Backyard Blast by TheCoverGuy.com Making the most of your Backyard Heaven! 2017-04-14T12:40:45Z https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/feed/atom/ WordPress https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/cropped-CoverGuy-profile-1-150x150.jpg The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Hot Tub Cover Lifter Choices | Everything You Need to Know]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4220/ 2017-04-07T01:22:09Z 2017-04-07T01:12:49Z We hope this article on Hot Tub Cover Lifter Choices will help clear up any confusion so that you can choose the perfect cover lifter with a minimum of hassle.

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A nice long soak in your hot tub is a great way to soothe aching muscles. A soak is an especially effective way to recover from a long day at work, or after an intense workout. If you need that soak because your muscles are aching from the effort of lifting your hot tub cover off the hot tub, though, it might be time to get a hot tub cover lifter.

A cover lifter is a frame that attaches to your hot tub cover and makes it easier to lift it off and put it back on. While there are quite a few variables that go into choosing an appropriate lifter, they are all fairly easy to understand. We hope this article on Hot Tub Cover Lifter Choices will help clear up any confusion so that you can choose the perfect cover lifter with a minimum of hassle.

Hot Tub Cover Lifter Choices

There are three types of cover lifter system, grouped according to how they function. These three types are shelf removal, manual pivot, and hydraulic assisted systems.

Shelf hot tub cover holderShelf Removal

Shelf removal systems aren’t properly cover lifters at all, because they don’t lift the cover. They do help you get the cover out of the way so you can use your tub, though. Rather than lifting the cover off of the tub, a shelf removal system allows you to fold the cover over and then slide it off the hot tub and onto a storage shelf mounted to the side or rear. They are very easy to use, but require a lot of clearance space. They are really only suitable for free-standing, above ground hot tubs.

Manual Pivot

Manual pivot hot tub cover lifterManual pivot lifters are the least expensive of the cover lifters that actually lift the cover. The trade-off is that they also require the most physical effort to use. They are operated in a similar fashion to the shelf removal system in that you fold the cover over first. Where they differ is that instead of sliding the cover off you lift it up and off where it is held in place by the pivot arms. They are available in a variety of mount types (more on that later). With this type of lifter a reasonably fit person can take the cover off and put it back by themselves.

Hydraulic top mount lifterHydraulic Assist

Hydraulically assisted systems work exactly like the manual pivot systems, except that the weight of the cover is taken by the hydraulic pistons. This means that taking the cover off your hot tub and putting it back on is almost effortless. This type of lifter is generally more expensive than manual lifters. It is likewise available in a variety of mount types and sizes, so you should be able to find one that suits your needs.

Other Considerations

Bottom mount lifterMount types

There are several mount types available in a hot tub cover lifter.

  • Undermount lifters are attached to a metal plate that sits under your hot tub or is bolted to a deck. This avoids the need to drill holes in your tub housing.
  • Bottom mount lifters are attached to your hot tub at the bottom – either on the rear or on the sides.
  • Top mount lifters are attached at the top rear of the tub.
  • Side mount lifters are mounted near the top and on the sides of the tub housing.
  • Adjustable mount lifters can be mounted in more than one way.

The type of mounting you choose depends entirely on how much clearance you have on the various sides of your tub. If you have more than one option available, it comes down to a purely aesthetic choice. They all work equally well.

Restrictions

covermate freestyleDifferent models of lifters have their own, unique restrictions for what hot tub covers they will work with. In particular you need to be aware that the size and shape of your hot tub makes a difference. Some lifters only work on round covers while others only work with square or rectangular ones. Some lifters are able to accommodate more than one shape.

Lifters also have very specific minimum and maximum cover sizes that they can be used with. Most lifters will work with spas that are between 76” and 96” in diameter. There are lifters for larger covers, but they are harder to find.

Sorting Through the Details

The variables here are all fairly straightforward and easy to understand, but there are still a lot of combinations available. Missing one element can result in buying a lifter that just won’t work for you. To help avoid that problem, The Cover Guy has created a neat and organized guide showing all the information you need to choose exactly the right cover for you. Make sure to take a look before you order.

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Hot Tub Music Enhances the Area and Relaxation]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4534/ 2017-04-05T12:13:08Z 2017-04-05T12:13:08Z The right sounds can play a big part in helping you relax in your hot tub. Tinkling of wind chimes, or a track from your past is the best hot tub music.

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Hot Tub Music

The right sounds can play a big part in helping you relax in your hot tub. The Hot tub music selection has to be right to set the perfect mood. Even better is the gentle tinkling of wind chimes, the breeze rustling in the leaves of the nearby trees, the sound of birdsong… these sounds are all almost as relaxing as the spa itself.

