Can I have a hot tub installed safely during COVID lockdown? Should I buy a hot tub during UK lockdown?
With UK Lockdown and restrictions looking like they’ll last long into the Spring, many will be wondering if a hot tub could be the treat they need to get them through the next few difficult months. Hot tubs certainly became the coveted accessory of Summer 2020 with everyone clamouring to get their hands on one and interest certainly hasn’t waned!
But is this current lockdown the right time to invest in a hot tub? How do you go about actually choosing one with all the showrooms shut? Are any actually in stock? And can a hot tub really be delivered safely at the moment? All important questions! Have a read below to find out.
WHY BUY A HOT TUB DURING LOCKDOWN?
Prolonged restrictions have taken their toll on many of us. The feeling of being trapped indoors either home working or homeschooling and not being able to get outside and socialise with friends and family has been a difficult adjustment. Winter certainly hasn’t helped the situation. After all why go out and risk getting cold or rained on when you’re already feeling down?
It’s no surprise we feel this way. Humans are not designed to sit isolated indoors all day. We need fresh air to bolster our immune system, rejuvenate our mental state and to unwind. It’s not uncommon at the moment to look back on a week only to realise you’ve barely left the four walls of your house! There are very few places most of us can actually escape to and lets face it, we’re very unlikely to have a family BBQ or dine in our gardens like we would in the summer.
This is where a hot tub comes in. A spa completely transforms your mindset around outdoor living. Imagine being able to escape out to your garden after a stressful day of zoom meetings (or even worse homeschooling) and breathe in that invigorating fresh air without feeling the chill. With hot tubs designed for all year round use and well built ones extremely well insulated, you can stay toasty warm on even the coldest night. Despite being seen as a summer treat, most customers find they use their spas almost daily year round. Plus have you ever sat in a hot tub in the snow?! Heavenly!
If you’ve never considered using a hot tub in the winter then check out our blog post on winter hot tub usage below!
Even more important, there’s many tangible health benefits associated with regular hot tub use. Conditions such as arthritis, circulatory issues and mental health illnesses can all worsen during the colder months, darker days and periods of inactivity. With us all feeling isolated at the moment and disconnected from loved ones, a hot tub is the ideal space to unwind from the pressures of day to day life and reconnect with loved ones in your household.
It’s unlikely after the last year that life will return to normal straightaway even once lockdown is lifted. Travel corridors and the wait to be vaccinated makes a traditional Summer holiday an uncertain prospect with customers preferring to hold onto their cash. Its likely that 2021 will yet again be the year of the staycation or holiday from home! A well built hot tub future proofs your holiday plans for easily the next 10, 15 or even 20 years and like we said, it’s certainly a year round investment.
Once official lockdown has lifted, it is likely that there will be a return to the tier system with restrictions in place such as outdoor socialising only for some months. This can be a precarious prospect with British weather to factor in even during the warmer months! By making the choice to invest in your garden and have a hot tub installed, you’ll always have that private oasis ready for any outdoor entertaining you have planned. You can always pair your hot tub with a gazebo or awning if you’re not a fan of rain!
So should you invest in a spa during this lockdown? Whilst Spring might be a few weeks off, it’s definitely not a reason to delay! A hot tub is a year round investment that will have immediate and immeasurable benefits to your health and wellbeing during these difficult times.
ARE HOT TUBS AVAILABLE TO BUY?
When this craziness began in March 2020, the idea of a prolonged lockdown combined with incredible weather drove the biggest spike in demand our industry has ever seen. This hasn’t yet slowed down or taken its traditional dip in the winter as more and more UK families enjoy all the benefits of hot tub living.
This sounds like its been great for hot tub retailers such as ourselves and whilst we have been very fortunate, there have been complications. Hot tub manufacturers and suppliers behind the scenes have been overwhelmed by such high demand. They’ve battled to upscale their production whilst adhering to new covid procedures in factories, maintain quality and source sufficient components and raw materials to meet this challenge. Whilst they’ve done a fantastic job, this has had a significant impact on lead times and stock availability.
