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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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.

BC Place: Water Features, Waterfalls, And Fountains In Vancouver

WaterfallNow displaying a temporary rock waterfall setup at BC Place.

BC Place: Water Features, Waterfalls, And Fountains In Vancouver

Temporary 12×18 pond setup using 2×6 lumber. Internally braced to provide more stability and security. A normal pond setup would be outdoors and dug into the ground. WaterfallNow typically employs pondless waterfalls which require very little water. The water splashes down into a hidden reservoir covered up by river rock and recirculates back up through a pump.

We were going to bring in some custom cherry wood benches made by new air custom designs but the deadline to ship things in was unfortunately passed. This particular display was crafted quickly on-site in a matter of hours. This type of project would normally have taken us several days with a large crew many years ago when we first began experimenting with fiberglass rocks

 

WaterfallNow has experience with concrete, natural rock, plastic rock, styrofoam rock, and even bricks. We have done it all and no other material captures the natural rock shapes found in nature as the ones we manufacture ourselves. Because the outer layer is composed of a mixture of natural rock, the rock can promote the growth of algae and within a few years resemble a real rock.

The thickness of the rock panels can be adjusted according to the purpose. In general, these rocks are meant to be used for display purposes and will last for many decades this way even operating in all 4 seasons.

The majority of the work that we do goes into crafting each rock panel specifically for the design we have in mind. There is a high cost involved in the production of the panels themselves. Anyone who has ever constructed fiberglass boats can attest to the high costs of fiberglass services and products. The equipment, skill, working conditions, and other associated costs may surprise those new to this industry but it is one the team at WaterfallNow is experienced in.

For custom rock waterfalls or fiberglass fabricating, contact WaterfallNow.

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