How much does it cost to install a fountain?
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Fountain Installation Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
Installing a water fountain on your property increases the appeal of your landscape and its value. They are a quick and easy way of adding a natural spot and sound to your outdoor area without spending much time or money. In addition, the water feature and sounds in your yard create a relaxing atmosphere for all visitors. You can install a water fountain as a stand-alone feature or as a decorative addition to a pool or pond.
The national average cost for installing a water fountain is between $1,200 and $15,000, with most people paying around $8,000 on a tiered medium-sized stone fountain with a pump installed in the backyard. At the low end of the spectrum, however, you can get a tabletop fiberglass fountain with an internal pump for $90. At the high end, you can pay up to $200,000 to install a grand, custom-made metal fountain with multiple sculptures and carved elements and provide the necessary excavation, plumbing, and electrical supply.
Water Fountain Installation Price
|Water Fountain Installation Cost|
|National average cost||$8,000|
Prefab vs Custom Water Fountain
The prefab outdoor water fountain installation cost is $90 to $16,500. The custom water fountain installation cost varies from $4,000 to $200,000 for large custom luxury fountains where excavation, electricity, and plumbing are needed. The main difference is that prefabricated fountains are pre-built and assembled in a different location and brought on-site, while custom water fountains are made on-site.
Prefab water fountains are cheaper than custom models, but their size and style options are limited compared to custom ones. As their name suggests, custom units can be made in whichever size or design you want. There are no limitations to what you can get. Below is a table with the water fountain installation cost for a medium unit based on the type you want to install.
|Type||Cost (Labor Included)|
|Prefab||$90 - $16,500|
|Custom||$4,000 - $200,000|
Water Fountain Price by Material
Based on the material, the cost of the fountain unit ranges between $40 and $16,500 if you buy a prefab model and $350 to $150,000 if you order a custom-made water fountain. Many materials can be used for your fountain. However, it is important to use materials that are durable enough to withstand outdoor exposure. The most affordable materials are resin, fiberglass, and concrete. The most expensive are marble and copper. Each material has its own aesthetics and properties. Below is a table with the average cost of using each of them to build a medium-size fountain.
|Fountain Material||Prefab Cost (Materials Only)||Custom Cost (Materials Only)|
|Fiberglass||$40 - $2,850||$350 - $8,300|
|Resin or Plastic||$40 - $3,400||$350 - $8,300|
|Ceramic||$60 - $8,500||$600 - $22,500|
|Rock||$65 - $2,950||$450 - $12,500|
|Glass||$100 - $7,000||$1,400 - $30,000|
|Concrete||$150 - $9,800||$2,000 - $20,000|
|Stone||$200 - $12,500||$1,800 - $120,000|
|Metal||$250 - $16,500||$2,350 - $150,000|
A fiberglass fountain installation starts as low as $40 to $2,850 for prefab units and goes up to $350 to $8,300 for custom fountains. Fiberglass fountains are usually mixed with resin, so you often find fountains made of both materials combined or separately under “plastic fountains.” They are lightweight, making them easy to install and to move. There is little maintenance required and the fountain can be made to look like stone, a statue, an urn, or many other designs. Because of how lightweight the material is, it can also move and fall due to strong winds and break or damage the surrounding area.
A resin water fountain installation price ranges from $40 to $3,400 for prefab models and $350 to $8,300 for custom water fountains. Resin is a specific type of plastic created as a mixture of artificial stone and plastic, so it is often called poly-stone. You will also find them as fiberglass fountains because they can be made of a mixture of fiberglass and resin. Because it is made from a composite material, it mimics materials like concrete, ceramic, rock, and wood. While resin is easy to install, it wears away faster by weather and is harder to fix, so the costs over time are higher.
Expect a ceramic fountain to start around $60 to $8,500 for a prefab model. Custom ones cost between $600 and $22,500. Ceramic fountains add an artistic touch to the area because of their handmade feel and look. Tile and pottery are most commonly used, but you can find fountains made from various other ceramic materials. The available colors and shiny glaze make them an eye-catching backyard water fountain. However, they are not fit for cold outdoor areas because the ceramic material can crack and fall apart if it freezes.
