Add luster and life to old spa siding
By Jim Raposa
If you repair and rehab previously owned spas for resale, you know profit margins can nosedive if the tub’s exterior siding has seen better days. In the spa resale market, aesthetics are critical. Confer Plastics knows this, and have launched the Restor-A-Spa Kit to save ugly, yet mechanically sound previously owned spas from the scrap pile.
At last fall’s International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo in New Orleans, you may have seen the product and a smiling Dennis Lederhouse, Confer Plastics vice president of sales and marketing, at its booth. “We knew we’d probably get some action on the product, but we happily found ourselves flooded with inquiries from spa dealers and manufacturers alike,” Lederhouse says.
The main market for the Restor-A-Spa Kit, Lederhouse says, ranges from dealers who rehab and sell used tubs, to those whose clients have a working spa with weather-worn siding, including the DIY spa owner tired of looking at their faded spa. “Most spas have a cover on top, protecting the tub interior; the siding, however, is always exposed,” Lederhouse says. “The homeowner doesn’t want to keep looking at this eyesore of a hot tub even if the cover looks great. This is where the Restor-A-Spa Kit shines, as it dramatically updates the look of the hot tub and adds years of enjoyment to an older, mechanically sound spa.”
The kit costs between $800 and $1,000. Compare that with the expense of a new spa, and it’s easy to see why this product quickly caught attention and imagination in New Orleans last year. Made of blow-molded plastic, the kit is shipped in two boxes via UPS and comes in three colors: black, espresso and deep gray.
How the product came to be is a classic case of turning a bad situation into a win. Aside from its proprietary branded products, Confer Plastics has long supplied various spa manufacturers with spa skirting, panels and corners. After one of the companies to which it supplied went out of business, Confer Plastics obtained control of their molds. This allowed it to supply skirting to other manufacturers. It didn’t take long for dealers to express interest in the product for rehab work on potential resale spas, or for customers who wanted to update a functioning appliance.
Like other products Confer Plastics offers, the Restor-A-Spa Kit is backed by a full, five-year warranty. “In reality, we know it will last a lot longer than that,” Lederhouse says. “It’ll probably outlive the spa. Seriously, a spa that needs a facelift is about 10 years old. After replacing the siding, you’re likely to add another five to 10 years to the spa before it’s time to replace the unit itself.”
To accommodate various spa body styles, the basic kit comes with four panels for each of the sides. Each panel overlaps an end panel, which is then trimmed to size. Flexibility is the byword. “We recently came across a Jacuzzi spa that had four extra corners,” Lederhouse says. “As a result, we offer a separate corner package to accommodate such model designs.”
It’s a fairly intuitive installation process for a DIY spa owner or spa professional to install. Every step is outlined and clearly illustrated in the instruction sheet.