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Alfresco Life Blog

14th December
Posted on 14th December, 2016 by Francesca

It is almost the end of 2016.  What has the year been like for you? 

If you have become a new owner of a hot tub then we hope that you have enjoyed the change in lifestyle that they bring.   You have probably enjoyed many hours of relaxation, perhaps you are sleeping better at night or maybe your aching muscles after a day gardening have been soothed. Hot Tub with Decking

Although we may make it look easy the installation of a Sundance Spas hot tub is no mean feat and so we have enjoyed relaxing at the end of the day and soothing our aching muscles especially after a tricky installation.Hot Tub Spa wedge Delivery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have had a few changes this year in the field and in the office.  Out in the field we now have Martin taking care of hot tub service we Glen taking care of repairs and the odd service.  Our uPVC window and door branch of the business (Alfresco Life Windows and Conservatories) has had some changes too with the addition of another family member (Glen’s brother in law) to assist with installation of windows, doors and conservatories. 

To support the changes in the field we have had a shake-up in the office too and we are glad to welcome Francesca back, she is manning the phones and the diary so a bit of calm and organisation has been restored.  As if she isn’tLife At A Gallop  busy enough keeping the boys in check she has been extra busy setting up Life At A Gallop; a new equestrian and lifestyle online store and blog.  To complement that there is a selection of her items on display in the garden centre.


We hope that all the changes haven’t impacted too greatly on our customer service but if you feel it has please accept our sincere apologises and take advantage of the gift voucher code that can be found at the bottom of this blog or on the recent email we sent you.  We take our customer service and after sales care very seriously and we don’t like to think anyone is feeling disappointed or neglected.

 

Now that our new team is settled our aim is to make a successful transition into 2017.  We'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Please accept this coupon code FESTIVE5 as a gift of £5.00.  This code can be redeemed online or in store. Minimum spend online £20.00 to activate the code. 

Posted in General
21st November
Posted on 21st November, 2016 by Francesca

Where did it come from?

The term “Black Friday” dates back to the 1920s and there are several trains of thought.  Some think it referred to businesses coming out of the “red” and into the “black” as the Christmas shopping season began after Thanksgiving.  Others say it was how the police used to describe the Friday after Thanksgiving as the traffic congestion was so bad.  Perhaps it is a combination of many ideas but the Friday after Thanksgiving has been unofficially known as the start of the Christmas shopping season since 1924 when the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade began.

The popularity of Black Friday grew in the US as retailers realised they could draw in their customers by offering exclusive pre-Christmas discounts.  There has been footage of people fighting over toys and televisions desperate to get a bargain.

In the UK Black Friday hasn’t really been much of a feature.  We have become familiar with it through online shopping on sites such as Amazon and now over the past few years we have seen the Black Friday theme pop up on our high street too.  Thankfully in UK we have managed to restrain ourselves from fighting over items in the shopping aisles. 

The biggest excitement with Black Friday is that the retailers keep their discounts under wraps until the shops open their doors.  Will you be taking advantage of the Black Friday offer this year?  Electrical items are usually those with the biggest savings.  Maybe you are going to treat yourself to the latest panoramic screen television so that you can lie back of the sofa over the Christmas holidays and relax watching some films.  Or maybe you need a new fridge freezer or washing machine.

Imagine that you have dreamed of having your own area of peace and tranquillity in your garden.  A place you can go and relax and unwind and sink into the warm hydrotherapeutic water of a hot tub.  This need not be a dream anymore as we will be revealing our Black Friday discounts very soon. 

Black Friday Coming Soon 

Join our mailing list to make sure you don’t miss out on the latest information.

Posted in General
21st November
Posted on 21st November, 2016 by Francesca

Are you thinking about buying a hot tub? 

Maybe you have been on holiday where a hot tub was available to use and you enjoyed it so much you would like one in your garden to use all the time.  Or maybe you have a friend with one and you like the idea but you’re not sure if it is for you so you are carrying out some of your own research.  You may have problems with your health and found the spending time in warm water helps.  Whatever your reasons it can be a daunting task selecting the perfect hot tub partner for you and your family.