Unfortunately, we don’t all live in our own private paradise full of the sounds of nature. For many of us, the only way to listen to nature in our hot tubs is to pipe it in through a hot tub audio system. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, mind you. The sounds of nature can be relaxing, but the things making the sounds are often less so. And hey, with a decent sound system in the tub, you don’t have to limit yourself to birds or the ocean. You can also listen to The Byrds or Billy Ocean.

hot tub music pop up speakersThe Music Delivery

There are actually several ways to include audio in your spa experience. These days a lot of spas and hot tubs come with built-in sound systems as an option. Although, these systems are usually adequate at best. Spa manufacturers are great at making spas, but they aren’t experts when it comes to sound. It’s usually a better choice to build your own audio system, so you can choose the equipment that work best for you.

The hot tub manufacturer speakers specifically for hot tubs come in a couple of varieties. The two most common are flush mounted and pop-up speakers. Flush mounted speakers are mounted flush with the cabinet of your tub, so are less intrusive. Pop-up speakers pop up out of the cabinet when you want to use them. They look cool and also keep water out of the speaker for the most part. Often if not always the hot tub audio that comes with your hot tub will breakdown due to moisture and chemicals. It’s best to save the money up front on the hot tub audio and purchase your own audio separately, that is placed around your hot tub for better sound.

Most of the sound system components the manufacturers use can actually be purchased separately in local audio stores. You can retrofit your spa with the same speakers it would have had as an option when new. Most people choose to upgrade and pick a better quality set of speakers, and audio system.

More Music Options

Two other options for Hot tub music that don’t involve modifying your hot tub in any way are a floating speaker, and super-directional speakers.

floating speakerA floating speaker, as the name implies, is a speaker that floats on the surface of the water. These speakers are completely water proof and usually connect to a device via Bluetooth. They are pretty robust and will last a long time, but the sound quality is often unsatisfying. However, with players like beats starting into this niche of the market there may be some better speakers on the market soon that will make this an option for hot tub owners.

Super-directional speakers use ultrasonic waves, which we can’t hear, to carry the sound waves we want to hear to a specific place. Think of it like a beam of sound – a musical sound laser. Simply point these speakers at the tub, from up to 100 yards away. The result is that you’ll be able to hear your music or relaxing sounds from inside the hot tub. Standing right next to the tub, however, you’ll hear nothing. You’ll be able to listen to your music as loudly as you like without bothering your neighbors – they won’t hear a thing!

yamaha outdoor speakersTurn Up the Music

If you are a bit of an audiophile, you might choose to avoid hot tub speakers altogether and go for something with even better sound quality. The only catch is that some audiophile-quality speakers are far from weather and water-proof. Protecting them from the elements is top priority. However, outdoor equipment audio gear is becoming better and better and built for the outdoors as well. Many speaker manufacturers are offering weather related equipment that is standing up to the elements.

Sonos ampMy personal choice for our Hot tub music would be some outdoor Yamaha or polk speakers with a Sonos Amp setup. This would give you a great wireless bluetooth audio setup that would allow you to play everything on your devices or stream from the internet. The Sonos Amp is all you need, it acts as your receiver and internet conduit.

What is your preferred sound system solution, and what do you listen to in your hot tub? Let us know in the comments

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Cottage Hot Tub Care Made Easy]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4521/ 2017-03-31T19:52:14Z 2017-03-31T19:52:14Z When your hot tub is at the cottage, hot tub care involves a few extra considerations. Most hot tubs are designed for city treated tap waters.

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Cottage Hot Tub Care

cabin hot tub careWith Cottage and Cabin season soon upon us we thought we would talk about the special Cottage hot tub care that is required in more rural areas like a cottage or cabin. There is nothing like sitting in a hot tub with the dark star filled rural sky to look up at and enjoy.

Taking care of your hot tub is pretty straightforward, really. Check your water chemistry every couple of days, or every few uses. Shock the water after heavy use. Empty, clean, and refill it every few months. Replace the filter once a year. That’s city hot tub care in a nutshell. Cottage hot tub care is a slightly different animal.

When your hot tub is at the cottage, hot tub care involves a few extra considerations. Most hot tubs are designed to use a fairly narrow range of city treated tap waters. They are also meant to be run year round. Rural hot tubs often get filled with well water and need to be shut down for the winter. That complicates things a bit for Cottage hot tub care.

cottage hot tub careWell Water

The first thing to keep in mind with well water is the mineral and metal level in the water can sometimes and often be high. You may also find phosphates, dust, rust, grit, sediment, arsenic, cadmium, chlorine, aluminium, H2S, iron, lead, copper, iron oxide, V.O.C.’s, and mercury in the well water.

Really hard water or water with high iron content can make balancing the ph tricky. The wrong ph can make it difficult for the other chemicals to do their jobs. The end result is often either murky, cloudy water, or green soup. If the iron content is too high, shocking the tub can even turn the water orange!

