How Much Does it Cost to Install a Water Feature in Reno?

A custom water feature installed by Grand Design Landscape

Dive into the World of Water Features in Reno

Ever thought about how a gentle cascade of water can transform your backyard?

Or how the soft sound of running water can turn your garden into a peaceful oasis?

Well, you’re in the right place!

This post will guide you through the costs and considerations of installing a water feature in Reno.

By the end, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about your outdoor living space installation and enjoy the countless benefits of having a water feature in your yard.

Average Costs to Install a Water Fountain

When it comes to enhancing your outdoor space in Reno, a water feature can be both a visual and auditory delight.

On average, installing an outdoor water feature in Reno can set you back anywhere between $1,500 and $15,000.

However, most homeowners find themselves spending around $10,000 for a medium-sized stone fountain.

On the low end (think DIY), you might find options as affordable as $100.

On the high end, you could potentially spend as much as $200,000 for a large, elaborate, tiered fountain or water garden.

Water Feature Cost Estimator by Size

A waterfall with rocks in the middle of a yard. A cascading water feature will be on the higher end of the cost spectrum.

Size indeed plays a pivotal role when considering the addition of a water feature to your yard.

Depending on the size, the aesthetic appeal, sound, and overall presence of the feature can vary dramatically.

Let’s delve deeper into the cost implications of different sizes:

Up to 34” diameter: $100 – $3,000

  • Small Rock Fountain: These are perfect for compact spaces or as an addition to a larger garden area. For instance, a small tabletop fountain might cost you around $100, while a larger prefabricated water fountain could be closer to $3,000. These smaller features are often easy to install and can be moved around if needed.

35” – 62” diameter: $3,000 – $10,000

  • Medium-Tiered Fountain: Falling within this size range, a three-tiered concrete fountain could be priced at around $5,000. These medium-sized fountains become the focal point of gardens, patios, or courtyards, offering both visual appeal and a soothing auditory experience.

63” – 100” diameter: $10,000 – $70,000

  • Large Cascading Waterfall: Imagine a tall cascading stone waterfall placed strategically in your backyard. Such a feature could easily cost upwards of $20,000, especially if custom-designed. On the higher end, grand fountains made of premium materials like marble or with intricate designs can reach the $70,000 mark. These grand water features are often seen in larger estates, commercial properties, or public spaces and can transform an area into a luxurious retreat.

In essence, the size of your water feature doesn’t just dictate its price but also its impact.

A small fountain can add a touch of tranquility to a cozy garden nook, while a grand waterfall can turn your backyard into a lavish escape.

Whatever your preference and budget, there’s a water feature out there that’s just the right fit for your Reno home.

Water Fountain Cost by Type

A water fountain in an outdoor living space

The type of water feature you select can dramatically shape the ambiance of your space.

Different fountain types not only offer varied visual aesthetics but also create distinct soundscapes.

Let’s dive deeper into some popular fountain types and their associated costs:

Disappearing or Pondless Water Feature: $2,500 – $11,000

  • These are perfect for those who love the sound and sight of a waterfall but don’t want the maintenance of a pond. Water flows over rocks or decorative pieces and then disappears into a hidden reservoir below. Starting at around $2,500 for a basic setup, they can go up to $11,000 for larger, more intricate designs.

Japanese-Style Fountain: $500 – $10,000

  • Bamboo Shishi Odoshi: Often referred to as a “deer scarer,” this traditional Japanese fountain has a bamboo arm that fills with water and then tips, creating a gentle knocking sound. A basic version might cost around $500, while more elaborate designs with a carved stone basin can go up to $2,000.

  • Stone Buddha Fountain: For those looking for a more substantial and durable option, a medium-sized stone Buddha fountain for outdoor gardens might be priced around $4,000. Larger, intricately designed Buddha fountains made of premium materials can reach up to $10,000, serving as a centerpiece in a garden or courtyard.

Cascading Water Feature: $3,000 – $15,000+

  • Tiered Cascading Fountain: These fountains have multiple levels or “tiers” where water cascades from one to the next. A medium-sized three-tiered resin fountain might be priced around $3,000, while a larger stone version can go up to $15,000+. The cascading water creates a delightful sound, making these fountains a favorite for many.

Bird Bath Fountain: Various Price Ranges – $3,000

  • Stone Bird Bath with Fountain: Bird baths can also function as fountains when they include a small pump to circulate the water. Standard bird baths with a basic water pump could cost as little as $100. A more upscale option, made of stone and featuring intricate carvings, might cost around $3,000. The combination of birds splashing and water flowing can be a delightful addition to any garden.

Waterfall Feature: $2,000 – $20,000+

  • Waterfalls can be the showstoppers of any outdoor space. Whether it’s a simple wall fountain or a grand multi-level feature, they bring a touch of the wild to your backyard. Costs can vary widely based on size, materials, and complexity. A basic wall waterfall might start at $2,000, but a large, custom-designed feature with landscaping can easily exceed $20,000.

