Water features come in all shapes and sizes and can range from simple fountains to more complex water walls or full-fledged ponds. Simple or complex, water features have the ability to enhance the immediate environment, in terms of visual appeal and interest. Water features are instant conversation starters too.

Whether you’re building a new house, renovating a shared space in a commercial property, or upgrading an outdoor space, a new water feature can truly lift the look and feel of your space. However, it’s also important to choose the right water feature to meet your application, space and budget objectives.

Budget it

Begin with a general budget limit when you consider the various options; don’t forget to include extra costs such as installation, electrical work, and maintenance in addition to the expense on plants, fish, and protective covers. Once you have a number, start shortlisting possible designs, materials, and options in water features.

Consider the purpose of the water feature

Stop and think for a moment why you need a water feature in your home or office. Water features can be used to create the impression of more space, while the sound of moving water can help drown out traffic noise. Water features also add tranquillity to a space.

Whether you’re looking to add a space of relaxation and calm, extra interest and beauty, or create a tropical water plant area in your garden, be certain about your purpose, so you can find the right type of water feature to achieve your goals.

How much space do you have?

Now that you have the budget and purpose out of the way, establish the location on your property where you will be installing the water feature, and find out how much space you can spare for it. At this stage, it can be helpful to draw a rough design to scale to allow for extras such as brick or stone borders, plants, and even safety gates that go around the water feature.

This would also be a good time to decide whether you want your water feature to have space for people to sit around and enjoy the flowing water; if yes, make room for benches and other seating elements.

Types of water features

Water features can range from simple container-style and freestanding fountains to more complex water walls or large ponds, complete with fish. You can purchase economical pond kits, or have your water feature designed and built from scratch to meet your personal design preferences. If you decide to build from scratch, it’s important to choose high quality materials that will ensure you can enjoy your water feature for a long time without being hassled about water leaks and other maintenance problems.

Also, select a top-of-the-line waterproofing solution such as the Wolfin and Cosmofin membranes from Projex Group for your water feature and ensure it stays secure.

Water features can be built above or in-ground and they can be still or moving. A moving water design will add extra interest to your garden or space. Water features can be further categorised into rocky, Zen and minimalist, tropical and native naturalistic, among many more themes. The water feature can be the centrepiece in a space or a complementary point of interest in a courtyard, garden, or other outdoor space.

Things to consider when selecting a water feature

Style: The colours, design, and overall look of the water feature can be matched to the design of the home, workplace, or any other space.

Size: The size of the water feature will depend on the availability of space. How much space do you have, and how much of this space do you want your water feature to take up?

Materials: Choose from a huge range of materials, including cast stone, cast aluminium, and fibre stone.

Wiring: Moving water features need to have wiring and electricity or solar power to work the circulating pump(s).

Maintenance: Water features are maintained by cleaning them out regularly and replacing plants and damaged bricks or stones as necessary.

Water features – style and design

Water features come in a myriad of styles and designs.

Containers: Container water features are economical and easy to install, providing you with many colour and size options.

Fountains: Fountain-style water features can be traditional fountains, in-pond designs, or innovative options such as wall fountains, decorative faucets, or rock-based fountains.

Pondless designs: Use boulders, rocks, bricks, stones, and other materials to create a water feature that does not have a central pond or water mass. These are easy to maintain and can introduce a strong aesthetic impact while being space efficient.

Reflection pools: For a cooling, calming touch to your space, install a reflection pool that uses a gently circulating, almost invisible pump rather than flowing water. Add water plants and fish for a tranquil, Asian-garden style water feature.

Functional: Your water feature can be entirely functional, such as a pool or a hot tub, both of which can add a luxurious vibe to your space.

Consider the surrounding landscape

It’s important to also review the landscape features in the space allocated for the water feature. Does it provide sufficient sunlight to the water plants? Is it flat or sufficiently sloping for the type of water feature being installed? Are there large trees nearby that could affect the amount of sunlight the pond or fountain will receive?

Shaping your borders

Consider adding borders that help your water feature blend right into the surrounding area. For example, a pond surrounded by bricks can look wonderful in minimalist gardens. Ponds bordered with rock and plants can look completely natural in a garden. On the other hand, you can set off your water feature with colour borders, and create contrast between the natural and artificial elements in your space.

Regulations and permits

Check with your council and other local authorities to find out whether you need a permit to build your water feature. Larger water features, such as swimming pools, may require a permit grant before you can proceed.

Safety for children

Find out about any regulations and laws that may apply to safety measures for your water feature. For example, a new swimming pool will usually need to have gates and self-locking doors installed with it. For ponds that don’t require gates, consider using protective covers if you have small children on the property.

Choosing the perfect water feature doesn’t have to be hard

Commercial or residential, water features can add tranquillity and beauty to the outdoor space. Given that options are available for all budgets and spaces, there’s no reason not to add a water feature to turn a mundane space into a functional and aesthetically pleasing one.