Generally, using well water only means the extra step of reducing the hardness and possibly the iron content of the water before you add the other chemicals. If you want to make sure, take a sample of your well water to most any water dealer and get them to test it. They should be able to recommend how to proceed.

Aside from the chemical issues, there are some things to remember when draining and refilling your tub. If you are filling from a hose, it is a very good idea to use a hose pre-filter. This will strain out any debris and such before it gets into your tub. If you need to improvise a pre-filter, a stretch of pantyhose duct-taped over the end of the hose works. Also remember that your outside water probably doesn’t go through your house system. Inside water and outside water are not usually the same.

ultimate cottage hot tubShutting it Down for a Season

Unless you use your cottage year-round, cottage hot tub care also involves shutting the tub down for several months a year. There is a right way to do this.

Remove all the water

When you drain the tub for the winter, make sure to get all the water out. All of it. A small amount of water left in an unheated tub over the winter can wreak havoc.

Use a submersible pump to drain it if you have one available. It’s faster and does a more thorough job than the drain plug alone. Also don’t put the drain caps back on when the tub is empty. This will allow water left in the lines to evaporate. If your cottage is in a hard winter climate, blow out the pipes too to be sure. To blow out the pipes you can use the exhaust of your shopvac.

Clean the tub thoroughly

Wipe everything down with a good cleaner. Clean the cover on both top and bottom with a cover cleaner and treat it with a protectant. Don’t tarp it over with plastic or you’ll come back to a musty, mildew-y mess in the spring. Your cover is designed to withstand the elements and is all the protection your tub should need while you’re gone.

Take out your filters

Hot Tub Filter FundamentalsRemove the filter/filters from the tub. Clean the hot tub filters and store them in a dry place. Do not put them back in the tub when you are not using it, or they will mildew. Remember, you can’t spell ‘mildew’ without ‘ewww’.

Cottage hot tub care isn’t particularly difficult. It just means a few extra steps to keep things running smoothly. Pay a bit of extra attention to your water chemistry and take care when shutting it down and you should be fine.

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Healthy Living Weekend Activities]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4501/ 2017-03-26T19:59:25Z 2017-03-26T19:58:52Z Healthy Living means staying active, eating right, and taking care of your body. More and more people are having to use their weekends to stay healthy.

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Healthy Living Weekend Activities

no time for exerciseMany people long for the weekends especially because they get to loosen up from their busy schedules at work or school. It is always a perfect time for fun, relaxation and family time. During the week, you might be forced to wake up early, sit in an office or class for long time, and even sometimes sleep late to finish some projects. By weekend, you will be so exhausted that all you want to do is to relax and probably get caught up on rest. It is also true that the office environment can pose a big challenge to healthy living.

However, dull weekends can also affect your health. There is not much we can control over the busy work or school week, but we do have control over the weekend and our time off. To that end, we can help restore a healthy lifestyle by doing some of the following healthy living weekend activities. Healthy living is a choice, and we need to make that choice for our Families!

healthy weekends in the winterOutdoor Activities

It is unfortunate that some people want to stay indoors during weekends. It is the opposite of what you need to do to promote health and wellness for you and your family. Some tend to think staying home and laying on the couch would be the best way to rest and relax their minds. And although, we all need a little of that kind of rest, what are sedentary lifestyles really need is the outdoors. We need a big scoop of outdoor activities, fresh air, and fresh food.

walk the zooOutdoor activities bring about fun, and are an excellent way to stay healthy. You can take your kids out hiking or swimming. Family bike touring is an equally effective healthy living activity, and a great way to explore your community and surrounding areas. Taking a walk in a nice park or garden and even visiting the zoo is also a nice way to spend your weekend. There are so many opportunities in each community to get out and be active. Look at your local paper and see what events are on and plan to attend, even getting out to attend promotes active living. A lot of times local events are free or cost very little to attend. And the best part is these activities will help you exercise as you enjoy some quality family time.

Shopping

For a lot of people the weekend is the most appropriate time to do their shopping. It’s the best time because you can take your time. When you take your time you will make better choices. Before going to do your shopping make out a quick list. The list should contain ingredients of meals you would like to prepare for the week ahead. You can set yourself up each weekend for a healthy week ahead without scrambling after work. If you really get organized you can prepare the meals ahead of time for the week ahead.

If the shopping mall is not very far from your house, you could even walk to the shops for the purpose of better health. When your out shopping wear some active wear and do it at a brisk pace, just be mindful of the other shoppers. Even brisk walking while you shop will improve your health and fitness since you haven’t had a good opportunity to some exercises during the week. You can go shopping alone or have the kids accompany you, which might even up your activity level, as some kids will keep you moving even quicker.

healthy weekend eating with kidsHealthy Weekend Eating

Many people eat differently during the weekend. However, not everyone is mindful of healthy eating habits on the weekend. It is during weekends that many meet up with their friends and attend parties. Even in such scenarios, ensure that you do not compromise, try to keep your healthy weekend going. Eat only the portions recommended for healthy living. To add some spice to your weekend and change out the monotonous weekly schedule, you can try cooking different meals, or teach your children how to cook and have them prepare weekend meals. Whatever the case keep the weekends free of that greasy fast food mentality of the busy week and take time to prepare healthy meals for you and your family.

