One of the many advantages of artificial rocks or man-made rocks is that they can be made to can be made to any shape or size.
Where real rocks often come in random shapes and sizes, they are often not as easy to manipulate as artificial rocks despite a mason’s best efforts.
There are many different types of artificial rocks. The most popular being shotcrete, GFRC rock paneling, polyurethane foam, styrofoam, plastic, or fiberglass panels which is what WaterfallNow specializes in.
Natural stone can only stack so high and comes in limited supply depending on where one is located. It requires a lot of manpower as well as heavy machinery.
While we appreciate the beauty of natural rocks, we noticed over 30 years of landscaping, that many water features made with natural stone tend to operate for 2-3 years until they run into ongoing maintenance issues.
Artificial rocks can be designed as pondless waterfalls to reduce maintenance and maximize uptime.
Artificial rocks weigh less than natural rocks which can require heavy equipment and machinery to maneuver.
Fake rocks such as foam or fiberglass rocks can be lifted by a single person with ease.
Shotcrete rocks are sprayed on-site into a rebar structure and then carved. One of the major disadvantages with concrete is their tendency to crack.
It is often common for most swimming pool water features to be constructed using concrete.
This because most concrete contractors specialize in building swimming pools already.
This isn’t however to say that a swimming pool water feature is always best built with shotcrete.
There are instances where due to large size, it is better to use a hollow structure that is far more cost efficient and affordable.
Weight is not an issue with fiberglass rocks so a special permit is not required.
The creation of large overhangs is much more affordable and safer overall when using artificial rock (hollowed out) as opposed to natural stone which can crack, fall, and potentially crush whoever is underneath.
Artificial rocks can come in any number of colors. Special paints and coatings can be applied to create realistic rock surfaces that you cannot tell apart from real rocks.
Another advantage of artificial rocks is that you can change their color from one year to the next. Tired of brown? The contractor can simply paint over top to another desired color.
WaterfallNow uses a special compound that allows algae to form on the rocks which creates a more realistic appearance over time.
Fiberglass for example is an extremely durable material. When hardened it is pound for pound many times stronger than steel. It is very water resistant and not prone to cracking due to freeze-thaw action in freezing climates. It also lasts in hot climates.
When built to a commercial thickness, water features made using fiberglass can last for many decades without need of repairs.
Plumbing is protected and easily accessible with pondless waterfalls built using fiberglass. An access to the inner workings can always be made available. On the other hand, internal plumbing issues can be costly to remedy with shotcrete rocks should there be a hidden leak somewhere inside the structure. Once the concrete hardens, it is difficult and costly to repair.
You can put artificial rocks anywhere. They can even go in small doorways where natural rocks cannot pass through, rooftops where you can crane up the lightweight artificial rocks, in malls, amusement parks, theme parks, hotels, and anywhere else you can imagine would be suitable. They can be made to be hollow and used as covers for electrical or manholes.
Concrete rocks are recommended for walkways whereas fiberglass rocks are recommended for decorative elements such as to build the caves, overhangs, and rock walls. The versatility of fiberglass allows contractors to add in custom elements such as LED lighting and other features even after construction has finished. One can simply cut into the fiberglass, add the elements, and then re finish the area.
Artificial rock contractors can imitate natural rock patterns to add onto existing natural rock features. With a fiberglass molded rock, you essentially have a rock face that is identical to that of real rock. Shotcrete does not have this advantage and the rock texture is really up to the individual artist to carve out realistic patterns which is not always easy to do.
This is apparent on larger rockwork where one portion may look completely different from another and inconsistent as different workers have different levels of talent.
Sometimes, it is recommended to have a concrete contractor working with other contractors (polyurethane foam or fiberglass) where one focuses on the paving and the other focuses on creating the rock caves and walls.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both concrete and fiberglass but they balance eachother out when combined.
Special resins and paints are available to reduce the shine from fiberglass rocks.
There are definitely great instances of shotcrete used for decorative purposes. Many of the world’s most famous amusement park water features (Big Thunder Mountain @ Disney Land) were designed using shotcrete.
