How to Estimate Hot Tub Cost Before Purchase

For most people, cost plays a large role in whether or not they own a hot tub. Often, people assume that a high-quality hot tub is outside of their budget, and they don’t even consider it. Others believe that they can purchase a low-end, cheap model and get the same results as a top-of-the-line spa. However, smart consumers do their research and plan their hot tub purchase so they can get the best quality product at the best price, which is why you’re here. For more information about hot tub cost, maintenance cost, and hot tub finance options, check out the sections below.

Hot Tub Prices

Hot tub prices vary according to size, model, and accessories, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $2,000 and $18,000 on your initial purchase. The more you invest in your hot tub up front, the more included features, like durability and energy efficiency. A higher-end model will last much longer than a cheaper model and will save you money over time on maintenance and upkeep.

Hot Tub Cost

When estimating hot tub cost, you’ll also need to figure in chemicals (about $20-$40 per month), filters (about $45 each), and replacement covers. You’ll most likely need to replace your cover between four and six years after your purchase, and you can plan to spend approximately $500 for a new cover. Finally, you’ll need to include the cost of running the spa. Bullfrog Spas is the leader in energy efficiency, with an estimated monthly cost of $11.81, compared to other companies which can be as high as $18.80 per month.

Best Hot Tubs for Cold Climates

When you live in areas with colder weather, your hot tub will have to work harder to stay warm, which will result in higher energy costs. Make sure the hot tub you choose includes full-foam insulation and an advanced water delivery system, like the ones made by Bullfrog Spas, and avoid perimeter system insulation and excessive pipes and tubes. It is also wise to get a hot tub cover that is durable, fits snugly, and is strong enough to hold the weight of a heavy snowfall. Learn more about the best hot tubs for cold climates.

Hot Tub Finance Options

If you don’t have the full amount saved to cover hot tub costs, or you don’t want to use it all at once, there are several hot tub finance options available. One benefit to hot tub financing is that you are able to spread out the cost over time, which allows you to get the hot tub and features you really want. As with any big purchase, you want to gather information about all your hot tub finance options before choosing one, so you can be sure you are making the best choice for you.

Hot tubs can be financed through the dealers themselves, which is great because you can finish the approval process quickly. A personal loan is another great way to go, and allows you to compare rates before committing. You can also use a home equity loan or a HELOC. Both of these involve using the equity of your home as collateral for your hot tub cost, but a HELOC works more like a credit card with a spending limit, where a home equity loan has a predetermined total given in one lump sum.

As you conduct your research for buying a hot tub remember to also look at customer ratings to get trustworthy online reviews to make sure you are getting a great product. Get started choosing the hot tub of your dreams by visiting Robert Allen Pools and Spas today. Don’t forget to ask about our energy efficient Bullfrog Spas hot tub models.

How to Open a Pool in The Spring: Tips And Tricks

If you own a pool, you know how exciting it is once spring rolls around. That means the weather starts to warm up and it’s time to get ready to jump into the pool. But knowing how to open a pool in the spring is important.

Think about it: Your pool has been sitting untouched for several months. If not maintained and opened properly, it won’t be ready for that first swim. For those of you who enjoy a special DIY project, we’ve put together these simple steps to getting your pool ready for spring.

Step 1: The Pool Cover

You can’t get to your pool before taking off the cover. But before you do, it’s important to clear the cover of debris. This might seem like a no-brainer, but many people think they can get away with just removing the cover, causing leaves and sticks to enter the pool water.

If you have a solid pool cover, water and ice might have accumulated over the winter months. Pump out this water so it doesn’t enter your pool. Simply use a wet-vac to remove the moisture. Remember to keep your cover tight so it’s easier to remove water and other debris.

Mesh covers don’t need intensive cleaning and you can just rinse them. No matter what you use, avoid pressure washers as they can damage any pool cover.

Step 2: Plugs

When you winterized your pool, the return lines were blown out to remove water. You might have also added any antifreeze or ice compensator into the pool’s skimmer. Now, it’s time to reverse that process.

First, remove all the winterizing plugs from return lines and the ice compensator from your skimmer.

Then, evacuate any antifreeze by turning the handle on your multiport valve to waste. This will push everything to the waste line as the pump is running. You’ll then want to clean out the cartridge filters—or replace them—and replace the return fittings along with any old filters.

Step 3: Refilling the Pool

Your pool should already have water in it from when you properly winterized it, but you probably lost water over time due to evaporation. It’s important to bring water levels up to halfway up your skimmer—just use a garden hose.

Step 4: Final Touches

This last step includes checking your filter, priming the pump, and making sure the water is clean. Pool owners must ensure the chemicals in the pool are properly added, as this is critical to the health and safety of the pool and those who swim in it. There are numerous YouTube videos to help you properly balance the pool’s chemicals.

To learn more about preparing your pool and how to open it during spring, give us a call. We’re experts in pool maintenance and can help you learn more about properly caring for your pool. And if you’re in any of our service areas, come see us to see how we can help.

Top 3 Swim Spots in Nevada

Nevada isn’t just known for being the entertainment capital of the U.S.–the state is also home to some of the most gorgeous swimming spots around. We can think of few better ways to spend a hot summer day than visiting one of Nevada’s famous swimming holes!

Check out some of our top picks for the best swim spots in Nevada near Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Truckee, CA.

Sand Harbor Beach – Lake Tahoe

Sand Harbor is one of the best beaches at Lake Tahoe, attracting both casual swimmers and scuba divers alike. There are plenty of spots on the beach where you can soak up the sun.

However, if you’re looking for a less crowded beach experience at Sand Harbor, check out Diver’s Cove. This smaller beach offers plenty of shade from pine trees and is less visited than the sunnier portions of Sand Harbor.

Colorado River Beach – Goldstrike Canyon

This small, rocky beach is located downstream of the Hoover Dam and is one of the more pristine swim spots in Nevada near Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Truckee, CA, offering crystal clear waters perfect for swimming. You can access this swim spot either through a beautiful 4-mile trail past Goldstrike Hot Springs or in El Dorado Canyon.

Whitewater Park at Rock Park – Sparks, NV

This swim spot in Nevada offers not only some great swimming locales, but also 5 different drop pools for kayaking, tubing, and rafting.

Whitewater Park also features safe play areas for children, making this swim spot an excellent place to spend the day with your family.

Contact Robert Allen Pools and Spas

If you’re looking to transform your backyard into a beautiful swim locale for your family, contact Robert Allen Pools and Spas today! We have years of experience designing custom residential pools and offer a wide range of pool maintenance services.

How to Take Care of a Pool During the Off-Season

You swim your heart out all summer, but during the fall and cooler weather, it’s time to take care of your pool for the off-season. Once you’ve prepared your pool by draining its water and covering it, follow these tips to keep your pool in good shape for next season.

Tip 1. Check Pipes and Motorized Parts

When temperatures reach freezing levels, if there is any excess water in the pipes or pool parts it can cause them to crack by freezing inside them. If a pipe or pool part cracks, it can be quite expensive to repair or change. You can prevent leaks by checking the pipes and pool parts frequently.  Proper care of a pool can make all the difference.

Tip 2. Keep the Pool Cover On All Winter

Make sure you keep the pool cover on all winter and clean the top to keep it free from debris and frozen water. If your pool remains covered, it will stay clean and easier to prepare for the warmer season. It also prevents any accidents from happening. Children can drown in less than 2 inches of water and while during the summer we are vigilant and careful, we could become more relaxed during the cooler months.

Tip 3. Add the Right Mix of Chemicals

In the fall, add some chlorine and algaecide to keep the pool water clean during the colder months. As the weather starts warming up, start preparing your pool by adding liquid chlorine to the water. You can do this yourself or call an expert to give you a hand.

Tip 4. Get Help

Doing all of this work yourself can be daunting, so why don’t you get some help and contact someone who has the knowledge and has the experience? Robert Allen Pools and Spas can help take care of your pool during the off-season. We offer maintenance and service to ensure that your pool or spa stays in tip-top shape all year round. We serve areas around Lake Tahoe from Carson City to Reno and Sparks to Truckee, CA. Give us a call to schedule maintenance or service, today!

pool left open in the winter surrounded by snow

How to Close a Swimming Pool for the Winter

All good things must come to an end. After a fun summer season with your personal swimming pool, winter will inevitably arrive and along with it, the task of closing the pool for winter. It might seem easy enough to simply throw a cover over your pool and call it a day, but doing this will only cause further problems come next summer.

Importance of Closing Pool For Winter

Here are three reasons why you should learn how to properly close your pool for winter.