Sports

Sports are also a good way to brighten up your weekend and an amazing way to stay healthy. The week’s responsibilities will rarely give you an opportunity to engage in sporting activities. There are so many offerings for different sports for all age levels in all communities. If your wondering where to look for these activities you can start with your local Parks and Recreation department that should have a guide of their offerings. Often this will include fitness classes like yoga, pilates, low impact exercise, swimming, running, and skating.

The next place you can look is your local YMCA which will have an even more expanded list of programs that you can try. Lastly, there are many options for private local gyms in most area’s. I would check these out last as they are usually more expensive and not as community involved. Make sure you keep the kids active in local sports you will find by keeping them active you will stay more active. Parents are asked to be involved in the kids sports in some way, either coaching or officiating. If your wondering where to look for your children’s sports try local soccer, hockey, swimming, gymnastics, or baseball clubs in your area.

healthy living with the familyWeekend Workout

Other than losing weight, research has shown that working out also helps in the functionality of the brain. It is, therefore, a very useful healthy living activity to engage in during the weekends. Maybe the weekend is the only time you have some free time to go the gym or workout.

Don’t let that time pass you by, get off the couch and got to your home gym or the gym around the corner and workout. Make sure you lift weights that you have been cleared to lift safely. A good workout will aid in your strength and your endurance. Working with weights is a anaerobic type of exercise that will aid you in your strength and will attack your waist line by chewing up calories. Regardless if your workout is aerobic like running, biking etc. or anaerobic you will want to stay properly nutritioned, and most importantly hydrated. Drink lots and lots of water, before, after and during activities.

Hot Tub in The Evening

Family hot tubOne way to really wind it down after a day of activity and challenging your body is in your own personal hot tub. The soothing warm water will take care of your mind and body. The hot tub will rejuvenate your body and set you up for an awesome evening of sleep. You will want to make sure you have a hot tub cover lifter for your hot tub cover, so you are more apt to use the hot tub. Add some aromatherapy to your spa water as well. You can use the liquid or the crystal aromatherapy to take it to that next level. The RX series of aromatherapies would be the perfect choice and follow our guide to healthy living.

Time to get Healthy

It is your responsibility create a healthy living environment for you and your family. This is especially important during the weekends. You, therefore, need to be keen on how you spend your weekend time. Remember we are only scratching the surface here. Take a good look at your community, I think you will be surprised at what is there for you to enjoy. Parks, programs, fresh markets, pathways, rinks, ski hills and much more await you and your family!

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Why Not Go on a Hot Tub Staycation?]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4471/ 2017-03-18T17:27:01Z 2017-03-18T17:27:01Z You own a hot tub, people assume that every day is like a vacation. And they are not too far wrong, you have a hot tub staycation right in your own home.

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Hot Tub Staycation

When you own a hot tub, people assume that every day is like a vacation. And they are not too far wrong, you have a hot tub staycation right in your own home. Had a long day at the office? Got stuck in traffic? Had to referee a fight between the kids one too many times? Just pop out back and into the hot tub and be transported (mentally, at least) to alpine slopes or gulf coast resorts.

While a hot tub definitely makes it easier to maintain a laid back lifestyle, it isn’t the same as an actual holiday. Going away, even if just for the weekend, can give you a much needed break from routine. But travel can sometimes be more stressful and tiring than the daily grind. How often do people get back from a weekend away more tired and stressed out than when they left?

Many of us have tried to get the best of both worlds by taking a stay at home vacation – a ‘stay-cation’ if you will. This almost always results in a less than stellar experience. Usually because we pay too much attention to the ‘stay’ and not enough to the ‘-cation’. With a bit of planning and the right mindset, though, a hot tub centered stay-cation can be the perfect mix of home and away.

Food

One of the things that makes travelling on holidays special is eating different foods, or even just eating food you didn’t have to cook. Taking a vacation at home but cooking your meals like usual or eating at the same restaurants you usually eat at makes it no vacation at all.

Just Eat in StaycationLook around in advance of your stay-cation and pick out a few new restaurants to try. Look into arranging for a meal delivery service for a few days. There are all sorts of eat in order online services now that bring in more then just pizza. Like Food Panda and Just Eat In are great services to spice up diner on a hot tub staycation. If neither of those are an option, search a few recipes for dishes you’ve never had before and try making something new. The important thing here is to break up your routine so you feel like you really are on vacation.

