Outdoor Fountain Pros - The Ultimate Fountain Guidebook for 2018

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Finding the perfect outdoor water fountain is our specialty here at Outdoor Fountain Pros. There is a vast variety of outdoor water features, so whether you are looking for a small garden fountain for your back patio, or a large outdoor fountain for your driveway or business, we are here to help!


Table of Contents

Introduction

Why Should You Consider an Outdoor Fountain?

Adding Fountains Is Fun and Easy
Change Up the Garden Style
Make It a Focal Point or an Accent
Bring in More of the Natural World to the Garden
The Sound Is Peaceful and Relaxing
You Have Tons of Options

The Potential Drawbacks of Having an Outdoor Fountain

You Might Attract the Wrong Types of Animals to the Garden
Some Fountains Are Noisy
Some Fountains Are Poorly Made
You May Not Want to Do Maintenance
Should You Get a Fountain for the Garden?

How Does an Outdoor Fountain Usually Work?

The Reservoir or Basin
The Pump
Tubing for Water
Water Distribution or Fountain Head
The Structure
Great Information to Have

 

Where Should You Keep Your Outdoor Fountain

A Source of Water for the Fountain
Make It Visible
The Sound Level of the Fountain
Power for the Fountain
Take Some Photos and Think About Your Fountain Location Before Buying

What Options Are Available for Outdoor Fountains?

Things to Consider When Buying
Types of Outdoor Fountains
Materials Used in Outdoor Fountains

Caring for and Maintaining Your Fountain

Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Check the Water Levels
Clean the Fountain
Stop Algae and Limescale from Growing
Getting Your Outdoor Fountain Ready for the Winter
Maintenance Is Simple

Conclusion

Introduction:

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Naturally, you want to have a beautiful yard. Of course, you know it takes work and you need the right type of décor.
The garden area should be a place that reflects your aesthetic style and sensibilities, and you have many choices when it comes to the type of décor that you want to have in your yard. One of the best options, which can provide you with endless enjoyment and true beauty, is an outdoor fountain.
Fountains have a lot of positives going for them, and over the course of this guide, we will be looking at some of the elements that can help you learn more about them, how to make your choice, and what types of benefits they can offer, potential cons of having a water feature, and more.
The goal is to provide you with all of the information you need when it comes to deciding on an outdoor fountain for your garden area. Let’s get started.

 

Why Should You Consider an Outdoor Fountain?

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You do your best to make your outdoor areas and garden into truly beautiful spots where you like to spend some time. Sure, you may have some lovely flowers, a deck area, some nice outdoor furniture, and maybe even some sculptures in the garden. However, there is something about having an outdoor fountain that can add a whole new element of visual interest to your space.
Let’s look at the pros of having an outdoor fountain for your garden. In the following chapter, we will be looking at some of the potential drawbacks or reasons that you may not want to have a fountain for the garden.

Adding Fountains Is Fun and Easy

You can use outdoor water features to create a veritable oasis in the backyard, and it could even become the focal point of your garden. Of course, you might still be on the fence when it comes to getting one of these outdoor fountains. You may be thinking that you can’t afford a nice fountain, or that they are going to be too much trouble to maintain properly.
Fortunately, you can put those worries out of your mind. While there are certainly some high-end, costly fountains out there, they are by no means the only fountains available. You can generally find fountains that are well within your budget range, even if that budget is still relatively small. In addition, you will find that fountains tend to be easy to maintain, as you will see in later chapters in this guide.

Change Up the Garden Style

Another reason that you may want to have a water fountain in your garden is the design possibilities that it can unlock. Maybe you have wanted to change up the overall style and aesthetic of the garden. Having a new fountain and matching the garden style to it could be great. Of course, you can always choose to find a fountain that closely matches the garden style that you already have if you prefer.
Think about the textures of the fountain or the garden and about ways that you could work with those textures to bring the entire area together.

Make It a Focal Point or an Accent

When you have a fountain in your garden, depending on where you decide to put it and the size of the feature, you can determine whether it is going to be an accent piece to the garden or if it will become the focal point of the garden. There are some benefits to both of these options.
If you use the fountain as an accent piece, you will be able to place the focus of the garden in another area. Perhaps you have a gazebo, for example, which you feel should be the center point of the garden, or a walkway that leads to a patio or rock garden. You can simply have a smaller garden fountain or an “out of the way” outdoor fountain that works more as an accent piece.
Of course, there is always the possibility that you want this fountain to be the focus of your garden, and there is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps you want to have a larger fountain that really draws the eye, or a place where you can gather with the friends and family.
Regardless of the size of the fountain and whether it is the center or an accent piece, it is sure to be a welcome addition to your garden.

