Backyard Water Features: The Definitive Guide For Everything You Need To Know

Backyard water features can add value, beauty, and tranquility to your home. Before you get started, read our definitive guide to backyard water features!

A backyard water feature stream surrounded by plants and rocks

If you’re considering adding a water feature to your home, you’re in for a lovely addition that can add value, beauty, and tranquility to your yard. Before you get started, though, there are some things you need to know about the different types of backyard water features available and how to pick the perfect one for your needs.

Keep reading for the definitive guide to backyard water features!

How To Choose The Right Backyard Water Feature For Your Outdoor Space

Water elements can range from a simple birdbath to an ornate fountain, and there are many factors to consider when choosing the right one for your outdoor space. 

However, with so many different features available, it can be challenging to know which one is right for you.

Keep reading to discover the six key considerations you should consider to help you decide which is the perfect water feature.

Atmosphere, Area, and Location

Water elements can be a great addition to any yard. They can provide a point of interest, help to mask unwanted noise and create a sense of relaxation. However, before you choose a feature for your yard, there are a few things you should take into consideration.

First, think about the atmosphere you want to create. Do you want a tranquil meditative oasis or a relaxing outdoor space for entertaining?

Next, consider the size and layout of your yard. Will the feature fit in the space you have available?

Finally, think about the location of your yard and the overall regional climate. If you live in an area with many mosquitos, such as North Carolina, you might want to steer clear of still water, which can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. A correctly installed pond, however, will actively move and filter its water to eliminate this concern.

Similarly, a koi pond will be a great choice if you are interested in attracting wildlife to your yard. Koi ponds are perfect for the climate of Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Maintenance should also be a consideration when looking at the overall climate. Does your yard get a lot of leaf debris in the fall? If so, you might want to consult a professional to help create a low-maintenance feature that minimizes the need for constant cleaning.

Considering these factors, you can choose a feature that will enhance your yard and provide years of enjoyment.

Consider Your Needs

Water elements are a great way to add visual interest and value to your home. But before you start shopping, it’s essential to consider your needs.

First, think about what you want the feature to do. Are you looking for a conversation starter? A place to relax and meditate? Perhaps you’re hoping to attract more wildlife so that a bubbling fountain might do the trick.

No matter your goals, there are features to suit every need. Once you have a good idea of your needs, you can start narrowing down your options.

There is a wide range of features to choose from, so take your time and find the one that’s right for you. With a little planning, you can create an ideal oasis in your yard.

Now that you’ve determined your needs, it’s time to consider the size and scale of your feature.

Size and Scale

Water elements can enhance your space, but before choosing one, it’s important to consider size and scale. Remember that choices range in varying heights and widths, from small water fountains to large koi ponds. Some ponds can even be used for recreation, like a swimming pool!

The overall size of your yard and the amount of available space will help dictate what type and size of feature will work best. A water feature that’s too small will get lost in your backyard, and one that’s too large will overwhelm it.

To get an idea of the size and scale you need, look at your outdoor area and picture what would look best. Once you know the size and scale you need, you can start consulting with professional pond contractors for a feature that will fit your needs and your space.


Size and scale are important, of course, but functionality should also be taken into account. After all, a feature is more than just a pretty addition to your yard—it’s also an investment. Like any investment, you want to ensure you get what you need for your money.

For example, if you plan to use the feature as a swimming pool or for boating, you’ll need to ensure it is large enough and deep enough to accommodate those activities. If attracting wildlife is your goal, you should consider a pond that can be a habitat for fish and insects.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more calming and relaxing experience, a small water fountain or bubbling rock might be all you need. If you have young children, you’ll want to choose a safe feature for them to play near.

By taking the time to consider the functionality of a feature, you can ensure you choose the perfect one for your yard.


The right style of feature can enhance your outdoor space, making it more inviting and stylish. However, choosing the wrong style can be an eyesore that sticks out like a sore thumb.

So when you’re choosing a feature, take the time to consider what style would best complement your space. Do you want a classic bubbling water fountain or a more modern pondless waterfall? Do you want something sleek and minimalist, or do you prefer a more ornate design?

Do you want the feature to match your current landscaping, or do you prefer to try something completely different? There are hundreds of different styles to choose from, so it’s essential to take some time to browse options and find the perfect one for you. 


Before you add a feature, it’s crucial to consider the maintenance required to keep it functioning correctly. While the initial installation may be relatively simple, all features require regular cleaning and upkeep.

Features with waterfalls typically require the most care since they have pumps that someone must regularly check to ensure they are functioning correctly. Ponds must be regularly skimmed and cleaned to remove debris and prevent excessive algae growth.

Even low-maintenance fountains need to be descaled occasionally. Features with rocks may also need to be power-washed to remove algae and other unsightly debris. 

Furthermore, winter weather can take its toll on water elements, so it’s essential to have a winterizing plan in place to protect your investment. With a bit of forethought, however, you can enjoy the relaxing sound of running water for years to come.

We offer maintenance services here at Charlotte Backyard Ponds, so feel free to contact us about the cost of these services if you prefer to have a pond contractor perform them.

Types Of Backyard Water Features

Two dogs lounge by a large ornate fountain sitting in a pool of water.

You have many options if you’re considering adding a water element to your home. Water elements come in all shapes and sizes, from simple birdbaths to elaborate koi ponds. No matter your budget or space, there’s a water feature that’s perfect for you.

Keep reading to discover six of the most common and popular feature types available to pick the perfect one for your yard.


One of the most popular water elements is a pond. Ponds can be small and intimate or large enough to swim in. They can be natural-looking, with rocks and plants around the edge, or more formal, with paved edges and manicured landscaping. They are also one of our favorites here at Charlotte Backyard Ponds!

Any yard can benefit from the addition of a pond. Not only do ponds add a touch of beauty and tranquility, but they can also provide a source of water for plants and animals.

Here are just a few reasons why ponds make great features:

  • Ponds are low-maintenance: Once a pond is established, it requires very little upkeep compared to other features. However, you will still need to remove debris, regularly clean any filters, and add fresh water once the water level drops due to evaporation. 
  • Ponds attract wildlife: Birds, butterflies, and other creatures are naturally drawn to ponds. If you want to attract more wildlife to your backyard, consider adding a pond. You may even be able to coax shy animals like frogs and turtles out of hiding!
  • Ponds add value to your home: A well-designed pond can be a real asset to your property. Ponds can increase property values by as much as 20 percent. So, if you’re looking for a home improvement that will pay off down the road, consider adding a pond.

If you are considering a pond for your yard, be sure to consider a few key factors:

  • Pond size: Do you want a large or a small pond? Keep in mind that larger ponds will be more expensive to build and require more maintenance than smaller ponds. Do you want a deep pond for swimming or a shallow pond for simply wading? Remember that a recreational swimming pond will require more maintenance to ensure it is safe for swimmers
  • Pond type: If you want a natural look in your landscape design, you may prefer a wildlife pond. Wildlife ponds are typically deeper than other types of ponds and are designed to provide a habitat for local fish, birds, and beneficial insects. Although they can take more work to establish, wildlife ponds are usually low-maintenance once they’re set up
  • Additional decorative features and water effects for a pond: Decorative features such as a bubbling fountain, cascading waterfall, or rock garden can also be added to a pond. For the ultimate nighttime pond, consider adding underwater LED lights


Fountains are a feature that can add beauty and serenity to your yard. They come in various styles, from classic to contemporary, and can be made of different materials, such as stone, metal, or glass. Fountains can also be freestanding or installed in ponds or pools. 

Here are a few reasons why fountains are a great feature:

  • Aesthetics: Fountains add a visual component to your space that can be both calming and aesthetically pleasing
  • Covers unwanted noise: Fountains can help to mask unwanted noise such as traffic or noisy neighbors, creating a more peaceful environment
  • Attract wildlife: Fountains can help to attract wildlife to your yard, providing you with a chance to see birds and other animals up close
  • Improve air quality: Fountains can help to improve the air quality in your yard by circulating fresh air
  • Fun: Fountains can simply be fun to watch and listen to! Whether you choose a simple birdbath fountain or an elaborate multi-tiered fountain, you’re sure to enjoy having this feature for years to come


A multi-level waterfall flows over rocks and into a pond surrounded by trees and green grasses.

These are one of the most popular water elements for a reason: They add beauty and value to your home. A waterfall can range from a simple DIY project to an elaborate multi-tiered fountain and everything in between.

