Adding a water feature to your property is one of the most popular home improvement and landscaping projects around. This has been true for many years. Water, whether it’s in a lake, a pond or cascading down a rocky waterfall, is one of the most naturally soothing things you can bring to your home.
When working with or adding a lake, pond or waterfall to your property, there are many things to consider. As with any home improvement project, there are potential mistakes at every step, and some of these mistakes can be very costly. Others are very harmful to the environment. However, if you’re considering adding beauty to your property with a water feature, there’s no need to worry. All of the most common mistakes can be avoided with a bit of knowledge and some careful forethought.
In this article, we’ll review the most common mistakes made by homeowners when dealing with water features. We’ll also help you avoid these mistakes, saving you headaches, saving you money, and ensuring that your water feature is gentle on the environment.
Not Digging Deeply Enough
Digging a pond seems like a fairy simple concept. You’re just digging a hole in the ground, after all. However, a pond isn’t just a hole. It must be deep enough to prevent the water from evaporating, yet shallow enough to allow light to reach to the bottom and prevent stagnation.
Prefabricated pond “shells” can help eliminate this issue, but they only come in a set number of sizes and shapes, so many homeowners choose to use a flexible liner instead. If this is the project you’re taking on, don’t go it alone. Digging a pond, only to have it all dry up, is a common and frustrating mistake. Play it safe from the beginning and start with the proper depth.
Ignoring Safety Precautions
Just like any other body of water, a pond on your property poses a risk of drowning. Since putting a fence around your pond destroys much of the natural beauty, most homeowners must decide for themselves if they’re willing to take the risk. While for many homeowners this is a personal decision, some areas have strict laws.
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring these regulations. Even if no injuries ever occur, you could face large fines due to an improperly protected water feature, and you could potentially be forced to fill it in. Call your local government office and find out what regulations you need to follow.
Ignoring Underground Utilities
When installing a pond or a waterfall feature with underground components, far too many homeowners make the mistake of not checking with local utility companies. Any project which includes digging should be preceded by a phone call to all utility companies that run underground lines. After all, if you don’t know where utility lines are located on your property, you run the risk of hitting them when you dig. Depending on what you hit, this could result in a host of serious problems.
Utility companies will usually provide you with a map that detail the exact locations of any pipes or lines which run through your property. Obtain these maps before you plan the location of your new water feature and be sure to make any hired workers aware of where they should and shouldn’t dig.
DIY Electrical Work
Water features have come a long way in recent years. The most elaborate ponds often feature fountains which mimic those found in front of upscale hotels, including built-in light shows. Waterfalls are available with lights as well, in addition to automatic water recycling features which allow the waterfall to run without needing refills.
While these features are stunning to look at and add a great deal of visual appeal to your property, they usually contain electrical components which can be very tricky to install yourself. In fact, in many areas, a licensed electrician must perform this type of installation to avoid fines and insurance issues.
If your chosen water feature is self-contained and only needs to be plugged into an existing outdoor wall outlet, you have nothing to worry about. However, many homeowners make the mistake of trying to “rig” the electrical components of their water features. This is a huge mistake, and it can be both dangerous and expensive.
If you’re like most homeowners, you’re putting a good deal of time and money into your new water feature. So why would you want to stick it in a corner of your backyard where it will never be seen or enjoyed? Although it doesn’t make much sense, this is one of the most common water feature mistakes.
Naturally, you probably don’t want to put a pond or waterfall right in the centre of your front yard. Water features are very soothing, and they seem to call for an out-of-the-way spot. However, you need to ensure that you will actually get to enjoy this peaceful addition to your property.
There are a few ways to do this. Many homeowners opt for a free-standing waterfall which can be tucked into a corner, placing it on the front porch. This unexpected placement is beautiful, and ensures that you’ll appreciated your waterfall each time you exit and enter your home. These waterfalls are generally faux stone, and can look quite realistic.
Installing a new water feature, or landscaping around an existing one, isn’t rocket science. With a bit of planning and attention to the natural environment, you can create a truly beautiful place to relax. If you need further information, the team at Aqua Spray Irrigation will be delighted to answer all your questions.