Real rocks would be financially unrealistic or impossible as a solution for most largescale projects. The biggest advantage of artificial rocks is their lower cost in comparison to real rocks.
For the same price you can expect a rock that is over 50% larger if you choose to go with artificial rock at a lower price. This is because there is less need for heavy machinery, labourers, and manpower.
Fiberglass is one of the most cost effective solutions that we currently offer and specialize in because of the competitive pricing and due to the fact that there are very few competitors. Nearly 90% of all of WaterfallNow’s work is made using a special fiberglass reinforced rock.
Cave rock or custom pool rock waterfalls always range in pricing and there is no real set standard pricing. It is up to the contractors experience, labour costs, material costs, time, overhead, and more to determine what they need to charge in order to make a profit.
Fortunately WaterfallNow has this all figured out and operates with small but highly skilled crews that works year-round. Our simple yet effective process allows us to cost 50% less than the next leading competitor for artificial rock projects.
Turn a boring landscape into something extraordinary with the addition of a custom artificial rock water feature. There are no limits to the possibilities and custom options. Except maybe your budget – Let’s be real here. Call WaterfallNow for your free estimate today.
Some photos to show you why most companies do not touch fiberglass. It is a VERY messy process to create the rock panels.
WaterfallNow’s designers have manufactured over 90% of the fiberglass rock panels used, locally, in Surrey, BC for many years. We can attest to the difficulty of the process and how damaging it can be on ones health. For this reason we do not employ entry level workers and prefer to do all of our manufacturing ourselves which is also a factor in our competitive pricing.
We purchase resin and fiberglass materials from China and manufacture our rock panels locally according to specific needs of our local clients. On any given day we can produce dozens of artificial rock panels. Each panel weighs less than 80lbs.
WaterfallNow will show you the gist of how we create imitation or mock rocks. These are the rocks that we use to create our water features. There are different materials we use for different applications to achieve different textures. We also employ different materials to get a different weight, sound of water, and natural color over time through the growth of moss. There are many people searching for ways to make homemade imitation rocks. The do it yourself (DIY) videos online are teaching methods that will crack, chip, and break easily. WaterfallNow has tried virtually every method and can say that the method we employ has been tested thoroughly and is employed by all the biggest companies in the world. Why make small boulders when you can make mountains?
Lately I’ve been fascinated with the website Houzz.com. If you aren’t familiar with this website, it is one of the most popular sites along with Pinterest where homeowners, and contractors go to gather ideas, connect with others in the industry, and share their work.
Here are several rock solid ideas that may help you decide on what type of waterfall water feature you personally prefer.
This is a popular photo that many people have expressed interest in. It has been built to compliment and blend the surrounding landscape to create a natural effect. I really admire projects where the landscaper took the effort to make things as natural as possible.
While some people prefer the insane overhangs that can be achieved using faux or fake rocks, this method is very cool and I think it would look even nicer with the addition of custom lighting colors. Overall an impressive job with great attention paid to detail and no stone out of place.
This is a great shot with a beautiful natural stone waterfall. The two larger boulders alongside the spillway combined with a well designed lip makes for an impressive sight. I can only imagine how nice this particular waterfall sounds. This double tiered feature would definitely create a very relaxing sound. I would highly recommend this design to someone looking to add a waterfall to their koi pond or for a new pond construction.
The oxygenation and circulation that these kinds of water features adds to the pond also helps to slow the growth of algae which many pond owners can tell you has saved them many dollars in maintenance.
There are many people (myself included) that are blown away by larger man-made waterfalls. However, smaller water features that were created by landscapers with extra attention to detail can be just as stunning. The addition of this small waterfall feature changes up what would have been just an ordinary space into something special. Imagine sitting out on your patio just enjoying the sounds of a soothing fountain in your garden…
Pondless waterfalls are picking up in popularity and for good reason. Many homeowners are embracing the DIY (do-it-yourself) movement, perhaps inspired by their favourite gardening shows on TV, and tackling some of their own projects. I’m sure you that are reading this hate the idea of having to pull rocks out of the pond, cleaning the pond out, then putting the rocks back in and so forth. If you are a landscaper being paid to maintain it I feel your pain.
