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Short on Space? Maybe these pools and spas will give you some ideas

Looking for more fun swimming pool and spa ideas? Have you checked out the DIY spa?

Get your hot tub from us–a lot less work ??

We like DIY projects as much as the next guy, but wouldn’t you rather just relax in yours than have to build it?

If you like this one, be sure to check out this beautiful DIY swimming pool in the shape of a butterfly!

Ever Thought About a DIY Swimming Pool?

Watch as these guys show you how it is done!

Just keep in mind we’re posting this just for fun (and admiration!) You probably won’t be able to do something like this in Santa Cruz County ?

We get a kick out of this industrious duo–so much so, we are going to show more DIY swimming pools and spas in the future.

Some of their homemade pools are simple, others are super complex.

Don’t you love how they make their own bricks, too?

And here is Part 2–ready to dive on in?

Market Research Indicates Hot Tub Use Continues to Rise

Hot Spring brand hot tub

According to a press release from FactMR market research company out of Maryland, demand for residential outdoor hot tubs or spas is expected to rise for at least the next decade.

Hot tubs are known for their health and relaxation benefits which greatly contributes to their high demand. We’ve reported for more than two years that hot tubs in places like Capitola and Aptos are no longer considered a luxury item. Seems like the rest of the world is catching on to that idea!

Interestingly, this demand is seem around the world, not just in places known to favor hot tubs, such as our beautiful Santa Cruz County!

In Europe and North America, outdoor hot tubs are gradually becoming a necessity for the masses rather than a luxury.

Jacuzzi brand hot tub

The report states that it is expected that the demand for hot tubs will increase as businessmen and other professionals rely on their spas for physical relaxation as well as mental stress relief. This isn’t a new idea–we’ve covered this topic previously. You can read our take on why high-functioning people actually need a hot tub here.

With the fast-paced and hectic lifestyle, individuals continue to experience stress, tensions, increased muscle soreness. In order to detoxify the body, individuals prefer spending on outdoor spa services and hydrotherapy. Growing popularity of spa and hydrotherapy among individuals will intensify demand for the outdoor hot tubs in the spa and wellness industry. As hydrotherapy and outdoor spa therapies help in relieving muscle pains and tensions, individuals are replicating these relaxing techniques and accommodating at their residence.

While there are places one can go for relaxation, what better place to unwind than your own home. Especially here in Santa Cruz where we can enjoy the soothing warm water in the cool (but not snowy!) evenings.

Of course it is a matter of personal preference, but in our humble opinion, there is nothing better than being able to direct from the relaxing hot tub to a cozy night’s sleep. That’s something you can’t do if you are at a “therapeutic center”!

Bottom line, if you have been considering installing a hot tub at your home in Santa Cruz, it will be something you can enjoy–and be a positive selling point should you ever decide to move.

Surf City Pool Spa and Solar owner, Michael Hall


Want to read more? Click here for the full press release.

Top photo is from Hot Spring brand hot tubs

Middle photo courtesy of Jacuzzi brand hot tubs

Hot Tub Fun!

Flashback to the SNL old days with this classic riff on James Brown by Eddie Murpy…

Too hot, ouch! LOL

Your Hot Tub Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank!

selecting right hot tub Santa Cruz mountains

We’ve written about the health benefits of hot tubs in the past, but many people presume that installing a hot tub is prohibitively expensive. Or they think they don’t have enough room for a quality spa or hot tub. Or they are concerned about the maintenance requirements.

So while people recognize that they would love to have a hot tub to enjoy on a clear Santa Cruz night, or as the fog settles in over their Aptos or Capitola homes, they aren’t 100% convinced that the benefits outweigh the costs.

I want to assure you that there are definitely affordable options for your hot tub. So whether you are up in the mountains of Soquel, or close to the beach, you CAN have a wonderful hot tub (‘spa’) at your home–one that fits your location and budget.

Now, I am not going to tell you that if you live in a high-rise you can install a hot tub on your balcony. Nor am I going to suggest that you put inflatable hottubs in your bedroom (dorm or otherwise!)

As far as maintenance goes, keeping your spa clean and safe is not that difficult. We offer some maintenance guidelines, provide the supplies you need, will support you in any major maintenance or repair needs–and we’ll even do routine maintenance if that’s what you want.

6 Key Points to Consider for Your Santa Cruz County Hot Tub

Santa Cruz hot tub selection

Location: Choose a spot for your hot tub that will give you the experience you are looking for. Some people feel having their spa right near the bedroom is very important, while others want their bedrooms to be as quite as possible, therefore having any mechanical items far away. This is especially important to consider if one member of the family might want to use the spa while others are sleeping.

