What to Expect When Exploring Options
In all the years I have been a practicing landscape contractor, I don’t think I have ever come across a potential client that does not like a good water feature if it’s in the budget. Even if it’s out of their budget, everyone I meet would love to have one. There is nothing like the beauty of a custom water feature and the tranquil sounds they make. An artistic and strategically placed water feature will lull even the most restless to sleep. Having two on my own property, I can really relate to that. They complement any backyard recreational space and add great curb appeal if placed in the front yard. You just can’t go wrong with a good water feature. Each creates its own unique sound, so there really are dozens of audible options to choose from like splashing, trickling, cascading, etc.
If this is something you have thought about for a while and are ready to move forward, please keep the following things in mind. There are two ways to go about it…cheap and prefab, or custom and more expensive. As with just about anything in life, you get what you pay for. You can purchase a small, pre-cast feature that you simply place in the yard, fill it with water, and plug it in. You may be able to find something halfway decent in this department between $500 – $1000. There is no need to call a professional for this type of feature. Just a credit card and a small pick up truck and you are good to go. If you don’t have electric in the vicinity where you plan on placing it, there will be an additional expense here. Also, if you want to set up an auto-fill so you don’t have to manually fill it with water, this again will add to the overall cost. I would budget a minimum of $1,200 for a prefabricated feature, which includes the water & electric run. You should be able to find something that will suit your needs in this price range without breaking the bank.
With that said…Custom and Unique to your property is the way to go and you certainly get what you pay for here. The most common water features today are made from scratch using a detailed plan drawn by a good designer. They have all the bells and whistles to keep them as low maintenance as possible, but all water features require a little bit of upkeep and TLC. Materials available for fabrication can be block, metal, stone, tile, etc. They usually operate on a timer identical to what you would find by your pool equipment that can turn it on and off at specified times. It operates on 110V electrical power using a GFCI circuit, has a water run for the auto-fill and a pump to re-circulate the water. You can add other accessories such as lighting and remote controls. You are only limited to your imagination here. Custom water features truly require a professional to be built properly. As a landscape contractor and a person who has designed & installed hundreds over the years, I have learned to avoid the pitfalls that an average do-it yourselfer would make. A well designed, custom water feature usually starts at about $4,500 up to about $8,000 on average, although I have done a several over the years for over $10,000. Materials and the complexity of the build are what drives price. Every water feature poses its own construction challenges and requires a little upkeep like your pool. A chlorine tablet in the pond keeps the algae down during the majority of the year; although you may need some algaecide during the summer months when the water temperature is excessively warm. If a water feature is on your landscape wish list, may I remind you to always start with a master plan, as I have talked about in previous articles. If you do things one at a time without a master plan, you will only end up with a finished product that looks like it was done in many stages and not necessarily all by the same person. Continuity and flow are the primary components of a good landscape plan.
If you have any questions on water features or are looking for a quality landscape contractor for your yard makeover, please contact me personally for a free consultation @ (602) 369 – 4198 or to see more custom features, visit the photo gallery of our website www.outsidelivingconcepts.com We offer a free landscape design on an approved budget! So, remember…when it comes time to designing & building a good water feature, sometimes you just have to go with the flow!