The Full Spa Treatment

There are few things in this world that go more naturally with a soak in the hot tub than a professional massage. Most holiday destinations with hot tubs offer massages for that very reason.

For one day of your staycation, why not devote yourself to the full spa treatment – right in your home. Hire a professional masseur or masseuse for an in home massage. Do a full mani-pedi. Exfoliate! If you can’t get these professional in home services in your area, you and your spouse can take turns providing each other with the amateur version. Sometimes that can be more fun than a professional anyway.

Be a Tourist

be a tourist in your own hometownEvery place in the world has things to see and do that outsiders would find fascinating and locals don’t even notice. Find those things in your part of the world, and then see and do them.

  • Look online for the things tourists do when they come to town
  • Check with your local Chamber of Commerce or Tourism Board for ideas
  • Just go for a walk or a drive in parts of town you don’t often visit and pretend you’re from somewhere else.

This can help you feel you’ve really gone somewhere else, and can also give you a new appreciation for where you live once you “get back”.

Making a stay at home hot tub vacation work is pretty simple, really. Just make sure to give enough attention to the ‘-cation” and let the ‘stay’ take care of itself.

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[How to Build Hot Tub Steps – A Step by Step Guide]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4394/ 2017-03-07T13:44:32Z 2017-03-07T13:44:32Z How to Build Hot Tub Steps - A Step by Step Guide - some lovely, sturdy hot tub steps. A great DIY project and a great way to customize your hot tub area.

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Although we don’t have definitive statistics (97% of statistics are made up on the spot), The Cover Guy suspects that steps are probably the most often overlooked hot tub accessory. When most people buy a new spa they make sure they have everything they are going to need:

  • Cover lifter? Check.
  • Water chemicals? Check.
  • Cool floating rubber ducky with a built-in FM radio? Check.

But then they go to use their tub for the first time and… steps to get into the hot tub? Oops.

If you find yourself trying to use your hot tub without steps you may soon realize that they aren’t really an “optional” option with most spas. If you have an above ground hot tub you really need a safe and easy way to get in and out. That means sturdy, non-slip steps. It’s great if they look nice, too.

This leaves you with two options: buy some steps, or build some steps. There are tons of options of hot tub steps to buy, but if you need an excuse to pull out the tools, or you just want something more customized for your hot tub space building is the answer.

hot tub step How to Build Hot Tub Steps

Building steps for your hot tub is an easy DIY project depending on how elaborate you go. The nice thing about building your own hot tub or spa steps is that you can build them as big or small as you want. For most hot tubs the building of steps is just building two boxes. However, you can completely customize this area of your hot tub and make all kinds of different entry steps.

  • First you’ll need to choose some wood. You’ll need to choose wood that looks good. Matches or compliments the color of your spa and your house. and that will weather well over time. Redwood and cedar are both good choices, as is kiln-hardened Douglas fir.
  • Once you’ve picked out your wood, you’ll need to cut from a 2×6 4 stringers, and 4 pieces to use as the sides, depending on how tall the side of your hot tub is. Lastly, you will need 4 pieces of 2×4 cut for the treads.
    • Cut the stringers to the width you want the hot tub step to be. The hot tub step can be as wide or narrow as you like.
    • Next cut the 4 pieces for your sides. If its going to be two steps then you need two cut at 14″ and two cut at 7″
    • Lastly, cut your treads to the same length as your stringers plus 5″
    • Build two boxes using wood screws and wood glue, and stack them like in the picture above
    • Using screws and glue attach the two boxes like the above picture
    • Attach two treads per level of step centering them and leaving a small gap between each tread. Use wood glue and screws.
    • Remember measure twice, cut once.
  • Note its a great idea to attach the steps firmly to both the side of the hot tub and to the decking using mounting brackets and screws. If your tub rests on something other than wooden decking, you’ll need to attach it to the ground in some other way.

 

New Hot Tub Steps

And there you have it – some lovely, sturdy hot tub steps. A few more points to consider, though. If you already have the skills and tools necessary to build these steps you probably don’t need these instructions. Maybe if you do need these instructions, you probably don’t have the skills or tools (yet) to build these steps.

If you choose to build hot tub steps because you want to develop some DIY and carpentry skills, or because you want an excuse to buy some neat tools, great! If you are trying to follow these instructions because you want a set of hot tub steps… you might want to check out option 2.

All kidding aside if your hot tub area needs something more custom building your own hot tub steps is a great answer.

hot tub storage stepBuying Hot Tub Steps

Hot tub steps come in a wide variety of colors and styles, and are made of several different materials including wood, stone, and high-grade plastics. They are available with or without built-in storage. The Cover Guy carries a great selection of hot tub steps at great prices, which you can browse here. If you want steps more than carpentry skills, this is the better option.