1. Regular Maintenance is Unlikely

During the regular swimming season, you were probably making sure that your personal pool was regularly maintained, including scooping out debris and occasionally changing a filter. During the winter months, however, maintaining your pool is a lot less rewarding when you have to brave chilly weather and aren’t able to utilize your pool. Closing your pool for winter will eliminate the need for regular maintenance during those winter months.

2. Debris

During the summer, having insects, leaves, or other debris fall into your pool wasn’t a big issue. Just a few minutes of work and you’re back to business as usual. However, during the winter months where you are less incentivized to maintain your pool, any debris in the pool will begin to rot, which will affect your pool’s chemical balance.

3. Time and Money

It might seem like a massive chore to properly close your pool for winter, and it many times is. But not winterizing your pool correctly will likely mean more money spent on cleaning parts and supplies, and more time spent getting your pool swimmable again. Learning how to correctly clean and close your pool for winter saves you time and money in the long run.

Contact Robert Allen Pools and Spas

If you have any questions regarding personal pools, or you are looking into closing your pool for the winter, you can contact us today via our website! You can also learn more about custom pools on our custom pools page.

 

orange fall leaves in swimming pool

4 Tips for Fall Pool Maintenance

With summer gone and winter right around the corner, keeping your pool in tip-top shape isn’t likely at the top of your to-do list. However, by staying on top of your fall pool maintenance, not only can you make your workload much easier, but you can also have peace of mind knowing it will be in good condition come spring. Keep these four fall pool maintenance tips in mind when tending to your pool:

Fall Pool Maintenance Tips

 

1. Trim the Hedges and Trees

Trimming the trees, shrubs, hedges, and any other foliage around your pool will make your workload much easier and reduce the risk of falling branches that can damage your pool cover.

2. Clean the Filters

Having clean filters at the beginning of the cooler fall months will help to ensure your pool stays as clean and debris-free as possible.  

3. Skim the Pool

As you know, autumn brings falling leaves that can be a pain when it comes to pool maintenance. By skimming your pool on a regular basis, you can remove the leaves and debris. This can also make your workload easier come spring because it prevents the leaves from sinking and staining the bottom of your pool.

4. Keep the Cover Clean

If you choose to use a pool cover during the fall and winter months, make sure to keep it clean and free of debris. Keeping the cover clean will help to keep the pool clean, too.

Partner with the Pros

To ensure your pool is as clean as possible and to reduce your workload simultaneously, partner with the pool specialists at Robert Allen Pools and Spas. With years of pool maintenance experience, the friendly, trained professionals at Robert Allen Pool and Spa know exactly what it takes to meet your needs. Whether you’re interested in custom pool design or year-round maintenance services, Robert Allen has your back. Contact us today!

5 Pool Safety Tips to Keep the Whole Family Safe

Having a swimming pool is fantastic fun for your entire family! It is great to have a space to relax and play on long hot, summer days, and it is definitely one of the best places to make special memories with your family and friends. However, with pool ownership comes the duty of making sure everyone stays safe. If you make a point to follow these 5 important pool safety tips, you should be able to enjoy your pool without any worries!

Pool Safety Tips

1. Fence Off Your Pool

Putting up a fence or other barrier around your pool is crucial for child safety. Young children don’t understand the danger of swimming alone and a barrier keeps them out until an adult can be with them.

2. Never Leave a Young Child Unattended

Whether in or even just around the pool, never leave a child without adult supervision. A child’s guardian should be the first person to safeguard their child, even if a lifeguard is present or your child has a floatation device.

3. Check the Chemical Levels

Make sure the pool chemicals are at the proper levels and test them regularly.

4. Learn CPR

Even after taking the above preventive measures (and more), make sure you know how to perform CPR on both children and adults. A lifeguard can’t always be there—especially in your own private pool.

5. Teach Your Kids How To Swim

Take the time and money to enroll your kids in swim lessons. They will have more fun and be safer overall if they know how to swim properly.

Follow these pool safety tips and do all that you can to keep your family and friends safe. And remember, if you have any pool needs or questions, please feel free to contact us directly at Robert Allen Pools and Spas. We are happy to help you out wherever we can!

The Difference Between Hot Tubs and Spas

If you are thinking about adding a hot tub or spa to your home, you have a lot of options available. There are many designs to choose from, which enables you to find one that will fit your needs. Of all the choices you have, the first choice you will need to make is whether to opt for a hot tub or a spa. Of course, making that decision is easier if you know the differences between the two and the advantages of each.

