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  Spa Buyers Guide - What to Look For - Framing - The Fun Stuff

Spa Buyers Guide Continued - Framing

Many companies have now shifted focus onto the framing of their spas. In every attempt to one-up the competition, many spa manufacturers have attempted to "beef up" the spas structural framing by using steel over the more common pressure treated lumber. While this is an unnecessary expense in a quality, fully-insulated spa, it can be an important feature for spas that do not have the benefit of total cavity insulation.

The theory behind steel vs. wood framing is that steel provides greater structural strength and integrity against the thousands of pounds of water that would be otherwise unsupported. In a fully insulated spa, the dense foam that is used provides even support across the entire under-surface of the shell and therefore not benefiting from the steel structure. One real advantage the steel does have though, is that it will not rot if moisture were to find its way into the cavity of spas framing. As with most quality spas, this is not an issue, but when considering a spa that considerably lower priced than the average quality brand, it can be an important feature.

As with the framing of a spa, manufacturers are also making attempts to rid the spas exterior of wood. The ever popular synthetic siding has many forms. The obvious benefit of an artificial wood cabinet is that it is supposed to be lower maintenance, longer lasting, and better looking. However, many companies have fallen short in there efforts to address all three desired benefits. Lower maintenance means less or no sanding or staining of the spas exterior. The problem is that most spa manufacturers have not invested the time or money into making quality siding. When looking at the spas siding consider a few things: Does it feel strong and appear durable or does it flex and wobble when a little pressure is applied? Are the panels only glued together or are the glued and stapled? Is the color and material consistent throughout or is it just on the surface which would be prone to highlighting scratches and dings. Most importantly, does it have a good warranty and a good company to support that warranty. Examples of some manufacturers that have strived for quality synthetic cabinetry are as follows:

  1. Sundance Spas

  2. HotSpring Spas

  3. Caldera Spas

  4. Jacuzzi Premium Spas

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