A long manufacturing process coupled with haulage strikes, container shortages and port chaos owing to Brexit and Covid means that not only have we seen long lead times but a number of unforeseen delays when it comes to getting hot tubs shipped and into the UK. Lead times of 6-9 months for a hot tub are not uncommon and even longer for swim spas at 9 - 12+ months!
So what does this mean if you’re desperately in search of a hot tub right now? Can you even get hold of a good quality spa that suits you and your family?
The good news is that at MySpa we’ve invested heavily in stock for this year and have containers scheduled to arrive throughout Spring and Summer. We even have a very small handful of model available right now for a quick installation and delivery if you’re dreaming of living lockdown in a hot tub right now! These available options are being snapped up quickly so if you’re ready to start living the hot tub dream then don’t hesitate to speak to our friendly sales team who can guide you through what’s available and on what time scales.
The last thing to consider is that prices will not be lower than they are now. We know this sounds like a cheap sales gimmick so please forgive us. It’s not a ploy to take advantage of demand. Rather sky high demand leading to component and material shortages and then shipping delays and new customs levies have driven up costs throughout the supply chain. This means the costs we pay to our suppliers at every stage has increased dramatically. Many spa retailers including ourselves have absorbed this initial round of price hikes to save customers who already have spas on order from paying anymore.
This does however mean that for subsequent orders, prices have already gone up to cover these additional charges. 2021 pricing was brought in part way through 2020 and we anticipate exactly the same with 2022 pricing with another rise very soon. Many swim spa manufacturers have closed the books on 2021 orders already and are working to 2022 costs and prices. So if you’re working to a tight budget then definitely be aware that hot tub prices are on the increase rather than decrease. You will likely see your preferred model with a more expensive price tag in a few months time.
Top tip? Although hot tubs won’t be discounted you can look out for finance based offers such as 0% finance and our Buy Now, Pay 2022 offers to help you finance your dream hot tub.
Like all non essential retail, both our showrooms are closed and will be until government restrictions lift. This can be tricky for would be hot tub shoppers and it can certainly be overwhelming trying to decide between different models just by looking at shell overheads on the internet. Hot tubs have very distinct features and styling between brands. Even sister hot tubs within the same range might feel entirely different once you actually get in them!
So how can you shop safely and know you’re getting the best model for you during lockdown? Luckily we have extensive and detailed video content showing all of our best-selling models for you to view at leisure which we’re constantly adding to. We also have extensive Lookbooks of hot tub and swim spa installations so you can see how your favourite model would look in your home.
The single best thing you can do however is book a virtual appointment with an experienced member of the team via FaceTime/WhatsApp/Zoom/whichever platform you prefer. This has been highly sought after and allows you to view all our display models from the comfort of your home. Our friendly sales team will ask loads of questions so they can understand your needs and who will be using the hot tub on a regular basis to help you narrow down and find the best models for you. You can also quiz them on their extensive knowledge of the hot tub industry and have all your questions answered, just as you would if you were with us in store.
We hope restrictions are able to relax soon and when they do, we will return to our appointment based system for all hot tub and swim spa showroom appointments. This keeps the number of households on site at any one time to a minimum. Shopping for a hot tub can be an overwhelming experience and you’ll likely have lots of questions. An appointment system means there’s no rushing between different groups or feeling like you haven’t had your questions answered in enough detail. Hand sanitiser is provided on entry and exit to both showrooms and we ask all customers and staff to wear facemasks for the duration of appointments as per government guidelines.
Once you decide to purchase a hot tub either remotely or in store, all our paperwork is contactless so no need to sit in an office for hours with us. Finance applications and order forms are sent electronically for you to complete from the comfort of home and we’re on hand to answer any questions you might have. Payment for hot tub deposits or balance payments can be made via bank transfer or via our secure online invoice system using any debit or credit card.
So you’ve ordered your hot tub and are excitedly awaiting installation! But you’ll naturally be wondering if a hot tub be delivered safely under the current climate? How do we go about protecting our customers and staff? This is so important and particularly if you’re shielding or in a vulnerable category.