Hot Tubs

A hot tub is an above-ground spa that is completely self-contained in terms of its plumbing, pumps, and heating. Hot tubs are relatively portable as they sit on top of a pad like concrete and can be moved to another part of a property or to a new location altogether.

In addition to their portability, the main advantages of hot tubs include their relative energy efficiency and affordability. Hot tubs heat up quickly and hold their temperatures well. They also require little for their installation aside from a strong level pad.

Spas

Spa tends to be used as a general term and can also be confused with the term day-spa, which is something else entirely. In reality, a spa is a body of water built into the ground, much like an in-ground swimming pool. They are often attached to a pool or near the house and are similar to what you would find in a gym or hotel.

The main advantage of spas is the value that they add to a home since a spa is a permanent addition to a property. The disadvantages of spas include the higher cost of installation and their higher energy costs since they take longer to heat and do not typically hold their temperature as well as hot tubs.

If you are looking for something more cost effective, a hot tub is probably the way to go. If you want something more permanent to add value to your home, then you should opt for a spa. Contact us today to explore options for your spa or hot tub in Truckee and beyond. We offer the best service for hot tubs and spas in Carson City, Nevada.

Must-Have Pool Features

Swimming pools are great additions to any backyard oasis. But most people don’t want just an ordinary pool, they want an experience. Robert Allen Pools and Spas offers all the amazing features you want to make your water feature ideas a reality. There is a pool accessory to fit every need.

Pool Slides

If you have children in your life and want to up the fun factor in your pool, consider a slide. We’re not talking about one of those old-fashioned clunky models. We’re talking about a sleek design embedded into the rock so the slide blends in seamlessly with the pool. It’s a great way to bring more natural elements into your pool area. They are also a lot of fun.

Waterfalls and Arcs

Water features are a great way to add dimension and ambiance to your pool. Imagine relaxing poolside with the relaxing sound of a bubbling fountain or waterfall. We have waterfalls that can match any design, from sleek and modern to a gentle cascade down rock. No matter what kind of look you want, we have the perfect option.

Another water feature that is very popular is smooth water arcs. This water feature is beautiful to look at and fun to play with. Kids and adults alike can enjoy the smooth water arcs. These not only give you a beautiful water feature in your pool, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the trickling sound of water.

Landscaping

Natural landscaping is a great way to integrate your pool with the surroundings. Large rocks, native landscaping, stone, and gravel are just a few natural elements that can turn a pool from humdrum to fabulous.

When it comes to water features, natural pool landscaping, waterfalls, and smooth water arcs, there are a lot of things to consider. Luckily, the professionals at Robert Allen Pools and Spas are ready to help make your water feature ideas a reality as you create the pool area of your dreams. Contact us today and see what Robert Allen Pools and Spas can do for your backyard oasis.

Swimming Pool Requirements in Nevada

You’ve made the decision to add a swimming pool or spa to create your own backyard oasis, congratulations! In addition to deciding on the design elements of your new pool or spa, there are also laws required by the state of Nevada that must be met. But don’t worry, we have you covered. Our professional staff will help you make your new swimming pool in the Reno, Nevada area safe and beautiful.

In order to keep everyone safe around a pool or spa, there are several safety requirements in Nevada. These requirements cover both in-ground and above ground pools, spas, and hot tubs and they must include:

  1. A barrier at least 48 inches above the finished ground level that is measured on the side of the barrier that faces away from the pool.
  2. There can’t be any openings in the barrier large enough to allow a 4-inch diameter sphere to pass through it. There can’t be any indentations or protrusions except for the normal construction tolerances and masonry joints.
  3. The spacing between the vertical slats in the barrier must be no more than 1-3/4 inches wide. This includes decorative cutouts as well.
  4. The maximum mesh size for chain link fences is 1-1/4 inch square.
  5. All access gates must comply with the same requirements as the barriers and must include a door that opens away from the pool and have a self-latching device located on the pool side of the gate at least three inches below the top of the gate. There can’t be more than a 1/2 inch opening between the gate and the fence.  
  6. If the wall of a dwelling unit is part of the barrier and includes a door, a sensor must be installed on the door and screen that emits a sound when the door is opened. The alarm should sound different than other household sounds.
  7. All pools must have a power safety cover that when closed can hold at least 485 pounds of weight.

 

Although there are quite a few regulations for Nevada pool and spa owners, we are here to help you make sure your new pool is safe and secure. Contact us and we can help you get started designing the pool or spa of your dreams.