In the wide world of waterfalls, there are many approaches to construction. However, creating the most natural looking waterfall possible is always the bottom line. Below you&'ll find a list of tips that should help make the design and construction go a little smoother. Hopefully, saving you time and frustration.
Visibility:Make sure the waterfall is going to be visible from the areas used most often – family room, deck, patio window, etc. Always best when you can enjoy it not only from outside but inside your home. In mostly all water features the waterfall will be the focal point.
Blend: If the area of install is low lying, maintain that feel by building a slight berm around the waterfall area. A few small drops with large stones to frame. Don't build a volcano style waterfall in a flat setting. You want the waterfall to blend flawlessly with your landscape.
Moving Stone & Gravel: Moving heavy stone is no doubt everyone's least favorite part of building a waterfall. For those larger more awkward stones you just can't hold, try cutting a piece of underlayment and using it like a sling. You would be surprised with how much weight it can handle. For that smaller stone and gravel, use a 5 gallon bucket with handle.
Expanding Polyurethane Foam: When placing your stone, keep in mind you're also creating areas for water to flow. During placement you&'l notice gaps forming around, under and behind the stones. Once your pump is turned on water will flow into these gaps instead of flowing down and over the stones. To avoid this, these gaps should be filled with an expanding polyurethane foam. The foam will fill large or small gaps as it expands roughly three times in size. Typically, grey in color so that it will blend with most rock colors. Always wear gloves and protective eyewear when using expanding foam.
Use Gravel to Conceal Expanding Foam: To better hide the foam and before it has a chance to cure, cover it with small gravel or crushed stone. The gravel will stick directly to the tacky foam as it hardens. Make sure foam is given adequate time to cure before pumps are turned on.
Frame with Large Stones: Your waterfall will always look more natural when using the biggest stones to frame bends and drop locations - utilize stones with a flat surface between these frame rocks. The waterflow will hit the larger stones finding its way through the space between. Use small rocks and gravel to fill in gaps. Be inspired and take your time when laying out your stones.
Landscaping: Use low lying plants along the edges and taller plants to backdrop, the more the better. They will help soften all the hard edges of the stone – creating a more natural overall feel as if the waterfall has always been there. Make sure plantings blend smoothly with the rest of your property and mulch to finalize the install.
Do Your Homework: Let mother nature be your muse. Study the effortless construction of streams and waterfalls found in nature. Research on-line or at your local library for pictures and ideas. What better place to draw inspiration than from what's found right in mother nature.
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