What to consider when planning for a spa (Preparation, essential tips and more)

A spa or swim spa can be a wonderful addition to your home. Before you install one at your place, there are some things you should consider. This step-by-step guide outlines what to do and when to start planning for your new spa.

In this detailed article, we outline the top 8 factors to consider when planning for a spa pool or swim spa. Follow these steps to ensure everything goes perfectly to plan!

Step 1: Decide what spa to buy

Most of the planning process will depend on the type of spa you choose. It's a good idea to research spas or swim spas first and visit your retailer with an idea of what you want and how you'd like to use it.

Once you know the model and the size, the rest of the planning can begin.

Learn more about what to look for in a spa pool in this article.

Timeframe: 1-2 years before delivery.

Timeline: Planning for your spa delivery

Step 2: Start dreaming about your backyard oasis

Once you know the brand and model of spa or swim spa you want, it’s time to start gathering ideas about how you want it to look in your backyard, garden or deck.

We recommend searching home and design magazines for inspiration and saving your favourite spa, pool and landscaping designs on sites like Pinterest® and Houzz®.

If you do your prep, when it's time to design your space, you'll have a good idea of what you want to create.

**Timeframe: **1-2 years before delivery and after you have chosen your spa.

Step 3: Order your spa or swim spa

It may take a few months for your spa to arrive, depending on stock availability and if there are any delivery delays.

To be safe, it’s a good idea to place your order several months before you want it installed.

Remember too that most retailers will require a deposit to confirm the purchase, with payment in full on delivery.

Timeframe: 12 months before delivery.

Step 4: Research your local council regulations

Depending on where you live and your local council regulations, you may need a valid building permit or consent before installing a pool, swim spa or spa.

If that's true for you, be aware that getting your permit can take several months. You may also need to install a fence or barrier.

The consent process is often where people get caught out, as waiting for permission can derail the whole project. If you find you require consent or a permit, it's best to aim to have your application submitted at least six months before your delivery date.

Pool fencing compliance is a critical factor for spa pools in some areas. You may think you can put up a fence or barrier yourself but bear in mind there can be rules around distance from the boundary and height that you may not be aware of. If you don't follow the rules, you may have to rip out your fence and start again, so it's worth seeking expert advice.

Timeframe: At least six months before the delivery date, if consent is required.

Step 5: Start planning your landscaping

With your spa pool ordered, you can begin work on the landscape design to complement your new spa.

Before embarking on a backyard renovation, it’s worth getting some expert advice to help your outdoor space realise its potential.

A skilled landscape designer will take your ideas and any specific requirements and create a landscaping plan incorporating any extra features such as a spa pool, shade, heating and lighting.

Timeframe: 6-12 months before delivery.

Step 6: Find a builder

With your completed landscaping plan ready to go, now is a great time for approaching builders and requesting quotes for any building work.

Good builders often have a lead in time of several months, so once you decide who you want, lock it in. Also, if you're unsure about the permit process, your builder should be able to help with that too.

Timeframe: At least six months before delivery.

Step 7: Preparing the foundation for your spa

With planning in place, the first part of the spa installation will be constructing the foundation – whether it’s a timber deck, concrete or something else.

If you're placing your spa or swim spa on concrete, the slab will need around a month to properly cure before the installation of the spa. Once the spa or swim spa is in place, the building and landscaping can begin.

If you require electrical work, this may need to be completed before you pour the slab – depending on if you are hardwiring your spa or plugging it into an external socket.

Timeframe: One month before delivery.

Step 8: Delivery day

Generally, the spa retailer will organise delivery.

They'll usually ask you to provide access details to your property to help them plan the delivery and work out what equipment might be required to deliver your new spa.

Be aware, if your access is tricky they may need to crane in the pool and this will more than likely be at your expense.

Once the spa is on-site, the landscapers, builders, and fencers can come in to complete their work.

What could go wrong with my spa installation?

In our experience, there are three key mistakes spa buyers make when planning their spa installation.

Here are a few of the common mistakes to be wary of:

  1. Underestimating the time it takes from purchase to installation. We often talk to buyers who hope to be relaxing in the spa within a few months. The reality is that the process can take up to 12 months from start to finish. It's best to go in with that expectation.
  2. Not being aware of local regulations. For whatever reason, some people may miss the step of applying for a consent or permit from the local council. Rules are there for a reason - to keep people, particularly young children, safe. Operating a spa or pool without the required consents is risky, unlawful and can cause problems later on when renting out or selling the home. For your peace of mind, make sure you check the pool and spa regulations in your area before installing a spa or pool.
  3. Forgetting to plan for access. The landscape design needs to provide good access for servicing and maintenance. You may also need to allow space for the heat pump and ventilation, cover lifters, etc. Again, if you know what spa and accessories you're buying, it can all be factored into the design, saving you heartache down the track.

In summary

A spa pool can make a wonderful addition to your home.

With some careful planning and thoughtful landscaping, you can ensure every spa session is a special one and create an environment your family will enjoy for years to come.

Follow the steps outlined above and you’ll be living your dream spa lifestyle in no time!

If you’re thinking about buying a spa and need more information or advice, please get in touch. Visit your local Spa World Showroom and talk to one of our friendly salespeople or contact our customer care team. We are here to help.

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