Think about privacy if that is an important factor for you. If your neighbors can see you while you are enjoying your hot tub, will that make you less likely to use it? Some of that can be fixed with privacy fences or plantings, but only you know how public or private you want your spa experience to be.

Santa Cruz hot tub privacy fencing

Size: If you have a larger family or entertain a lot, you might want a larger spa. On the other hand, if you are a retired couple a 4 person system might be just perfect, allowing for an occasional guest, but cozy for the two of you.

Another point to consider in size is, well, your size and how you like to use your spa. A 7 foot tall athlete who wants to be able to stretch out will have different hot tub size needs than a 5 foot tall amateur gardener who wants to be up to her neck soaking.

You could also consider a swim spa–which is a bit bigger than most traditional hot tubs, but it is more cost effective than a traditional swimming pool, and might just be the ticket for you.

Features: This is where you can make your hot tub unique. You can add all sorts of features. Some may be integral to the spa, such as if you want pulsating jets to reach specific aching muscles, or watefalls that create a nice relaxing, ambient sound.

Hot Spring brand hot tub

Some folks like to have lighting integrated into their spa experience, while others create their mood lighting on the deck or with movable lamps or candles.

Other features you might choose to add later, such as above ground speakers, aromatherapy, storage for towels, pool toys or beverages and ‘glassware.’

 

Santa Cruz County hot tub

Another “feature” that is important to consider is your cover. Think about how you will use your hot tub–and for how many years. An energy efficient cover can be pretty heavy, so it may be worth the investment to have a cover removal system that makes it easy to take off the cover (and put it back on) and holds the cover in place while you are using the spa. Of course, this can be added in the future–as long as you have enough space around your hot tub to accomodate the unit.

Heating: Wood-fired hot tubs are just not too common any more–for good reason. But you do need to be able to heat your hot tub. Whether you are going to use electricity, gas, or solar power, the energy to power both the heat and the jets is an important consideration. If you really want to heat with solar then we need to be sure that we can have a solar heating system set up at your location. If you live deep in the Santa Cruz mountains and get limited sunshine at the spot you want your spa, this might be a challenge. But, if you have a sunny spot on your property and are willing to consider having your hot tub in that location, then we can make it work.

Sanitation: Many people are used to the smell of chlorine, and they associate hot tubs and pools with that smell. But for some people chlorine is too hard on the skin, or they don’t like the smell. Fortunately there are other options. We often install salt water sanitation systems which are much easier on the skin–and no smell. (We also install salt water systems in swimming pools, which are so gentle on your eyes and body that most people find they don’t need to wear goggles! Something to consider for sure.

Budget: I don’t like to start with the budget only because I don’t want you to limit yourself. Truth is, we can probably figure out something that will work with your budget, so although it is certainly important, we want to have a complete picture of what you would like and how you will use your hot tub so we can best advise you on what are the most important features.

For example, we might suggest a slightly smaller spa if it is mostly going to be used by just a couple–whereas that wouldn’t be a good compromise if you have a large family that will be tubbing together. And you might have a spot that you think will be perfect but because of the terrain would make installation significantly more expensive. In that case, we can help you with alternatives.

We also offer refurbished hot tubs or equipment which can save you a bundle. They are still fantastic units that no longer suited the previous owner–and we have fixed up all the components. So you might be able to get that larger spa with all the jets you wanted, at a much lower price point.

hot tubs relieve joint pain

Another point to consider when you are looking into a hot tub or spa for your home because of medical reasons, is you may be able to deduct some of the costs if you get a prescription from your doctor. Be sure to consult your accountant or income tax professional, but if you have joint pain that is relieved by the hydrotherapy, this might make a big difference in your bottom line.

OK, so we’ve reviewed several things to consider when looking into getting a hot tub here in Santa Cruz County. But in case you are one of the few folks we meet who aren’t sure you actually want to own your own spa–be sure to read this earlier post on why you might just NEED a hot tub in your life.

kid relaxing in pool

YOU are the biggest variable, and the most important consideration when selecting the right hot tub for your Santa Cruz County home. Give us a call and we’ll be able to help you walk through the steps of selecting the right spa for your location, family, and budget.


Hot tub cover photo courtesy of Heavenly Times Hot Tubs and Billiards of Dillon, Colorado

Social Media and Swimming Pool News

Sometimes the mix of swimming pool news on social media is great, other times what makes a spash is maybe not so smart!

