Luxury Pool Water Features: Icing On The Cake

Today we will take a look at a few luxury pool water features commonly used in many backyard design projects. Keep in mind that many luxury pool contractors rates will typically range between $100,000 and $500,000.
The biggest economic crisis in modern history saw many great pool contractors throughout North America moving onto other things. Sadly, this opened the door for many inexperienced builders to build so-called luxury pools.
The amount of fine attention to detail that goes into building a custom pool to a high standard may go unnoticed to the average person but are easily detected by experienced pool builders.
As always, you want to ensure that you are hiring someone that is capable of carrying out a project. Don’t just take the contractors word for it. If possible, check their references. While it isn’t a foolproof way of avoiding problems later on, it does eliminate a lot of doubts.

Popular types of luxury pool water features

Luxury Pool Water Features
Mediterranean Pool by Edmond Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers CAVINESS LANDSCAPE DESIGN, INC.

Custom Rock Waterfalls

High quality pools deserve quality water features. A common water feature for nature infused backyards is a custom rock waterfall. These are a staple in amusement parks around the world and for good reason. They look great, produce soothing sounds, and can transform a cold and boring yard into a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Rock water features are made in a variety of different ways.

1. Artificial GFRC Panels Tied To An Internal Steel Frame

One method utilizes an internal bracing system with concrete GFRC panels tied on making the inside hollow. A concrete mud is used to seal the joints. One company that comes to mind is Neptune Panels which is a distributor in the USA. While strong, the concrete/fiber panels will still split down the middle if struck hard enough with a hammer. Rock molds for this method are often flat surfaced making this the easiest method to scale for fast projects.
Luxury Pool Water Features
Modern Pool by Manchester Stone, Pavers & Concrete Neptune Panels
2. Shotcrete And Hand-Carved Artificial Rock
Another method of creating rock waterfalls for pools is through the use of concrete forming and shotcrete. This method often costs the most simply due to the amount of preparation, labourers, and materials used not to mention the ongoing maintenance to repair cracks, chips, and leaks commonly caused during the winter. This is the most common method of creating artificial rock water features simply because concrete pool contractors already deal with shotcrete. It does have the potential to look very nice in the hands of expert artisans.
Luxury Pool Water Features
3. Fiberglass Rock Panels
One method of creating a lightweight, cost-effective, and easily customizable custom rock waterfall or fountain is by using a blend of fiberglass and natural materials. This method is the least common for creating rock water features. WaterfallNow adopted this method simply because nobody else was doing it. The thickness can be adjusted depending on the application.
While similar to the GFRC panel method, this method is different due to the rock texture which is a clone of the original rock face capturing deep grooves, and edges of real cliffsides. Attempting to recreate these patterns carved out of concrete would produce less than appealing results.
Although it requires much more cutting, bending, shaping, and many hours of practice to get right, we find that it has the most potential. The cost can be 20-50% less than the other methods.
This gives you two options. Firstly you can expect a cost of 20-50% less than what you would normally pay. Secondly, you can spend the same amount yet get much more bang for your buck. An example would be the option to choose additional lighting, spillways, or a larger sized rock.
fiberglass rock panels
Does your backyard look more like a jungle than a townhouse complex? If so, a custom rock waterfall just might be your next big project. The sooner you start planning, the sooner you can enjoy spending time in your private oasis.
Tropical Pool by Grapevine Landscape Contractors One Specialty Landscape Design, Pools & Hardscape

Laminar Water Jet Fountain

Laminar water jets are a commonly used water feature for modern pool designs. Some models can be programmed to change colors and turn on and off at different intervals creating a mini water show.
Contemporary Pool by Plano Pools & Spas Pool Environments, Inc.
Luxury Pool Water Features Water Jet
While these images do not properly show their effects, when a laminar water jet with LED lighting penetrates the pool surface, it also lights up the pool area with the same color of LED light used. A blue LED laminar jet would light up the pool surface and cast a blue glow. These water features can be used in conjunction with custom rock waterfalls or for clean modern pool designs as shown in the previous image above.

Sheer Descent Waterfall Spillways and Weirs

There are several types of spillways that go well with luxury pools

Acrylic Waterfall Spillway                                                              Stainless Steel Waterfall Weir

waterfall spillway

stainless steel waterfall

Natural slate stone pieces combined with natural rock are sometimes used as well

The more common black plastic waterfall pond kits are not common with luxury backyard pool designs.

