Planning and Budgeting Your New Water Feature

Whether you want to create a focal point for your backyard, establish a peaceful sanctuary, or cover up the sounds of a noisy street, adding a water feature is the perfect solution.  But where do you start? What are the different water features and which one is right for you?  How much will it cost?  Take a deep breath and read below for some guidelines to planning and budgeting for your water feature.

The first step is to consider what type of water feature you may want and what the purpose is to adding the feature.  Do you want a tranquil place in the backyard where you can sit and relax?  Do you love the sound of running water but don’t want the maintenance?  The purpose of understanding what you want out of your water feature will help you determine the best one for you.  If you’re looking for something low maintenance then a fountain or a pondless water feature might be the perfect feature for you.    

Fountains are simple water features and range from a bubbling vase, to a core-drilled boulder, to a formal fountain.  With a little imagination, you can turn tons of everyday materials into a fountain.  You can use diverse pots, tubs, barrels, bathtubs, sinks, or metal containers to create a bubbling, spitting, or splashing fountain.  You can easily convert any of these with a fountain pump, some decorative lights, and a small nozzle kit for different effects.  These are the most economical water features that require the least amount of maintenance and installation. 

Waterfalls create a beautiful aesthetic whether you want a pondless water feature or a waterfall that cascades into your pond.  A pondless water feature, can be a waterfall or series of waterfalls that flow into a masked reservoir covered with stone.  This option, like the Waterfall Cascade, offers the sound of running water without the maintenance of a pond.  Another benefit of a pondless water feature is safety and cost efficiency.  Since there is no open water, there’s no need to install fencing or barriers to keep people or animals from falling in. Depending on the waterfall size you desire, there are different pump sizes to meet your needs.

There are many benefits of having a pond like the visual charm, the auditory appeal, the financial incentives, environmental benefits, the educational and interaction aspect, as well as the calming and tranquil effects.  So if you decide you want to gain all these advantages then putting in a pond would be a great addition to your home.  A pond can be a small, simple pool with a bubbler, it can be a big pond with immense boulders and crashing waterfalls, or it can be somewhere in between.  Depending on the materials you use, a pond can be natural in appearance, like it’s streaming in from the hillside, or it can be formal, with geometric shapes defined with stone, brick, or tile. The aesthetic of the pond comes down to your personal tastes and budget.

Once you know the type of pond you want to design, you’ll need to start with the basics to fill your pond like liners, sealant, seaming tape, and tubing.  Then you’ll need a pump to help with the flow and circulation of the water.  Many times you’ll want to combine features like adding the waterfall or fountain to your pond to create the perfect focal point for your backyard.  Decorations like spitters, lights, nozzle kits, and floating lily pads will help to bring your vision to life.  And to keep the pond low maintenance, purchasing cleaning products like UV technology, aerators, filters, and water treatments will keep your pond healthy and save you money in the long run.

When constructing the pond, make sure to check with your local town or county about ordinances that may affect you.  If your pond exceeds a certain depth, you may be required to meet the same barrier code requirements as a residential pool.

The cost to install any water feature really depends on location, the size, the materials that will be needed, access to the location, and the overall design.  So do some research once you make a decision, write down estimates of what materials you will need, any construction, hired help, or any aspect that will affect your budget.  Also make sure to check out TotalPond to get some tips and maintenance guidelines as well as videos for DIY projects. 

So start planning and saving for your water feature.  With the warm weather, the addition will only enhance your enjoyment and relaxation!