Artificial Rock Advantages And Benefits

Any Shape Or Size

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.

Weight

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.

Color

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.

Durability

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.

Any Location

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.

Patterns

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.

Cost

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 – local and global artificial rocks

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GFRC – Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete

WaterfallNow employs a similar method used in the production of many sinks, bathtubs, shower walls, and more. We utilize a blend of natural stone powders (to achieve the right pigment or texture for the application). We combine that with synthetic materials such as fiberglass (or fibreglass) to increase the strength multiple times over.

“Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete, also known as GFRC or GRC, is a type of fiber reinforced concrete. Glass fiber concretes are often used in exterior building façade panels or as architectural precast concrete. Somewhat similar materials are fiber cement siding and cement boards.” – Wiki

WaterfallNow has in the past utilized GFRC on applications for larger commercial projects but the price tag was often far too great for the average home owner.

Back in our landscaping days we noticed a large market for home owners who wanted a waterfall in their backyard. Often times we found that they settled on natural rock formations. We were the guys that people called to clean their green coloured ponds. Eventually they just told us to remove the pond and install fresh turf. This led us to believe that there had to be a better way.

We have tried all sorts of different methods for creating artificial rocks (believe me). Some of these methods might even remind some people of their grade school days… Think paper and styrofoam. Interestingly enough the styrofoam idea did work for a bit but we required something more scalable.

Eventually we turned to a lightweight and more ideal method of creating backyard waterfall features for our clients with fiberglass as the key ingredient. Each renovation project is a blank canvas for us to display our artwork.

This is not our video but this is what a GFRC Rock Panel typically looks like.

GFRC is much heavier than fiberglass and can be difficult to move once created. Our technique usually requires fiber materials, resins, chemical hardeners, natural stone powders, a mold, and some time.

You will see halfway through the video a sample of the rock mixture. This is the method WaterfallNow previously employed.

WaterfallNow’s rock panels have realistic rock textures

waterfallnow

Though the market for rock waterfalls is not yet as big in BC as in the US we know that overtime (just like our experience with artificial turf) we will create it. Moreover, we are positioning ourselves this year to make it a growing trend in Surrey. We look forward to partnering with others in the water features industry that are looking to spur this change in garden renovations.

Because our main market is for homeowners we had to find a different way that would offer more customization with half the cost to the client. We employ a method that is light enough to be cut or bent, strong enough to withstand natural elements, and looks better than the real thing. Perhaps in the future we will again employ GFRC if we get a request but it is no longer our focus.

There are many different variations for creating artificial rock panels and a wide variety of materials that can be used. In the end it all depends on what the client wants and exceeding their expectations to provide many great experiences.

 fiberglass rock panel

waterfall feature

Once you create some rock panels and begin putting them together, the possibilities are endless. This could potentially be a DIY project (at least half of the process).

Once the surrounding landscape is complete with plants, grass, trees, and lighting, this water feature will look very nice. Can be remote operated, moved to another location, and even painted to a different colour.

Want to showcase your yard with a beautiful waterfall feature? Call WaterfallNow

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Custom Rock Garden Waterfalls

There is an art to constructing custom rock garden waterfalls. The time, effort, investments, and even failures that went into learning how to get started is often overlooked by those who are unfamiliar with the industry. The ability to work around issues and solve problems is a very useful and essential skill.

We’ve encountered hundreds of issues over the years along the way but were always able to find a way to make things work. In the end, that learned experience is a part of the value we bring to you. We’ve tried styrofoam, concrete, our own panel system, and many other techniques. What we found was that most projects were at the time either too large or too costly for smaller clients. We have since developed a way to serve a wider range of clients.

There is a lot of trial and error that goes into learning how to build custom rock features. This is especially true for those who did not go to school to learn these things. People sometimes wonder why counselors or lawyers can charge so much for the advice that they give. What most people miss is the amount of time (many years in school and of experience) and money (books, hiring staff, education) that went into being in a position to do so. It wasn’t easy to get to that point as most people think.

“We don’t know what we don’t know”

Are you looking to learn how to do what we do which is creating 100% customrock garden waterfalls and rock water features for your garden or place of business? If so, send us an email along with your experience.

custom rock garden waterfalls

We have many years of landscaping experience in a family business and experience with MANY other ventures along the way. When we tell people that failure is just an opportunity to learn it is coming from a place where we know people must fail first in order to succeed. Spouting of goals and plans for making something come about is one thing – an entirely different thing to actually do it. What do you hope to accomplish? Is it your first time creating your own rock water feature? You may email us if you would like some of our guidance. Just type [crw] in the subject line. We will provide you with guidance with the hope that it saves you time, money, and stress.

When we meet someone with a passion to start their own business, determine their own level of income, and serve others we can introduce them to new opportunities for personal growth in partnership with us. The attitudes that we carry towards life helps us guide our actions which in turn affects our results.

Our craft requires some natural talent. We operate in a specialized or niche market serving a broad range of clients. This is part of the reason why you won’t find many people doing what we do. If you are planning a rock water feature for your next renovation project and would be interested in pursuing a business relationship in one form or another simply send us an email or speak with Moses 778-788-8603.

We believe in the power of word of mouth marketing and obtaining new business through referrals because that is where the majority of our business has come from over the past decade. We always make room for new growth opportunities and welcome anyone looking to grow with us. Our business clients are more than just customers. They are long-term friends that we stay in contact with over the years. When you do business with us you automatically become a part of our network.

We are in the process of implementing new marketing strategies to make 2014 a breakthrough year. WaterfallNow started out under 3-4 different names during a transitioning phase out of the traditional landscaping arena. We went from landscaping on large commercial and residential landscaping projects (something we were happy doing at the time) but have since found a new home in a market with little competition. With the right team in place we can only continue to grow.

Can you make a list of 100 other places that do what you do in your market? Chances are that you can. But how many people know someone that can do what we do? Very few. This is why our specialization in creating 100% custom hand-made rock features both indoors and outdoors is our field of choice. We have made many rock patio waterfalls, rock retaining walls, garden waterfalls, and water features for fish ponds or pools. There is virtually no limit to what we can do. We have made many custom rock garden waterfalls throughout the Lower Mainland with a wide range of satisfied clients.

If customization, low-maintenance, and long-lasting waterfalls are on your renovation list then give us a call. We help our friends by featuring their waterfalls and business in our videos, websites, and providing solid referrals for people we know that are seeking their services. We serve the entire Lower Mainland (Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby and all locations).

Do you want to be known as the best at what you do? Do you want to attract more customers to your place of business? Let’s work together to not only renovate your place of business but also the image and brand. People don’t talk about renovations that are unremarkable. They do however like to talk about our water features with their friends and family.

Many people are already looking for what we do [Custom Rock Garden Waterfalls]. Soon more people will be looking for something fresh and unique and look for something other than the cold nature of modern designs. By then WaterfallNow will be in the perfect position as the leader in BC for 100% custom rock water features and our services will be known for its increasingly high demand.

Those who are decision makers, are good at determining investment decisions, and understand market value, will be able to take advantage of the services that we are currently providing at the low introductory rates that we offer. We are focused on intentionally growing our company as well as those businesses that are in mutual partnership with us.

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