copyright 1997 through 2008 Havenmade Inc.
Wooden Frames VS Metal Frames
A well made wooden internal structure is far superior to the
steel that is now on the market. The thin, light gauge steel is
designed to cut cost of manufacturing and that is all. It has
nothing to do with engineering, other than the bean counters decided to
save some money. It is a lot cheaper because of manufacturing
savings. These silly marketing people would have you believe that
they are putting in materials used in steel girders in your spa.
It is cheaper stamped out light gauge steel. The typical marketing
thing is to make up stuff about something that cuts costs and sell it
like crazy as being the "latest technology" or "superior". That
is the same as bullet jets. Most
spas use these tiny bullet jets on the human back and they are not
appropriate for the human back in terms of massage or therapy.
But they do make a lot of money because consumers, like you are
ignorant about jets. What you really want is good solid
reasonableness, not concocted sales pitches.
There are many spas still around with the same wood construction after
20 years. I know because we service them and our environment is
much harsher than most. I have worked on houses with wood that
was over 120 years old, and it just gets stronger with age. Try
drilling a hole in a rafter on an old barn. It is extremely hard
to drill. As long as it is kept dry, it will outlast any
The only consideration I have for changing the cabinet is to use a
polyethylene-recycled material on the bottom, instead of the pressure
treated lumber. That is because we sell spas in places that have
severe rain issues and if the water does not seep out fast enough
because of the design of the spa owner's platform, there is a
possibility of the wood soaking on the bottom. (This is nothing
compared to what happens with steel in the same situation, decomposing,
rusting, in a matter of months.) There is a company in WI that recycles
milk jugs into 2x4's and 2x6's. It does not have horizontal
strength as wood does, but it can stand underneath and hold up the spa
very well. In other words if you apply a side load to it, it will
bend. But on the bottom it is plenty strong, especially if the
rest of the cabinet it solidly framed. The polyethylene will outlast
your home, your car, your boat, actually it will outlast twenty
generations of human beings in the land fill dump. That is why
the environmentalists are so keen on recycling plastics.
I was offered to have metal frames on our spas, but for the obvious,
engineering, reasons we don't want them. The wood is much
stronger, and you can ask any mechanical engineer. It is also the
more expensive route. Much more labor consuming to build a wooden
framed spa. We also use 2x4, where as the other wood frame
companies use 2x2.
The other issue with metal frames is the sound vibration. Most of
the poorly designed spa companies will mount the pumps on rubber
isolation suspension. This is to stop the sound vibrations on
their cheap non-structural base they put the pumps on. This is a
bad thing to do to both the motors and the plumbing pipes, Every time
the motor starts it rips at the joints and causes leaks, unscrews the
unions while it stresses the plumbing.
I have seen this so many times on older spas made this way. If
you want to have a cheap cabinet and mount the pumps on cheap
platforms, you wind up with this poorly thought out
nonsense. It is an old Coleman trick to make the pumps
quiet, but it eventually ruins the plumbing pipes attached to it.
We mount the pumps on solid frames. Take a look next
time. There is much more mass under the motors. It
stops, not only sound vibrations, but also it stops the pumps from
torquing the plumbing pipes. Many spa companies still use a
plastic flat platform that works like a speaker for the hum from the
About four years ago we had a Springville model that fell off the
trailer onto the road and slid about 60 feet into a snow
embankment. My guys did not have it secured properly and there
was ice on the flat bed trailer. We took it back to the
store and tested it. There was nothing wrong with it, except
where the redwood corner piece hit the snow embankment. There is
NOTHING STRONGER, in current production, THAN 2X4 FRAMED
CABINETS! Don't be a sucker for some spa salesman.
The SCF (and the whole Haven Line of spas) is the most energy efficient
spa of that size and power. It is a totally different spa than
you can even understand. We sell many of them to engineers and
doctors, but mostly it is to people who do understand the physical
world very well.
The wood framework not only lasts longer than the metal under those
conditions; it can withstand severe stresses that the metal would
I have discussed this with engineers, by the way. The structural
strength of wood is far superior than the metal frames presently used
in spas, which are minimal in strength. Just strong enough to do
the job and no more.
Metal has another very bad feature in that is spreads sound and it
transfers heat rather well. It is a "conductor". Things that
conduct electricity also conduct heat. So, It is also a conductor
of electricity, so that it gets what is called electrostatic charges in
which the moist air will be attracted to the metal. Like a
magnet. This metal will take heat and transfer it to the outside
of the cabinet. Wood is an insulator, a good insulator.
Our spas are all about energy efficiency, and metal frames would cause
severe problems of heat transfer to the out side of the cabinet along
with weakening the product, shortening the life and making more noise.
In Virginia, Haven
Hot Tubs are everywhere. We are extremely popular in the Eastern
US, From New Hampshire to Florida. There are a lot of smart
shoppers in Virginia.