Where do I put a swim spa?

Finding the perfect spot

Once the decision to purchase a swim spa has been made, placement should be the first issue resolved. Working with your dealer, check all relevant local building codes and statutes, as well as the rules of your homeowners association when reviewing potential spa sites on your property.

If applicable, rules about placing spas near or under power lines should be consulted,  utility easements need to be cross-checked and laws governing the placement of breakers and electrical wiring should be analyzed. (This is often where having a solid contractor who has experience with swim spa installation comes in handy.) Many homeowners can find this information in the original blueprints for their home.

Future swim spa owners also need to consider how the physical dimensions of the swim spa and any surrounding deck or patio will affect the layout of their yard. The average swim spa weighs 3,000 pounds before adding a drop of water and measures roughly 52 inches high. Contractors require clearance around the site to complete installation. The finished structure should be near a hose for refilling.

Buyers also should check and think about the decibel rating of the swim spa – none are incredibly loud, but noise levels may affect placement near certain rooms or neighbors. More importantly, the weight of the spa requires a rebar-reinforced concrete slab for support (manufacturers will provide exact support specifications).

Your contractor should check the type of soil when they’re pouring your slab. For instance, if it’s on sand they will need pylons.

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Pouring a slightly larger slab in excess of the dimensions necessary for support can also give you some patio space. Expanding the typical 8-by-12-foot slab required for a standard swim spa to, say, a 12-by-15-foot slab, lays the groundwork for a suitable patio. But don’t spend money to add flagstone or other decorative material under the area occupied by the spa itself — better to invest in decorations or accouterments that you will actually see.

Delivery should also be considered. Your chosen swim spa dealer should send someone to your home to access how the spa will be placed in the location of your choosing, and this may result in some adjustment to spa placement in order to accommodate access. Be prepared: A crane may have to hoist the swim spa over your home to get it where it needs to go if no sufficient access points are available. No worries, though: Your spa dealer should have loads of experience with this delivery approach.

There may be several factors to consider when determining where your swim spa will go, but once it’s up and running, any placement concerns you previously had will disappear with your first freestyle stroke.

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