Water Fountains :

Don’t Buy One Until You’ve Considered These 7 Important Factors

Why a Water Fountain?

The ultimate in relaxation and luxury in an outdoor area has to be a water feature or a fountain. Some studies also show that the sound of running water is very effective to relax the mind and can even help sleeping problems. Neighborhood noises can be drowned out, transporting you to a peaceful retreat away from city life and take you away to a place which is calm and tranquil. Feeling soothed, rejuvenated and overall more relaxed are just some of the advantages reported by owners of water fountains  For this reason, the idea of installing a water feature is very alluring for many people. However, to ensure you choose the right one which suits your current decor, landscape and budget, make sure you read these 7 factors beforehand:

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1 – Measure Up

Any outdoor space can benefit from an outdoor water feature. Some are so small that they can be placed in the corner of a small courtyard or within a patio area. It’s important to create a scale drawing should prior to embarking upon a purchase. This will ensure a fountain isn’t out of place or too large or small for the space. You can take this a stage further by mocking up the size of the fountain and placing it in the space.

2 – Design:

When thinking about which design would suit your space and style best, try to keep in mind that the fountain will be the focal point of the space in which it is located. Think about the feel and style of current furniture and décor in the area and try to incorporate the design so it suits. Styles vary from the very traditional (think ornamental figurines such as angels, cupid etc) made from classic materials such as stone, marble or concrete. To the very modern – abstract shapes and modern materials such as copper, bamboo, acrylic resin, stainless steel, cast aluminium, fiber stone etc. Keep in mind your area’s climate and research whether your area would suit a particular material. Although the price range of fountains varies significantly, there are fountain designs to suit every budget. Designs can go from large, stately fountains to small and discreet trickles, simple “bubblers” or more elaborate streams and waterfalls.

When considering a style and design, you may wish to find inspiration from various sources; your favorite vacation spot can be a great idea to consider – if you adore tropical locations perhaps shells and or fish could be a core theme? Or a skiing theme could be incorporated by glittery,silvery designs or snowflake shapes. If you enjoy hiking or outdoor activities, rocks could feature within your fountain design.

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3 – Features:

Other factors to consider are; desired level of water flow (and noise) and whether you wish to attract birds and butterflies to your space. Also, do you wish the water feature to be permanent or a seasonal addition to the garden? Many fountains are not suitable to be left out during winter in freezing conditions as ice may damage the unit. This may be a factor when deciding which water fountain to choose.  If you have plants around the fountain space, inquire whether their foliage can withstand the additional water spray (if any)?

Lighting, sound and color accents are very important factors to consider as they vary greatly between features. The type of fountain you chose (electrical/ solar etc) needs to be decided early on and may impact your choice. An electrician is required for a hardwired fountain yet solar powered or battery operated fountains are relatively simple to install yourself. Hardwired fountains, solar fountains and battery powered fountains are all options and generally is a personal choice.

4 – Filtering:

Obviously a filtering system is required to return the water back to the cycle. Your level of expertise and DIY skills is an obvious consideration as well as time available. Do you want to plug-and-go or do you wish to build from scratch as a hobby? You may wish for a plumber to install pipes to supply a steady flow of water or a recirculating pump, which you fill with water periodically. But obviously this can be costly.

5 – Technology:

Another very modern dilemma is how you wish to connect to your water fountain. Your smart phone, tablet or computer can nowadays be used to connect to your fountain. This means you are able to “communicate” with your water feature wherever you are.  Perhaps you forgot to switch it off before the family vacation or maybe you are alerted to a problem or technical issue and to avoid a costly potential repair bill, you are able to switch off before the problem progressed.

Technology is definitely something to consider when installing a permanent or elaborate piece. It will only improve from herein and upgrading later will most certainly be more costly than at the early stages. Remote access can be achieved via cloud based remote access devices, Ethernet or wifi connections.

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6 – Maintenance:

Once you have your water feature installed, there will be maintenance factors and therefore you should learn about them before deciding which option to opt for. Water evaporation will occur no doubt, so ensuring you are able to easily top up levels is highly important. (Make sure your hose can reach or you will be carrying buckets often).

You will need some sort of weekly algae treatment to keep water crystal clear and prevent build up of algae and mineral deposits. Consider whether you will have a pet drinking from the water source before you add a non-organic treatment.

In colder regions, the pump should be stored indoors. If the fountain itself is made from stone or ceramics, it should also be sheltered to avoid cracks and damage from severe temperature fluctuations. In this climate, fountains should be drained of all water for winter.

7 – Pump Size:

How much water flow you achieve will depend on the size or power of the pump you choose. Choose one with a “dimmer” switch which enables the flow of water to vary. If you wish to decrease water sound, adding rocks to the base of your feature will decrease the “splashing” noise as well as the volume of water.  Lower water level increases noise volume and vice versa.

Mandatory steps include flushing pump and hose lines, removing leaves and debris from intake valve, replacing filters and ensuring it is fully submerged into water.  Switch off the pump immediately and clean it if any problem is suspected.

Summary:

Outdoor water fountains can be incredibly relaxing and soothing and therefore can provide many benefits both aesthetic and personal. Consider all factors to ensure you choose one which compliments your existing outdoor space design as well as size, budget and maintenance considerations. You can choose from a wide range of stunning, low maintenance designs at Exclusive Outdoor Living.