For waterfalls and ponds, go natural

Concrete is out as the material of choice in water installations
Clients want natural-looking water features. (Photo: BR&D Landscape)

A recent study by the National Association of Landscape Professionals and the National Association of Realtors found that 83% of consumers say they have a greater desire to be home following a new water feature installation, and 79% said they enjoy their space more.

Although these ponds and waterfalls are artificial, Brett Stanley, owner of BR&D Landscape in Highlands Ranch, said the focus for his firm is on creating a natural look, using natural materials like granite boulders and river rocks.

[Related: How to build beautiful biohabitats]

“What we do is very naturalistic,” Stanley said. “We don’t use any concrete. … We try to mimic something you’ll see on a hike, up in a mountain stream.”

BR&D is a 20-year-old company that “grew into the water feature world,” Stanley said. Now, about half of the projects his team does are water features. BR&D is a certified aquascape contractor, the second largest in the country, he said.

Most of the projects BR&D builds come in the $20,000 to $25,000 range, Stanley said. Those projects include a mix of customers who want a water feature with a pond and those who are looking for a pondless waterfall.

The pondless waterfall gives homeowners the sights and sounds of running water without the safety or maintenance concerns of having a small body of water in their backyard.

Although BR&D eschews concrete in its designs, Stanley said that “occasionally we get asked to do some contemporary stuff, more structural.”

Still, “for the most part, people want something that looks like it belongs in their backyard and that they would see up in the mountains.”

That desire to keep nature close applies to customers in all income brackets. Higher end projects, in the $30,000 to $50,000 range, use the same pumps, lights, filtration and designs as smaller projects, just scaled up to more affluent customers’ tastes.

“It’s really basically the same thing as the smaller ones, just a bigger scale,” Stanley said. “More rocks, a lot more streams. … The bones of everything are pretty much exactly the same.”

[Related: Holistic Homes]

This article originally appeared in our sister publication, Colorado Patio & Landscape

Danielle Andrus

Editor, Colorado Builder Magazine

Danielle Andrus has 179 posts and counting. See all posts by Danielle Andrus

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