As an aside, should you decide to create your first waterfall using natural stone I highly recommend studying The Pond Digger on YouTube. He has shared many tutorials online to help home owners and contractors alike what to expect and some tips to get the most of a pond project.
Tropical Pool by Florence Pools & Spas Shehan Pools
The guys over at Shehan are amazing and have taught us a lot about what it takes to make clients dreams become a reality. From using shotcrete to other faux rock materials, they are masters at creating custom waterfalls which also compliment their specialization in pools. Check out their website to view some of their award winning projects and brainstorm more ideas.
Have a great weekend and happy landscaping
Rock Waterfall Ideas For Backyard Renovation Projects September 24th, 2014WaterfallNow
Here are a several resources available on creating your standard DIY water features.
Here is a tutorial on how to build your own water fountain using pots
As you can see from the above video, it doesn’t take much money or time to create your own patio water features. The sound of trickling water can enhance the ambiance out on the deck.
The next 4 part video courtesy of The Pond Digger features a mix of natural and faux rocks that are used to create a basalt column rock bubbler bird bad fountain. Don’t be afraid to add more variety with the types of rocks or plants used and to experiment with new ideas. Another recommendation is to find a spot clear of trees and to avoid placing them in areas where you get lots of falling leaves as that can cause the water to flow out or clog the pump.
Not sure where to buy a faux basalt rock column? Here is a do it yourself tutorial courtesy of Arteolike.
Basalt column fountain installation kits can sometimes be found at your local garden shop. However, this method demonstrates one of the many techniques to creating a faux basalt column. Real basalt rock columns for garden purposes can weigh thousands of pounds and requires heavy machinery to install. That is something better left up to the professionals.
The artificial rock water features such as waterfalls and fountains created by WaterfallNow do not fall under the do-it-yourself category.
We have spent many years developing our skills and experience creating custom water features while constantly stepping out of our comfort zone. However, there was a time when we once failed miserably at creating small do-it-yourself water features.
Fast forward to 100’s of water features later we can say that we are definitely much more experienced than we were many years ago.
Whatever your next DIY project, just remember that if you aren’t failing, you aren’t just trying trying hard enough. Get creative. All you really need is a small pump, tubing, drill, screws, glue, and some creativity. Now you have a few examples of how to create quality do it yourself outdoor water features. Start with the basics and maybe someday we can combine our work on the same project.
Hopefully you’ve stumbled across this page because you were looking for some inspiration and found it. Feel free to share your ideas with us on our Facebook page.
How To Create Quality Do It Yourself Outdoor Water Features July 11th, 2014WaterfallNow
These are a fascinating addition to most yards that address the problems with pond waterfalls. Not everyone has the natural landscape and slopes to work with in creating a regular waterfall. Pondless waterfalls on the other hand can be built anywhere. Moreover, the lack of a pond means less maintenance. Less to clean, no requirements to leave it running all the time, safe for children, and more uptime. Premade pond kits are available at most stores. Alternatively you can do a local search for waterfalls, water features or landscaping companies.
When constructing a pondless waterfall the two major things to consider are the size of the water reservoir and the dimensions of the cascading waterfall. Once those two things are determined the rest is history. A method WaterfallNow recommends for getting ideas is to do a search online. WaterfallNow is in the process of creating ready to order waterfalls for the garden. Those that have a project requiring on-site custom work can request much larger features.
How Do Pondless Waterfalls Work?
Pondless waterfalls require water but not the traditional pond. By now most people know how the evaporation process works in nature. A pondless waterfall works in a similar way. One way to picture the process is to imagine a giant hose that sucks water up from the earth up to the rain clouds which sends rain back to the earth and gets sucked up again – repeat. The same water that comes down the waterfall and into the water reservoir gets sent back up to the top of the waterfall through a hose which then sends the water back down.
WaterfallNow’s rocks are hollow making them portable. First the hole is dug, second the pond liners (EPDM) are added, and third the rock and plumbing are installed. Additional steps depend on the level of customization depending on the lighting or plants used. Most of the work is in the preparation of our rocks.