Rock fountains are heavy and cost $65 to $2,950 if you want a prefab model and $450 to $12,500 for a custom rock water fountain. This also includes the slate fountain price, a fine-grained type of rock used in various designs and styles. A rock water fountain is a beautiful way to make a backyard water fountain look natural. Many options include natural looking rocks, granite fountains, or statues carved out of rock. However, they are very heavy and difficult to move. Because of their structure, they are extremely complicated to repair if they crack and break.
Glass Water Fountain
The cost to install a water fountain made of glass runs between $100 and $7,000 if you get a prefab model and $1,400 to $30,000 for a custom glass water fountain. Glass fountains are sophisticated and elegant, creating a luxurious atmosphere in the home wherever they are. They are often sheet fountains over which the water flows, making it look invisible and free-flowing. They are often found indoors because of their fragility. However, they are made to go outside and survive the elements. To keep the glass fountain looking new, you must clean it regularly and be careful not to scratch or dent it.
The cement fountain price is between $150 and $9,800 for a prefab fountain and $2,000 to $20,000 for a custom unit. A concrete fountain is durable and can withstand the elements, especially if they are sealed every year. However, if you live in an area with a colder climate, the concrete fountain has to be covered. If it freezes, it can crack and damage the fountain. In addition, these fountains are heavy and will likely become a permanent fixture at the location of installation.
A water fountain for a garden ranges between $200 and $12,500 when it is made of stone and is prefab and $1,800 to $120,000 when you order a custom-made marble model. You can make many styles of stone fountains, from standard gray-toned units to elegant stone fountains that come at a higher cost. Some stone types include basalt (hardened lava), marble, granite, slate, onyx, limestone, and travertine. The marble fountain price is the highest and is considered a luxury type of fountain. It usually has a brighter color with veins of a contrasting color, sometimes several contrasting colors. Stone materials are softer and easier to work with and carve, although they are porous and more difficult to clean and maintain. However, some sophisticated materials like marble are easier to care for, so they can be found in both indoor and outdoor areas.
The average metal fountain installation cost is $250 to $16,500 for prefab models and $2,350 to $150,000 for custom ones. Metal fountains include: copper, stainless steel, and brass fountains. The most popular type are copper fountains. A copper fountain is elegant and contemporary, and owners love the amazing color, especially the rosy hues. There are a variety of sizes and designs to choose from when it comes to metal fountains, and they are susceptible to the elements, so they are very durable and easy to maintain. Because it’s considered high-end, copper water fountains cost more than fountains made from other metal materials.
Fountain Cost by Type
The water feature cost for material only can be anywhere between $40 and $16,500 for a prefab and $250 to $150,000 for a custom model. The overall fountain cost depends on the type of water fountain you want to install. There are simple tabletop fountains, those that hang on the wall of your home, birdbaths, and huge cascading fountains set amongst lush gardens. The type of fountain you can install depends on how much space you have, the style that matches the surroundings, and your budget. Here is how much you can expect to spend on each type of fountain.
|Type||Prefab Cost (Materials Only)||Custom Cost (Materials Only)|
|Buddha||$40 - $900||$350 - $2,700|
|Japanese||$40 - $1,000||$250 - $1,500|
|Cascading||$40 - $2,000||$800 - $75,000|
|Bird Bath||$45 - $1,150||$350 - $2,400|
|Column||$60 - $3,000||$600 - $10,000|
|Tier||$60 - $6,000||$450 - $75,000|
|Glass Wall||$100 - $3,000||$600 - $20,000|
|Vase||$100 - $3,400||$1,000 - $38,500|
|Kugel||$150 - $5,000||$700 - $17,000|
|Musical||$200 - $7,000||$1,000 - $30,000|
|Fire and Water||$450 - $16,500||$4,500 - $31,000|
|Statue||$500 - $12,500||$1,650 - $150,000|
Buddha Water Fountain
Buddha water fountains cost $40 to $900 if you buy a prefab model and $350 to $2,700 if you order a custom one. They are commonly found in gardens and meditation areas because of the tranquility and relaxation they bring to the area but can also be placed inside the home. You will find several types of Buddha fountains: Buddha head fountain, Sitting Buddha, and engraved wall fountain Buddha. They usually have a basin at the bottom where the water flows and have lotus flowers as accompanying decorations.