Here are a few key factors and practical benefits to consider when choosing the right type of waterfall for your yard:

  • Style: No matter your budget or skill level, there’s a waterfall for you. Various waterfall kits are available, giving you multiple options to fit your style and budget. Waterfall kits usually include everything you need to install the waterfall, including the liner, pump, and waterfall spillway
  • Mask noise: Like fountains, waterfalls can mask unwanted traffic noise. They also have a naturally calming effect, which can be a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life. In general, the larger the waterfall, the more noise it will mask
  • Attract wildlife: Waterfalls also provide a natural habitat for wildlife so that you may find more feathered friends and beneficial insects in your yard than before. The aquatic plants and rocks you select can help provide a natural refuge for local wildlife
  • Materials: These features can be constructed from many materials, including rocks and stones, bricks, metal, concrete, and glass. The materials you decide on will play a significant role in your waterfall’s overall appearance, so it’s a good idea to consult a professional contractor to help you choose the materials that best fit your vision. For example, rocks and stones can be used to create a natural-looking waterfall, while materials like metal or concrete can give your waterfall a more modern look
  • Size: The overall size of your space will help you determine the perfect waterfall size for you. Remember that you don’t want to overwhelm a small space with a large waterfall. You also don’t want to put a tiny waterfall in an ample space since it could get lost in the landscape

A waterfall is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a feature that will add both beauty and relaxation to your landscape.

Pondless Waterfalls and Streams

Pondless features get their name because there’s no standing body of water—the stream or waterfall flows into a hidden reservoir buried beneath the ground. Water runs over a streambed of rocks and stones in pondless streams, creating a constant soothing sound. 

There are several advantages to this type of feature:

  • Little evaporation or spillage: Since there is no pond, you don’t have to worry about evaporation or spillage. You can even put your pondless waterfall in an area where an above-ground pond would be impractical, such as on a hillside
  • Kid-safe: Another advantage of a pondless waterfall is that it’s inherently safer than a traditional waterfall since there’s no pond for small children to fall into
  • Less likely to attract mosquitoes: Since pondless features do not include a pool of stagnant water, they are less likely to attract mosquitoes
  • Works in small spaces: Pondless features are an excellent option for small yards or for people who do not want to deal with the maintenance of a pond
  • Easily customizable: Pondless water elements can be customized to fit any length, width, and depth you want. They can also be created with natural materials, such as rocks and gravel, which blend in seamlessly with your landscaping

A pondless waterfall or stream is a great option if you’re looking for a feature that will add some instant curb appeal to your home. Not only are they beautiful, but they’re also low-maintenance and safe, making them the perfect addition to any yard.

Bubbling Rocks

When it comes to water elements, bubbling rocks are a great option. They are easy to install and maintain and can add a touch of relaxation to any yard.

Bubbling rocks work by circulating water through a stone or ceramic rock with a hole in the center. The water is pumped up from a hidden reservoir and flows down the rocks, creating a gentle bubbling sound.

Bubbling rocks can be used to create a soothing waterfall, or they can be used to accent other features such as ponds or swimming pools. One benefit of adding bubbling rocks to a feature is that it will help aerate the water, which prevents algae growth and helps keep fish healthy.

When it comes to cost and maintenance, bubbling rocks are relatively affordable and are typically low-maintenance. So if you’re looking for a stylish and functional feature, bubbling rocks are a great option.

Bird Baths

If you’re looking for a functional and attractive feature, a bird bath should be at the top of your list. They come in various sizes, shapes, and styles to fit any space. You’ll also want to consider the material—stone, ceramic, metal, and glass are all popular choices.

In addition to providing a refreshing drink for our feathered friends, bird baths can also serve as a landscaping focal point or as part of a more extensive feature.

When choosing a bird bath, select one that is the appropriate size and shape for the birds you wish to attract. Also, be sure to place your bird bath in an area that receives plenty of sunlight so the water stays clean and fresh. 

With a bit of care and attention, a bird bath can provide years of enjoyment for both you and the birds in your yard.

The Benefits Of Backyard Water Features

A small backyard wildlife pond surrounded by rocks and green vegetation.

While most people would agree that water elements are beautiful and enjoyable to sit around, there are also many extra benefits you may not have considered.

Read on to learn more about the top four benefits of features.

A Great Way To Attract Wildlife To Your Yard

One of the primary benefits of features is that they offer a great way to attract wildlife to your property. If you install a feature, you will likely see more birds, butterflies, and other animals in your yard. Animals are naturally drawn to water, so adding a water element to your space is a surefire way to attract them.

Not only can this provide you with hours of enjoyment watching them frolic and play, but it can also help reduce the number of pests in your yard, as many animals will eat insects. It also helps your yard feel more like a natural oasis.

