Swimming Pool Pricing Guide
you purchase a swimming pool from a swimming pool contractor in the winter
months the following is a guide that will give you a ballpark idea of what
swimming pools costs. Base price $15,000+, add $5,000+ for Pebble-Tec, $5,000+
for a waterfall, and add $7000 to add an in ground spa.
If purchased in the summer months add another 30% to this total.
makes sense to a lot of people because it
combines the best parts of a pool with the best parts of a spa and waterfall in
one package. It is much more affordable than trying to accomplish the same thing
with traditional pool and spa construction, and has much lower monthly cost and maintenance
centerpiece, cold pool, heated pool, hot spa, or just the soothing sounds of the
waterfall, make this the ultimate multi-use backyard relaxation center 365 days
per year. It is large enough for 2 adults to float on a raft side by side, has 7
seats inside and smooth rocks for sitting around the edges.
The filtration pump only needs to run 30 minutes per day in the winter and 45 minutes per day in the summer. Chemical balance should be checked every week and chemicals added as needed. Cost for chemicals runs from less than $1 in the wintertime to $2 per month in the summer. It takes less than 3 minutes per week to perform proper cleaning. The RockSpoolTM never needs to be acid washed or re-plastered.
RockSpoolTM gives you the
versatility of using a beautiful landscape centerpiece that is also a cold pool,
heated pool, hot spa, and a waterfall 7 days a week year round.
And the best part is, it only takes a couple of minutes per week to take
care of it. No wonder the RockSpoolTM is the ultimate
backyard entertainment center!
RockSpoolTM Vs. The Rest
Gunite (cement) draws the heat out of the water, and thus it takes approx. 1 1/2
hours to heat up in the winter. As a result, it doesnít allow for spontaneous
use or changes in temperature.
Notes about the features listed above
1) Insulated: Insulation is important if you plan to heat
your spa especially in the colder months. UN-insulated spas will add 1 hour to
heating time in the winter months.
2) Heating time:
Heating times are calculated based upon a 265,000 BTU Natural gas or propane
heater, raising 400 gallons of water 40 F
3) Contour Seating:
Contour therapy seating is very comfortable compared to traditional
uncomfortable bench style seating with uncomfortable neck tile edge to lay your
4) Rock Perimeter: Rock perimeter around the
entire edge to give that natural look.
5) Rock Waterfall: Soothing, therapeutic sounds
of flowing water over rock.
6) Removable: You can take it with you, if and
when, you move if you wish.
7) Sun Sensitive: Acrylic is sun sensitive and
will most likely crack from exposure to the sun if left exposed.
8) 5 feature use: Can be used as a landscape
feature with the waterfall running, and switch to a cold pool, heated pool, or
hot spa, within just a few minutes of each other.
9) Installation Time: Standard installation times
from start to finish
10) Cleaning Time: Numbers of hours per week it
takes to clean.
11) Price: This price varies based on the options
that are chosen. In all cases, the RockSpoolTM
offers the best value for your money.
Compare for yourself
The RockSpoolTM gives you all of this,
and for less money
Comfortable contoured therapeutic seating
Full insulation between spa & ground
Wireless remote controls, allows full control of all equipment without getting
out of the water
7) Hot Spa in only 10 minutes in the summer & 25 minutes in the winter.