How to Build Patio Waterfalls

If you like the look of patio waterfalls but find that the readymade ones are too expensive for your budget, you can easily make one of these garden features yourself. To make the waterfall look more authentic use rock as the base material.

In every garden rocks are readily available and thus won’t cost you any money at all. In fact if you are landscaping and have too many rocks you can save money by building a garden water feature ( instead of having to pay to have the rocks taken away.

Along with making sure you have enough rocks for the patio waterfalls you want to build, you do need to buy a pump to recirculate the water from the pond to the waterfall and have it come back to the pond again. You can design your waterfall in whatever size and shape you wish to make an emphatic statement, but the main factor that you have to take into consideration is how high you want this waterfall to be.

You can take advantage of a sloping area to create large waterfalls ( or erect a beam behind it to make an artificial slope. You do need to purchase the building material and a liner that is flexible enough to channel the water from the pool you create so that it will cascade the water down the waterfall. You then need to place the boulders on top of this liner to hold them in place.

You may choose to have the water spill dramatically over the rocks in the patio waterfalls you create or you may want to just have the water flow gently. To have a spillway, you need to have a large flat rock that has smaller and rounder rocks underneath it that build it up to the height you desire. It should be almost like an overhang and the higher you have this flat rock above the next level, the more dramatic the waterfall will be.

Bluestone and thick slabs of fieldstone produce an excellent effect in patio waterfalls. You can also mix these two types of stone in the same waterfall to make it look very natural – almost as if you built your patio around it. You do need to have at least two spillways in a waterfall, which means you need several different levels.

Once you decide on the overall height of the waterfall, then you can use some mathematical skill to figure out how high each of the levels should be. You can also mix larger rocks in with smaller sizes, such as pebbles and beach rocks. The focal point should be that you have water pouring down from higher to lower levels and collecting in a pool at the bottom. You can enhance the waterfall by having small plants growing along the sides.

Making your own patio waterfalls does involve a lot of work. Before you start think about the time you will have to spend on this project and check out the cost of the supplies you will need to purchase. When you compare the cost and factor in the time, you may well decide that it is a cheaper option to purchase a kit or a waterfall that is already made and ready to install. There are precast concrete forms that will replicate the look of stone for the waterfall that are not as expensive as you may think.

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Sarah Martin is a freelance marketing writer based out of San Diego, CA. She specializes in landscaping and building her own large waterfalls. For a wide selection of patio waterfalls or the perfect garden water feature you have been looking for, please visit


Killarney  (open the image to see the waterfalls).
Image by Tatters:) via Flickr

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