Can Increase The Value Of Your Home

Another significant benefit of features is that they can increase your home’s value. Features can increase a home’s value because prospective buyers always look for homes with unique selling points, and a beautiful water element qualifies. Buyers will be drawn to the beauty and tranquility of your customized oasis.

If you want to add a feature to your home specifically to increase its value–you’re not alone. Per the 2019 Houzz & Home Report, 42% of homeowners who added outdoor water elements to their homes did so to increase resale value.

So whether you’re planning on selling your home soon or not, it’s always nice to know that you’ve made an improvement that will pay off down the road should you ever decide to sell.

Add Beauty And Tranquility To Any Yard

Features aren’t just good for your wallet—they’re also good for your soul. That’s because they add beauty and tranquility to any yard, making it a more enjoyable place to spend time.

Whether you want to relax in your oasis after a long day or entertain guests at an outdoor gathering, a water element can help create the perfect atmosphere. There’s something about the sound of running water that instantly makes any space feel more serene.

Whether you choose a simple fountain or an elaborate waterfall, a water element is sure to add some visual interest to your yard. Since features can be customized to fit any outdoor living space, you’re sure to find a perfect feature for your yard.

Offer A Great Way To Relax After A Long Day

After a long day of work, there’s nothing quite like coming home to your oasis. And what better way to relax than sitting back and listening to the peaceful sound of trickling water?

That’s where water elements come in. Whether a simple birdbath or a more elaborate fountain, adding a water element to your yard can transform it into a serene retreat. Not only do features provide a visual focal point, but they also help to mask unwanted noise from the outside world. 

Water elements can also serve as a great gathering place for family and friends. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or just enjoying a quiet evening at home, a water element can provide the perfect spot to relax and unwind.

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on a lounge chair or reading a book under the shade of a tree, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the soothing sounds of your feature.

How To Install A Backyard Water Feature

A small backyard pond with flowers and a fountain feature and surrounded by a patio.

Now that we’ve delved into features’ various types and benefits, it’s time to learn how to install them. Remember that this section is a broad overview of the process and that you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific feature.

Read on to discover the four key steps to installing a feature:

Prepare Your Yard

Preparation is critical for any DIY project, and installing a water element is no exception.

  • Select a location: Begin by surveying your yard to find the perfect spot for your new feature. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a level area. Hillsides or slopes should be leveled out before proceeding. Otherwise, your feature may not function correctly or look right. Once you’ve selected the location, use spray paint to mark the dimensions of your proposed waterfall, fountain, or pond
  • Electrical: Typically, you’ll want to install an underground power line or run an insulated electrical line to your feature. If that is not an option, you’ll want to ensure the spot you choose is close to an electrical outlet, as most features need to be plugged in
  • Sunlight: If plants and fish are part of your feature, pick a spot that gets sunlight since they will need that to thrive
  • Clear vegetation and debris: Remove any grass, rocks, or other obstructions within the marked area
  • Excavation: Now it’s time to start digging the hole for your feature. The size and depth of your hole will depend on what type of water feature you are installing. For example, a large pond will require much more excavating than a small pondless stream

Install Your Liner

The next step is to install your liner. The liner is what will hold all the water in, so it’s crucial to get it right! We have a guide to help you decide on the best pond liner for your water feature.

  • First, lay out your liner where you want your feature to go
  • Then, using a shovel, dig a hole around the liner that’s about 6 inches deep
  • Once you’ve dug the hole, line it with heavy rocks or bricks. Rocks will help keep your liner in place once you add water. You can also add more stone, rocks, or gravel based on what type of feature you are trying to create

Assemble Your Water Feature

Now it’s time to start putting your feature together!

This part will vary depending on what kind of feature you’re installing. For example, if you’re installing a fountain, you’ll need to put together the different pieces according to the instructions that came with your kit.

On the other hand, if you’re installing a pondless waterfall, you’ll need to assemble the pump and tubing first. Most water feature kits should contain a pump, tubing, and some sort of basin or container. 

No matter what kind of feature you’re installing, be sure to follow the instructions carefully, so everything goes smoothly. 

Add Plants, Any Additional Features, And Water

We advise installing lights, plants, and other features before filling the pond with water. Lights are more difficult to add after a feature has been filled up with water. Then, add any additional features like stones or sculptures. 

Now it’s time to add plants and fish (if desired) and fill it with water! Begin by adding aquatic plants to help purify the water. Be sure to use plants tolerant of wet conditions since they’ll be sitting in water. 

Once your feature is full of fresh, clean water, turn on the pump and ensure that water is flowing and everything is working correctly.

Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy your new feature!

This guide will ensure your installation goes smoothly, but if you have any questions, contact us or any other professional pond contractor.

The Best Time To Install A Backyard Water Feature

A backyard water feature in the process of being installed in south Charlotte, NC.

If you’ve been thinking about sprucing up your yard with a water element, you may be wondering when the best time of year to do so is. After all, you want to ensure that your new addition is installed properly and will last for years.

We prefer to build new water elements at Charlotte Backyard Ponds during the early summer and fall months. There are several reasons for this. 

Springtime is usually a maintenance season when people with existing ponds and features are getting them ready for summer. Furthermore, the mild weather during this time in North Carolina makes working with concrete, stone, and other materials easier, and the longer days give you more time to enjoy your new addition. 

So while the best time to install will depend on your particular region’s climate, there are a few guidelines for each season to keep in mind:

  • Spring: One of the best times to install a feature is springtime. Not only is the weather generally more cooperative at this time of year, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of the longer days and warmer temperatures to get the job done. Plus, if you have any plants or flowers that you want to add around your new water feature, spring is the perfect time to do so
  • Summer: While some might think summer is the best time to install a feature, there are a few reasons why it’s not. For one thing, it can be pretty hot and humid during the summer months, making working outside uncomfortable. In addition, summer storms can sometimes cause delays or even damage to your new project
  • Fall: Fall is often considered the ideal time to install a feature because, in most parts of the country, it’s not too hot and not too cold. Mild weather means you’ll be comfortable working outside, and you won’t have to worry about rain or snow affecting your project. Plus, if you have any plants that you want to add around your new water feature, fall is an ideal time to do so since they’ll have plenty of time to get established before winter arrives
  • Winter: While winter might not seem like an ideal time to install a feature, there are a few advantages to doing so at this time of year. For one thing, many contractors and landscapers are less busy during the winter months, which means that you may be able to get work started earlier. In addition, since most people are spending more time indoors during the winter, you may find that you have more time to work on your project without interruption

Another crucial consideration is how long it will take to install your feature. If you want to install a feature yourself, we suggest beginning with something smaller, like a bird bath or fountain. 

Remember that most average-sized ponds will take 3-5 days for even a professional pond company to install. Larger ponds might take up to 3 weeks, especially if additional features are installed. 

Finally, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional before getting started on your project to plan accordingly and avoid any potential pitfalls along the way.

How To Maintain A Backyard Water Feature

A koi pond with fish visible beneath the surface of the water.

Most features are made of concrete, stone, or some other type of durable material. That means they’re built to last—but only if they’re correctly maintained.

Here are a few tips on how to do it, based on what type of feature you have installed:

Cleaning Your Water Feature

One of the most important things you can do to keep your feature looking and sounding great is to keep the water clean. That being said, the method for cleaning the water will depend greatly on what type of water feature you have.

Bird Baths

Birdbaths can become dirty quickly, so it’s essential to clean them regularly. The best way to clean a birdbath is to empty it entirely and then scrub it with a stiff brush.

You may also need a mild detergent to remove any tough stains. Once the birdbath is clean, rinse it thoroughly and refill it with fresh water. Now your birds can enjoy a pure, refreshing drink!

Pondless Waterfalls And Streams

Cleaning pondless features is a relatively straightforward process that can be done with just a few simple tools:

  • The first step is to drain the feature of all water using a pump
  • Remove any debris that has been collected in the basin or stream bed. A small hand shovel or trowel will do the trick. Once the basin is clean, you can refill it with fresh water
  • Next, you’ll need to clean the pumps and filters. Cleaning can be done by simply disassembling the unit and giving all parts a good rinse with a hose. Be sure to reassemble the unit before turning it back on
  • Finally, you’ll want to give the rocks and boulders a good scrub. A stiff brush should do the trick. Use a pressure washer or apply a safe and mild cleaning mixture to remove tougher build-up

Once you’re finished, your pondless waterfall or stream will be sparkling clean and ready to enjoy!


To keep your oasis looking its best, here are a few tips for cleaning fountainscapes:

  • It’s important to empty and clean the fountain basin regularly. The build-up of dirt, leaves, and other debris can make your fountain look messy and clog the pump and cause further issues. To clean the basin, empty the water and scrub the inside with mild soap and a soft brush. Be sure to rinse well afterward
  • You’ll need to clean the fountain itself, including the pump, tubing, and other moving parts. You’ll want to use a gentle cleanser designed explicitly for fountains or ponds, as harsh chemicals can damage the finishes on your fountain. Simply follow the directions on the product label
  • Finally, don’t forget about the surrounding area! Periodically sweep or blow leaves and debris around the fountain’s base, and trim back any overgrown plants that might be crowding it

With just a little TLC, your fountainscape will stay pristine all season long.


