"There's nothing quite like the captivating sights and peaceful sounds of an outdoor garden fountain, so it should come as no surprise that a moving water feature is one of the most popular additions to backyard gardens. Fountains add the exquisite beauty of moving water and a touch of tranquility to our yards and our lives.Who among us doesn't love to watch jets of water leaping into the air and splashing back into the fountain? And the trickle of water cascading down an outdoor garden fountain is a relaxing sound that soothes frazzled nerves and takes us far away from the hustle and bustle of busy lives.
Years ago an outdoor garden fountain was a sign of prestige and status, and only the most luxurious homes had them. Now, there's such a diverse range of fountains in sizes and prices to any budget, that it's easy to add one to your existing pond or yard. From small spouting frogs to great gushing lions to Greco-Roman-inspired sculptures, there is a garden fountain that is sure to delight your family, friends and neighbors.
But before you buy a fountain, you should decide what type of feature you want (spray, trickle, bubbling or cascading water, etc.) taking into consideration the size of your yard and/or pond as well as your budget. Fountains are made from many different materials in a wide variety of prices and weights, including concrete, terracotta, millstones, carved or cast stone and realistic, lightweight glassfibre or faux-stone. No matter which type of outdoor garden fountain you choose, it's wise to find out exactly how frost-resistant the material is before you buy it. Ice may fracture certain materials, particularly fountain bowls.
Here are just a few of the many outdoor fountain styles available:
Free Standing Fountains require no pond to stand in, as the lower bowl acts as a reservoir from which water is pumped back to the top by a submersible pump. Playful cherubs, ethereal angels, mermaids, goddesses, and children are some of the favorite designs in free-standing fountains. These fountains are usually very easy to install, and most come with a built-in pump.
Fountain Jets spray streams of water up from the pond in many fascinating patterns, and typically can be adjusted to different heights and shapes. These vary from small bubble jets to energetic sprays that can shoot several feet into the air.
Wall Mounted Fountains: if you long for the tranquil sounds of splashing water but have a postage-stamp size yard, a flat-back style fountain is a good choice. They can take up less space than a full-round fountain but still add a graceful touch to a small garden. They're usually made of lightweight resin and attach easily to a wall or fence without complicated hardware.
One of the most popular in this category is the Lionhead Wall Fountain. Mount this stately feline on any wall to recreate the ambience and elegance of an ancient Greco-Roman sanctuary. Another great choice is the inspiring angel and child fountain, also with Greco-Roman style elements that echo a time long past.
Solar Island Fountains: enjoy the sight and sound of moving water without the hassle of wiring or special plumbing. The filter and pump are powered by sunlight and produce a spray of water that can be several feet high on bright, sunny days.
Bronze Fountains are less widely available and more expensive than most other materials, but they lend distinctive character to your outdoor garden.
Artificial Rock Waterfalls: these beautiful fiberglass "falls" look very real, and range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Some are designed to cascade directly into your pond or pool.
Rock Bubblers and Boulders: these lightweight, durable artificial rocks are not a traditional outdoor garden fountain, but they are an inexpensive way to add a moving water feature to your garden, and come in many sizes.
Enjoy your fountain!"
Williams, Julia. "Choosing the Right Outdoor Garden Fountain for Your Yard." Yahoo Contributor Network. Voices.yahoo.com, 15 Dec. 2005. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://voices.yahoo.com/choosing-right-outdoor-garden-fountain-your-11600.html?cat=32>.
"In the days of an uncertain stock market and job insecurity, there's no place like home sweet home. Even though the housing bubble burst over the course of 2007 and 2008, according to MSN Money, homeowners in many areas of the United States can still recoup 80 to 90 percent of the money spent on home improvements. The key is to know where to spend. Just because you put $20,000 into renovations, it won't necessarily add that much value. If your house needs a new roof, you won't see a return on it for a while because people expect the roof in a house they're buying to be in good shape. The same can be said for your plumbing and electrical systems. Bad plumbing will detract from the value, but new plumbing won't necessarily drive up the price tag. The key to adding value is to focus on the things that are important to buyers, and to not over-improve. You don't want to have the most expensive house on the block. So if the houses in your neighborhood have concrete driveways, investing in expensive brick pavers may not be in your best interest financially.
Tips for how to get the best bang for your buck on your home renovations, even in a tight real estate market.
If your house doesn't look appealing from the outside, chances are a potential buyer will never make it inside. According to Bankrate.com, a good first impression can add five to 10 percent to the value of your home. If the exterior color of your house is dated or fading, painting is a good place to start your improvements. Choose colors and exterior details that match the period of your house. Shutters add charm and depth, but not if they're hanging crooked or flaking paint. Paving a driveway or walkway that is in disrepair is a must, because this is what leads people to your home -- you want it to be welcoming. Attractive, manicured front-yard landscaping will also add value to your home. Drought-tolerant plants and easy-to-care-for perennials are a good option if you don't have a green thumb. And don't forget about your backyard either. Outdoor living is very popular as more people wish to commune with nature in the comfort of their own home. Sprucing up a deck or patio with attractive furniture, raised garden beds and maybe even a water feature will give you years of enjoyment and appeal to future buyers.