 

There is no doubt about it hot tubs have been a popular addition to gardens throughout the UK with 10% of households in the country owning one.  With upwards of 30 different brands of hot tub available to choose from, how do you know which brand is the right one for you?

 

Researching Hot Tub Brands - Online

 

If you type “what hot tub brand should I buy” into Google you are provided with a number of sites that provide you with hints, tips and things to consider before making a purchase so read them.  Most reputable brands and independent hot tub businesses will provide some form of information on their websites about their brand and things to think about.

 

Researching Hot Tub Brands – Instore

 

Now that you have familiarised yourself with some of the brands take a look to see what is available in your local area.  Most hot tub outlets will travel 30-50 miles to an installation.  This is a suitable distance to maintain good after sales customer service.

 

Make a Short List

 

Visit the hot tub outlets that stock the brand/brands you are more interested in to find out more about the brand and the company.  Remember, a well established hot tub outlet with good support from the manufacturer and good after sales care is as important as the hot tub brand.

 

Have you thought about why you want a hot tub?

 

This question is something to think about as it is likely to affect your choice of size, the amount you wish to spend and the features available.

 

 

Hot Tub Stress Relief

 

 

 

Making a Purchase

Whilst hot tubs are available to buy online it is good idea to see brand and company you are buying from in person.  A good hot tub outlet with good customer service will put together a package specifically for you.  This will include as much or as little as you need.  It may include the concrete base, electrical supply or other ground work as well as your hot tub, starter chemicals, steps, cover lifter.  They will be able to visit your home to see where you would like your hot tub situated and ensure that on the day of installation everything goes smoothly.  They will be able to advise you on the location of the hot tub within your garden, the size and shape suitable for you and your family. 

 

Questions to ask

 

  • What kind of warranty does the brand come with?

All Sundance Spas hot tubs come with a well supported manufacturer’s warranty that provides up to 10yrs cover on the shell and 2yrs on cabinetry, jets, equipment, controls, plumbing and cover.  All parts and labour costs are covered.  Most other brands will come with something similar but remember the warranty is only as good as the ability of the manufacturer to support it.

  • What are the approximate running costs?

The running costs will vary depending on the hot tub insulation, the type of electrical connection, how often it is being used, the quality of the insulation cover and hot tub build.  All Sundance Spas hot tubs have a Rigid Bond™ shell construction, full foam insulation, a 1.5 pound foam density cover, efficient jet pumps.

  • How easy is it to maintain?

All hot tubs require some form of maintenance with the regular addition of chemicals.  The key is finding a hot tub with excellent water filtration and purification systems built in so that the amount of maintenance and addition of chemicals you are required to do is minimal

  • What size is suitable for me?

You need to think about how many people are going to be using the the hot tub together on a regular basis.  If you are planning to party with your friends then an open seated large hot tub will be for you.  If it is just you and your husband/wife/partner then perhaps a smaller hot tub model with a lounger may be more suitable.  Think about the height of your family member too.  You will all need room to stretch out and relax

  • Brand new or pre-owned

If you are choosing a quality brand then you may be able to grab yourself a bargain with a pre-owned model.  Reputable hot tub outlets will provide an in house warranty for the first 6 months.Pre-Owned 880 Series Optima

  • Payment options

You will most likely be required to pay a deposit at the point of ordering with the balance due just before or on the day of delivery.  Ask if your hot tub outlet provides finance options.  You may get the opportunity to take advantage of buy now pay later or interest free finance.

 

Try before you buy

 

You are about to make a considerable investment if you are unsure ask if you can have a try.  If you don’t fancy taking a dip at your local showroom at least take a seat in a dry model.  Some years ago I wanted to purchase a new car, I had my mind made up on a particular brand and model and so one Saturday afternoon I went out to make my purchase.  When I got to the showroom I was offered a test drive so just to enjoy the experience I agreed.  The car I had my heart set on didn’t live up to my expectations.  I couldn’t get comfortable in the seat and didn’t enjoy the experience at all.  This brand just wasn’t for me.

 

Good luck with your purchase and if you are local to us then pop in a look and we will be happy to show you are brand and answer any questions you may have.