Just add plants
The Benefits Of WaterfallNow’s Pondless Waterfalls Include:
Attractive year after year: Only light cleaning to the water reservoir is needed once every few months.
Less that can go wrong: If there is a problem with one of the parts repairs or replacements are within reach.
Not a permanent feature: Can relocate, take down, move, sell, use as a cover, or be upgraded to something larger.
The beauty of a large water feature in even a small space: Scalable both vertically and horizontally.
Not prone to freeze-thaw action or hidden leaks within the rock.
No forming prep-work.
Safe for small children: No fear of drowning in a pond.
Less green bacterial mess: Higher upfront cost than other applications without the ongoing maintenance fees.
Only need to turn on when in use: Cost on average $3-6 per month when used a few hours per day.
Many landscape designers use natural rocks to create cascading streams. This is the method that most people are familiar with and one that WaterfallNow no longer employs. In this situation it is most common for the landscape artist to work with the land as opposed to against the land. In some cases they re-create the land itself by adding large boulders or more dirt. This is done to achieve the desired height (dimensions) for the water feature. The benefit of pondless waterfalls for those that simply want a nice sized realistic miniature waterfall in their yard is that the land does not dictate what you can or cannot have.
Making The Pond
As always, contact BC ONE CALLbefore you dig to avoid hitting any plumbing).
WaterfallNow creates the water reservoir for indoor applications as well as for outdoor applications. All that is required is very light digging. WaterfallNow’s pondless waterfalls usually go only 3 feet deep for the larger projects and less for smaller ones.
Creating the pond sounds easy and often gets overlooked. Doing it right plays a role in ensuring that the water level will not decrease on a daily basis. This means you don’t have to constantly fill the pondless waterfall with more water on a daily basis. As long as the water that goes up falls back onto the pond liner and into the water reservoir you won’t risk damaging the water pump. Water pumps last many years when properly maintained. A water pump that is not fully submerged in the water will not operate as long as it could due to the damage caused on the motor.
Dig the hole, remove sharp objects and rocks, lay down a few layers of pre-liner (carpet/tarp) and the pond liner (EPDM) on top. These are the essentials.
Making The Artificial Rock Features
WaterfallNow employs a fibreglass/natural stone combination to create rock faces that look like the ones found in nature. These pieces are assembled either on location for custom work or premade (ready to ship). There is relatively low demand for artificial rock made using fibreglass as the majority of the population is unaware that such a thing exists. Most people are however familiar with styrofoam which isn’t as durable or concrete which is prone to cracking.
Let us know how we can better serve you as we continue to improve.
Pondless Waterfalls: Artificial Rock Features July 11th, 2014WaterfallNow
The crew at WaterfallNow simply loves doing what they do and are thankful for the opportunities to work on a number of different projects. WaterfallNow has been able to help many clients in the Lower Mainland relax with a staycation at their own home while listening to the soothing sounds of cascading water.
Starting something new is always daunting. Stepping into a small niche industry already dominated by larger companies was even more daunting. But in the end, persistency always seems to have a way of paying off. Perhaps the only reason we decided that this would be a good idea was because of the support of our customers. We would be nowhere had we not received that support.
WaterfallNow: Stumbling Blocks & Growing Pains June 22nd, 2014WaterfallNow
WaterfallNow will also manufacture faux stone veneer panels for clients in BC and Alberta.
Sample of an plastic veneer panel (texture only) Can make a mold and cast faux stone veneer panels with concrete, fibreglass, GFRC etc.
WaterfallNow can custom create any faux stone veneer panels for use in any application. These are an excellent choice for home construction for both indoor and outdoor applications. Not only do they look great but they last long, don’t fade, don’t crack, and don’t split. Use them on walls, around a fireplace, as a retaining wall cover, or even as part of a water wall feature.
Because faux stone veneer panels do not require the customization of our rock water features they are something that we offer as is. Installation of veneer panels is easy enough. They are lightweight and don’t involve the hassle of carrying real stone.