Many homeowners don't give much thought to their landscaping, but a good design can add significantly to your home's value -- sometimes as much as a new kitchen or bath. Have a landscape architect out to your house to assess what you've got and offer suggestions. Perhaps creating a more formal look will better match your home's style (think geometrical shapes and straight lines), or, if your lot backs up to lots of trees, a woodland look full of natural paths, native plants and lots of groundcover. There's often no fee for an architect's design if you buy at least a few items, which is well worth it. Keep in mind, too, that landscaping is more than greenery -- it includes lighting, fences, rock features, paths, ponds, fountains and more. So even if your current trees and plants are attractively laid out, they may still be greatly enhanced by, say, a curving pathway, bench and a few well-placed lights. Landscaping is especially important (and more valuable to your bottom line) in temperate climates, where your plantings are visible year-round and you're able to be outside enjoying features like ponds all 12 months of the year".
Sennebogen, Emilie, and Melanie Radzicki McManus. "Top 10 Ways to Add Value to Your Home." HowStuffWorks. Howstuffworks.com, n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2014. <http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/remodeling/5-ways-to-add-value-to-home.htm#page=0>.
"When redecorating your home, it’s important to remember the outside as well as the inside. Upgrading your outdoor space can make your home a more enjoyable space for both you and potential buyers—especially during summer months.
“It’s useless to have a beautiful home inside and a mess outside,” says Jessica Yonker, editor of HGTVGardens.com and a contributor to HGTV.com’s blog Design Happens.
“Pools, fire pits, and patios are always popular upgrades and additions, especially in summer,” Yonker says. “Not only do these upgrades make your home pretty, but beautifying your outdoors can also increase the value of your home.”
Of course, cost is a huge factor, so budget carefully and have a solid plan in place.
It’s safer to overestimate your budget than to plan an exact amount with no wiggle room, Yonker cautions. “When budgeting, make sure to factor in any taxes, service, and labor fees your project may incur, in addition to the materials,” she says. “Before you start a large outdoor project, you’ll want to think about how long you’ll be living in the home. You wouldn’t want to spend $20,000 on an outdoor kitchen if you’re not going to have a few years to enjoy it.”
Popular outdoor upgrades include:
Fire pits. Transform your back yard with a fire pit and make your yard the perfect place to relax on a lazy summer evening or chilly fall night. You can buy a portable fire pit in home improvement stores or install a custom-built, permanent pit.
Outdoor kitchen. “For those who love to entertain, an outdoor kitchen is a must,” Yonker says. An outdoor kitchen can simply have a grilling area, or you can go all out with a gourmet grill, pizza oven, sink, stocked bar, and outdoor flat-screen television.
Patios. To upgrade a poured concrete patio, consider replacing it with concrete pavers, which come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Also, consider adding a focal point like a paved walkway or fountain.
Landscaping. “Adding a garden or planting trees are quick, inexpensive upgrades that can add beauty to your home,” Yonker says. Consider adding curb appeal and eye appeal with a splash of color and decorative planters on the front porch, patio, and decks.
Paint. “You can also give your outdoors a new look by painting your house a new color or touching up the existing paint,” Yonker advises. A fresh coat of paint can inexpensively transform the look of your home and protect it from sun, rain, and wind, preserving your investment for years to come.
Keep in mind that if you belong to a homeowners association, you’ll need check with it before you start any outdoor projects. The association may have restrictions on allowable paint colors, fence heights, and even types of trees you are allowed to plant. If you’re doing any digging, know where your utility lines are before you pick up the shovel. Call 811, a free, nationwide service that will connect you to a local center to arrange for someone to come out and mark your utility lines".
Becker, Eve. "Finance Blog." Equifax Finance Blog Increase Your Homes Value With These Five Outdoor Upgrades Comments. Http://blog.equifax.com, 8 July 2013. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. <http://blog.equifax.com/real-estate/increase-your-homes-value-with-these-five-outdoor-upgrades/>.
"There are many benefits to installing garden water fountains in your yard or garden area. Some of them are as simple as the soothing sound of water, but others are as important as providing an area for pollinating birds to bathe themselves. There is even the very real justification that it can increase the value of your home while improving the attractiveness of the yard.
With either the sound of a rushing waterfall or a light patter of rain, the sound of water has always been useful in helping people relax. There are even meditation exercises that require the subject to imagine a still pond of water with a slow drip hitting. Having a fountain in the yard can provide the relaxation benefits of the sound of running water.
The second benefit of having garden water fountains is that they provide bathing for many types of birds. People think that having a bird bath is enough. However, the fact is that most bird baths are a single container with standing water. The water must be changed on a regular basis or it can start to grow many types of bacteria and fungus. This can cause the water to smell and be more of a distraction than a pleasure. Additionally, the stagnant water can actually harm the birds, causing disease and forcing the birds to find a new place to bathe.
Having a fountain is a great benefit to the wildlife in your yard. Birds will appreciate the running water and will bathe with more frequency and for longer periods. This will allow you time to view the birds and enjoy their presence. It is also great for flowering plants, because the birds will pollinate the plants while in the garden. This can cause flowering plants to produce more flowers over a longer period of time.
Finally, having garden water fountain can increase in the value of your home. Water fountains add a peaceful sound to the garden and can even provide decorative accents to your home. Fountains can be constructed out of a variety of materials to complement the look of the home. Copper fountains, with their gradual patina of green, provide a European flair to the garden. A fiberglass fountain can be tinted to look like aged granite, providing a slightly medieval flair to an otherwise modern garden setting".
"CelebrityGardens." Zillow. Zillow.com, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://www.zillow.com/digs/celebrity-gardens/>.
Admin. "Benefits of Installing Water Garden Fountains." Beckett Pumps. Beckettpumps.com, 18 Jan. 2013. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://www.beckettpumps.com/index.php/2013/01/18/benefits-of-installing-water-garden-fountains/>.