Posted in Hot Tubs
19th November
Posted on 19th November, 2016 by Francesca

Hot Tub, Jacuzzi, Spa, Whirlpool which is it?

Let’s set the record straight. 

According to the Oxford English Dictionary online a hot tub is “a large tub filled with hot aerated water used by one or more people for recreation or physical therapy.” 

A spa on the other hand has a number of meanings such as “a mineral spring considered to have health-giving properties”; “a place or resort with a mineral spring”; “a commercial establishment offering health and beauty treatment through such means as steam baths, exercise equipment, and massage” and finally “a bath containing hot aerated water.” 

Water Whirlpool A whirlpool is defined as “a quickly rotating mass of water in a river or sea into which objects may be drawn, typically caused by the meeting of conflicting currents” or “a heated pool in which hot aerated water is continuously circulated.”

Looking at these definitions you can see why they all might be used to describe the same thing.  They are all directing us to use natural water therapies and massage to aid healing and relaxation.

Today the words or phrases hot tub, spa and whirlpool are interchangeable, with the former two being most popular.  We use them on a daily basis to describe a molded tub containing warm water and a jetting system that can be used for hydrotherapy, relaxation and socialising. 

There are many different brands of hot tub or spa available; Sundance Spas, Hotspring Spas and Jacuzzi are among the largest brands worldwide.  So, Jacuzzi is a brand of hot tub much like a Hoover is a brand of vacuum cleaner.

So where did the hot tub as we know it now begin? 

For centuries the human race has been aware that there are therapeutic and healing benefits to bathing in warm water.  Greeks, Romans and Egyptians all used the healing powers of water therapy but it wasn’t until the 1950s that the real seed was planted to today’s hot tub.  Two brothers with the surname Jacuzzi invented a pump capable or harnessing the power of water to help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis for a family member.  The pumps were then used to power small pools of warm water usually located at the end of a garden swimming pool. 

A few years further on (1979) and the start of Sundance Spas hot tubs began.  An acrylic molded spa with a water filtration system jets designed to target specific muscles groups was built.  Sundance Spas Aquajet Hot TubIt was called the AquaJet and provided hydrotherapy to patients who require rehabilitation following a trauma.  Since then Sundance Spas have been leading the way in hot tub design and technology with many industry firsts achieved.  Today 37 year on they still manufacture with the same 5 core values of Style, Comfort, Quality, Pure Water and Patented Hyrdrotherapy in mind.

If you want to find out more about the Sundance Spas hot tub models available please browse our site, call in for a chat or join our mailing list to keep up with the latest information on new products and special offers.

Posted in Hot Tubs
22nd March
Posted on 22nd March, 2016 by Francesca

It’s hard to believe we are almost a quarter of the way through 2016.  With the first day of spring behind us and the Easter weekend in a few days, it’s time (if you haven't already!) to get out into your garden and start preparing for the Easter break and the summer.

If you are already the proud owner of a hot tub then it is probably time to give it the once over.  You may not have used it much over the winter so a good spring clean will be necessary.  Here is a quick guide on how to clean your hot tub.

Rubber Gloves

  • Remove the cover and check the stitching and handles for wear and tear.  Wash the underside with a very dilute bleach or chlorine solution.  This will kill and remove any mould spores.  Clean the exterior will a mild soap solution, taking care to rinse thoroughly.  Top tip, an old tooth brush is good for cleaning any dirt off the stitching.
  • We suggest adding a hot tub flush, such as AquaSparkle Hot Tub Flush, before draining the water this will clear out your pipes of any build-up of calcium and biofilm.
  • Turn off the power to your hot tub.
  • Drain the water, this can be done by either using a submersible pump or the spas inbuilt drain valve.
  • Remove the headrests/pillows and wash with a mild soap solution, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.
  • Remove the filter.  If you have a reusable pleated filter put this in to soak in a filter cleaner, such as AquaSparkle Filter Immerse.  Any Sundance Spas owners with  Microclean 1 filters older than 3 months old should replace these.  Microcleanplus filters older than 9 months should also be disposed and replaced and Microclean Ultra inner filters older than 6 months replaced.
  • The inside shell of the hot tub should be cleaned with a hot tub cleaner such as AquaSparkle Surface Cleaner.  Use a soft none abrasive cloth to apply and remove any water or scum lines.  Rinse thoroughly and remove as much of the dirty water as possible.
  • If you cabinetry is synthetic this can be cleaned with a soft cloth and mild soap solution.
  • Refill with fresh water, insert your cleaned or new filter and switch on the power.
  • Check your chemical levels and adjust as necessary.
  • Before replacing the cleaned pillows and cover, treat with a protectant such as Aerospace 303.  This will help seal and protect from chemicals and the weather.  You can give your cabinet a once over with the cloth used to apply to the 303 to the pillows and cover.

