So you think you might want a swimming pool, but it costs too much money. So you thought about getting a hot tub spa instead, but they seem to be just too small. Don’t you wish that someone would invent something that had all the best features of a pool and a spa combined, but at a really reasonable cost?
Well, your wish has come true because although Swim Spas have actually been around for a few years, they are just now becoming much more popular and much more available throughout most of the UK.
So exactly what the heck is it anyway?
Quite simply, a Swim Spa is a machine that allows you to swim continuously against a water current. You never “hit the wall” or have to turn around to continue to swim laps like in a regular pool or a lap pool. Swim Spas provide the absolute best swimming exercise work out, using the least amount of space in your home or yard.
Swim Spas also act as smaller swimming pools in the sense that you can play around in them, or with some of the split-models, you actually have a hot tub spa in one end of it and a swimming area in the other end.
Swim Spas come in a few different categories and sizes. Almost any type Swim Spa can facilitate an environment that will allow a person to exercise continuously, relax by just soaking in the warm water to sooth the mind and body or spend time with family/friends in the comfort of your home. According to the American Heart Association, just 30-60 minutes of physical activity 3-4 days per week can help reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. As a regular physical activity, swimming can also help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
O.K……What are the different types of Swim Spas?
Self-Contained “Portable” Swim Spa:
Many Swim Spas are also available completely pre-built. These are referred to as Self-Contained or sometimes “Portable”. Although big and bulky, they do not necessarily have to be permanently installed and can be moved from location to location in a yard and can be taken with you when you move. These units are fast becoming the most popular style of Swim Spas because of the ease of installation, the fact that all the pumps, jets, filters, heater and equipment are completely built inside the unit, within a wood or thermoplastic cabinet that is pre-installed around the unit. Think of it as a really big hot tub spa!
Are they all heated? Can I have the Hot Tub part hot, and the Swimming Pool part cold?
Well, depending on which style you select, you can have that functionality. First, you have to decide how you want to use the Swim Spa. Do you want it just for swimming exercise, or do you want to use it as a hot tub spa as well? Do you want it indoors or outdoors, and if outdoors, do you want to use it in the winter?
Some Swim Spa units are separated into two distinct bodies of water. One stays cool for swimming, and the other stays hot for hot tubbing. Units divided into separate parts are ideal if you want the best of both worlds. The downside to this is that the swimming end is normally a little smaller until you get into the bigger units. If space is no problem, you may want to consider a larger unit like the one to the left (16′ or larger) that has two separate sections moulded into it. Realise that these style units may be a bit more costly because they need two completely separate filtering, pumping and heating systems.
OK, I love this idea….How much do they cost?
You are probably thinking, “Yeah, this sounds great, but it probably costs like a trillion dollars.” That is a common misconception about Swim Spas…that they are only for the fabulously wealthy. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Swim Spas actually cost a bit more than a portable hot tub spa and a lot less than an inground swimming pool.
When Swim Spas first came on the market about 10 years ago, they were priced in the £25,000 range. At that time you could get a pretty nice portable hot tub for about £7,000 and a fairly well equipped inground pool for around £25,000. At that point in time, the Swim Spa did not really seem like such a great bargain.
As time progressed though, the average price of a portable hot tub spa shot way up, mostly because of all the new features and advanced technology that was being built into them. This put the typical hot tub in the £8000-£12,000 price range, with the deluxe models approaching £16,000.
At the same time, the price of swimming pools rose greatly as well….partially due to advances in technology and features, and partly due to the increased price of installation and insurance that pool builders had to pay. So all of a sudden, a “nice” in-ground pool price was in the £25,000-£30,000 range, with deluxe pools going for upwards of £50,000. Add to that the price of the decking around the pool and the landscaping costs, and you have a very expensive (albeit beautiful) backyard garden.
During the mid-2000s, a few keen hot tub manufacturers saw that there might be a larger market opening up in the Swim Spa industry, and a number of them changed their production lines to also produce the larger, more bulky Swim Spas. Innovative jet pump & equipment technology and newer manufacturing methods made the cost of production of the Swim Spa to come down to the levels of a high quality portable hot tub.
All of a sudden, you could produce a 12′ to 16′ long Swim Spa and offer it for sale anywhere between £9995 - £14,995 complete, delivered, hooked up and installed and ready for use in a few hours. Now the price of a Swim Spa seems very reasonable when compared to an £8,000 hot tub or a £40,000 in-ground pool. So why not have your very own swim spa pool?