There are hundreds of different designs and even infinite possibilities if you contract a custom stainless steel fabricator.

One of the most important things to include is a high quality LED light strip. Ask any landscape designer what is the one easiest thing you can do to drastically improve the look and feel of a yard and they might mention lighting. At least from our own personal experience, proper lighting (underwater lights even) can make the biggest difference.

The following image is an example of what a waterfall sheer might look like. It does not appear to have any LED lighting installed near the outlet however you can see the use of an anti-splash mat where the rocks hit the base.

Contemporary Landscape by Saint Clair Shores Landscape Contractors Pondering Waters, LLC
Luxury Pool Water Features
waterfallnow vancouver
Now that you have no excuse not to know what to look for, why not head over to Houzz, Pinterest, or your local luxury pool water features specialists website and browse further ideas?
Planning a custom-built luxury pool with water features and would like a quote? Get in touch with WaterfallNow and ask about our new offerings. We will send an inhouse designer to the site (not a salesperson) to provide you with a solid quote as early as the next day. Our prices are fair across the board and considered to be the most affordable.
Other worthy mentions: fountains, cobra stainless steel spillway, bubbler fountain, rain curtain (very ‘pretty’), rain effect water sheer, water overflow from basins.
Did we miss something? Feel free to make a recommendation.

How To Make Imitation Rock

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?

Click here to view how most do-it-yourselfers are doing it

This is what people think of when they hear the words faux rock or imitation rock. Not very appealing.

Styrofoam is nice indoors but doesn’t last outdoors.

Chips, leaks, and cracks are a pain to deal with

Video on how imitation rock panels are used to make a small fountain. Made using a lighter panel for this application.

Get a gist of how to make realistic imitation rock panels here using GFRC/fiberglass. These artificial/faux rocks look better than the real thing in some cases. In many cases they can even cost less than the real thing.

How to make imitation rock

How to make imitation rock with WaterfallNow. GFRC/fiberglass

Indoor Water Feature Design Ideas

WaterfallNow is an experienced group of artificial rock water feature artists that works with clients that want the best in custom water features.

Whether you are a designer/architect, or a home-owner looking to spruce up your living space WaterfallNow can provide the outdoor or indoor water feature design ideas you need to inspire you to make your dreams come true.

WaterfallNow truly creates custom works of art for any budget. Typically our clients are those who have the budget to let us maximize that project to bring out its full potential. For those who cannot go without having the sound of trickling water or a stream of water on their property give us a call to see what you can have done.

Do you enjoy the sounds of trickling water? We do.

Maybe you like the energizing sounds of a rushing torrent of water? We like that too.

Can’t decide which one you prefer? Ask us about a free quote. We will work with you to design something within your budget. We work with any budget to give our clients something they can enjoy for many years to come. Our water features even increase property value.

If you are looking for unique indoor water feature design ideas you are in luck. Why? Because you’ve just discovered WaterfallNow! WaterfallNow can create specialty works of art for all of our clients to match and fit your interior design needs.

Are you an architect, home builder, or designer with plans to enhance a living space with the addition of an attention-grabbing indoor water feature? Contact us for a quote and take advantage of our great deals.

Our rocks are so versatile that we can work on any project any place, any size, and any shape. By taking our rock panels, cutting, bending, folding, and patching them together we can theoretically re-create an entire cliffside.

We don’t deny the beauty in natural rocks. But having many years in landscaping, we discovered many limitations associated with natural stone

Natural stone tends to be limited with finding the right the size, shape, or colour.

Areas such as Surrey, Burnaby, or Richmond where are not as fortunate as North Vancouver, West Vancouver, or Whistler with the close proximity to natural rock formations such as cliffs and rock walls.

Concrete is often out of the question when it comes to indoor water features not simply because of costs but potential maintenance nightmares. If going for a concrete water feature located indoors it is advised to do so during the construction of the building and securing all potential leakages.

Concrete – Leaks and Cracks

We have heard the horror stories of people who have had a concrete waterfall that was not created properly. We aren’t sure what the exact cause of the leakage was but it may have been something to do with the tiny pores in the concrete itself. We have seen several of these in people’s backyards that were not running. The common response to why the waterfalls were not running was maintenance related. Ask the contractor for samples of their experience with creating outdoor and indoor water features.