If this all seems a bit much and you just want to jump into the clean, warm bubbling waters and relax then why not take advantage of our popular Spring Clean Service offer.  For just £199.00 we will give your hot tub a thorough clean and once over for you.

Posted in Hot Tubs
23rd November
Posted on 23rd November, 2015 by Francesca

Black Friday is only a few days away and we are excited to say Cheshire’s premier hot tub store Alfresco Life is taking part!

Black Friday

Working together with our Sundance Spas UK supplier we will be offering thousands of pounds worth of discounts across our 880, 780 and 680 series ranges of spas.  Our Black Friday hot tub discounts will go live at 9am on Friday 27 November 2015 and continue through the weekend until 3pm on Monday 30 November.  You don’t have to wait until Friday to find out about our hot tubs and availability; just call 01260 281491 for more information or call into our showroom at Congleton Garden Centre.  We will be open late on Thursday 26 November for the Christmas Extravaganza and light switch on.

Never before have Sundance Spas been offered for sale with such discounts.  Orders must be placed between 9am on Black Friday and 3pm on Cyber Monday.  Secure your Sundance Spas hot tub with a small deposit in store or by calling 01260 281491.

Delivery is to be taken on stock items before 18 December 2015.  If for any reason you are unable to take delivery before Friday 18 December we will be able to store your hot tub for an agreed period of time as long as the balance is paid in full.  If your preferred model or colour combination isn’t in stock the deadline for delivery has been extended to 26 January to allow for shipping.

All orders will be subject to a site survey prior to delivery.

Posted in Hot Tubs
19th November
Posted on 19th November, 2015 by Francesca

Black Friday has become one of the biggest and most anticipated shopping events of the year and it's only just over a week away.  This year is only the second commercialised Black Friday in the UK and so is set to be a big occassion.

 

Black Friday Banner

 

We have seen consumers fighting over handbags and falling over televisions, in order to ensure they get the bargains they are after.  It is safe to say that even the most dedicated bargain hunters and shopaholics are overwhelmed by the amount of jaw-dropping deals on offer.  So here at Alfresco Life we’re getting in on the action with Sundance Spas!

You may have dreamt about having a hot tub in your garden or on your decking, now it could be time to take the plunge and treat yourself, as this Black Friday we are offering our Sundance Spas with the most exciting discounts.

The Christmas period is approaching quickly too, many of us will be entertaining friends and family for merry festivities.  What better way to entertain than keeping warm in a luxurious hot tub?  The winter months are the perfect time to own an enviable winter accessory for your home.

It just happens that this year's Black Friday coincides with the Christmas Extravaganza event in Congleton Garden Centre on the eve of Black Friday.  It is set to be a magical evening with the Christmas light switch on and the arrival of Santa into his grotto. Have you been naughty or nice?  Maybe we can help Santa make your dreams come true this year.

Our unbelievable deals will only be available from our showroom over the Black Friday weekend, until Monday 30th November. So come on down to your nearest to find out more information and to browse our stunning selection.

Happy browsing!

Posted in Hot Tubs
26th October
Posted on 26th October, 2015 by Francesca

It's hard to believe it has been 7 weeks since our back to school super September offer.  We are heading toweard the end of October, the clocks have changed and Halloween and bonfire night are looming.  So if you are thinking of purchasing a new hot tub we have some spooktacular and explosive deals for you to take advantage of.  Just imagine soaking in hte warm waters of your hot tub whilst wathcing the exploding colours of the fireworks overhead.

