Waterfalls Vancouver: Stream And Waterfall Location Planning

Building a Stream & Waterfall For Your Vancouver Custom Home

If you own a beautiful house with lush green backyard in Vancouver, adding a rippling and rock lined stream with one or multiple waterfalls can increase the pleasure factor of your yard. This is especially true in the summer months as many folks like to gather in their backyard. Waterfalls are undoubtedly one of the most serene and relaxing features created by nature. Owning one in your backyard can be just the thing for you to enjoy a natural and relaxing environment.

Streams and Waterfalls in Your Garden…

Stating the obvious, people living in Vancouver live in one of the most beautiful and nature oriented places in the world. Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Lynn Canyon, Trout Lake, and Pacific Spirit Park are 5 of the most beautiful parks in Vancouver but you can’t always make time to go hiking, or stop by a tranquil location after a day’s hard work. Creating a small or large-scale replica of a stream with waterfalls in your garden can bring nature closer to you. In order to maintain good water clarity and reduce maintenance, you can use gravel and stone filters coupled with a heavy duty pump. And the best part is you can undertake and complete the project in two weekends. Within days you will see a natural ecosystem start to form attracting wildlife such as birds that will bathe in the pond.

How to Decide On A Location…

It is an exciting thought to have your very own waterfall, but before anything else you need to decide on a location. There is no point putting in all the hard work and effort, not to mention money, if you can’t enjoy it when you want. You should choose the location by visualizing it. Imagine the best spot where you would like to sit and enjoy the waterfall, maybe near the deck or patio. You can choose a spot near your bedroom to enjoy the sound of water at night and in the morning. In any case, the location of the stream and waterfall(s) should be the one most enjoyable for you.

Preference of location, however, is not the only consideration in planning and executing the project. The following factors should also be considered when selecting the location.

  • If the soil is soft, excavate the site and if it is hard, build the stream above ground with a stone base. The type of work you want to undertake can influence your location selection.
  • Little slope, 2in drop per 10ft of stream, is enough for the flow. If you want faster moving water or taller waterfalls, create a steeper grade. Proper streams cannot be built on flat ground.
  • Decide on the stream size to determine the water capacity in the lower basin and upper pool when pump is off. The location should have enough space and ability to accommodate the capacity you desire.
  • In order to enjoy a babbling brook sound, set the waterfalls height between two to four inches. In case you want more sound, increase the height of the waterfall drop.
  • You should search for stones to be used in the project under rock, sand & gravel or quarries online or in the yellow pages. You can choose colorful accent boulders and flat stones for the waterfalls. You can choose the different rocks and materials according to prices and types available. Choice of stone is very important in the functionality of the project. If you want to cut costs in half you can opt for an artificial rock waterfall. There are residential and commercial waterfall contractors in Vancouver that specialize in that area and they can custom create virtually any kind of waterfall you desire.

waterfalls vancouver

After Selecting the Location…

Once you have clarified and decided on the aforementioned factors, you can map out the design and mark it, so that you can start digging. It is recommended only to start the work when all the material have arrived. Detailed instructions are available online, in magazines, through videos (YouTube) and catalogs. Alternatively, you can hire a professional to help you complete the project successfully. It is usually better to involve the professional once you have decided upon the location. One of the reasons why we recommend hiring a professional is because they will install the plumbing correctly (including the filtration systems) which will allow the water feature to run continuously without constant maintenance issues.

Don’t forget the lighting! You can find good pond and waterfall lighting from your local garden center, online at Amazon.com or speak with your waterfall contractor who has a supplier or distributor relations with suppliers.

Rock Waterfall Ideas For Backyard Renovation Projects

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.
Rustic Landscape by Portland Landscape Contractors Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
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.
Contemporary Landscape by Woodinville Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Classic Nursery & Landscape Co. / Alan Burke, asla
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

Hiring Water Features Contractors For Your Garden Renovation

Water features for the garden are a staple for outdoor living.

As the weather grows warmer more people begin to shift their attention towards how they will redesign their yards. Considering the average person will spend a significant portion of their time it just makes sense to spruce things up.

There is a large variety of choices to be made when considering the type of garden renovation ideas one has in mind. Having many decades of landscaping experience under our belts we’ve heard the common issues most people had with their own yards. Most people want their yards to look nice but many don’t even know where to begin. Some believe they want a large amount of flowers only to find that they don’t have the time to maintain it themselves.

When most people look to add a water feature to their yard it is usually because they saw something online or they were in their friends yard and their neighbour had one. So what most people end up doing is going with the first company that they can find. I recommend getting a minimum of 3 estimates from different companies or contractors to get a better understanding of what the project will look like.

When choosing a contractor pick one that has a portfolio of past projects that you like. It is not enough to take one’s word for it and assume that they will create exactly what you had in mind. When in doubt ask for references.

How much does it cost? That will depend on the company you hire to do the work. Generally they will ask for a smaller deposit to begin the work. If a contractor asks for 50% of the total cost up front it should raise some alarms. Most companies work out smaller payments as the work progresses. There are times, especially with smaller companies just starting out, where the contractors ask for 50% upfront to fund an existing project that isn’t yet completed due to lack of funds.

It is safest for you as the customer to deal with contractors that only require small payments as the work progresses. Doing business simply because you like someone even if you know they might not do a good job or are inexperienced always comes with a risk. Things don’t always go as planned as is apparent in the world of contract work but there are precautionary steps you can take to avoid these setbacks. Such costs may entail having to re-hire someone else to fix the ‘fix.’

On the other hand, if you are a contractor reading this you must develop the ability to say ‘no’ to clients who will only cause more problems. It is not worth the headache and heart ache to deal with bad clients.

In summary:

1. Check the contractors portfolio. Ideally you want photos of projects they’ve done themselves. If they are in the custom crafting arena then bring your imagination to the table and plan things out beforehand.

2. Get multiple estimates before picking the water features contractor you plan to work with. Don’t overpay for something that anyone can do (eg. installing a DIY water feature from natural stones). The costs for things that cost less upfront often cost more in the long-run. Have in mind the type of water feature you want with the right budget in mind. Avoid attempts to haggle with something that is clearly out of your budget range in hopes of getting a deal. It’s not worth it.

3. Ask lots of questions. One of the ‘catches’ with most water features is that they lose their appeal after 1-2 years. The high maintenance costs of hiring someone to restore the pond and rocks from looking like green pea soup can be costly and time consuming over a long period of time. If you are a fan of maintenance free (hands off, minds off) and just want to relax then seek out low-maintenance options. Ideally you want something that suffers no cracking from ice (freeze-thaw), has no permit requirements, no excessive weight that may cause sinking and cracking, nothing that takes up too much of your yards real estate, nothing potentially dangerous for children, and something that lasts a lifetime.

4. While I recommend negotiating to get the best price try to avoid excessive haggling (see point 2) with contractors because it is a waste of your time and a waste of theirs. You will not get the best quality from asking for too much and giving too little. Often times trying to get things for cheap results in poor quality and a lower level of service. Water features, fountains, and waterfalls don’t come cheap but that is the point. The cheap variety can be found from Home Depot or Rona in a do-it-yourself kit. Doing it yourself is something that I recommend everyone try at least once. Why? Because it will yield a greater appreciation for the many years of experience that landscapers put in to the point where they make it ‘look easy.’

The bottom line for anyone seeking to renovate their yard is to pick something that gets a ‘wow’ out of themselves, their guests, and makes them feel good. WaterfallNow’s waterfalls are custom designed with you in mind so that you know you have a one of a kind custom hand-made piece of art. Go ahead, show off your yard.

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