DIY - Child-safe Water Feature Increases Home Value

by : Branden Schroeder

One way to catch a prospective buyer's attention to your listing is to mention the water feature that is installed in your back yard. We all love them, especially when they are already set up and running. There are many reasons why a water feature draws everyone's attention, including the hypnotic effect of watching the never ending motion of water; it is said that the sound of running water is relaxing.

Many people are hesitant to install a pond into their yard. Often they, or their children, have young tots that could fall into the pond and drown. However, there is another solution, if you can forego the goldfish, which is safe even for young children.

The sound of running water and the idea of a water feature in your yard can be satisfied by assembling a pebble fountain in your back yard. This will take a simple reservoir, a small pump which comes with container and lid (or find your own) and pebbles! The quickest way to go about this is to buy a DIY water feature pack and you will have everything you need.

If you want to gather everything together yourself, you will need a pump, tubing, a power adapter, electricity supply, and some kind of lining or container. The container can be anything waterproof and large enough: an old sink, a garden pot (no holes in the bottom), a metal bucket or a trough etc. If you have doubts about the container retaining its waterproof qualities, you can line it with plastic.

The size of the pump you choose will dictate the height that the fountain will reach; for this you may need to consult a sales consultant at the store.

However, the easiest way to do this is to buy a self circulating fountain that you can put in a pot, cover the top with wire mesh that you can pile pebbles onto and sort of build large and small boulders around your water pot. You will need to hide the wire with some of these boulders, and you may wish to 'sink' the waterproof container into the garden.

Assuming that you have a spot already dug out for your pebble feature, you can position the pot/vessel and set the pump down in the bottom of it. (You can keep the feature above ground, but it may be more difficult to keep it looking natural.)

Trail the cord out of the pot and connect it to the power supply. This wire will dictate your design of pebbles to some extent, as you will need to keep it 'hidden'. If you drill a hole to let the wire go through, make sure it is above the water line and also completely sealed. If you have to do this it is safer to consult an electrician.

If you are an adamant DIY person, then 'glue' a quirky shaped pebble over the top of the pot to hide the wire. You can build all the pebbles up afterwards, and make this look more natural.

Pebbles can be bought, though you may find it a relaxing pasttime to collect some of your own from the beach or riverside. If the pebbles do not look clean, they will have to be washed, to avoid too much sediment getting near your pump.

You could consider whether to put a plastic liner around the pot that slopes downwards into the pot, to drain rebellious water into your pot, as the wind can blow the water too far away from the reservoir. This means that you can run out of water - or at least run out of the water in your reservoir. Since the pump needs this water to work, it is imperative that you keep it well supplied.

The addition of some plants (potted or otherwise) will enhance your water feature and expand the area of it. You can then use the extra area to add seating with a couple of tall potted shrubs behind the chairs, and you have a charming ambience in your back yard. Just make sure you switch on the pump if prospective buyers visit the house.