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Hot Tub Use – How Often Will You Use Your New Hot Tub?]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4378/ 2017-03-04T13:29:04Z 2017-03-04T13:29:04Z Asked about hot tub use most hot tubers pick their spouse, or children to use it with. Tubs are not smart-phone friendly so its great family time.

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Hot Tub Use

So, you’re thinking about buying a hot tub,

Maybe you have friends who own a tub. Maybe you’ve recently been on a cruise or vacationed at a resort that had hot tubs. Perhaps you’ve just seen hot tubs in movies and on TV shows and thought it would be great to have one of your own. You’ve done your research. You’ve looked into all the models and sizes and styles. But you’re still left with the one question that none of that research can answer for you; “how often am I really going to use it?”

Or maybe you bought a hot tub a while ago. You used it pretty frequently for a few months, but gradually began to use it less and less. Surveys show that most hot tub owners actually use their tubs more often than they thought they would, but some people don’t find hot tubbing a natural fit with their lifestyle. If this is you, you might be asking, “Why don’t I use my hot tub as much as I thought I would?”

To figure out how frequently you are likely to use a hot tub, or to find ways to use your old hot tub more often, take an honest look at your current lifestyle. Then look at the different ways other people use their hot tubs, and look for places where those two things intersect. For example:

Chronic Conditions or Injury Treatment

A significant percentage of hot tub owners use their tubs to treat chronic conditions such as arthritis or back pain. Many active people, especially ‘weekend warriors’, use theirs to treat the pulls, sprains and other minor injuries they collect on their adventures.

If you or the members of your family are dealing with chronic ailments or take part in strenuous activities that frequently result in minor injuries, a hot tub has an obvious place in your life.

hot tub useDe-stressing and Relaxing

Easily the most common hot tub use owners cite for their hot tubs is simply to unwind and relax. A soak in a hot tub has long been known to reduce tension, relieve stress, and promote relaxation. Perhaps that’s why the most common time for most hot tub owners to use their tub is not on the weekends or after work. Actually, the most common time to use a hot tub is right before bed.

Going to bed already relaxed and comfortable means falling asleep more quickly, and sleeping more deeply, resulting in a more restful sleep. Most of us know that we should be getting more sleep. If we’re honest we could probably do with better sleep as well.

Family Bonding Time

Hot Tub Family time The movies portray hot tubs as a place for the devilishly handsome secret agent to meet ladies. Either that or as somewhere for out of control college kids to cut loose. The reality tends to follow a different script.

When asked about their hot tub use and who they prefer hot tubbing with, most hot tub owners pick their spouse, followed by their children. Hot tubs don’t tend to be very smart-phone friendly, and few people keep a television near their hot tub. A soak together with family is a great time to catch up on each other’s news and spend time together, not just spend time in the same room.

So if you’ve got a family you’d like to spend more time with, if you have a bad back or bad joints or tend to overdo it on the weekends, or just need to relax on the regular, the answer to your question is probably “More often than I think.”

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[How to Build a Wood Fired Hot Tub]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4429/ 2017-02-27T10:44:50Z 2017-02-27T10:44:50Z They are turning back the clock and choosing simplicity and peace over convenience and immediacy. They are choosing to use a wood-fired hot tub. Some of them are even choosing to build their own.

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A hot tub is a fundamentally simple thing. All it really has to do is hold hot water and people. But of course, water doesn’t heat itself, so the hot tub needs a heater. The people using the tub also leave dirt and oils in the water. That feeds bacteria, which can make the tub smell bad and even harm the health of bathers. You could replace the water every few times you use it, but heating the water is expensive.

You also need a filtration system and anti-bacterial chemicals. Also, it can take hours to heat up a whole tub full of water, and you want to soak when you want to soak. So you will want to keep the tub at bathing temperature all the time. That means a thermostat to control the heater, and top notch thermal insulation for the top and cover, to keep the heat in when you aren’t using it. That simple hot tub is not so simple, anymore.

Some folks are deciding to re-simplify things, though. They are turning back the clock and choosing simplicity and peace over convenience and immediacy. They are choosing to use a wood-fired hot tub. Some of them are even choosing to build their own.

If you’re considering building your own wood-fired tub, there are a few decisions to make long before you pick up the tools.

You’ll need to decide what to make the actual tub out of, first of all. You’ll also need to decide what sort of heating system to use. There are two main types of wood-burning heating systems to choose from, and a bit of ingenuity can turn almost anything into the tub. It just needs to be large enough and be able to hold hot water without leaking.

fired up hot tubChoosing Your Tub Material

Although self-built, wood-fired hot tubs aren’t exactly common yet, there are a few trends in choice of tub material among those who have built their own. In the end it’s mostly going to come down to how you want it to look, and how skilled you are with the tools.