Balcony Transformed into Swimming Pool

While we have to give this kid some cred for his creativity, we suspect that a future photo will show a disaster in the making or after the fact. But maybe he will grow up to create other swimming pool news or hot tubs like the one we wrote about two years ago, called the Hillbilly Hot tub that a guy built in his pickup truck!

Swimming Pool News Flash: Balconies are not made for this

Snorkels are Made for Napping?

So the enterprising lad above is most likely heading for disaster. Some folks on social media think the dad in this bit of swimming pool news is also courting trouble. I mean, what could possibly go wrong, napping, face down in a swimming pool? After all, he has his head protected from hitting the side of the pool with his floatation device.

Let’s see, the snorkel could dip below the surface (or fall out of his mouth) and he gets a mouth full of water? Startling perhaps, but probably not fatal.

Swimming Pool Newsflash: snorkels are for napping

Probably not…but it may be appealing to nap in your pool, there is a risk of drowning when falling asleep in water–even your bathtub

That being said, based on the color of his back, I suspect he is at a much higher risk of getting a severe sunburn than anything long-lasting from the actual snorkel.

Still, we think you ought to reserve the snorkel for, well, snorkeling…or even swimming laps, rather than water naps.

Do you have fun shots of smart, or not-so-smart (depending on your point of view) ways to have fun in the water this summer? Send us a pic and tell us the story and maybe we’ll share it here, or on our Facebook page!

Have fun, and be safe, and no, those are definitely not mutually exclusive ideas. But you already know that, don’t you!

Good News for Santa Cruz County Hot Tub Users

Hot tub wood deck photo by Atlanta Decking and Fencing Company

Hot tubs and spas are in the news again for their health benefits. Yes, the jets and hot water help people relax and ease joint pain. That isn’t surprising–and it isn’t the latest good news for hot tub users.

Regular soaks in your hot tub may help you avoid getting Type 2 Diabetes! And you don’t even have to get on the underwater exercise bike to get the results. You just need to soak. Now that is my kind of health advice!

That is what Everyday Health reported. Granted this site focuses on health for women, but I think men can at least use the report as a good excuse to enjoy a soak, too!

A hot soak, also known as passive hot water immersion, has been shown to help improve glucose control, potentially by enhancing insulin sensitivity.

The study was small, but I think we might be able to round up some volunteers if some organization in Santa Cruz County wanted to repeat the study here. It involves soaking up to your neck for about 1 hour, 3-4 times per week, for several months.  Actually, the women only had to be up to their necks until their body temp rose 1 degree Celcius. After that only half their body was submerged.

As a result of this “exercise” the women experienced lower blood pressure and reduced heart rate.  The study also found that the hot tub soaks reduced inflammation in the participants.

All in all, I have got to say this is another great endorsement of the health benefits of owning (and using) a hot tub or spa.

Maybe the saying about an apple a day, should be changed to a soak a day keeps the doctor away!

 


Photo courtesy of Hot tub Atlanta Decking and Fencing Company

Is Underwater Bicycling Newest Swimming Pool Exercise Craze?

swimming pool exercise bikes

Saw this and just had to share it! We all know that swimming is great exercise. Even if you don’t do laps, there are lots of ways to get fit using your swimming pool.

And of course bicycling is good exercise, too.

And I’ve even heard of teenagers riding their bikes in a pool, just to see if they could. But this is something completely different.

Let me know if you see anything like this in our area (this video is from England).

Here in Santa Cruz County we have so many awesome places to take our bicycles that I’m not sure combining cycling and swimming pools will be a big hit, but who knows, it could be fun to give it a spin!

Aptos Couple Seeks Tiki Tropical Paradise

Our clients Terri and John, who live in Aptos, called me about their “sad” pool.

pool filtration equipment before

Naturally, we want to help them have a “happy” pool experience, so I asked, “What do you want, Terri and John?”

Their answer:

We want a Tiki Tropical Paradise!

Looking at my website and logo design, you can understand that I totally get this design desire!

First we had to sit down and figure out what needed to be done in order to reach the end goal.

There are three things required in the making of any Tiki Tropical Paradise
1) Proper Filtration
2) True energy efficiency
3) Warmth and Family

First comes the swimming pool filtration equipment upgrade to their Aptos pool

pool filtration equipment after

I think we have provided a great start with proper filtration.

Next, we move to #2 on the list–a solar heating array that will provide warm water that is energy efficient and extends the swimming season.

All it takes is a dream. *Aloha*