No matter how well you take care of your pond, there will come a time when it needs a good cleaning. While it may seem daunting, cleaning a pond is relatively easy if you follow these 7 simple steps. With a little bit of elbow grease, you’ll have your pond looking as good as new in no time!

1. You first need to remove any fish or other aquatic creatures from the pond. Remove fish by scooping them out with a net or draining the pond. Be sure to put the fish in a holding tank or bucket filled with water from the pond, so they don’t get too stressed out. A good pro tip is to let the water drain down a little before trying to catch the fish since it will reduce the areas they can hide

2. Next, you’ll want to remove any debris accumulated at the pond’s bottom. Debris removal can be done with a garden hose or a small submersible pump. If you have a lot of waste, you may need to use a shovel to remove it.

3. Once the debris is gone, you can pressure wash the entire pond. Pressure wash any rocks, additional features, and the pond basin itself. You can use a large scrubbing brush to remove algae or other stubborn build-ups. If you have gravel in your feature, don’t worry about trying to get them completely clean. Beneficial bacteria can live on these rocks, aiding the feature’s natural ecosystem. Finally, you will want to pump out the dirty water from the pressure washing.

4. If you have a filter system, it’s a good idea to clean it while you have the pond drained. You should also clean the pump, the skimmer basket, and any filter pads you may have. While filter pads do not need to be replaced often, they do need to be scrubbed several times a year. 

5. Now that your pond is drained of water and clean, it’s a perfect time to do an inspection. Look for any cracks or holes in the basin and near the edge of the liner. Be sure to inspect any accessories, too, such as LED lights or aeration systems.

6. Now, you can now add fresh water to the pond. Be sure to dechlorinate the water before adding it to the pond. You can do this by adding chlorine remover to the water or by letting it sit out for 24 hours, so the chlorine evaporates.

7. Now your pond is clean and ready for new fish! Be sure to acclimate them slowly, so they don’t get shocked. Also, regularly test the water quality and pH to ensure that it stays clean and healthy for your fish.

Charlotte Backyard Ponds is happy to provide regular cleaning services. Not only will we ensure your pond is cleaned correctly, but we also take care of small details that might get overlooked. 


If you live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures in the winter, it’s essential to take steps to winterize your feature. Otherwise, you risk damaging the pump and other components.

Although snow and ice aren’t annual occurrences in our part of North Carolina, winter temperatures will often dip below freezing. Occasionally, a snowstorm comes through, so it’s good to know how to take care of your system. 

Bird Baths

Here are a few tips for winterizing your bird bath:

  • Drain the water from the bowl and rinse it out thoroughly
  • Remove any debris or leaves from the basin
  • Place the bird bath on a level surface in an open area
  • Cover the bird bath with a piece of fabric or burlap
  • Weight down the material with rocks or bricks

These simple steps can help ensure that your bird bath will be ready to welcome feathered friends when the warm weather returns.


Fountainscapes are great for small spaces, but you should be aware that they can’t handle freezing weather. The ice will expand and crack any ceramic or concrete fountain if it freezes, so make sure to drain all the water out while leaving only a smaller amount inside during winter.

Pondless Water Features

If you want to keep your pondless feature looking its best, cover it with something like netting. Otherwise, leave the surface as is and enjoy this natural beauty!


If you have fish in your pond, you must winterize it. If you have a koi pond in Charlotte, please refer to our koi pond winterization process guide. In-ground ponds will typically need less maintenance than above-ground ones because the earth provides some warmth, keeping water temperatures higher on average.

There are several ways to keep your pond from freezing during the winter. For one, you can continue running the stream or waterfall if you have one in place.

You can also turn off any pumps sitting on the lower levels of your pond, so they do not circulate water through all parts. Otherwise, the colder water in the pond will mix with the warmer water and make the entire pond colder overall.

If you have a large pond, you should also consider adding an aerator during the wintertime for the fish. Again, keeping the aerator on the highest shelf within the pond is best. Aeration will help circulate oxygen in the water and prevent ice formation on the pond’s surface.

You can add a pond heater if you live in a region with especially frigid winters. A pond heater will prevent a small area of the pond from freezing and will keep a small hole open in the ice so that your fish can breathe.