Many people are choosing to go with large stock tanks – the kind used to provide water to cattle. These can be found in either rubberized plastic or galvanized steel. The size and shape you choose will depend on how and who will be using it. A thin narrow tank is better for solo soaking, because they are easier to heat and use less water. A round tank works better for when multiple people will be using the tub at the same time.

wood fired hot tubIf you are handy with the tools and insist that the finished product look high-end rather than strictly functional, you can choose to make the tub yourself out of wood. Cedar is a great choice of wood for this. It weathers well, smells great, and swells as it soaks up water, sealing the joins in the boards tightly against leaking. It also looks good, and there’s a pretty good chance you can find a selection that will coordinate with your decking and siding. There are many DIY websites that will guide you through the process of building your own wooden tub. There are also kits available that supply all you need to build your new hot tub.

How an external wood fired hot tub worksChoosing Your Heating Method

There are really two ways to heat your wood fired hot tub; with an internal burner, and with an external burner.

An internal burner, often called a snorkel stove, is the most efficient way to heat your tub. The burner is usually made of galvanized aluminum. It is completely sealed except for the top, where the wood goes in and the smoke comes out. The whole unit sits in the water, which allows the entire surface of the sides to transfer heat to the water.

An external burner sits, as the name suggests, outside your tub. It works by piping water from the tub, through pipes that are heated by the fire, and then back into the tub. When properly built, the water circulates through the system by convection. This means you don’t need a pump, but it also means the tub will heat slowly.

Both heating methods are effective, and both mean that you don’t need any electricity to enjoy a nice hot soak. The cover guy recommends that you purchase a specially built wood-fired hot tub heater rather than attempting to build your own from scratch. Unless you are a qualified welder/engineer there is simply too much that could go wrong trying to DIY a wood-burning furnace.

A Simpler Way to Soak

You may have noticed that so far there’s been no mention of filters or chemicals. Because wood-fired tubs are generally smaller than electric tubs, and because they are more “hands on” to use, the water is usually replaced rather than filtered and treated. Using the tub once a day, you can generally expect to drain and refill the tub every week or so. Because the water doesn’t have any of the traditional chemicals added to it, it can be used to water lawns and gardens.

Many people who have switched to a wood burner say that what they really like about them is the sense of ritual involved in their use. They enjoy the process and the effort involved in getting the tub ready for a soak. Studies show that living more intentionally and with greater presence has positive health benefits, so chalk up one more thing in the hot tub win column.

People moving to the Wood Fired Hot Tub also like the idea of no toxic chemicals using only a little hydrogen peroxide to lengthen the use of the water in the tub.

More Building Details

If you do decide to DIY yourself a wood fired hot tub, here are some resources to help you out.

Here’s a breakdown of how to build your own wood fired hot tub. Complete with videos explaining the entire build. How to build a wood fired hot tub. There can be some fairly complicated joinery involved in this one though, so proceed with caution. If you enjoy the rustic, “back yard engineer” aesthetic, here is a pared down version of the stock tank model.

Wood Fired Hot Tub Covers

If you decide that a wood fired hot tub is for you. You will still need a good hot tub cover to help hold in the heat you have created. And also, to keep the debris out of your hot tub. You can build your wood fired hot tub cover here on The Cover Guy website.

Wood Fired Hot Tub

A self-built, wood fired hot tub certainly isn’t for everybody. The building of it can be risky and sometimes difficult, and there’s no guarantee of an attractive, or even a working end product. Running a wood fired hot tub also means less convenience and more effort. For those who make the switch, though, it’s worth it for the sense of self-sufficiency and the back-to-basics feel of the experience. At the end of the day, it’s the experience that matters.

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Spa Hot Tub Umbrella and Gazebo’s – Great Hot Tub Upgrades]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4408/ 2017-02-23T13:06:59Z 2017-02-23T13:06:59Z If your thinking of a spa hot tub umbrella or Gazebo you are on the path to an even more enjoyable hot tub spa area. Having your hot tub or spa out in the open...

Read More

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If your thinking of a spa hot tub umbrella or Gazebo you are on the path to an even more enjoyable hot tub spa area. Having your hot tub or spa out in the open is nice rustic and maybe the way it’s suppose to be. Having said that after having my last spa under the protection of a gazebo has been awesome. You have 365 days of usage that’s number one, but you also get to enjoy the hot tub with no wet cold yucky precipitation falling on you.

The other factor to consider when you purchase a spa hot tub umbrella or gazebo, is you cover from the sun. sitting out in the hot tub for an extended period of time might lend itself to a sunburn or two.

There are a couple of ways to avoid this problem, though. You can put up a gazebo, or you can get a really big umbrella.

Gazebos

hot tub in a gazeboGazebos, pergolas, pavilions… it doesn’t really matter what name you use, they all improve your hot tubbing experience in a number of ways.

