Pools, Ponds and Waterfalls: Water and Stonework


Stonework and water have a natural affinity for one another. It’s no surprise when homeowners flock to buy stone countertops, tub surrounds, and tile. Last week, we discussed stonework in the outdoors--those rich, beautiful features which create a gorgeous flow in landscapes.

But, when it comes right down to it, the most exciting landscape features are those which combine the beauty of stonework with water elements: fountains, waterfalls, ponds, and pools. The primary value of these water features is aesthetic. People naturally gravitate toward water features in any form, but moving water is particularly appealing.

Here in Arizona, a water feature is a counterbalance against the harsh climate It offers a mental respite, even if it isn’t a feature in which you can swim. Some critics will argue that water features have no place in a region where water is a limited resource, however, it can be respectfully offered that the water used in fountains is recycled, and the benefits offered by the evaporation to the surrounding area are worthy of consideration. As much as we love water features for their own merits, these other benefits should be taken into consideration.

For one thing, moving water on the north side of a building or in an enclosed area such as a courtyard will create a cooling effect in the immediate vicinity. In our hot, dry climate, even a few degrees difference can bring great comfort. Nearby plants will also benefit.  Another consideration that should be taken into account is the sound benefits of running water.

Fountains are sometimes used as white noise to cover unpleasant sounds. White noise is extremely effective in covering up the sounds, for example, A/C units. If a homeowner lives near a school, shooting range, train, or other noisy facility, a fountain might be the perfect solution to cover up unwanted noise.

Last of all, one can’t help but appreciate the resale value of a property with a water feature. While landscaping is a critical feature to attract home buyers, swimming pools, unfortunately, not so much. Nonetheless, even a small water feature will make a home stand out to potential home buyers, who may not want the hassle of owning a pool, but who would be eager to enjoy the indulgence and serenity of a small fountain.