Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to build your own brick waterfall

Step by step construction of a my brick waterfall.
I know this has nothing to do with my crafts or jewelry but I thought it would help anyone who might want to create their own water feature or fountain from bricks.
This is the old crowded corner space on my back patio that was badly in need of a makeover.

Way too many plants. I decided that a corner waterfall would look great and would bring some solitude and comfort to the back patio area.

I had tons of left over bricks from our front yard porch project years ago.  They were still stacked under my bedroom window. It was an unsightly mess as you can see. After a few days of searching the Internet for ideas on building a waterfall I decided to just go for it and construct my own using the bricks. Wished I would have counted them before I built the darn thing.

I washed all of the bricks off first as they have been stacked there for over 10 years!
I began laying out my design.  This project would be very expensive if I had to buy the bricks.
The back window area looks better already! No more spiders!
Sometimes a little glass of wine inspires me (see it on the table to your right)
I laid out the bricks to measure 4' out from the corner on each side and used a string to measure the curve. Putting the string in the corner and using it like a compass. No worries about the slope of the pond (supposed to be level) because it's outside on the cement and my slope is minimal. No other foundation needed underneath.
I stacked the bricks layering them for the outside wall up to about 1 ft high going up to aprox. 3 ft in the back corner.
My dear husband started putting in the electrical boxes and wires for the pump on the fence wall.
I purchased a pond pump from Home Depot for $69.00. The specs said it would pump up to 4 ft high. I didn't think a the time that I could have gone to a smaller pump as I only needed a height of under 3 ft. Home Depot also had the 3/4" tubing (clear) to connect to the pump.  The pump had an adjustable setting for the water pressure so I adjusted it to the lowest pressure. 
The pond liner is rubber 10' X 10'. I ordered it from a pond supplier for 89.00.  You can use pond liners from Home Depot but they are a plastic material and won't last as long as the rubber liners. It was 10' X 13' for about the same price. I found a place on line that would give you the measurements of the pond liner according to what you need. Pond Liner Calculator
Then I layered the brick around inside to hold the liner down and support all of the water and trimed off the rubber.  I put the pump inside the bottom in the corner on a brick so there will be less debrie to clog the pump. You can purchase a filter if you like but I am not having any plants or fish in it so no need. Had a few pieces of slate laying around so I broke some up to use for the water to flow over.
After stacking more bricks around the pump to hide it I layered the slate and secured it with bricks. No glue or silicone was needed for my project.

 The bricks are heavy enough to weigh down the rubber lining and all of the the slate.  Although I wouldn't want to step on any of the stacked slate. This way it will be easier to remove and clean later.


I added Smartpond (3) under water LED lights I bought at Lowes and used the blue and green color covers that came with them to give the fountain a subdued look at night. The LED lights have a sensor so they only come on at dusk and shut off at sunrise.  Price $59.00.
I spaced two blue on the bottom and one green in the middle of the two pieces of slate and hid all of the wires behind the brick that I used to hide the water pump.
I used succulants around the waterfall as the sun shines in this
corner most of the day in the summer. I will be putting black river
rocks that I have in the bottom.

Total price of water fall about $240.00. 
Bricks - Free
Slate  - Free
Tubing - 2.00
Pump - 69.00
Liner - 89.00
Lights - 59.00
River Rock - Free
Oh, yes, the electric....hum about 20.00 for box, wire and switch.