Indoor / Outdoor Water Features
Indoor / Outdoor Water Features
Water has been seated in our psyches since the beginning of time as a valuable asset. When added to any space water features become an interesting and inspiring element. Providing soothing sounds, cool, gentle streams, and subtle reflections.
Features come in all shapes, sizes, and types. With a wide range of costs and skills required for installation. This guide aims to provide you with a variety of water feature ideas. Some prior thought and planning will make your project 1,000 times better.
Outdoor Water Features
Listed below are a sampling of outdoor water features. Most have a variety of different styles and colors to choose from.
Garden fountains are the perfect DIY water feature. Installation is usually completed by digging a firm, level hole sized correctly for the basin. Place the basin and pump in the hole. Then, hook up the tubing and plumb into the fountain. Cover with gravel, or mulch if needed.
Most outdoor water feature fountains will be made out of a lightweight resin material. Which makes them easier to move around and service.
There are also real stone fountains made out of basalt or concrete. These are usually heavier and more expensive. But will be more durable and look better.
Informal / Natural Waterfalls
Most people know these types of natural water features as a “pondless water feature”. The name was originally coined by the company Aquascape. It’s basically a waterfall where the water flows into a bed of gravel and magically disappears. Below the gravel is a basin where water is stored and pumped back to the top of the waterfall. This type of water feature is excellent if you want the sights and sounds of flowing water without the added maintenance of a pond.
Pondless water features can work in the front or backyard. Where a pond may be required to be located in the backyard due to zoning laws to prevent children from drowning, etc. Complete kits are available to make installation a breeze.
Formal water features are typically constructed with landscape block, pavers, or concrete. Usually with straight lines and paths, walling, defined paving areas, and elegant drops.
Due to the complex plans and machinery needed, a formal water feature is best installed by a professional water feature contractor.
Formal designs benefit by needing very little maintenance. As most designs store the water away from sunlight in a pondless water feature basin. Not allowing algae to develop.
Size and style should match the landscape and building as much as possible.
You can get creative and mix formal and natural looking water features. Also, don’t forget to add lighting. It will really bring the water feature and surroundings to life when it’s dark.
You can have a standalone waterfall spillways or add them in combination to a modern water feature pond. Same design characteristics and materials can be used.
If you’re thinking about an above ground water feature. The formal design might be the perfect fit.
Ponds will require filtration, aeration, and maintenance to keep the water clean and healthy.
Informal / Natural Ponds
Done right, a natural looking pond can fool the eye into believing it has been there forever. No need for expensive vacations when you can walk outside to your backyard water feature and have instantly lower stress.
Ponds also bring wildlife. Birds and ducks, frogs, deer, dragonflies, and you can also have fish! Although a fish pond water feature will require deeper water levels, added filtration, aeration, and some additional maintenance if you live in an area with harsh winters.
Pond kits simplify the process and provide everything to make this a DIY build.
Natural swimming pools are set to take over the old chlorinated toxic pools of the past. While new in the United States these natural swimming pool water features have been installed for the last 20 years in other countries. When installed and maintained correctly they provide safe and healthy swimming water.
Natural pools are best installed by professionals and can be very expensive.
If you still have a chlorinated pool, and are not ready to make the jump to go all-natural. A spitter may be an easy way to some fun to your pool.
Indoor Water Features
Indoor water features have a wide range of styles, colors, materials, and prices. You can get a small tabletop water feature for your office for $30.00. All the way up to a large wall water feature in the $5000.00 range.
Take some time and browse through some indoor water features on Amazon.
Water Feature Design
- Reflections – Avoid plant growth that would block the main viewpoint, calm water surface
- Dramatic waterfall – Should be able to see the waterfall from a distance, design should catch all the splashes to minimize water loss
- Indoors – An indoor water feature needs to keep water quality and humidity in mind
- Style – If you have a modern looking house, then a modern water feature style will be a natural fit
- Proportion – Too small or too large of water feature will make it look out of place
- Position – Some water features like ponds should be easily accessible, but away from falling debris such as leaves
Taking some time to design the water feature on paper will also help you estimate costs. Don’t forget about stone, delivery charges, tools, etc.
You can get fancy and use online landscape design software like SketchUp. Although, if you are installing the water feature yourself. Time will probably be better spent with a shovel and experimenting with different ideas by hand.
Building a Water Feature
Building a water feature is very feature specific. Each design will be a slightly different installation process. Complete kits will usually come with instructions and all the parts you’ll need.
Here are some videos on common water feature builds: