Posted by & filed under Pools and Water Features.

It’s an exciting thing as a homeowner to begin landscaping your backyard. Landscaping is like a blank canvas – the possibilities are endless. You can cultivate a massive vegetable garden with twenty different species of tomato; or you can pave over the whole area and build a basketball court. But one thing is certain: water features always add to the landscape of a home.

Whether you decide to add a fountain or build a koi pond, water is always a crowd-pleaser. Even your hypothetical basketball court would benefit from the addition of a fountain, just think of how much easier it will be to fill up your water bottle after a particularly tough game! But how do you begin choosing the best water feature for your backyard?

Here are a few ideas for you to consider when picking a water feature for your landscaping.

1. Tiered Fountains

As we’ve already mentioned, it’s pretty difficult to go wrong with a fountain. There are dozens of different styles and sizes you can choose if one particular variety doesn’t work for you. In choosing a fountain, it’s important to first decide what kind of style you are creating with your entire backyard landscaping. A neatly manicured yard wants for an equally neat and tidy fountain. Consider a three-tiered fountain to draw the eye as a focal point. It’s a graceful and stately construction without being gaudy. It’s up to you – but again, the possibilities are endless!
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2. Japanese Fountains

The Japanese are famous for their fountains and the gardens that house them. Japanese fountains are typically designed with a very simple and sleek style. They are usually built of wood, natural stone, and/or bamboo. Much smaller than a classic three-tiered fountain, a Japanese fountain is compact enough to occupy a corner of your yard.

The purpose of a Japanese fountain is to suffuse the space with the tranquil sound of running water, but not to distract from the natural beauty of the landscaping. Therefore, if you’re going for a “zen” vibe to your backyard haven, consider installing a little Japanese fountain. You can enjoy the pleasure of unwinding in your yard at the end of the day, with the musical sound of burbling water soothing your nerves.

3. Waterfall Ponds

Ponds add a natural beauty to any yard; and, in the same way that there are so many ways to design a fountain, there are dozens of different designs available to you in building your pond. It’s a simple task for a landscape designer to build a custom pond; but it’s also possible to buy a kit from any big box store for an inexpensive option.

One common variety is a waterfall pond. This is basically a more natural-seeming way to add a fountain to your backyard landscaping. A waterfall pond will certainly draw the eye and the admiration of any visitors you might have, so be sure when you’re building it that you want this pond to be the center of attention in your yard.

4. Natural Ponds or Streams

If you have one of those aforementioned Tropical yards, you may very well opt for the natural look with your pond. Although it’s manmade, this style of pond looks like the sort of little pond you’d stumble across in a forest or a meadow. If you’re feeling very ambitious, you can also invest in some native water plants and some fish to add color and character to your pond.
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5. Spa

This is probably the most popular water feature you can possibly utilize in your backyard; Relax after a long day or with friends on the weekend. A spa can become a true sanctuary.
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These are only a few ideas for backyard water features; a cursory look at any garden supply shop or consultation with a landscape architect will reveal dozens of fantastic ideas for your home. Take a look around to find the fountain, pond or spa that is best for your yard!

Posted by & filed under Pools and Water Features.

Here at DC Kerckhoff Company we have been a leader in the manufacture of cast stone concrete products since 1972. We provide the highest quality stone for everything from pool copings, planters, and balustrades all the way to grand columns, hardscapes, and pavers. In this article we are going to talk about some of the things you will need to consider while picking out a pool for your back yard.

Concrete Pools

Installing a beautiful in-ground pool is a great way to increase the aesthetics, functionality, and fun of your back yard. The first step of getting your perfect pool is to decide what kind of pool you want. There are three main types of pools available today. The most popular of these three are concrete pools.

Concrete pools are truly custom built. There is no cookie-cutter template for concrete pools available today. The installation consists of putting solid, steel-reinforced walls down into the earth and then shooting concrete out of a gun like apparatus onto these walls. This system is why you will sometimes here concrete pools referred to as Shotcrete or Gunite pools. As the concrete finishes curing it can be plastered smooth, painted, tiled, etc.

Concrete pools generally take longer to install than any other type of pool (usually between 3 and 12 weeks). With this added time comes a stronger and more durable pool however. In fact, many of these pools last for well over 50 years. This is also the only type in-ground pool which can be expanded, updated, or remodeled. This is one of the huge benefits to having a concrete pool.

Vinyl Pools

Another type of pool is made of vinyl. These are made from a preformed flexible liner that fits into a hole and attaches to a reinforced frame. This frame is normally made of steel, aluminum, or non-corrosive polymer. A majority of vinyl pools are rectangular, but there are other shapes which can be found. These flexible liners come in a multitude of colors and visual textures for your viewing pleasure.

One major drawback to vinyl pools is that they can be punctured by some tools, toys or other sharp implements. If you choose a vinyl pool make sure you get it at least 1 inch thick and treat it with some degree of care.

The typical installation time for a vinyl pool is 1-3 weeks.

Fiberglass Pools

The last type of pool you will want to look into is a fiberglass pool. These are usually bowl shaped and can be dropped into a hole in your yard using a crane. Fiberglass pools have a lot less variety in shape and size than their vinyl and concrete counterparts, but they are very smooth to touch and considerably more durable than vinyl pools.

Fiberglass pools can take a long time to have delivered. This is due to the driving routes that truck drivers must take with such an oversized load.

Summary

All three of these pools are quite popular in the USA. You will want to look at what qualities are important to you. Do you want the pool up and running in as little time as possible? Well then vinyl might be a good option for you. Do you want a custom pool that will last for years? Well then you should look into concrete. Do you want a smooth and simply shaped pool? In that case, you may want to check out your fiberglass options.

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