Spooktacular savings!

 

Over the years we have discoverd there are different kinds of hot tub owners.  There are those who use their tub all year round, perhaps to relieve the symptoms of arthritis or to help with insomnia.  Then we have those that only take a dip in the summer months and finally those who opt for a winter time soak.  Whatever your preference is we are here to help you prepare your hot tub for the coming season.

Preparing your hot tub for the winter months is important.  These are some of the things you need to consider:

  • What conditions is your hot tub cover in?  Have you noticed that your cover has become heavier than it used to be?  Are the security clips still intact?  If your cover is heavy it may have begun to take in water.  Not only does this make it more difficult to get on and of your spa it also reduces the insulating properties.  You could be loosing exvessive heat from the water and subsequently using more energy to maintain the warm bathing temperature.  If you have a cover lifter fitted the extra weight could be putting a strain on the lifting arms.  During the winter months we often experience higher winds so it is important to ensure that your cover security clips are in place.  You don't want to wake up one morning to find your hot tub cover has blown off and is not settled at the bottom of your garden!  If your hot tub is in a more exposed area you may want to consider extra security starps to keep it in place.Checking your hot tub cover
  • Are you planning on using your hot tub during the winter months?  If not you would be wise to consider winterising it.  This will ensure that your hot tub has as little as possible residual water left in the pipes to freeze when the temperature drops.
  • For our winter bathers whose hot tubs have been out of action during the summer months a service could be in order to ensure everything is running as economically as it should be.
  • It is important to check that your hot tub is running and up to temperature throughout the week.  Power cuts can switch your hot tub off, if left without power the temperature will fall and the filtration system won't be running.  Imagine the disappointment when you nip out for a dip on a clear and starry night to find your water is cold and cloudy.  Not only that your hot tub will be vulnerable to freezing if Jack Frost makes an appearance.
Whatever your hot tub plans are for the winter we are here to provide you with any advice or help you may need. Just give us a call or pop into our showroom for a chat.
Posted in General
20th September
Posted on 20th September, 2015 by Francesca

The holiday season is just about over and the kids have gone back to school, some may have even moved out and be settling into the university life.  This time of year usually indicates a drop in temperature, nights drawing in and a sign that autumn is on its way causing us all to retreat indoors.  Before we all start to despair though; our trusty weather experts have been predicting warm and dry weather from now through into October.  Let’s enjoy our gardens and continue spending time together outside while it lasts.

Have you considered the benefits of having a hot tub in your garden?  Although hot tubs don’t provide a cure for our ailments other than warming us through to our toes on a cold day or night; the warm waters and massage techniques have been shown to alleviate the symptoms of stress, arthritis and aching muscles.  If you are a sufferer of insomnia the use of a hot tub can aid the body with the production of endorphins boosting the immune system, easing pain and stress by helping us banish negative thoughts and feelings.  If you would like to know more of the health benefits please click here.

Hot Tubs Help Insomnia

The health benefits are great but let’s not forget about the social benefits of having a hot tub.  Instead of sitting down in front of the television or getting the games console out you could have some family time with the kids; a little romantic time with your significant other; a night in with the girls or perhaps just some quiet time on your own.  However you choose to use your hot tub you know you are going to feel great after your soak. 

Family Time in a Hot Tub 

Here at Alfresco Life we ensure that owning a hot tub is a relaxing experience right from your initial look at the models in our showroom through to the installation in your garden.  We provide you with the necessary training and leave you with your hot tub filled and ready for you to use allowing you to relax and enjoy.

We have hand-picked a selection of models from our 680, 780 and 880 series of spas for our Back to School Super September promotion.  The package includes the hot tub with Super September discount, thermal insulating cover, entry steps, standard installation, chemical starter pack, full chemical and hot tub training and access to our aftercare helpline. 

Whilst our offer is just for September after your hot tub is installed you are sure to have 12 super months every year.  For further information please call 01260 281491 or call into our showroom and have a look at our selection of hot tubs.

Posted in General
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