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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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.

Call 778.788.8603

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Book an estimate today