The Cost Of Backyard Water Features

An elaborate backyard water feature that includes a waterfall and koi pond. A pitcher of water and a glass sitting on a table are visible in the foreground.

The price of water elements can vary widely, depending on their size and type. 

In this section, we will cover the different factors that affect the cost of features.

Size, Shape, and Functionality


In general, smaller and simpler features will be less expensive than larger ones with more complex designs or options. You can also save money by choosing DIY kits instead of hiring professionals for installation.

Size is also a key factor when it comes to maintenance costs. More minor features are easier to clean and require less work. On the other hand, more prominent features take more effort to clean and may need multiple people to do it.


Similarly, when it comes to cost, a good rule of thumb is the more complex a feature is, the more expensive it will be to buy and maintain.

For example, you can expect to spend anywhere from $800 to $2000 for a basic bubbling fountain kit. Keep in mind that the price is just for the equipment and doesn’t include installation costs. Installation with equipment costs generally starts at around $3,500.

However, you can expect to pay even more if you want something a little more complex, such as a waterfall or koi pond. Again, the cost will typically depend on the size and complexity of the project. 

While installation costs vary widely depending on the market and the specific pond contractor you hire, most pondless feature installations will run you at least $8,500. Pond installations typically begin at $12,500. Remember that pond installations usually include costly pumps and other systems that can add to the final price tag.

How To Reduce The Cost Of A Water Feature

Water elements can be a great addition to any landscape. They add visual interest, provide soothing sounds, and attract wildlife. However, they can also be quite costly to install and maintain.

If you’re looking to reduce the cost of a feature, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Consider using recycled materials wherever possible. Old tires can be used to create a natural-looking waterfall, for example. Plant materials such as bamboo can also be used to create interesting features
  • You can save money by choosing a do-it-yourself kit instead of hiring a professional to install your feature
  • Try to avoid using electricity whenever possible. Solar-powered pumps are an excellent option for circulating water. Depending on the feature, there may be times when you can shut off the power running to it
  • Don’t forget the importance of regular maintenance. Cleaning your feature regularly will help to ensure that it lasts for many years to come

By following these tips, you can enjoy water elements’ benefits without breaking the bank.

What Affects The Cost Of A Backyard Water Feature

Features come in all shapes and sizes, from small fountains to large ponds. But what factors affect the cost of these features?

Here are a few things to consider:

  • The size of the feature. A larger feature will generally cost more than a smaller one
  • The type of feature. A fountain or waterfall typically costs more than a simple birdbath or small pond
  • The material used to build the feature. Features can be made from various materials, including stone, concrete, metal, and plastic. In general, more expensive materials will lead to a higher overall cost
  • The landscaping around the feature. If you have extensive landscaping around your water feature, it will likely increase the cost. It will cost more because more time and effort will be required to install and maintain the feature

Ultimately, the cost of a feature can vary significantly depending on several factors. However, by considering all of these factors, you can better understand how much your dream water element will cost.

Maintenance Cost Of A Backyard Water Feature

As any home improvement enthusiast knows, a water element can add visual interest and value to your home. But before you take the plunge, it’s important to consider the ongoing costs of maintenance.

Once the feature is up and running, there will be ongoing costs for electricity, water, and chemicals. For example, if you have a fountain, you must pay for the pump that circulates the water. You’ll also need to add fresh water regularly, and may want to invest in a chemical treatment to keep the water clean.

Besides these direct costs, maintenance also requires a time commitment. Features need to be cleaned regularly, and this can be time-consuming depending on the size and number of features in your yard.

Whether you do it yourself or hire someone to help, be prepared to spend at least a few hours each week keeping your backyard feature looking its best.

Fortunately, there are ways to keep your feature looking good without breaking the bank. Some people use plants for filtration, which can help keep your water feature looking cleaner longer. The longer it takes your water feature to get dirty, the less time and money you spend cleaning it.

Similarly, if you have a moving water feature, you can reduce your pest control costs since running waters discourage mosquito breeding. Many features attract beneficial insects that will feed on undesirable pests like mosquitoes. 

With all of these costs in mind, it’s important to do your research before adding a water element. But if you’re prepared for the expense and willing to put in the time to maintain it, a feature can make an excellent addition to your home.

Backyard Water Feature FAQs

A closeup of various types of aquatic plants emerging from a pond, with a waterfall visible in the background.

If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers!

Keep reading to discover the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about water elements:

Does A Water Feature Need Maintenance?

