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.
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.