Japanese water fountains are frequently made of concrete, stone, and bamboo and cost $40 to $1,000 for prefab and $250 to $1,500 for custom Japanese fountains. They are characterized by simple spouts that open to round basins or shallow square basins surrounded by rocks, plants, and ferns. These are the most common types of fountains found in almost every Asian garden and temple as a symbol of spirituality and physical cleansing.
Expect a prefab cascading fountain to cost between $40 and $2,000. A custom model costs $800 to $75,000. You can find small cascading fountains as well as large ones with rocks, spheres, pots, or many more options for designs. In cascading fountains, the water flows from the top of the fountain through different levels, where each basin becomes progressively bigger towards the bottom. They can be made from different materials and are usually installed as tiered fountains in gardens for their relaxing appearance.
Bird Bath Fountain
The cost to get a bird bath fountain ranges between $45 and $1,150 for prefab models and $350 to $2,400 for a custom bird bath fountain. This type of fountain has a shallow basin on a raised platform, allowing wild birds to bathe, which is how they got their name. Although a pump is usually needed for these fountains, you may not need one, depending on its design. Bird bath fountains are generally made of concrete and resin or fiberglass.
The cost of a column fountain is $60 to $3,000 for prefab fountains and $600 to $10,000 for custom ones. Also known as pillar fountains, they are commonly made of basalt, which is hardened lava, but can also be found in various metals and other materials. Usually coming in sets of three, columns can be found as freestanding or powered fountains with various accessories on them. Because of their shape and design, they are very durable and require little maintenance. They are a convenient choice for homeowners that want to have a long-lasting fountain in their outdoor area.
Homeowners usually spend $60 to $6,000 to buy a prefab tier fountain and $450 to $75,000 to order a custom one. Tier fountains are the traditional type of fountain you will mostly see in plazas and courtyards. They are usually grandiose, with decorative pieces like sculptures and carved elements, so they tend to be one of the most expensive models of fountains. Usually, tiered water fountains have multiple expanding basins with a central piece where water spills over into another basin.
Glass Wall Fountain
The cost to buy a glass wall fountain is $100 to $3,000 for prefab glass wall fountains and $600 to $20,000 for custom-made ones. These fountains have a framed sheet of glass upon which the water flows, making it look like the water is flowing from the frame or as if the wall is made of water. Also known as curtain fountains, they are mostly used as decorative indoor fountains, although they can also be an outdoor feature. The glass needs to be regularly cleaned from stains, but other than that, glass wall fountains are easy to maintain.
Prefab vase fountains cost $100 to $3,400, while custom models cost $1,000 to $38,500. Also known as an urn fountain or a jug fountain, these are usually a decoration in gardens or outdoor areas. They are most commonly made of ceramic, although stone, rock, and concrete vase fountains are commonly installed. Depending on the material, vase fountains are fit for both indoor and outdoor areas. However, some materials like ceramic are not as good for cold areas as the material can develop cracks.
A prefab kugel fountain costs between $150 and $5,000 for the unit only, while a custom one costs $700 to $17,000. Also known as sphere fountains, these models are ball-shaped fountains in which the water flows gently from the upper central point of the ball towards the bottom. Usually, spheres have a pool or basin at the bottom where the water flows and can be placed on the ground or lifted on a structure. They can be made from every fountain material and decorated with lighting effects or intricate details.
A musical fountain costs $200 to $7,000 for a prefab model and $1,000 to $30,000 for a custom one. Also known as dancing fountains (the most popular are the Dubai Fountains), these are fountains you can set to move in the rhythm of timed sound waves and light. They are an attractive feature often found in outdoor entertainment venues to animate visitors with an aesthetic design and varying musical elements. Some may also have three-dimensional image features.
Fire and Water Fountain
Fire and water fountains can be simple or extravagant and have a price ranging from $450 to $16,500 for prefab fountains and $4,500 to $31,000 for custom ones. As its name suggests, a fire and water fountain has a water feature and a fire feature that work simultaneously. They are becoming increasingly popular for gardens and outdoor areas since they combine two things people love to have in their yards: hear the soothing sound of running water while watching the flames flicker. There are two things to choose in fire and water fountains. First, you need to choose the type of gas, whether you want a natural or liquid one, and second, you need to choose an ignition type, which can be manual matching, automatic, or electronic.