We take Covid safety and social distancing extremely seriously as a business. Indeed a number of staff members are either directly vulnerable themselves or living with vulnerable family members so you can rest assured we’re doing everything we can to look after customers and team members. Here’s a brief overview of everything we’re doing to stay safe whilst we’re at your home.
Firstly all site visits for installations will be carried out virtually in the first instance. In the majority of cases where access is straightforward (down a wide side passage, large gate or removed fence panel), this gives us all the information we need to plan equipment and manpower for your installation. This helps minimise unnecessary contact in the vast majority of cases. However should your access be tighter than we’d like or have other complications then we will of course carry out a physical site visit whilst adhering to our Covid policy and strict social distancing at all times.
Prior to any physical visit, be it your site visit or installation day itself, we send all customers an online Covid safety document outlining our commitment to you with a few straightforward requests to help us protect both customers and staff. We ask you to read this document and then sign electronically prior to any visit. It sounds extreme but with many of our customers in vulnerable categories, we have to do everything we can.
Installation days are very exciting for customers as they are for us. We love seeing customers set up with their new hot tubs! That being said, we ask that customers as much as possible remain indoors and away from MySpa team members for the duration of the installation. We of course will ask you at various points to make sure you’re happy with the final positioning of the hot tub and any accessories but for the most part, you can remain indoors and allow our expert team to get on with setting up your brand new spa! If you do wish to come outside then please maintain a 2m distance from MySpa team members and wear a facemask unless exempt for medical reasons. We will do the same and only ask you to come outdoors when necessary.
Chemical training and handover is the most important part of installation day! After all this is where you learn how to look after your new toy and get the most enjoyment out of it. One adult who will be responsible for maintaining the spa will need to be present for this part of installation day. We can either carry this out with you stood 2 metres away from our engineer with facemasks worn at all times. Or if you’d prefer a completely contactless service then they can FaceTime/video call you and complete this virtually. Please make us aware of your needs and we will be able to cater for you.
Throughout the duration of your installation and before entering your property, our staff will use hand sanitiser frequently. They will ring before their arrival so you can unlock any side gates and remain indoors to minimise contact. Our team will avoid touching any unnecessary surfaces and upon exiting your property, all key surfaces will be sanitised including hot tub controls, door handles/gate handles etc. Rest assured however, we won’t leave your property until you’re entirely happy with your new hot tub.
Where customers are extremely clinically vulnerable or shielding, we can absolutely provide a full installation service contactlessly with no contact between customers and engineers. You’ll have access to the mobile numbers of the engineers on site and everything can be done via phone call or video call. We are in close contact with all customers in the weeks and days leading up to installation so please make the team aware of your needs and we will gladly put the necessary steps in place to ensure you feel safe.
The aftercare doesn’t stop on installation day and despite the retail site being closed, our field-based engineers are still working Monday - Saturday for regular wash and valets, repairs or any warranty issues. Most of our office team are working from home but the phone lines are always open 11am - 4:00 pm and we pick up emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. We are still able to offer a 5 star aftercare service for our customers so please do speak to us if you need any assistance.
Oh and of course, as much as our team would usually love a cup of tea and plentiful supplies of biscuits while they work, they sadly cannot accept at the moment. You can rest assured they will enjoy a beer or two after completing a long day of installations so please don’t worry about not offering refreshments, they are very well looked after!
So should you buy a hot tub during lockdown? And can you have one delivered safely? The answer to both is YES. Hot tubs enrich your life massively all year round but particularly during these uncertain times, they are invaluable for helping us get outdoors, restore mental clarity and escape from the pressures of lockdown life. You can also feel confident in the stringent approach we take to protect both customers and staff at this time. The biggest challenge as it has been for the last year is stock. So if you’re thinking of joining the MySpa Hot Tub family this year then contact the friendly team today for more information on availability and lead times of spas that suit your requirements.
MySpa Leicester: 0116 402 0915
MySpa Cheshire: 01625 919 150