WaterfallNow can offer clients any style of faux stone veneer panels. Send us an idea or sample of what you would like and we can create some samples. Alternatively you can bring existing samples to us and we will re-create them for you. Fake rock veneer panels great and are increasing in popularity for a reason. They are a great addition to any renovation project – transforming the look and feel of any room.
The rock colour, desired thickness, use of concrete or fibreglass, and even sizing can all be customized according to the clients needs. In some cases you may even find yourself spending less than a fraction of what you would have spent otherwise.
How easy it is to install. No messing around with concrete, getting the carpets dirty, or anything like that. You can check out fauxpanels.com
WaterfallNow believes that some things are meant to change. Gone are the days of having to hire hundreds of different people to have something installed. Doing so cuts into the budget.
Before you think ‘oh here we go another guy preaching how to cut corners,’ just hear me out. The cost of … Everything.. has gone up. It isn’t about cutting corners and taking shortcuts but maximizing the cost-efficiency of what you have to work with. This includes means paying more for energy efficient appliances or lighting. Just think long-term. This cost savings can ultimately be a benefit to the home-buyer.
What could be worse than someone buy a home that you built, not because they like the house, but because they like the location, and seeing them renovate what you thought was ‘built to standard.’
Builders especially, are looking to use their existing crews who they already trust to get the work done themselves. That is not to say that there aren’t problems associated with this as I will mention later.
While most trades require skill and experience, respect must also be given to the growing DIY (do it yourself) movement. More homeowners, landlords, and builders are looking to save money and increase their returns on investment by investing their time more wisely.
In certain cases it may take less than a few hours to install a false rock wall using faux stone veneer panels. No mess and no damage to the flooring. They last long, look clean & uniform, and are easy enough for the ‘do-it-yourselfers’ to manage on their own.
We like the idea of faux stone veneer panels and have employed their use on a number of applications. They are definitely a growing trend and are appearing on many new homes. We just ask that should you install these to ensure that you fill in the gaps.
What I’ve been noticing in many new development projects throughout Surrey, Vancouver, and in other parts of the Lower Mainland is that sometimes these panels are not adhered correctly! Often on more than one house in a row!
I should point out that faux stone veneer panels look beautiful but only when they appear natural. When a person cannot tell from afar or up close that they are made with faux rock panels it is generally a sign that the installer did a good job. If however a person can see from far away that the application is peeling away as I have seen then you may want to address that issue to prevent the same from happening on future houses.
Faux Stone Veneer Panels are NOT a Shortcut!!!
The combination of weathering from rain, sunlight, snow, and freeze-thaw can slowly warp or peel faux stone veneer panels that weren’t properly adhered away from the structure resulting in an ugly appearance. The result? It looks cheap and gives off an air of poor quality work to prospective homebuyers who will then view the rest of the home with even more skepticism.
Would you not wonderyourself if those who built the home didn’t also cut corners on other parts of the home as well? Perhaps on the roofing or plumbing?
I have learned a thing or two about sales and how to sell from being a customer. Selling homes just like selling a car, service, or a product is not about hard sales – which can lose you the sale. It is more about being consultative, providing great support, treating the client with a friendly demeanor, being honest, open, caring, and having a keen eye attention to the details. Ultimately the mantra that we buy from those who we ‘know, like, and trust’ holds true. Moreover, this is one of the reasons why profitable businesses are those that have a large referral base.
Just as you would want someone else to go through some work you’ve done who can give you a fresh perspective you may also want to get a few close people to analyze your newly finished home. Better they see the flaws and you correct them before putting the home up for sale and risk damaging your reputation.
While one or two small problems may not kill the deal they can certainly add up. Where there are a few there tend to be many. The industry professionals tend to have none altogether and they are the ones who can cater to a certain market of buyers that otherwise wouldn’t buy a home. It pays in the long-run to build things that will last for the long-term. Why? Because it can take 20 years to build a solid reputation and a just few minutes to destroy it for good.
On a more positive note, if you need some veneer panels either fake or with real rock feel free to contact us. Our connections are yours as well.