Statue fountains cost between $500 and $12,500 for prefab models. However, if you order a custom one, your costs go from $1,650 to $150,000. Statue fountains are the epitome of luxury fountains, often found in royal courtyards and grand mansions in gated communities. The statues can be a person, animal, or shape made of various materials, which is commonly marble. Some large fountains feature several handcrafted statues, so their cost is higher than other fountains.
Fountain Cost by Size
Small, stand-alone resin fountains start as low as $40. Large, custom-made marble fountains with statues cost as much as $150,000. Measurements are based on the widest points of the fountain body. The size of the fountain you choose impacts your total price because the contractor spends more time and materials on building the right shape and size of the fountain. Below is a table with the cost of installing a small, medium, and large fountain.
|Fountain Size||Unit Cost (Materials Only)|
|Small (34” max)||$40 - $5,500|
|Medium (35”- 62”)||$350 - $20,000|
|Large (63” - 100”)||$2,500 - $150,000|
Cost of Fountain by Design
Based on the water fountain design, you can expect the fountain to cost $40 to $6,000 for prefab models and $350 to $75,000 for custom ones. Aside from the look of the fountain, the way the water flows also affects the cost. So, while you can have a freestanding fountain installed in your home, it can be a cascading fountain, self-contained, or with a waterfall in it. Here are some of the common costs each fountain costs.
|Design||Prefab Cost (Materials Only)||Custom Cost (Materials Only)|
|Self-Contained||$40 - $5,000||$350 - $38,500|
|Waterfall||$40 - $6,000||$450 - $75,000|
|Disappearing / Pondless||$60 - $6,000||$600 - $75,000|
Costs for a self-contained fountain generally range from $40 to $5,000 for a prefab model and $350 to $38,500 for a custom one. The exact cost depends on the type of fountain and its material. Glass wall, tabletop, Buddha, kugel, and vase fountains are most commonly self-contained. Other types of fountains can be made with this design as well. In a self-contained fountain, the water is inside the feature, so there is no need to dig a hole or buy a reservoir for the water. This means that the pump, plumbing, and power source are all inside, so the installation is easy. The unit can be taken with you if you move.
A simple waterfall fountain starts around $40 to $6,000. Extravagant ones go up to $450 to $75,000, depending on the exact type of fountain. As their name suggests, water flows freely downwards into a basin, pool, or the ground in waterfalls. Various sizes and styles are available, starting small and going up to an extravagant waterfall flowing into a pool. They are usually installed in large outdoor areas. However, some smaller models are designed for indoor areas. The most common types of fountains you will see with this design are cascading and tiered fountains, but a waterfall fountain can be installed in a pool or a pond as a separate feature.
Disappearing / Pondless Fountain
The price for a pondless fountain or a disappearing fountain ranges from $60 to $6,000 for prefab models, while custom units cost $600 to $75,000. Pondless fountains do not have a pool, and their basin is usually filled with rocks. The reservoir is concealed underground, so the water is immediately absorbed for reflow, using less water. They are also smaller and safe around kids, so they are a great choice as a patio or a garden fountain. Since the reservoir is hidden underground, leaves and debris cannot get into it. Pondless fountains do not require much maintenance and cleaning. Many fountains made with this design make the water look like it is disappearing. Some popular fountain types for this design are cascading, column, vase, and kugel.
Water Fountain Cost by Location
Based on where you want to install a water fountain, your costs range between $40 and $150,000. While most fountains are installed outdoors, many models are fit for indoor areas. Some fountains are installed in aquatic surroundings like ponds and swimming pools. The location of the fountain affects the cost because not every terrain requires the same amount of work to include a fountain in it. Below is a table of how much you can expect to spend on a fountain based on the location where you want to install it.
|Location||Unit Cost (Materials Only)|
|Tabletop||$40 - $900|
|Indoor||$40 - $30,000|
|Outdoor||$45 - $150,000|
|Swimming Pool||$50 - $20,000|
|Wall||$50 - $20,000|
|Pond||$50 - $39,000|
Buying a tabletop fountain costs between $40 and $900. As their name suggests, they are freestanding fountains that are typically placed on tables, nightstands, or desks as decorative pieces. The whole setup with the basin, pump, and tubing is within the fountain. They can either be powered electrically or with batteries. Tabletop fountains are the most affordable type of fountains and are mostly made of resin and fiberglass. However, you can find them in various materials and with different designs and styles.