Bring in More of the Natural World to the Garden

Not only will family and friends, along with yourself, enjoy the fountain in the garden, but you might just find that you have some animals that make it more of a habit to hang around the garden. These could be birds, squirrels, and other little creatures that might end up relying on the fountain as a place to cool off or get a drink on a hot day.
The fountain is a nice way to add some more life to the garden. In addition, there are some types of fountains and water features that would even be good for adding your own fish, such as koi. This guide does not go into creating a koi fountain/pond, but it might be something you want to consider if you would like an outdoor water feature for the garden.

The Sound Is Peaceful and Relaxing

There is also something very relaxing and soothing about the sound that a fountain makes. The water can help to reduce the amount of stress that you feel in your body and mind. We all know that stress can build in today’s busy world and having a place out in the garden where you can spend some time just listening to the water and forgetting about the troubles of the world will be fantastic.
In fact, if you like to do yoga or meditate, and you have the space near the fountain, it could be a great place to unwind.

You Have Tons of Options

You can choose from many different styles and types of fountain, and you can find a size that should work well for your needs. Whether you are looking for a feature made from natural stone, copper, fiberglass, stainless steel, or another material, you will have a wealth of options. This makes it possible to find a fountain that should suit just about everyone’s aesthetic styles, not to mention budget.

What Options Are Available for Outdoor Fountains?

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When you first start your search for outdoor fountains, it quickly becomes apparent that you have a large number of options on your hands. In fact, there are so many potential choices that it can quickly feel overwhelming. Just when you see one fountain that looks great and will work well in your setup, you see something else that might work even better.

Things to Consider When Buying

Fortunately, there are some things that you can do in order to make it quite a bit easier to narrow your choices. Simply learn about the different types of outdoor fountain, and the various types of material, and then start to narrow your choices even before you start looking at the fountains.
Consider your budget, as well. This is often one of the best ways that you can make your decision, as you will be sticking to fountains that are in a certain price range. Additionally, think about the size of the space that you have available for a fountain, as this can help to narrow the options.
The idea is to set up a few parameters of what you should be getting before you start looking at fountains and falling in love with them. It will keep you looking only at the fountains that are going to work for your needs.
Now, let’s get a better understanding of the different types of fountains that are out there.

Types of Outdoor Fountains

In this section, we will be looking at some of the many different types of outdoor fountains that are available. However, these are certainly not the only types of fountains that are available today. These simply tend to be some of the most common, and keep in mind that there are often overlaps in the types. For example, a decorative garden feature might also be a solar fountain.

  • Fountains with Pools – A fountain with a pool creates exceptional waterfalling sounds as the water cascades down into the basin. This is one of the most popular types of fountain as it provides a great way to add a focal point to an area.
  • Modern Fountains – Modern fountains are perfect for those living a contemporary lifestyle but still wanting to bring the soothing sounds of nature to their home or business. They often have geometrical shapes with clean and simple lines. 
  • Wall Fountain – One of the nice things about wall fountains is the fact that they are going to take up less real estate than a typical fountain. This means that even smaller gardens can utilize these fountains without worry.
  • Rock Waterfall Fountains – A rock waterfall fountain is made to look like a rocky surface with water that cascades down into the reservoir, just like a waterfall. The water is then pumped up to the top.
  • Tiered Fountains–A tiered fountain featured several levels with the top levels being smaller than the lower levels. The water cascades down all of them and returns to the reservoir.
  • Decorative Garden Fountains – Many different styles of fountain are contained under this “type”. These would include those fountains that are sculpted to look like animals or people, as well as shapes.
  • Birdbath Fountains – These are fountains that are also birdbaths. The fact that it is also a fountain helps to ensure the water does not get too stagnant.
  • Disappearing Water Feature – These fountains will have a reservoir that is hidden beneath the ground, so when the water cascades down the side, it looks as if it is disappearing into the ground. It can provide a nice landscaping effect that looks great in many gardens.
  • Solar – Solar fountains can be a good choice for those who want to be as green as possible with their fountain. They utilize the sun to get power for moving the water through the fountain. They come in many different styles.

Materials Used in Outdoor Fountains

In addition to choosing the type of fountain for your garden, you will also need to consider the material for the fountain. There are several options available.

