Christmas is not just for children – it’s for grown-ups too! Here are a few suggestions that you might like to add to your list for Santa…
A hot tub
Now, who doesn’t love the idea of a hot tub? Whether indoors or outdoors they can be enjoyed all year round. But before you go rushing out to buy yours, here’s a few things you might like to consider…
When setting your budget make sure you include any additional expenses such as running costs, water care, filters and servicing. To help get the most out of your budget you could look at second hand or ex-demo hot tubs.
Why do you want a hot tub?
It may seem like a basic question, but with such a choice of hot tubs, answering this really will help!
Do you want to spend time relaxing with family and friends? If so, your hot tub needs to be spacious and have seats. If you are looking to help relieve arthritis or muscle pain, you will need a hot tub with appropriately positioned water jets.
When you have decided why you want a hot tub, you can choose the best place for it to sit in your garden. Don’t forget to think about where the sun is in your garden and the view it will give when you are enjoying sitting in it.
Hot tub surround
Don’t forget to think about a surround for your hot tub. Whether it is raised or fitted flush with the ground you will need an accessible, foot-friendly, easy to maintain and UV stable surface. The most popular choices are:
- Wooden decking – a nice looking surface, but can get slippery and will need to be treated annually to stop it fading.
- Concrete and paving slabs – a cost-effective, functional surface. But unless you opt for coloured or imprinted options it can look a bit industrial. It also retains heat, so on our (rare) sunny days, it can be uncomfortable to walk on, especially for children.
- Resin bound paving – while this is one of the more expensive choices, it is very durable, accessible, low maintenance, UV stable and very foot-friendly.
A new driveway or patio
A timeless addition to your home that when installed correctly will last you more than 25 years. If either of these are on your Christmas wish list, once you have set your budget there are few things you need to consider:
What you are going to use it for
What surface material is best
From loose gravel to resin bound paving, there is a wide choice of surfaces to suit all budgets. Here are some pros and cons of the most popular choices:
While gravel is a permeable affordable option, it doesn’t look very pretty and will require a lot of maintenance – especially sweeping up the loose stones.
Conventional asphalt and concrete are both a cost-effective choice but do have quite an ‘industrial’ look and require planning permission.
Although it is not the cheapest option, resin bound paving is rapidly becoming one of the most popular surfaces. This is due to its longevity, aesthetics, low maintenance and choice of colours.
Whether to do it yourself or employ a professional
This will depend on the scale of your project and your home improvement skills. A lot of companies provide self-install formats of their products which come with everything you need to lay it yourself, comprehensive instructions and even videos to help. If you choose to employ a professional, please…
- Ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations
- Some research
- Look for members of recognised bodies
- Try and view their installations
- Get a proposal in writing.
- Pay for a quote or general advice
- Be afraid to ask questions
- Pay a deposit after the first visit
- Feel pressured into making a decision
- Be misled by huge discounts offered at an inflated original price.
Now for the fun bit! Do you prefer curved, smooth shapes or clean modern lines with crisp corners? And what about the colour, do you want to compliment or contrast with your house or adjoining landscape? With resin bound paving there’s always the option to incorporate a number, logo or image into your design.
Even if you don’t find a new driveway, patio or hot tub in your stocking, we hope Santa brings you something nice for Christmas!