All features will need regular maintenance to maintain cleanliness and properly function. Features can become dirty, filled with algae, and home to mosquito larvae without proper care. 

However, the extent of the maintenance will largely depend on the feature type. For example, a koi pond will need to be regularly cleaned, and the water quality carefully monitored, while a backyard waterfall is relatively low-maintenance.

Other features only need minimal cleaning, such as removing deposits from a pump. In any case, it’s always a good idea to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, so you can maintain your feature correctly without damaging it.

Ultimately, the amount of maintenance your feature will need is something you should consider before making your final decision.

Is A Water Feature Expensive?

Features can range from simple birdbaths to elaborate waterfall systems. So the cost of a feature will depend mainly on the size and complexity of the design you select.

Generally, prices will range from a few hundred dollars for a minor feature like a birdbath to thousands of dollars for larger and more complex features like ponds with LED lights. Large recreational swimming ponds can even cost hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Is A Water Feature Worth The Investment?

Whether or not a water element is worth the investment is up to you. But if you’re looking for a way to add value to your home and create a relaxing oasis, it may be just what you’re looking for.

What Should I Keep In Mind When Choosing A Water Feature?

When choosing a feature, there are several things to keep in mind. First, consider the size of your backyard and how much space you have available.

Then, think about the type of feature you would like. There are many types of water elements to choose from, such as fountains, ponds, and bubbling rocks.

Next, think about what you want the feature to do. Do you want it to be purely decorative, or do you want it to serve a practical purpose as well?

Finally, consider your budget and how much you are willing to spend on a backyard feature. With these things in mind, you should be able to find the perfect feature for your home.

How Can I Save Money On My Water Feature?

If you’re looking for ways to save money on your feature, there are a few things you can do:

  • One of the simplest ways to save money on your feature is to install it yourself
  • You can also make sure that your feature is adequately insulated. Insulation will help to reduce evaporation and keep your water bill down
  • Choose a smaller feature that doesn’t require a lot of electricity or water to operate or a lot of maintenance
  • Consider using a solar-powered pump to circulate the water. Solar power can be a more efficient way to operate your feature and will save you money in the long run
  • Be sure to perform regular maintenance on your feature. Regular maintenance will help to keep it in good condition and prevent costly repairs down the line

Are There Any Special Considerations I Should Keep In Mind When Installing A Water Feature?

After you have settled on a location and type of water feature, there are several considerations you should keep in mind before you begin your project:

  • You will want to confirm that you comply with local and state building codes
  • Make sure that your feature is appropriately wired and plumbed. This will ensure that it functions correctly and doesn’t leak
  • Check to see if there are permits required if you are creating a more prominent feature that requires more substantial work
  • Some regions may have restrictions on water use, so it’s always a good idea to check if you are in compliance with local water usage ordinances
  • Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions or contact a professional pond company. You’ll also want to ensure that the area where you will be installing the feature is level so that the water flows evenly over the surface
  • Last but not least, call the proper authorities to confirm there are no gas, electric, or other underground service lines in the area you are excavating

What Are Some Common Problems With A Water Feature?

Water elements are a great addition to any home but can also come with a few common problems.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about adding a water feature:

  • Water loss: Evaporation is a natural process, but it can cause features to lose water quickly
  • Algae growth: Algae loves still water, so water elements can be susceptible to algae blooms
  • Mosquito breeding: Standing water is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes

How Can I Avoid Common Problems With Water Features?

  • Water loss: To combat this, be sure to top off your feature regularly
  • Algae growth: To prevent this, consider adding some fish to your water feature. Fish will eat the algae, keeping your water clean and clear
  • Mosquito breeding: To prevent this, be sure to circulate the water in your water feature. A simple pump can do the trick

While these common issues can happen to any water feature, the best way to ensure your water feature is installed correctly and maintained regularly is to hire a professional pond contractor.

Contact Charlotte Backyard Ponds

Water lilies and red and purple flowers emerge from a backyard pond with a small waterfall visible in the background.

Water elements are a great way to add beauty and serenity to your outdoor space. Not only do they look beautiful, but water elements also provide a host of benefits for homeowners. From adding value to your home to reducing stress levels, these versatile additions can improve your quality of life in many ways.

If you’re interested in installing a water feature, our team at Charlotte Backyard Ponds can help. We offer comprehensive services that include design, installation, and maintenance so that you can enjoy your backyard oasis worry-free. Fill out our contact form today to get started!