  • CastStone – Cast stone fountains can be a nice choice. They are durable, and they can last for a long time. In addition, there are many styles and designs.
  • Granite – Granite is a popular option, but it can be costlier than some of the other choices. This material tends to be quite durable, and there are a range of natural, beautiful colors.
  • GFRC – Glass fiber reinforced concrete fountains are made from composite stone. While they are durable, they also tend to be lightweight when compared with some other options.
  • Stainless Steel – Those who are looking for a more modern look for their fountain might want to choose this option. Again, they are quite durable.
  • Resin – Handcrafted resin is lightweight and available in many different styles.
  • Copper – Copper is very popular when it comes to fountains. The copper fountains tend to be elegant, and there are some nice options available.
  • Fiberglass – Fiberglass has a lot of benefits. It is very lightweight, and it can be cast to look like many different types of materials. You can get all of the beauty of other materials with a lower cost.

You will find that there are quite a few brands making these fountains today, including Gist Décor, Henri Studio, Campania International, and more. Have an idea of the types of fountain that will work for you, and then find the perfect fountain.

 

How Does an Outdoor Fountain Usually Work?

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Even though there are many different styles and shapes of fountains available today, you will find that they tend to work in very similar ways, and they have similar types of parts. In this chapter, we are going to get a better understanding of what each of the parts of the feature is and what it does. When you understand these basics, you should be able to pick out the various parts on the fountains that you see.
In addition, it could help you to determine where the source of a problem might be if something was to go wrong with the fountain.

The Reservoir or Basin

All of the outdoor water fountains that you will find are going to have a basin or a reservoir. This is simply the term used for the location that holds the water for the fountain.
Additionally, it is generally the location that also holds the pump. There will be areas of the reservoir where the water can flow into and out of it, essentially creating a closed circuit of water.

The Pump

In order for the water to move through the fountain, it is going to need a pump. Some larger fountains may need an external pump due to their size. The pump will generally be located in the water reservoir beneath the water, and it may be partially encased and hidden in a housing.
The goal of the pump it to bring in water via a spinning impellor. This water is then pushed out of the pump using centrifugal force, which causes the water to move from one area of the fountain to another. The style of fountain can differ, but there is always going to be a pump that is moving water in this manner.

Tubing for Water

The water will typically travel through tubing to the other areas of the fountain. Namely, it is going to be traveling from the reservoir through the tubing and up to the next element on this list, the fountain head. The tubing will connect the pump to this area of the fountain.

Water Distribution or Fountain Head

The fountain head of the feature is the area where the water emerges from the fountain and is sprayed into the air or trickles downward and back into the reservoir. Even the air that is sprayed out is typically going to fall back into the reservoir. This is ensuring that the closed circuit of water mentioned earlier continues so the fountain can keep operating.

The Structure

The structure of the fountain simply refers to the style and the materials from which it was made. There is an amazing number of variations for fountains including different materials and different types of fountains. We will be discussing them later in the guide.
Even though there are all of these interesting variations, you will find that the basic design of the fountains are very similar from one to another. Some are going to have additional pumps, and others might have more outlet pipes, so the water can emerge and flow from different areas of the fountain. They might have spray effects, waterfall effects, and other interesting effects.
Even the pond fountains that are available work on a very similar principle. They simply have a pond rather than a standard reservoir.

Great Information to Have

Once you have your own fountain, make sure you get to know all of the different pieces of it and compare them to the pieces discussed in this chapter. When you have at least a basic idea of how a fountain works, the knowledge will let you know just where to look for problems if something were to go wrong with the fountain and you need to troubleshoot it.


Where Should You Keep Your Outdoor Fountain

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Before you choose an outdoor fountain, whether you are going to use it in the garden or in the front of your home – or even a business – you have to take a step back and think about the placement of the fountain. While it is true that you can place outdoor water features in just about any location, you will find that there are some factors that you need to keep in mind.
The amount of space that you have available to you is going to play a huge role when it comes to just where you can place the fountain. In addition, the layout of the garden or other area will be an important factor to think about when you are choosing the best location for the fountain.
Let’s look at some of the other important things that you should keep in mind when you are placing the fountain.

