The Best Types of Water Features for the Average Homeowner
Pools (and cool water) are hallmarks of the summer, and it comes as no surprise when homeowners consider installing them.
A pool is the ultimate water feature, but it doesn’t end there – there is a wide array of water features homeowners can choose to incorporate into their garden and home.
Water fountains, ponds, stone water walls – you name it, choices are abundant. Of course, some options will be a better fit for homeowners compared to others. This post will look at various water features, which are the best fit for the typical homeowner and the best approaches to building them.
Determine the Style/Type of Outdoor Water Features You Want
There are dozens of different water features homeowners can choose from, but I’ve listed some of the most common ones below.
- Water Fountains – Water fountains are great for both the front lawn and the backyard. They’re versatile in design and create a pleasing ambience thanks to the soothing and tranquil cascading of water.
- Waterfalls – You can build a waterfall as a standalone feature or add-on to a pool to give it a more authentic natural appearance. Waterfalls come in many looks, including ones made of natural stone or concrete and much more.
- Ponds – Ponds make water features because of their tranquil appearance and sounds. But they’re also great for having aquatic wildlife, namely, small fish and decorative plants such as water lilies.
- Streams – Adding a stream to a landscape design can bring you closer to nature. Streams are great water features to have because they’re soothing yet active and look beautiful when juxtaposed with pathways, stones and even flower beds. Since it takes more space and water volume to create a stream effect, you should consider hiring a professional for this endeavor.
- Reflective Pools – This water feature acts as a mirror, reflecting other elements in your garden. Just remember, in order to create a mirror-like effect, you must have still water.
- Swimming Pools – Swimming pools hardly need an introduction. With that said, there’s a variety of different pools homeowners can enjoy ranging from lap pools to diving pools and much more.
Hot Tub Water Features
- Hot Tubs & Jacuzzis – Again, hot tubs and spas don’t need much explanation. They appeal to the eyes and the body since hot water is great to soothe and relax sore and achy muscles. These are often incorporated into a master plan with a swimming pool as well.
- Water Rills – A water rill resembles a stream. However, they are built to flow in a straight line and are typically surrounded by hardscape materials such as stone, brick, or rock. Rills are contemporary design features with a strong aesthetic appeal and practical use since they can channel water into a pond or pool.
It’s common to see some of these water features exist on the same lot. In some cases, it’s necessary. For example, a water fountain will often flow into a pool or a pond. When thinking about installing water features, consider how the construction of one will benefit or support the placement of the other.
Best Approaches to Building Outdoor Water Features
The water feature that works best for your particular landscape depends on its placement, purpose and practicality.
Pick the Right Spot for a Water Feature
When it comes to the placement of a water feature, the “location, location, location” rule applies.
It’s usually better to place a water feature where you will frequently visit and, of course, has enough room. Some water features may need additional thought because their position should correspond with the topography of your landscape.
An example of this would be a water fountain – placing it on an elevated portion of your landscape allows for a natural downward flow of water.
Choose a Water Feature Based on Purpose
If you’re going to build a water feature, it should be something that has a function within your landscape. It could be for raising aquatic plants and fish, creating a certain mood or atmosphere for recreational use or just to enhance the design.
Don’t pick one just because the Joneses have it or HGTV recommends it. You’re spending money, time and effort to have a feature installed on your lot, so it better be something that you can make use of and enjoy.
Choose a Water Feature Idea for its Practicality
I’ve seen my share of water feature projects that have had underwhelming results. The number one reason for that was it was a poor fit. Even a helpful water feature becomes useless if it’s on the wrong lot.
For example, you wouldn’t put water features such as a pool that requires flat ground onto a sloped hill. Likewise, placing a water fountain that requires a slope on the flat ground might not be the best use of that landscape. The critical point here is to ensure your water feature is a good fit for your unique landscape.