How much does it cost to install a waterfall?
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Waterfall Installation Cost Guide
Updated: August 19, 2022
A great way to improve the look and feel of a backyard pond, pool, or garden is to add a water feature, and waterfalls are among the most popular options with homeowners across America. They come in a wide selection of sizes and styles, with a range of prices. On average, homeowners should expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for a waterfall, with an installed 12-square-foot pool waterfall costing about $1,500. However, prices vary depending on many factors. For example, you can find simple freestanding waterfalls for about $100 or huge custom-designed pond and pool waterfalls for up to $20,000.
Cost to Install a Waterfall
|Waterfall Installation Costs|
|National average cost||$1,500|
Waterfall Prices by Type
There are various waterfall types, ranging from simple freestanding models set up on your own anywhere in the backyard to much larger falls designed to be fitted to ponds and pools. The price of a waterfall depends on what type you choose and its size and installation location. The table below shows some common waterfall types and average prices:
|Type of Waterfall||Average Cost|
|Indoor Electric||$100 - $3,500|
|Pondless||$100 - $5,000|
|Pool||$250 - $15,000|
|Pond||$250 - $20,000|
Indoor Electric Waterfall
Not all waterfalls have to be set up outside. There are some indoor electric waterfalls, ranging in size and style from small and simple models to much larger and more impressive statement pieces. The advantage of these models is that they can be made from a wide range of materials because they are not exposed to the outdoor elements. This means they can have various decorative designs and require less maintenance. They are also affordable, ranging in price from $100 to $3,500.
You do not need a pond or pool to have a backyard waterfall. There are plenty of freestanding pondless waterfalls set up outside on their own, without connecting to a body of water or other water features. Many companies offer a wide variety of pondless waterfalls, ranging in size and style. An advantage of these units is that you do not need to worry about stagnant water. The only maintenance usually required for a pondless waterfall is topping up the water supply once or twice a month when the excess water evaporates. Prices for these waterfalls range from as low as $100 for basic DIY units up to $5,000 for larger, professionally installed models.
One great way to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your pool is to install a pool waterfall. These are made from various materials, including real stones, fiberglass, polished granite, or even concrete, giving you lots of colors, patterns, and styles to play around with. Fiberglass tends to be the cheapest option, ranging from $250 to $5,000, with concrete being more expensive at $1,000 to $10,000. Various real stones range in price from $2,000 to $15,000. There are also various types and sizes of pool waterfalls, as outlined in the table below, with prices ranging from $250 to $15,000:
|Type of Pool Waterfall||Average Cost|
|Sheetfall||$250 - $8,000|
|Rainforest||$500 - $10,000|
|Standard Rock||$750 - $15,000|
They are very popular due to their aesthetic qualities. They emit water in a uniform, sheet-like structure, with a constant flow pouring out into the pool. They also tend to be among the easiest to install due to their simple designs, resulting in prices from $250 to $8,000.
Rainforest Pool Waterfalls
Rainforest or rainfall pool waterfalls have a lot in common with sheetfall-style waterfalls. Instead of emitting water in a single sheet, they spray it out in several little jets, giving the effect of rain. These waterfalls produce a pleasant sound and offer an authentic rainforest feel. Like other pool waterfall types, they can be enhanced with lighting and other effects and decorations. They cost anywhere from $500 to 10,000.
Standard Rock Waterfall
In these waterfalls, the water flows over or around rocks that are stacked in towers or structures at the sides or corners of a pool. Prices for these waterfalls range from $750 to $15,000, and the price is mostly influenced by the size and materials used.
Waterfalls may also be installed on ponds, like koi ponds or simple garden ponds. Common materials used to make these waterfalls include fiberglass, natural rock or stone, and concrete. You can find some cheap plastic or resin options, too. Plastic, resin, and fiberglass pond waterfalls tend to be cheapest, ranging from $250 to $3,000, while concrete and stone/rock options cost more from $750 to $5,000 or higher. In general, depending on the size, material, and style, pond waterfalls cost from $250 to $20,000.
Waterfall Costs by Size
One of the biggest factors affecting the cost of your waterfall installation is the size. Naturally, smaller waterfalls require fewer materials and tend to be simpler to set up, resulting in lower costs. Larger waterfalls cost more. The table below shows estimates for various sizes:
|Size of Waterfall||Average Cost|
|Small (Up to 3 square feet)||$100 - $1,000|
|Medium (Up to 12 square feet)||$250 - $10,000|
|Large (Over 12 square feet)||$1,000 - $20,0000|
Backyard Waterfall Costs by Brand
There are various brands to choose from when shopping for backyard waterfalls. Some brands have more affordable prices, while others offer greater varieties of products. The table below shows some common brands and average price ranges:
|Alpine Corporation||$100 - $3,000|
|Aquascape||$500 - $5,000|
|Universal Rocks||$1,000 - $4,000|
|Rico Rock||$2,500 - $15,000|
Alpine Corporation Waterfall
Alpine Corporation is one of the more affordable waterfall and water feature brands out there. They specialize in indoor waterfalls and freestanding pondless waterfalls positioned almost anywhere. Waterfalls offered by this company start as low as $100 and rise to $3,000 or more.
