How To Choose A Hot Tub For Your Deck

deck-hottubWhile everybody knows hot tubs are giant, bubbly boxes of fun, they can also be used for therapeutic purposes. Before you decide to invest in a spa for your outdoor deck, you probably already know that there is more involved in this decision than just where to place the tub once you get it home. There are a host of factors to consider before making that big purchase. After all, you’ll want to enjoy your hot tub for years to come, so be sure to choose one that is tailored to your specific needs.

Budget

Like all major purchases, you will be faced with a multitude of available upgrades. Extras add up quickly, so know your budget before setting your sights on anything unnecessary.

Size

First, you’ll need to know your decks measurements to ensure proper fitting. Secondly, how will it be used? Are you purchasing the tub primarily for you and your partner to enjoy, or is entertaining part of your plan? Choose size according to your needs, while also considering the initial cost plus maintenance fees associated with your spa.

Type

Many above-ground tubs are self-contained, and include all the necessary pumps and connections for start-up. Most in-grounds and some below-ground units do not come with these built-in features, and can be customized according to preference. Consult with a trusted dealer to find a unit and accessory options that will best fit your deck.

Efficiency

Purchase a pump appropriate for your tub size, and research other energy-efficient parts before purchasing and installing the tub. Investing the time and money into greener parts can help you save big time later.

Consider these tips before choosing your hot tub. It never hurts to compare prices at several dealers before making a commitment. A reputable dealer will be able to further assist you with all the decisions and upgrades available with your hot tub purchase.

Don’t have a deck for a hot tub, yet. No problem. Contact us, for a free estimate.

5 Plants that Do Well in the Shade

potted-gardenShaded decks, porches and patios are great places for container gardening even if there doesn’t seem to be a lot of sun. In fact, there are a number of different plants that prefer shady conditions to sunny ones. These are just a few:

Astilbes

Astilbe hybrids are beautiful wispy perennial flowers that appear lighter than air and come in colors such as red, white, lavender and pink. Not only are these flowers ideal for containers, but they also are great as borders around a patio.

Hostas

Hosta hybrids come in blue-green, green and yellow colors along with some variegated varieties. The leaves on these plants vary according to the species, but can range from round to heart-shaped. Even though these plants are famous for their greenery, certain species of hostas will also produce attractive blooms.

Tuberous Begonias

Tuberous begonias come in single or double blooms. They can add vibrant colors such as salmon, orange, red, pink, yellow and white to your porch garden. Begonias are plants for both regular pots and hanging baskets depending on the variety that you select to cultivate.

Coleus

Coleus perennial plants provide colorful foliage with leaves that contain green with orange, pink, yellow, red or other tones depending on the variety that you purchase. They grow well in pots on your lightly shaded deck or in the ground just off your patio.

Impatiens

Impatiens flowers are annuals that offer an explosion of color with white, pale pink, hot pink, peach, salmon, red and lavender blooms. All varieties of impatiens prefer shade, but the New Guinea variety will endure a bit more sun, as long as it is not full sun. Impatiens will thrive in containers and hanging baskets also in a sunroom.

Plants such as the ones mentioned above provide the perfect ornamental highlights and color that enhance the beauty of your deck, patio or porch. Consult with your local garden center to learn which shade-loving plants grow best in your area.