Why consider having water features? Because they are awesome! If money or space was no object most people would be open to having one.
There are many companies that create beautiful water features as a quick browse on YouTube should show. One such company is Aquascape. They create water features using natural stone. There are several methods of creating water features that range in price from very inexpensive to very expensive. Keep in mind however that it isn’t always the case that you get what you pay for. So why consider water features as part of the bigger picture of landscaping overall?
“Nearly 20% of buyers say they consider landscaping to be a ‘very important’ factor in their decision to buy a house, according to a new study by the National Association of Realtors.” Wall Street Journal. Selling Houses by the Yard. August 17, 2007.
OK. 20% isn’t a big number but when the group was narrowed down to higher end homes that number increased significantly. After all, a luxury home just doesn’t feel the same without stunning landscaping work.
“Property adjacent to water – whether a pond, lake, stream, river, or ocean – is often more expensive.” Kaplan, Kaplan, and Ryan. With People in Mind: Design and Management of Everyday Nature, p. 113.
Adding some water features to the yard tends to increase property value provided that it looks good. It can also be a no-no when done in areas where there are only a few warm months. Fewer buyers want to deal with maintenance. Speaking of maintenance it is a good idea to install lawn sprinklers. For high end homes however, adding a pool may be advisable.
By digging a hole, laying some pond liner, throwing on some rocks, a pump, and some arranging you can create an inexpensive water feature. The downside to this method is of course the maintenance. It doesn’t take long for this method to start resembling green pea soup. Water features in the backyard of a home are often enjoyed during the Spring and Summer months. Weekend gatherings and BBQ’s on the patio can be more enjoyable when spent nearby a water feature. The sound of trickling water is soothing and reduces stress. This is good news as stress can trigger or act as a catalyst for many health related issues.
“… Hospital patients who have a view of natural landscapes recover faster from surgery and require less pain medication. In addition, heart rate, blood pressure, and other measures return to normal levels more quickly when people view natural rather than urban landscapes after a stressful experience.” The Sustainable Sites Initiative. Standards & Guidelines: Preliminary Report. November 1, 2007.
Similarly, those who have an aquarium with live fish in their homes may also experience these benefits. Maybe you have a blank slate, that is you’ve just bought some land and are drawing out plans for what it should look like. Do you prefer having a large lawn or do you prefer having a pond?
One of the major things to consider is the maintenance of a pond and whether or not you are willing to keep it in good shape. Unkempt ponds are unattractive, and are a breeding ground for many insects including mosquitoes. That is not to say however that homes should opt to go without a water feature altogether.
Not all water features require a pond. Homes with smaller yards often opt for pondless or invisible waterfalls. It is known by many that having water features improves a property’s value (as would a gazebo, patio, or a sundeck). But did you know that it is rated as one of the best ways to improve the appearance of your home?
Not too many things in a yard can stand out quite like a professionally crafted water feature. Our Custom Water features have a way of naturally drawing people towards them. Having a waterfall is a great way to showcase your home and make it stand out from the rest. Too many homes are being built using the same cookie cutter format all throughout major areas. It is nice to add a fresh landscaping concept to the mix from time to time.
Adding a water feature to an existing pool is considered going all out in most cases. It is easy to decide on whose yard people will hold their party at when there is someone with a pool with water features. There are too few people fortunate to live near an ocean, lake, or other body of water. This leaves many with a basic yard perhaps with some grass, a shed, and a patio table. It doesn’t have to be like that and you don’t need to try and create your own water feature. There are many professional landscaping companies that specialize in these types of projects.
The cheapest method of building water features involves just a few hundred dollars but lots of your time. This is the method most people are familiar with and that is to do it yourself (DIY). This can however backfire if the end result is far from desired and you find yourself burying it instead. On the bright side you will have at least gained some of the health benefits of a water feature through the exercise.
Hmm… Perhaps even cheaper than the first method depending on how you value your time, simply going to the local Walmart or pond/landscaping/fountain store and buying a pre-made kit may also do the trick. There are some companies that offer either pre-made kits or pre-made fiberglass fountain statues – but you want something much bigger right?
A more costly method is to actually hire someone else who is going to create it for you. Make sure this person has experience and the photos on their website are of their own projects. It isn’t uncommon to hire someone new only to find that they are biting off more than they can chew.
A professional landscaping company that specializes in water features will either use natural stone or use specially mixed concrete. Some companies use fibreglass rock panels that look like real rock and then patch them together. Overall, people will know what you spent on your water feature.
Their first impression will likely be either:
1. Wow, that is nice
2.Wow, that is really nice! or
3. WOWOWOW, THAT IS REALLY NICE
At least this is what they will be thinking…
One point that quickly comes to mind is conservation. One of the benefits of having pondless water features is the minimal reliance on water consumption. Pondless water features have contained basins where the same water gets cycled over and over. Most people know that the look and sound of water features reduces blood pressure. But did you know that the reduced lower hydro bill can also keep your blood pressure levels in check?
Whether you like water features for your yard or indoors you have a wide range of options. The best time to invest in one is now (sooner rather than later). The longer you have one, the more enjoyment and benefit you can extract from the overall value.
Try calling on some of the companies that specialize in water features in your local area to inquire about some of the options available. For the DIYer you may be able to get some free advice on where to purchase supplies at reasonable prices. For the person that just wants the best and wants it now it is still a good idea to ask around to see what is available. What might be considered the ‘best’ to one may be completely opposite from another.