There is little work in the way of installation when it comes to spa covers, and typically repairs are few.

But many a conflict can arise at the time of sale, retailers say. These conflicts usually involve improper measuring on the part of the customer who is seeking to replace their spa cover.

“They bring in the dimensions and they are wrong,” says Greg Pryor, co-owner of Pacific Spas & Sauna in West Los Angeles, Calif.

If the order is placed, he adds, customers are stuck with the custom-made cover, and a hefty bill. “Let the professionals measure and recommend the proper lift,” he says.

Customers also usually fail to measure edge-to-edge, or they don’t get the radius of the corners properly, says Larry Berczyk, president of Valley Pools & Spas Inc. in Burnsville, Minn.

To avoid measuring mishaps, Berczyk requires that customers bring in a template of the radius of the spa’s corners and sign off on the special order. Or, he sends out a sales representative to handle the measuring for a fee.

That in-person service can quell sizing mistakes altogether, retailers say.

“If we are replacing the cover… I want my guys to go out and measure it,” says Dan Christoforo, director of service for Aquatic Pool & Spa Service in Northford, Conn. “We measure at no charge and with no obligation.”

A second sales faux pas is failing to determine which way the cover should open. Typically, the cover is split along the longer side, but there are a few covers made with the flex-point along the shorter side.

“You must ask the question,” Christoforo warns.

A final issue of contention when selling a replacement spa cover involves color. Confusion arises when trying to match or replicate the exact color of the cover.

“People say brown, but is it light or dark?” Christoforo says.

When a customer provides hazy hue descriptions, he asks that they come into the store to check fabric swatches. Or, he has a sales rep identify the color when they are at the home measuring for the new cover. “Most people just re-buy what they have, and most covers are brown,” he adds.