Water Fountain Indoor
Typical indoor water fountains cost between $40 and $30,000. Having an indoor water fountain installed can bring peace and tranquility to your home. It combats highway noise or loud neighbors, and the sound of running water has a calming effect. These fountains add value to your home. Indoor water fountains are typically installed as a wall hanging, a stand-alone feature against a wall, or sitting on a table or shelf.
Outdoor Water Fountain
The cost of outdoor fountains ranges from $45 for a tabletop birdbath or Buddha fountain up to $150,000 for a grand bronze sculpture water fountain. Most fountains are installed outdoors, so you can place them in your garden, yard, or patio. While you can use a variety of materials for outdoor fountains, use something that works in your climate. Some materials like plastic do not work well with heat. Other materials like ceramic and glass are not the best choice for cold climates.
Swimming Pool Fountain
Adding a pool fountain costs between $50 for small floating pool fountains and $20,000 for a waterfall fountain feature. Many options are available for adding a pool water fountain, each of them coming at a different cost. You can add a floating pool fountain, the cheapest option, lighted bubblers, deck jets, wall fountain, or waterfall fountain.
Count on paying $50 to $20,000 for a wall fountain, depending on if you get a freestanding or hanging one. Freestanding fountains typically hang on the wall and have an ornate design. Floor fountains fit a wall or corner area. Free-standing fountains require a pump, spout, and internal tubing to operate properly and have a pool or basin that is placed on the ground against a wall.
Installing a fountain in a pond costs from $50 for a spitter up to $39,000 for a large stone water fountain feature. A pond fountain looks great, helps aerate the water, and keeps the environment healthy. Algae and mosquitoes can be combated. The most common pond fountains are spitters, solar pond fountains, pond nozzles, and waterfall spillways. A pond nozzle shoots water into the pond in a variety of ways.
Labor Cost to Install Water Fountain
Of the average cost of $8,000 to install a water fountain, $6,400 is the cost of the materials, while the remaining $1,600 is the installation or labor cost. Fountain and waterfall companies, pond builders, and some pool builders provide fountain installation services. The labor cost is usually $50 to $200 per hour, totaling $400 to $1,600 for a whole day’s work. Large water fountains may take several days or weeks to complete, so the cost will be higher.
Your contractor will first install the water collection reservoir that is usually at the base. They will connect it to a series of basins and a feeding tube between the collection unit and the top basin. Fountains usually have one or two motor-driven bilge pumps that are submerged in water in the reservoir. If there are two pumps, the installer will place one in the water reservoir and the other in the top basin. They may also put a filter box around the motors to keep out debris. The pump is then connected to a power source through an electrical cable or a solar panel.
If you want to add a custom fountain, your quote must be personalized. Every material and size of fountain needs a different amount of time to work on, which affects the cost. Other factors like the shape of the fountain and the different accessories or hand-carved elements also add to the time needed to complete the fountain. Based on this, the labor cost for a custom fountain ranges from $3,500 to $50,000 or more.
If the land you want to put your fountain on is uneven, you may need to have excavation or regrading work done. Excavation adds $225 to $420 per cubic yard (100 sq. ft. of soil) to the cost. Regrading costs from $1 to $2 per sq.ft. Some landscaping companies that specialize in adding water features may also do the installation for $50 to $200 per hour or $400 to $1,600 in total for around 8 hours of work. Plumbing and electrical setup are typically included, but you may need to hire them separately. The plumber sets up the pump and piping for $45 to $200 per hour. An electrician connects the power supply for $40 to $120 per hour.