If you currently have a concrete pool or concrete waterfall with a basin that has issues holding water you may need to reapply a gel coat. Vinyl Ester resins are common for this type of repair. Polyester resins are priced higher and usually aren’t used as a gel coat. Provided that you are doing your own labour you can do this for a few hundred dollars.

Fiberglass pools tend to be a good option from the start as the long-term reductions in maintenance costs will eventually outweigh the initial savings. They won’t tell you this upfront. Concrete pools are undoubtedly beautiful but fiberglass pools are becoming more common. As long as you ask and have an idea of the potential maintenance costs you will be fine eitherway.

Other things to consider is the proximity to trees and other roots. Concrete once set tends to be a permanent fixture. If you are considering an outdoor water feature ensure that the feature will not be in close proximity with large tree roots or roots from newly planted trees that may crack the structure. Even the smallest weeds and roots can crack concrete or asphalt as can be seen in many unkempt driveways and sidewalks. Roots from trees that grow along or near concrete can create enough pressure to eventually begin affecting the structural integrity of your waterfall.

Another potential pitfall with some concrete designs is cracking from freeze-thaw. Amateurs such as ourselves when we first were creating rock features using concrete many years ago found that even the smallest lumps could cause a concrete rock feature to crack completely over the winter. Fortunately this rock feature was not created for a client but for ourselves. The cause was simply due to water and ice accumulating in the pores and holes and expanding causing the structure to break and chip.

We eventually discovered fiberglass as an optimal solution. They are simple to use and versatile which makes serving the customers needs that much smoother. They are flexible and have a lot of give to them. The beautiful thing about fiberglass is that repairs don’t have to cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Often times our former clients call us for upgrades to their existing water features to change the color or make them bigger by adding more panels.

One of the downsides to fiberglass is the perception of it being less permanent. For outdoor commercial purposes it is a safer bet to go with concrete water features because there will inevitably be people that will stand on or sit on the water feature. Despite this downside we have not had many issues with property damage to our rock features. Should something happen let us know right away and we will patch and seam the damages back to normal.

Want insane overhangs and realistic rock patterns taken exactly from natural rock walls? There are hundreds of different fake rock panel designs to choose from.

waterfall nowWhen you have this kind of flexibility it makes coming up with indoor water feature ideas that much easier.

Custom Indoor Water Fountains, Water Walls and Water Features


WaterfallNow builds unique custom water walls using artificial rock panels. Despite being larger and much more beautiful our projects currently cost less than our competitors. When it comes to water walls which can be purchased through a wholesaler online or from a local dealer you are often limited to wall-mounted units.

I am a fan of wall-mounted water walls as well though they lack the exact sound that is often associated with other waterfalls or water features. The benefit of choosing them is their modern design which often better-matches contemporary architecture. They are however not our passion.

The team at WaterfallNow enjoys creating true custom work on-site for all clients needs. It is a satisfying feeling to have worked on a project on-site, plug in the power, and see a beautiful man-made waterfall come to life.

Whether you prefer the soothing and relaxing sounds of water trickling down a rock wall or the white noise provided by a waterfall (for a lobby) that can drown out traffic and other related noise simply let us know. We will draw out a plan, find the necessary parts and pieces, provide all the lighting, pumps, plumbing, and everything else needed to create your waterfall or water feature.

Pricing is based on the amount of rock panels required, labour required, indoor/outdoor, amount of preparation work done, customization (lighting, mist, fog, fountainheads etc), degree of difficulty, indoor or outdoor, and location with high traffic. Have a great location that you would like to feature one of our waterfalls? We will provide you with an excellent and unbeatable offer.

Our prices vary but on average they are:

Residential projects Est medium sizes $4000 to larger projects of $15,000 (We have saved just a few samples)

Commercial projects Est larger projects $20,000 showcase projects $50,000 (No current samples – currently working on a few)

Are you an architect tasked with creating a large commercial project? Don’t think that WaterfallNow lacks the ability to work on larger projects. There is little difference in the time it takes for WaterfallNow to create a medium project from a large project.

We will in the future provide more photos and videos of our work for your benefit. Look for a fresh set of samples by summer 2014 for both outdoor and waterfalls. We will have more indoor water feature design ideas for your interior waterfall, water wall, or fountain needs.

Don’t wait until our prices increase. Take advantage of our low introductory rates this summer.

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