A Source of Water for the Fountain

One of the most important things you will need to consider is how you are going to supply water to the fountain. In some cases, it might be connected to the home’s water supply, but that is not always the case. In some instances, you are going to be filling up the water in the fountain on your own.
Even though you have a closed water circuit in the fountain, as discussed in the last chapter, you still have to account for evaporation. Over time, some of the water in the fountain is going to evaporate.
You need to make sure that the pump is covered in water, so it does not burn out, so this means you will want to check the water level of the fountain and add water as needed. Therefore, you want to make sure that you are not too far from an easy source of water.You may want to consider adding an auto-refill system to the fountain. This is a float valve that sits inside the fountain and is connected to a water line. This keeps the water level. 

Make It Visible

Naturally, you want to make sure that you choose a place in the garden where the fountain will be visible. Even when you are just using a fountain as an accent piece, it should still be in a great location that can draw the eye. Always make sure you have chosen a good location from an aesthetic point of view. This is going to be subjective and it will be different for every garden.

The Sound Level of the Fountain

As we mentioned earlier, some fountains are going to be somewhat loud because of the pumps and the sound of the water. You want to make sure that you choose a location for the water feature that is close enough where you can enjoy it and the sound of the water, but not so close that the sound of the pump drowns out all of the conversation that you and your friends are having out in the garden. Again, the size and style of the fountain can play a role in this.

Power for the Fountain

The pump needs to have power in order to move the water through it and create the fountain effect. There are a range of power options available when it comes to fountains. Some of the smaller fountains, such as the ones that you would keep indoors, are going to rely on batteries.
For the outdoor fountains, you are typically going to choose from solar fountains or hardwired fountains. If you have a solar fountain, you will not have to worry about much in terms of placement. However, you do need to make sure that it will get plenty of sun throughout the day and that is it not in the shadow of the house, a tree, or other plants in the garden.
If you have a hardwired fountain, though, you will want to choose a location that is going to be easy for connection to your electrical supply. Most of the time, you will want to work with an electrician who can help you with the installation of these types of fountains.
They can also give you a better idea of where you should place the fountain. After all, you probably do not want to run wires too far through the garden to the fountain.

Take Some Photos and Think About Your Fountain Location Before Buying

It really can be quite tempting to run out and buy the first fountain that you see. However, you need to do some more research first. Photograph your garden and consider just where a water feature is going to make the most sense. You will find that these photos are going to make it easier for you to determine just what type of fountain you should get, as well, which we will be discussing in the next chapte.

    Materials Used in Outdoor Fountains

    In addition to choosing the type of fountain for your garden, you will also need to consider the material for the fountain. There are several options available.

    • CastStone – Cast stone fountains can be a nice choice. They are durable, and they can last for a long time. In addition, there are many styles and designs.
    • Granite – Granite is a popular option, but it can be costlier than some of the other choices. This material tends to be quite durable, and there are a range of natural, beautiful colors.
    • GFRC – Glass fiber reinforced concrete fountains are made from composite stone. While they are durable, they also tend to be lightweight when compared with some other options.
    • Stainless Steel – Those who are looking for a more modern look for their fountain might want to choose this option. Again, they are quite durable.
    • Resin – Handcrafted resin is lightweight and available in many different styles.
    • Copper – Copper is very popular when it comes to fountains. The copper fountains tend to be elegant, and there are some nice options available.
    • Fiberglass – Fiberglass has a lot of benefits. It is very lightweight, and it can be cast to look like many different types of materials. You can get all of the beauty of other materials with a lower cost.

    You will find that there are quite a few brands making these fountains today, including Gist Décor, Henri Studio, Campania International, and more. Have an idea of the types of fountain that will work for you, and then find the perfect fountain.

     

    Caring for and Maintaining Your Fountain

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    You have taken the time to find a wonderful fountain for your garden, and you want to make sure that the fountain continues to look and work great for a long time to come. In order for this to happen, you are going to need to consider some basic and simple maintenance that you can perform on the fountain. Fortunately, you will find that it tends to be quite easy.

    Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions

    When you buy your outdoor fountain, you will have instructions from the manufacturer. These instructions are typically going to tell you what you need to do in order to maintain your feature properly. You will always want to follow their instructions for the best results. However, there are some other simple maintenance tips that you are sure to want to incorporate in your maintenance routine.

    Check the Water Levels

    You always want to make sure that you have the proper amount of water in your fountain. If the water levels were to get too low and the pump is uncovered, it is going to overheat and burn out before long. This is not typically going to be covered by a warranty. Simply add water every couple of days and do so more often on those days when it is particularly hot and dry.

    Clean the Fountain

    You will need to make sure you clean out the fountain regularly from dirt, dust, leaves, and other debris that has accumulated in it. Simply removing the debris that you see every few days or so is a start, but you will eventually want to do a full cleaning. This will involve removing the water after you turn off the pump, wiping out the reservoir and cleaning the pump.

    Stop Algae and Limescale from Growing

    You can also make sure that you do not have any limescale or algae buildups on your fountain with relative ease. All you need to do is make sure that you are using a water treatment in the fountain, along with the water. This helps to keep the water nice and clear.

    Getting Your Outdoor Fountain Ready for the Winter

    If you happen to live in an area that has cold winders where it gets down to freezing temperatures, then you are going to need to winterize your fountain. You do not want to keep those fountains out during the winter, as the water in the fountain is going to freeze and expand, which would crack the material – even stone in many cases. Even if you were to remove the water, there could still be other damage from the cold. It’s best to move the fountain indoors and store it over the winter.
    Simply remove the water from the fountain, clean it out as you normally wood, but do not put any water back into the fountain. Bring it into the garage, basement, or other area you have to store it. Make sure that your water pump is clean and working properly.
    Of course, if you happen to have a fountain that is so large or heavy that you simply can’t move it into a garage or other storage area, you can consider covering the fountain instead. Having a fountain cover can help to keep the snow off of the fountain, and it will protect it more than just letting it sit out in the elements.

    Maintenance Is Simple

    As you can see, keeping your outdoor fountain properly maintained is quite simple. You just need to be dedicated to performing these basic steps to keep your fountain looking great and in wonderful working order for many years to come.

    The Potential Drawbacks of Having an Outdoor Fountain

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    While there are reasons to bring an outdoor fountain into your garden, there are also some potential cons that need to be discussed. Even though the pros for having an outdoor fountain are many, you still need to be sure it is the right decision for the space that you have.
    Now, we will be looking at some of the reasons that a water feature might not be the right choice for your needs.Fortunately, these reasons tend to be quite minor, and they are not going to affect most people who are considering getting a fountain. Still, they should be pointed out.

    You Might Attract the Wrong Types of Animals to the Garden

    Having some birds and maybe some bunnies that come out to the garden to get a drink can be great. However, you do need to think about all of the animals that the water fountain could attract and whether you care if they are in your garden. If you grow vegetables, for example, you might not want to have rabbits in the garden. You might not want to have a family of skunks that stops by, either. While this will not be a problem in all gardens, it could be in some.

    Some Fountains Are Noisy

    There are many types of fountains available, and you may find that some of them are a bit noisier than you might have imagined. If you do not want to have added noise out in the garden, then some of the fountains may not be a great solution for you. There are, of course, some fountains that are going to be much quieter, but you will need to make that a factor when you are choosing your fountain.

    Some Fountains Are Poorly Made

    Just as some fountains are loud, you might find that other fountains on the market are made poorly. They might have pumps that are simply not going to last for very long, or they might have pieces that break off. Others might promise to look realistic or be made from a certain material only to disappoint on arrival.
    Getting a poorly made fountain typically happens when someone is trying to get the cheapest fountain they can find. The same things is often true of the extremely noisy fountains. The best thing you can do when you are choosing your fountains is to research them. Make sure they are high-quality, even if it means you might be spending a bit more on the fountain. In the end, you will be spending less when you have a fountain that is going to last for much longer.

    You May Not Want to Do Maintenance

    This problem or drawback is more about the owner than it is the fountain. You will find that the fountains can work quite well for many years when you take proper care of them and provide them with the maintenance they need. The problems can start to arise when they are not getting that maintenance.
    If you know that you are not going to bother providing the fountain with the simple maintenance that it needs, and if you are just going to leave it out in the garden through a long, cold winter, it is not going to be in your best interest to get a fountain. Maintenance is easy, but you have to commit to doing it.

    Should You Get a Fountain for the Garden?

    So, is the outdoor fountain going to be a good idea for you? Most people who have the space, even a small space where they might only be able to use a wall fountain, will find that the pros of having the fountain are going to outweigh the potential negatives. Weigh the good and the bad and figure out whether or not it is going to be right for you.


    Conclusion:

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    Now that you have taken the time to go through the guide to outdoor fountains, you should have a much better understanding of not only how they operate and why you should have at least one in your garden, but also how to choose the one that works well for you.
    All you need to do now is remember the advice in the guide and start looking for a great fountain for your outdoor space. You have some great options and brands available, so take your time and make sure you have the perfect fountain. You are going to love what it does to improve the look and the feel of your garden space.

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    • Catherine Sibi