A spa is a huge investment. It's not only a big purchase but also a big event that will change the way you and your family live and relax. It's important to make sure that you select the right spa, plan for the installation carefully and execute it smoothly to get your spa up and running as quickly as possible. In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the key things to consider when selecting, planning and installing your spa. By following these tips, you can minimize stress and ensure a smooth installation process!
Selecting Your Spa
When selecting a spa, it's important to choose one with excellent build quality. This means that the spa is made with high-quality materials and construction techniques. A well-built spa will last longer and perform better than a cheaply made one. Sapphire Spas are an Australian owned and operated spa manufacturer and we have been in the business for almost 20 years! Buying from us means that you are supporting Australian families and the Australian economy. We know Australian conditions better than anyone else, which means we make our products to withstand long Australian summers without fading, breaking or becoming brittle. In addition, because we are an Australian company you can be confident that you will be backed up by local support and customer care.
Size and Shape
It's important to consider the size, shape and function of the spa that you need for your needs. You are going to enjoy your spa for many years to come, so you want it to be a perfect fit for your lifestyle.
The first consideration is the size of the space you have available, for small spaces our compact range of spas are perfect. Many of these spas pack all of our top-end premium features in super-compact form factors, yet still have plenty of space to lounge back and relax. For larger yards or those who want to exercise, if you have a space 4m x 2.2m or larger a Swim Spa is a possibility.
The next consideration is how you want to use your spa. If you are just looking to relax with one or two others and are unlikely to host groups, your preference can be guided by space and comfort preferences alone. For those who like to entertain, have large families or have a growing family, we have a great range of spas in our Luxurious and Entertain ranges. If you want space to play, swim, exercise or entertain even bigger groups, take a look at our range of swim spas, the perfect addition to any backyard.
Planning For Your Spa
Engineering and Design
Once you know what spa you are looking at, the next step is to make sure you know how it will fit your house and, more importantly, that it will be structurally sound. An engineer is generally required to engineer a suitable supporting slab for your spa, or to certify that your existing slab or deck is sufficient for your new spa. For most of our small and medium spas, a 100mm thick reinforced concrete slab is sufficient, for our larger spas and swim spas the requirements are usually 200mm thick. If you are wanting to install your spa on a deck or patio you will need to consult a structural engineer for your project.
Planning and Permits
Your local council will also require plans detailing where you want to install your spa and to demonstrate that the installation will be safe, for instance, in most areas it is not allowed to install a spa within 3m of overhead powerlines. Most councils in Australia also have specific fencing requirements too. Your engineer can usually assist with providing drawings that your council will require for your permit application. Depending on the fencing option you choose, your engineer or fencing contractor can assist with certifying your fence plans, which is also usually required for council permits and certification.
Another important consideration is the fencing around your spa. Not only does it need to be sturdy and weatherproof, but it also needs to meet your local council's requirements. For example, a glass fence may not be suitable for some councils as they may have safety regulations preventing their use around spas. Almost all councils do have specific requirements that your spa fence must be 1.3m higher than the nearest climbable obstacle, so this is worth considering during planning. For more information on spa fencing requirements, take a look at our spa fencing post.
The final step in the planning process is to organise the electrical supply for your spa. This needs to be done by a licensed electrician, and they must be familiar with spas and their requirements. Your Sapphire Spas retailer can provide you with the specific electrical requirements for your chosen model. Most spas have a minimum power requirement of 15-45Amps, however, this is a minimum and the electrical specifications documentation will provide your electrician with the recommended power supply for your model.
You should engage your electrician before any concreting work begins as electrical cables and conduit must be in place before your concrete is poured. This will ensure that not only is your electrical supply adequate, but that there are no unsightly cables or conduits in your pool area. Don't worry if you are installing a spa in an existing area, a professional electrician will be able to work with you to provide a power solution that is as non-invasive as possible.
Once all of your planning is complete, it's time to get the slab poured and start installing your spa. You should engage only qualified tradespeople for your spa project, this includes qualified concretors. Concrete slabs may look simple on the surface, but ensuring they are poured to the engineer's specifications is a serious skill and will determine the support and longevity of your spa. It's important to remember that the concrete must cure for at least seven days before your spa can be placed onto it.
Delivery and Installation
Once your slab is cured, it's time for the spa to be delivered and installed. This is generally a two-man job and can take between one and a half to two hours. You will need an adequate space cleared for the spa to be placed - generally, there should be at least a metre of clearance all around the spa. This provides access to all of your spa equipment for servicing requirements and also allows you easy access to enjoy your new spa.
Your spa retailer should have worked with you to plan the delivery day and will be able to tell you how long your installation should take. Depending on your house location, the planned position of your spa and other factors special delivery plans may need to be arranged. No need to be concerned if your spa is in a tight spot, take a look at some of our toughest installations. We are experts at getting spas into difficult locations.
It is important that you have fully compliant planning permits and that you use qualified tradespeople. Failure to provide a valid certificate of compliance, or a slab that is under specification may void your warranty. You should also ensure that you fully read your spa owner’s manual and complete and return your warranty card within 10 days of your spa being installed. You will also need to contact your council and notify them once the spa is ready for inspection so that you can obtain your required certificate of compliance or other local government documents.