There’s a lot of cheap spa covers out there. Do a Google search for discount spa covers and you’re hit with some pretty low prices. $195 for a spa cover?
How can you sell a spa cover so cheaply? To sell cheap spa covers, you have to make cheap spa covers.
In the interest of science (and corporate espionage), we ordered a few of these discount spa covers, to see what they’re made of, and how they’re made. We were pretty excited when these 2 covers arrived at our offices, ready for their dissection. What we found however, was nothing short of shocking…
Manufacture of a Cheap Spa Cover
Let’s start with the foam, that’s where the cost cutting begins, by using a cheaper grade of extruded polystyrene, more prone to premature water absorption and breakdown. Secondly is the rigid support channel that runs across the fold, instead of using steel, substitute the cheaper aluminum, or even use PVC. Third, use a thinner foam core wrap to save more money – 3 mil wrap is much cheaper by the roll than 6 mil wrap. Cheaper zippers and scrim, cheaper thread used for stitching and cheaper vinyl used for covering, are other ways that a spa cover can be made more cheaply.
Or more accurately, a lack of workmanship or craftsmanship. A cheap spa cover looks like a cheap suit. Not a good fit, poor stitching, and the liner hanging loosely inside. These spa tops had single stitching (not even straight), taped or stapled seams (not heat welded), loose fitting foam core wrap, and lightweight hinges or support channels. The vinyl is a single ply (no backing), and is as thin as you would expect. The weight of these spa covers – incredibly lightweight. That’s because they are made of cheaper, thinner and well, much less material.
Question: If a spa cover has a warranty is for 5 years, and is pro-rated, and you have to pay to ship it back (both ways), is it really a warranty? Most of these so called warranties on these cheap spa covers only cover defects in materials or workmanship for one year. Longer warranties can be pro-rated so heavily that it makes the shipping costs prohibitive. And be sure to read the fine print, the exclusions, and you’ll find that most damage to the spa cover is not even covered.
Question: If you can’t even get in touch with them, how are going to lodge a warranty claim anyway? Many low budget spa cover dealers shave costs by not having customer service staff, or spa cover designers that you can speak with, chat with, or get a fast email reply from. They may or may not have a sales line, answered by a call center – somewhere, which will be “happy to take [another] message for you”.
Even local dealers are getting in on this disposable spa cover market, advertising ‘basic’ spa covers, in only two or three sizes. Don’t buy a spa cover that isn’t an exact match to your specific spa. Color doesn’t matter, but a proper fit is essential to keeping your spa hot and as energy efficient as possible. Spa covers that don’t fit perfectly are also more susceptible to damage to the foam core.
How to Make a Good Spa Cover
Making a quality spa cover is what we do at Hot Tub Works. We’re proud of our materials and craftsmanship, and the reviews we get from satisfied spa cover customers say the same thing. And with prices starting at $269, you don’t have to shell out big bucks for a good spa cover.
Here’s how to make a spa cover that won’t fall apart in a year or two. These are some of the things that sets our spa covers apart from the “competition”.
- Our spa covers meet or exceed ASTM safety standards
- Computer aided design and manufacture process
- 30 oz Marine Grade Vinyl is super tough
- Double stitched with heavy Dacron thread, Quadruple stitched hinges
- Vacuum heat sealed 6 mil Double-Ply foam core wrap
- 20 ga. steel reinforcement channel on both spa cover halves
- 5 year warranty, non-prorated, covering water absorption and shipping
- Free shipping on every spa cover