Waterfall Installation Cost

In this guide

Size
Materials
Water source
Sheetfall
Pondless waterfalls
Labor
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost to install a waterfall?

Waterfalls are pleasant outdoor decorative structures that many homeowners choose to add to their pools, backyard ponds, and gardens. They can improve the value and visual appeal of your property. In this guide, we’ll look at the average cost of installing a waterfall, which averages $1,020 for a medium 12 sq. ft. rock waterfall on a pool.

Size

The size of your waterfall will greatly affect your total cost. According to Universal Rocks, the average prices by size are as follows:

  • Small $130-$350 (approximately 3 sq. ft.)
  • Medium $400-$1,770 (approximately 12 sq. ft.)
  • Large $1,000-$5,225 and higher (approximately 20 sq. ft. and above)

Most companies offer pre-made waterfall models that you can choose from. If you choose to have a custom waterfall made, expect to pay $6,000-$10,000. Custom glass-wall waterfalls can cost $10,000-$15,000 or more.

Materials

Rather than building waterfalls from solid rock, most manufacturers build them out of tough, lightweight composite materials (urethane resin and foam) that feature natural rock coatings.

Some manufacturers offer heavy duty versions of their materials that are designed to withstand more weight and have an overall higher level of durability. Count on costs to increase by at least 30% if you request this option.

Water source

Waterfalls need at least one pump 1 to run. If you are adding your waterfall to your pool, you can usually connect it to the existing pool pump 1. The same is true for ponds and their pumps 1. If you need a separate pump 1 for your waterfall because it requires more power or is a stand-alone waterfall, costs are $60-$200 on average for pumps 1 with power levels ranging from 250 to 2400 gallons per hour (GPH). Pumps 1 are usually connected by flexible spa hoses, PVC piping, or a combination of the two.

Sheetfall

Sheetfall waterfalls are simple and beautiful. They put out water in a uniform stream resembling a thin “sheet” of water. Since they are simpler in design and installation requirements, they are generally cheaper than standard rock waterfalls. Price highly depends on width of the sheetfall. Sheetfalls of 6” cost around $250, while 120” sheetfalls cost around $1900. Lighting can be added to sheetfalls for $250-$760, depending on width.

Pondless waterfalls

You don’t need a pond, pool, or other standing water feature in order to install a waterfall. Many waterfall installation companies offer pondless waterfall options that stand on their own. Given that they usually need the same materials, machinery, and labor, these stand-alone waterfalls don’t vary much in price from standard waterfalls. They need pumps 1, which are $60-$200 on average for those with power levels ranging from 250 to 2400 gallons per hour (GPH).

Labor

Waterfall companies, pond builders, and some pool builders often offer complete waterfall installation services that include plumbing and electrical setup. This labor cost usually amounts to $40-$65 per hour. Count on at least 1 full working day for waterfall installation labor ($320-$520).

Many waterfalls can be DIY installed. However, if you’d rather hire professionals to handle the technical aspects, you’ll need to hire a plumber to handle the pump 1 and piping setup ($45-$65 per hour), and an electrician to set up the power supply ($65-$85 per hour).

Enhancement and improvement costs

Fire features

Many fire features come in the forms of vases, bowls, linear pits, or classic round pits. These decorative pieces can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 each.

Lighting

Adding lighting to your waterfall feature can enhance its beauty and nighttime decorative value. You’ll need to hire an electrician for this job, which costs $65-$85 per hour. A small to medium waterfall lighting project can take as few as 3 or 4 hours ($200-$350) while a large one can take a full working day ($800) or more. Expect to pay $75-$100 per light fixture, $16-$20 per outdoor bulb, and $10 per fixture for wiring.

Grottos

Building a grotto instead of a standard waterfall can significantly increase your costs. Grottos are large structures that can provide a slight overhead shelter, or emulate a cave. Most have waterfalls built in. They usually cost $5,000-$10,000. Especially large or detailed grottos can cost $15,000 or more.

Additional considerations and costs

Sound of rock vs. sheet waterfalls

The sounds produced by waterfalls are generally considered to be soothing and pleasant. Because rock waterfalls usually create more diversions in waterflow, their sound tends to be softer and more natural than that of sheetfalls. Be aware that the sound of waterfalls often attracts wildlife. When your waterfall is running, you may notice a higher number of animals like birds or dragonflies come into your yard.

Alternatives: scuppers and sconces

Scuppers are small features that spout water along a surface and then downward. Sconces typically spout water outward in an arc. Both of these features are usually installed in pools or ponds, and cost anywhere from $260-$550 each.

Waterfall kits

Waterfall kits contain pre-made waterfall structures, pumps 1, and other materials you need to set up a small to medium-sized waterfall yourself. It takes 1 to 2 working days to install a DIY waterfall kit. Many companies will offer installation services for kits as well. Kits cost anywhere from $675-$3400 on average, depending on size. Especially small waterfall kits may cost less, and especially large kits may cost more.

There are also small commercial waterfall sculptures ready to plug in and go. The cost of off-the-shelf waterfalls typically starts at $450.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Pump: A device used to move air, liquid, or gas by mechanical means

Cost to install a waterfall varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Aurora, CO
+10%
Colonia, NJ
+39%
Elk Grove, CA
+6%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Grapevine, TX
+17%
Harrisburg, PA
+2%
Hesperia, CA
-1%
Hicksville, NY
+31%
Houston, TX
+24%
Irvine, CA
+23%
Katy, TX
+63%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Magnolia, TX
+14%
Marietta, GA
+10%
Nappanee, IN
-5%
Phoenix, MD
+37%
Richmond, TX
+63%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Selden, NY
+17%
Spring, TX
+24%
Sugar Land, TX
+63%

Labor cost in your zipcode

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Methodology and sources