Fountain Accessories Prices
Adding a fountain accessory costs between $15 to $21,000, depending on the item you want to include. There are various fountain accessories, with the most common ones being bubblers, spouts, LED lights, or sculptures. These additions increase the functionality and design of the fountain or enhance the fountain’s aesthetics. Below is a table with the most common fountain accessories you can add and how much they cost.
|Fountain Accessory||Cost per Piece (Materials Only)|
|Thermometer||$15 - $100|
|LED||$25 - $55|
|Bubbler||$30 - $250|
|Spitters||$40 - $400|
|Cover||$40 - $500|
|Auto-Refill||$50 - $200|
|Smart Control||$65 - $225|
|Spout||$80 - $1,050|
|Sculpture||$80 - $21,000|
|Fire Kit||$105 - $450|
How Much Electricity Does a Water Fountain Use?
You will need at least one pump to run your fountain. If you use a 250-watt water pump that runs 24 hours a day and the cost per watt is $0.14, running the pump for a month costs around $25. The amount of electricity a water fountain uses depends on many factors. These include the amount of water the fountain uses, how many hours per day it runs, the force of the water pump, the amount of power (in watts) the pump uses, and the amount that electricity costs in your area.
The cost to perform monthly maintenance of a fountain ranges from $50 to $150. Routine maintenance will keep your fountain running well and cut down on repairs. Landscaping professionals or swimming pool maintenance workers can usually perform fountain maintenance tasks. Indoor water fountain maintenance involves draining the water, cleaning the pump, cleaning the tubing, and wiping down all surfaces.
Outdoor fountain maintenance takes a little more work. It involves removing debris such as insects, leaves, and twigs a few times a week, draining the water at least once a month or when the water appears murky, cleaning the pump and any tubing, and scrubbing all fountain surfaces. Outdoor fountain maintenance should also include disassembling and storing the fountain during the time of the year that it will freeze. It is ideal to use distilled water in both indoor and outdoor fountains to minimize mineral build-up. Also, consider adding algae preventing chemicals to the water, this runs about $20 per bottle.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Outdoor Electrical Outlet for Fountain
A 110V electrical outlet is required to run a fountain, which costs $250 to $400 to add. The electrical outlet provides power to the fountain and enables the water to keep running. If there is no safe outlet nearby, you would have to add a new line to bring the fountain in working condition. This would require hiring an electrician with the required knowledge and experience to run the new line safely.
Adding a solar water pump to a fountain costs between $250 and $2,000, including installation. As its name suggests, a solar fountain is powered by the power of the sun instead of electricity. Solar power lowers utility bills and makes your home more environmentally friendly. To make your fountain solar-powered, you need to get a solar-powered pump that provides the fountain with enough power to keep running.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Transport. Heavy fountains and fountain materials may require extra laborers to handle the delivery. You should expect to pay at least 1 hour’s wage to each extra laborer needed for the transport and delivery of your fountain ($40 to $75 per hour).
- Wildlife. Wildlife are often attracted to the sound of flowing water. When your fountain is running, you may notice a greater number of insects and animals in your yard. The most common animals to see are birds and dragonflies.
- Drinking water fountains. Industrial-looking indoor water fountains can be installed indoors or outdoors and cost between $380 and $1,100. More stylish drinking fountains can be considered for a backyard environment and can range in price from $1,000 to $5,000.
- Repairs. The water fountain repair cost ranges between $60 and $500 depending on the severity of the damage and the time and materials it takes to repair them. The most common fountain repairs include cracks, chips, or dents in its surface caused by harsh weather and age.
- ROI. While a water fountain does not add monetary value, it adds to the home’s curb appeal, making it visually appealing and motivating buyers to pay more for the house.
- How long does it take to install a water fountain?
A simple water fountain can be installed in a few hours. A large fountain, such as a rock waterfall feature in a pool, could take several days to install.
- How do you install a fountain basin?
First, with an outdoor fountain, the land will need to be prepared and leveled. The basin will need to be set on the level and prepared ground. If the fountain is heavy, this might take a small crane. After the basin is set, all electrical and plumbing work can be done. An indoor fountain should simply require setting up the fountain and attaching it to plumbing and electrical sources.
- How much does it cost to put a fountain in a pond?
A spitter can cost as little as $50. A waterfall feature typically goes up to $20,000, while installing a large stone fountain in a pond costs up to $39,000.
- Are outdoor water fountains worth it?
If you want to add aesthetic value to your home, outdoor water fountains are one of the best ways to improve the home’s curb appeal.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.