If you are considering a backyard waterfall, There are many steps of building to consider. The first question to consider is whether you want to build it yourself, or hire a contractor. While it is obvious that money can be saved with a DIY waterfalls, it may be difficult to find accurate comparison between a DIY waterfalls and a professionally installed one.
What does it cost DIY vs hiring a professional? A DIY kit for a backyard waterfall can be purchased for much cheaper than a professional can be hired. Like many artistic enterprises, the value of a professionally created waterfall will be much more than a do-it-yourselfer's attempt at the same creation.
If you choose to pursue a DIY waterfalls kit, here are a few things to consider before starting.
So, you want to begin construction of your backyard waterfall; Where do you begin?
Actually, "where" is the first step to consider. You'll want to chose an area with natural slope to aide the flow of the waterfall. Many people chose an empty corner or low spot that needs "filled in with something." Orient your waterfalls to a place near your house where you can enjoy it through the four seasons. It is better if you can construct it near to the house, where the sound reaches indoors. Stand in your kitchen or bedroom and chose a spot that can be seen from inside.
Once the location and position of your waterfalls is decided, it's time to begin digging. The size and depth of your basin will be determined by your waterfall kit size. all the dirt from excavation can be used to increase the mound for the waterfalls. Different sizes of water features may have different basins. On smaller waterfalls, a preformed rigid plastic basin can be used. For Larger pondless waterfalls, Basins will be constructed using EPDM liner and Aquablocs.
After the basin is completed, you can begin digging the stream and waterfall areas. Calculate how long your stream will be based on the liner size you have available. Don't forget to include the vertical distance to be measured for each waterfall. Dig your stream bed in a series of "steps" or shelves. Each step will become a waterfall. How high these waterfalls should be will be dictated by the size of rocks you will be using for construction. Larger rocks are necessary for higher waterfalls. Don't try stacking rocks to create waterfalls. If one or two rocks isn't high enough to make the waterfall you want, you need bigger rocks, or a smaller waterfall. Let the rocks shape your waterfalls.
When your stream and waterfalls have been excavated satisfactorily, lay out your liner as planned. You may wish to use underlayment fabric beneath the liner to protect it from punctures. Underlayment can also be used on top of the liner where larger rocks are placed. Carefully inspect the area where your stream liner transitions to your basin. Overlaps are risky, and prone to leaks. Extra care today may prevent ripping a part a leaking water feature tomorrow.
This is the most labor intensive part of the build. Creativity is necessary for this phase of construction. Don't get attached to a certain rock or design. If you can't make a rock work like you wanted it, try a different rock. If you can't make anything work, move on and work elsewhere for awhile. Frustration kills creativity, so don't get bogged down by one rock or area.
Create your waterfalls first, then build between them. Set larger rocks to frame your waterfalls, then build between them with smaller rocks. Whenever possible, use fewer, larger rocks as opposed to more, smaller rocks. Larger rocks will yield more stability, and have more aesthetic affect.
Use waterfall foam to seal between rocks to direct water over the waterfalls, channeling the stream where you want it. This foam is NOT waterproof. Foam will not prevent leaks, or seal liner together. It can be used to direct water, but not stop it.
Plumbing and components.
At some point during the build, you'll need to install the pump and plumbing for the waterfall. You'll need to bury a pipe from the pump vault in the basin, to the spillway at the top. its best to bury this pipe before all edges and details are completed. The spillway at the top should be installed in combination with the rock work for the top waterfall. Let rocks and spillway work together to shape the last waterfall.
Details and edge work.
It's best to run your waterfall before finishing all edges and details. Once all rock work is done and foam has dried, turn on the waterfall and examine everything closely. Check for low liner edges. Make sure you have several inches of liner above water level. check all the waterfalls where water changes elevation. It is easy for water to follow a path out over the liner in these transition areas. Once you are satisfied with these critical areas, you can finish all the aesthetic details. Tuck the liner out of sight in the soil on the berms. Add driftwood, gravel, and plants as you wish. If you want to add lights to your water feature, install them once you have seen how the water flows.
With the completion of your backyard waterfall, you can relax and enjoy all the beautiful sights and sounds of water. Monitor the water level in the basin. If you need to refill it frequently, There is probably a leak somewhere. check the soil around the waterfalls for damp areas that may indicate leaking.
If you are interested in having Tussey Landscaping create a pondless waterfall in your backyard, contact us today to begin the conversation.
Like any new proposition, building a pondless waterfall brings many new questions to mind.
It can be difficult to know what questions to ask when trying to decide if a pondless waterfall is the right choice for your backyard. In this article, we will not be devoting any discussion to concrete water features. Concrete features bring with them a host of their own problems, and are avoided for those reasons.
How does a water feature work? Understanding how a disappearing waterfall works requires starting at the bottom of the waterfalls. Underground, a basin is constructed that holds the water for the entire feature. This basin is usually hidden with a layer of River gravel. In this basin, a pump vault is built which will house the pump that powers the water feature. Other accessories including an auto fill float, and water treatment options, may also be installed in the pump vault.
From the vault water is pumped up to the top of the stream. A spillway at the top disperses the water into the first waterfall and stream. Here, boulders create the stream banks and waterfalls, guiding the water back to the basin, where it is recirculated.
Should i leave it run all the time? When properly constructed, a pondless waterfall can run through all four seasons. Over winter months, ice build up will cause water loss, so it is important to monitor water levels if the pondless is left running. If a pondless is not running through the winter months, it is necessary to winterize it.
How much does it cost to build a backyard waterfall? The price of a pondless waterfall will reflect its size. Also, different contractors may have different pricing. When comparing prices, It is important to ensure that prices are for comparable water features. Measurements and numbers may be ineffective at communicating what size of waterfall a price reflects. If possible, always ask to see in person some of similar pondless waterfalls constructed by the contractor you are working with. Pondless waterfalls often range in price from $3,000 to $15,000, and larger backyard waterfalls can cost more. To see some pricing and pictures of the water features offered by Tussey Landscaping, click HERE.
Do pumps use a lot of electricity? Today, many of the pumps designed for pondless waterfalls are designed for minimal electricity usage. Many standard sized pondless waterfalls cost only a few dollars a month to run. Low Voltage LED lights that can be incorporated into your waterfalls cost even less to run; they require only very small amounts of electricity to run.
Do pondless waterfalls need a filter? Most pondless waterfalls operate without any filter. The gravel on top of the basin filters out any large debris (sticks, leaves, and trash) before it reaches the pump.
A pondless waterfall is a low-maintenance way to bring the all the delightful sights and sounds of water to your backyard. These beautiful waterfalls are not expensive to maintain, and can be enjoyed all year long.
If you are interested in having Tussey Landscaping create a water masterpiece for you, contact us today.
Weston has been working at Tussey since 2007, starting as a laborer on the crews. Today he works as a foreman on one of the crews during the landscaping season, as well as our marketing director at Tussey.
8583 Woodbury Pike
Hollidaysburg, PA 16648
Call us: 814.696.3700