beautiful flowering plants, around a fountain, in a small courtyard

What Water Feature is Right for my Outdoor Space?

Water features add aesthetic appeal to your landscape and produce soothing sounds and sights that lift your spirit and help you relax. Water features also attract interesting wildlife such as birds, toads, dragonflies, and bees to your property. However, installing a water system requires you to consider several factors, including the space requirements, budget, and maintenance. This post will give you insights into different water features and the factors to consider when installing one.


Ponds range from 6 by 8 feet to 15 by 20, but the average size is 11 by 16 feet. Most landscapers recommend an additional 2-3 feet of space around the pond for beautification to give it a natural look. The average pond requires around 550 gallons of water.

Ponds are the most expensive water system, with installation costs ranging from $7,500 to $25,000. The cost can rise depending on the size and the landscaping work required to produce the desired look.

Ponds have maintenance requirements, including regular cleaning and inspection of the pump and skimmer every 10-14 days. Experts also advise pond owners to add beneficial bacteria every two weeks to maintain a healthy microbiome.

pondless waterfall made with different sizes of stones

Pondless Waterfalls

Pondless waterfalls are much smaller than ponds and can fit in a variety of spaces. They come in a wide range of designs, and the installation costs vary widely, depending on the complexity of the project. The price range is anywhere from $2,500 to $15,000. However, the cost can escalate to over $40,000 if you opt for a more elegant water feature with multiple waterfalls and stream beds. Maintenance demands are minimal as you only need to refill the reservoir after a couple of weeks to replace evaporated water.

bubbling rock fountain in backyard

Bubbling Rock Fountains

Bubbling rock fountains are the ultimate budget water feature and can be as small as 4 by 4 feet. They are also very versatile and can fit in all types of structures. The average installation cost is $2,200 to $5,000. You only need to spare a few minutes every week to replace evaporated water.

three column fountain water feature in backyard

Column Fountains

Column fountains have more presence and aesthetic appeal than bubbling rocks. The average size is 8 by 8 feet for a medium-sized fountain. Installation costs range from $4,000 to $5,000. The maintenance is easy, requiring a few gallons of water after a couple of weeks to compensate for evaporation.

Close-up view of a garden fountain

Garden Fountains

Garden fountains are very versatile and can fit in backyards, front yards, and driveways. The installation costs range from $1,500 to $2,500, though larger structures can cost over $5,000. Maintenance involves refilling the reservoir once in a while and cleaning with a fountain cleaner after a couple of weeks.

pair of vase fountains in backyard

Vase Fountains

Vase fountains are an innovative alternative because they require minimal construction work. They require around 16 by 16 inches of space. The cost ranges from $1,800 to $3,500, most of which goes to the water pump system. They are easy to maintain as you only need to add a few pints of water every week to account for evaporation.

Factors to Consider When Choosing A Water Feature

Space Requirements

Ponds need space and excavation. The average pond is around 2 to 4 feet deep, so you need to reserve a minimum of 50 sq. feet for the smallest pond. Ponds are suitable for people with plenty of landscaping space. In contrast, a pondless construction only requires a 6-inch deep pool where water feeds into the underground pump. The smallest pondless water features can take less than 3 sq. Feet while the largest take around 20 sq. Feet. They are suitable for small spaces due to their versatility and minimal space requirements.

The Budget

Your budget determines the type of water feature you install and the aesthetics. The options range from elegant fountains with ponds, exotic rocks, and streams to simple vase fountains occupying a small space. Whatever your budget, you are sure to find an option that will add flair to your landscape.

father and adult son cleaning garden pond

Maintenance Requirements

Pump and filter: Most water features require a pump and filter, both of which must be cleaned and inspected regularly to avoid breakdowns.

Water systems: You need to be on the lookout for leaks and busts in the pumps and pipe network feeding the water feature.

Water: The water management regime depends on the complexity of the water feature. Ponds have a delicate ecosystem that requires regular maintenance to ensure they are healthy.

Fish: If you choose to add fish to your pond, you need to take special care by maintaining the right pH and feeding regime.

pond with fountain and koi fish


A water feature is an excellent addition to your landscape as it immediately enhances the property’s aesthetic appeal. However, you must be careful with the choice to avoid exceeding your budget or installing a system you will struggle to manage. With the appropriate planning, you can have an elegant water system that fits your budget and available space.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *