How much does a water feature cost?

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Who doesn’t love running water in the landscape? From a delicately bubbling fountain to an impressive waterfall crashing several feet down to a pond there’s a water feature that’s right for just about everyone. But what does a water feature cost? That’s the big question. How much do you need to budget for a great backyard water feature?

Fountain kits

water feature cost

Fountain kits are a great way to get the sound of water into your yard at a reasonable entry price. When I talk about kits I’m expecting to see certain things included:

  • the focal point piece (vase, rock column, little kid peeing, whatever)
  • a plastic basin and grate for the reservoir
  • a pump
  • whatever plumbing is needed
  • and it’s optional, but lighting is a nice add-on

There is some installation and setup involved in these kits. I like the plastic basins because there’s no folding and tucking a liner and hoping you didn’t snag it. These things are easy, BUT you need to make sure your prep is spot on. You need a level hole and proper backfill, and then your river stone on top. Some googling shows that you can get a kit starting at around $2,000 and it goes up from there depending on how fancy your centerpiece is. That price doesn’t include a GFI outlet, your stone, or installation of course, but this gives you a good starting point for this type of water feature cost.

Campania fountains are available at most retail garden centers, but you can skip waiting in line and shop for fountains here. Note: this is an affiliate link, so I get a commission if you purchase through them.

Pondless waterfalls

pondless waterfall kit

Want the visual appeal of a waterfall without having to buy fish and worry about water quality? Maybe a pondless waterfall is the right choice for you. You’ll need a pump, a waterfall weir, and plumbing; after that it comes down to how technically detailed you want to get. I turn to my brother to specify my water feature components online and he recommends the latest and greatest pumps and technology.


What does a pondless waterfall cost? It depends on a lot of factors: the size, the type and quality of components, your site, the availability of stone, and so on. Figure that your equipment and plumbing alone will run $2,000-4,000 depending on on the above factors. All told, as a DIY project you might squeak in at $3,000-5,000, a good bit more than that as a turnkey install. Streambeds, special boulders, all sorts of things add to the cost too. The above pondless waterfall, which we completed in 2008, would cost around $5,000-6,000 today.


How much does a beautiful hole in the ground cost? Again, it depends on a LOT of factors. Asking how much a pond costs is like asking how much a car costs. Are we talking about a Tata or a Mercedes? Your variables may include size, depth, streambeds, existing site conditions, whether you want fish or not, and so on and so on.


There’s really no way to say exact costs for sure but here in the DC area, you’re most likely starting at $5,000-10,000 for a smaller backyard pond and going up from there. One like the pond above – where we brought in literally dozens of truckloads of soil and stone – would be well north of $30,000-40,000.

What’s the best way to know the real water feature cost of the pond YOU want? Get a quote from a top quality, reputable contractor. How do you know if you’re comparing apples to apples? Hire a landscape designer to create a master plan so you have a biddable, buildable set of documents to work from. We’re here to help you get the backyard of your dreams. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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