Aquascape offers a wide range of sizes and styles for pondless and pond waterfalls. This is one of the most trusted brands in America regarding backyard waterfalls, with prices ranging from $500 to $5,000.
Universal Rocks Waterfall
For pool waterfalls, Universal Rocks is a popular brand to turn to. They offer several different options, including rainforest-type pool waterfalls and classic rock formation waterfalls in various sizes. Prices range from $1,000 up to $4,000.
Rico Rock Waterfall
Rico Rock is an industry-leading provider of pool waterfalls for U.S. homes. It specializes in rock and concrete waterfalls, with several decades of experience, and is a great brand to turn to when you want a waterfall fitted in your pool. Prices for Rico Rock waterfalls range from $2,500 up to $15,000 or more in some cases.
Freestanding vs Custom-built Waterfalls
When adding a waterfall to your home, you have a choice between freestanding models or custom-built waterfalls. Freestanding waterfalls are pre-built in a set shape and size, ready to be set up in your backyard without too much work. Custom-built waterfalls need to be specially designed and manufactured to suit your space and require more labor, resulting in higher costs. For comparison, a freestanding waterfall is between $100 to $5,000, but custom-built waterfalls range from $5,000 up to $20,000.
Waterfall Installation Cost
Waterfall companies, water feature companies, and pool builders offer waterfall installation services. Pool and pond waterfalls require complex plumbing and electrical set up, which a professional should handle. In contrast, freestanding or pondless waterfalls are set up without any professional help. Labor for installing a waterfall pool depends on who you work with, but expect installation to take about a day, costing between $400 and $1,000 on average.
You may also decide to mostly install the waterfall on your own and hire a plumber or professional to set up the pump and piping. Hire an electrician for the electrical power supply installation, which costs between $50 and $100 per hour and should not take much longer than a couple of hours.
How Much Does it Cost to Run a Waterfall Pump?
As well as the material and installation costs of the waterfall, you also have to think about the running costs. Waterfalls need at least one pump to keep them running, costing between $75 and $250 each, varying in terms of power and performance. Bigger waterfalls that move more water require stronger pumps and use more energy. These pumps’ running costs vary a lot, depending on how big they are and how much energy the pumps take up. Expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $150 per month per pump.
You also need to take maintenance into account, especially if you have a large pond or pool waterfall because things go wrong over time or issues may develop that need to be dealt with before causing bigger problems. Algae can build up around waterfalls, which may interfere with the water quality or clog some of the water flow, and needs to be cleared out. Also, the pump needs to be checked over periodically. Take care of maintenance yourself for less than $50 per year, or call in a professional to check your waterfall and clear away algae or dirt for around $100 to $1,000 per year.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Waterfalls with Fire
Blending water and fire provides an interesting visual contrast and exciting, exotic element to your outdoor spaces. Many pools and pond waterfalls can be paired or positioned alongside fire pits, pots, and bowls, ranging in price from $100 to $2,500 or more.
To enjoy your waterfall feature after the sun goes down, install LED lights in and around the waterfall. This needs to be done with care, due to the dangers of having electric lights so close to rushing water. It can be accomplished affordably, costing around $150 to $400 for small lighting projects and up to $1,000 for larger ones.
Some homeowners choose to have grottos constructed as part of their pool or pond waterfall designs. This greatly improves their aesthetic appeal and cost. Some pond and pool waterfalls come with grottos as part of their design, costing up to $20,000. Adding a custom grotto to your chosen pond or pool waterfall may add anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 to the total cost.
Another good option to decorate or enhance waterfalls is to add plant life on or around them. This can be done by yourself or through a professional. Choose your plants with care to find species that thrive in the waterfall stream or on the dry parts of the feature. Water lilies and lotus flowers can be placed along the pond or stream, while mosses and ferns can grow around your waterfall rocks. The costs for this vary, depending on how many plants you buy.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Many people feel soothed or relaxed by the sounds of waterfalls, but the sounds produced vary depending on the waterfall type. A sheetfall waterfall produces a heavier and less natural sound than a rainforest waterfall or one with various rocks and diversions that interrupt the flow. However, the sounds of water may attract more wildlife like birds and dragonflies to your yard.
- When planning a large waterfall that involves a lot of water, you may need to opt for heavy-duty materials for its construction. This increases the total project costs by around 30% on average, but it helps your waterfall last longer.
- Additional water features you might like for your pond or water garden include scuppers and sconces. Scuppers spout water along the surface and down, while sconces emit water in an arc-like pattern. They cost anywhere from $200 to $600 each.
- If an outdoor waterfall’s costs seem too high, consider a fountain instead. The average installation costs of a fountain are $2,500.
- Can you add a waterfall to an existing pool?
Yes, it is possible to add a waterfall to an existing pool. Speak with waterfall companies or ask a professional to come and look at your pool to show you what options are available.
- How much does it cost to have a waterfall in your backyard?
The costs vary enormously, depending on the waterfall size and type. They range from $100 to $20,000.