  • They provide shade on sunny days, of course, helping avoid the pain of a full-body sunburn in January.
  • They also help provide shelter from the wind and keep dust, dirt, and debris out of your hot tub.
  • A gazebo designed specifically with hot tubbing in mind might also include changing alcoves so people can hop into their bathing suits in relative privacy.
  • Built in hooks or pegs can also give tubers somewhere to hang a towel or a change of clothes.

One other key benefit to a gazebo is that, if designed and built properly, they can be very attractive and can add quite a bit of value to your home.

If you have the space, and the money, building a gazebo can be a great option. You can hire a local contractor to do the work, or, if you like a significant amount of DIY, you could build it yourself. You can find a variety of gazebo plans here, and some tips and advice for the building process here.

If you are going to build a gazebo, check to see if you need planning permission first, and what codes and regulations you’ll need to meet in the building. Also make sure to use pressure treated lumber, as it will weather better and resist damp and rot.

The other option for a Gazebo for your hot tub or spa is a synthetic version with little to no maintenance. These Gazebo’s are made to surround your hot tub or spa and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and options.

Hot Tub UmbrellaSpa Hot Tub Umbrella

If, like most of us, you don’t have room for a small building around your hot tub. Or maybe a gazebo seems like more effort than it’s worth. You might want to think about a spa hot tub umbrella. A spa hot tub umbrella is fantastic and can be positioned wherever you need it. So you can have shade, sun, or a combination of the two with a couple cranks of a handle. These ones look pretty good next to most spas, and best of all, you can close them and tuck them away when you aren’t using them.

Whatever your solution, The Cover Guy wishes you safe tubbing, whatever the weather.

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The Cover Guy http://thecoverguy.com <![CDATA[Hot Tub Aromatherapy – Does Your Hot Tub Smell Nice? It Should.]]> https://www.thecoverguy.com/backyard-blast/?p=4403/ 2017-02-17T17:36:21Z 2017-02-17T17:36:21Z Enhance your hot tub with designed for hot tubs hot tub aromatherapy scents, they will certainly help you relax, help improve your mood, and sleep better

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You had a long, nasty day at work. Traffic was horrible. You burnt your dinner, and then your cat threw up on your just folded laundry.

You’ve felt under the weather for days now, or maybe even weeks. Nothing specific, really, you’ve just been just low energy and irritable. Every little thing seems to rub you the wrong way and you feel like you’re reaching the end of your tether. Even your dog doesn’t want to be around you these days.

You haven’t been sleeping very well. You’ve tried everything; warm milk before bed, listening to soothing music and nature sounds CDs, you even got one of those scalp massager thingies that’s supposed to give you the sleep of angels. Nothing. You toss and turn all night, and wake up feeling more tired than you did when you went to bed.

A nice long soak in the hot tub would probably help. A nice, long, scented soak in the hot tub would probably help even more.

This is where hot tub aromatherapy comes in.

Hot Tub Aromatherapy

Now, there isn’t any scientific evidence to support some of the loftier claims made for aromatherapy. Scents can’t fight infection or heal burns or cure diseases. Some essential oils might be helpful, but you don’t want to put oil in your hot tub.

Eucalyptus Mint Aromatherapy insparationWhat you can put in your hot tub is special, designed-for-hot-tubs aromatherapy scents. They won’t fight your infections or heal your cuts faster, but they will certainly help you relax, help you improve your mood, increase your ability to handle stress, and allow you to sleep better at night. They also won’t destroy your hot tub the way essential oils will*.

Hot tub aromatherapy products come in a few different forms; liquids, crystals, and bead. The Cover Guy carries two of the leading brands – inSPAration, and Spazazz. They are specially formulated to provide long lasting fragrance with no residue and without taxing your water chemicals unduly. They come in a variety of scents for a variety of moods, and most contain added vitamins to help with skin health.

Here are some of the more common scents used in aromatherapy, and what they are good for.

Jasmine

If you’re having a bad day and feeling stressed out, jasmine is just the thing. It invokes the feeling of warm, sultry southern nights and quiet tropical islands. This is a scent that works for relaxation in a tub for one, but is also perfect in a tub for two.

Eucalyptus Mint

If you’re feeling low energy and full of the blahs, Eucalyptus Mint might just add some pep to your step. A mild stimulant, mint can improve alertness and concentration, as well as giving off a clean, fresh smell.

SpaZazz Lavender AromatherapyLavender

If you can’t sleep, lavender is the scent for you. This pretty, purple plant has been used as a sedative and sleep aid for thousands of years. Lavender is a scent that can help you relax, and prepare you to drift off into a gloriously relaxing night’s sleep.

Smell is the one sense that connects most closely with our memories and emotions. Hot tub aromatherapy products are the best way to leverage that connection for maximum relaxation.

*Seriously. Don’t put oil in your hot tub. Ever.

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