Concrete Vs Fiberglass Water Features

Basic Types of Waterfalls

Waterfalls and fountains are an excellent source of peace and tranquility, which can create a relaxing environment around you. The reason people love to go to parks with fountains, beaches and natural waterfalls is it brings a sense of serenity and warmth around and within you. Research studies on the effects of trickling and flowing water has shown that it enhances your mood, reduce stress levels and acts as a white noise. Other studies on the impact of water on your health have shown that it provides humidity, purifies the air and improves overall health. And of course, it makes your garden more appealing and beautiful and provides a dramatic and well defined focal point in your back yard or garden.

Pondless Waterfalls

Waterfalls can be added to your existing pool or spa or can be designed as a stand-alone item, known as pondless waterfall. And if you are wondering where the water goes in a pondless waterfall, it flows down the rocks and gathers in a small basin hidden beneath the rocks and is carried back to the top via a hose. You can turn the waterfall on and off, as in a fountain, and needs nearly no maintenance after installation.

Material Used in Waterfall Construction

There are many different types of materials used in constructing waterfalls. Synthetic fiberglass rock materials can withstand the weather conditions, but natural materials blend better with the landscape. Man-made materials include fiberglass, ceramic, acrylic, stainless steel, concrete, GFRC, styrofoam, polyurethane, glass, plastics, and resin, while natural materials include wood, stone and slate, marble, and tile. Metals are also used such as brass and copper. The most popular types of material for large landscape waterfalls are discussed below: Rock and Concrete.

Rock Waterfalls

Rock waterfalls are the most popular type of waterfall feature because they create a natural, tropical, resort like environment. A rock waterfall is can be an amazing addition to a pool or pond, or you can install a stand-alone feature called pondless waterfall. You can choose natural stone or faux rock. The cost for a pool rock waterfall varies from company to company. There is no set budget and prices vary from region to region based on experience. Man made rock waterfalls are an art form that can take many years to learn. Prices fluctuate with supply and demand. Most rock waterfall contractors in Canada have prices that range between $40-$100 per sq/ft of shotcrete, GFRC, or other rock material. Companies that produce rock waterfalls with fiberglass such as WaterfallNow can do them for less than prices quoted for shotcrete. You end up saving more upfront and in the long-run.

Natural Stone

If you have a taste for authentic materials, you can explore local quarries. There is an option of shipping stone from distant locations, as long as you are ready to bear the shipping cost which is high. Natural stone is cheaper when bought in bulk, but the cost of freight and installation makes it as expensive as the manmade stones.

Artificial Fiberglass Rock

Faux rock is usually composed of Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) that is prepared from natural rock formations and is colored to match the grains and texture of different types of stones. GFRC is lighter in weight and very easy to install compared to shotcrete. WaterfallNow is one of the only companies in North America using a special rock panel which the company produces themselves in Surrey, BC, Canada. How much does concrete rock water features cost vs fiberglass rock waterfalls? Fiberglass rocks can cost around half as much with prices improving as you scale up in size.

fiberglass rocks

Concrete Waterfalls

Concrete waterfalls demand a considerable level of skill and expertise, but they make a permanent feature in your garden or backyard. They are most effective when used with rocks and stones.  The excavation for concrete waterfalls has to be waterproofed, preferably polythene. In case you want to add rocks or stones, you should do it while the concrete is wet. And the soil at the site should be compacted enough to support the weight of the concrete.

Concrete waterfalls allow a wide range of altering the dimension, such as length, width or shape. In addition, the basin can be made smaller as the space of the water is not taken up by the rocks. Concrete waterfalls are stationary – especially when you have kids there is no risk of movement, permanent, lifetime life expectancy, more economical to build and operate, easier to clean or maintain, safer and more natural looking. They are sturdy but also considerably heavy. You definitely want to ensure they are kept moist while setting to delay cracking. Shotcrete carved rocks will inevitably begin to deteriorate over time. Leaks can prove expensive as well as impossible to repair as they are difficult to detect especially if they are happening within the solid concrete rock formations.

In short, waterfalls whether an addition or stand-alone item can be an amazing addition to your garden or backyard. It is a great way to bring all the positive energy and health benefits offered by flowing water into your home.

Fiberglass Vs Concrete Pools

 

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.

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