Cost by Materials

A natural rock water feature

The material you choose for your water feature plays a dual role: it determines both the longevity of the feature and its overall cost.

Different materials offer varied aesthetics, maintenance needs, and price points.

Let’s explore these materials in more detail, starting with the least expensive then moving on to the more expensive materials:

Resin or Plastic

Resin and plastic fountains are the most affordable materials for water features.

They’re incredibly lightweight, making them easy to move and install.

While they might not have the same natural look or feel as some of the more expensive materials, advancements in manufacturing have led to some pretty convincing replicas.

However, they might not be as durable in the long run, especially when exposed to extreme weather conditions.


Fiberglass is a lightweight and versatile material.

It’s often used for water features because of its ability to mimic more expensive materials like stone or concrete but at a fraction of the cost.

Being resistant to corrosion and requiring minimal maintenance, fiberglass is a popular choice for those on a tighter budget.

Concrete or Metal

Concrete and metal fountains offer a balance between cost and durability.

Heavier than fiberglass or resin, they provide a solid, sturdy feel.

Concrete can be molded into various shapes and designs, offering flexibility in aesthetics.

Similarly, metal can be cut and welded into whatever shape you desire.

Over time, both materials can develop a patina, giving the fountain a rustic, aged look.


Natural rock fountains bring a piece of the wild into your garden.

Each rock fountain is unique, given the natural variations in the material.

While they can be more expensive than concrete, their natural beauty and durability often justify the higher price point.

They blend seamlessly into garden landscapes and can last for years with minimal maintenance.


At the top end of the material cost spectrum, we have stone fountains.

Materials like granite, marble, or slate are used to craft these luxurious water features.

Stone fountains are not only about durability but also about unparalleled elegance.

They can serve as the centerpiece of a garden or courtyard, and while they come with a higher initial cost, their longevity and timeless beauty often make them worth the investment.

In summary, the material of your water feature is a crucial decision point.

While materials like plastic or fiberglass might be kinder to your wallet upfront, investing in a stone or rock fountain can offer long-term value, both in terms of durability and aesthetics.

Whatever your budget or design preference, there’s a material out there that’s perfect for your Reno home’s water feature.

Prefabricated vs. Custom Design

Grand Design Landscape owner, Ben, working on a custom water fountain for a client

When it comes to choosing a water feature for your space, one of the first decisions you’ll face is whether to go with a prefabricated design or opt for a custom creation.

Both options have their merits and considerations, especially when it comes to cost, design flexibility, and installation.

Let’s dive deeper into these two choices:

Prefabricated Water Features:

Prefabricated or “off-the-shelf” fountains are pre-designed and often mass-produced.

They come in a variety of styles, sizes, and materials, making it relatively easy to find one that fits your taste and budget.


  • Cost-Effective: Generally, prefabricated fountains are more affordable than custom designs. Since they’re mass-produced, manufacturers can offer them at a lower price point.

  • Quick Installation: These fountains are designed for easy setup. Often, all you need to do is assemble a few parts, fill it with water, and plug it in.

  • Variety: From tabletop fountains to medium-sized garden features, there’s a wide range of prefabricated designs available in the market.

Examples: A self-contained resin waterfall feature that you can easily place in your garden corner or a small tabletop Buddha fountain for your patio.

Custom Design Water Features:

A custom cascading waterfall water feature

Custom fountains are tailor-made to fit your specific requirements and tastes. Whether you have a particular theme in mind or a unique space to fill, a custom design ensures your vision comes to life.


  • Unique Design: Your fountain will be one-of-a-kind, designed to your specifications, ensuring it perfectly complements your space and aesthetic preferences.

  • Flexibility: You have the freedom to choose the materials, size, and design elements. Want a marble-tiered fountain with LED lights? Or a pondless waterfall feature with specific rock placements? The world is your oyster.

  • Increased Property Value: A custom water feature can significantly enhance the value of your property, making it a worthy long-term investment.

Examples: Imagine a grand cascading waterfall in your backyard, designed with rocks sourced from a specific quarry you love, or a serene koi pond with a bridge and specific aquatic plants tailored to fit perfectly in your garden layout.

To sum up, the choice between prefabricated and custom design largely depends on your budget, design aspirations, and how you envision the water feature integrating into your space.

While prefabricated options offer quick and cost-effective solutions, custom designs, like those offered by Grand Design Landscape, provide a unique and personalized touch, making your Reno home truly stand out.

Special Features

A custom water feature with outdoor lighting.

Special features in a water feature can truly elevate its appeal and functionality.

For instance, LED lights can create a captivating nighttime display, illuminating the water in a dance of colors and shadows.

If you’re environmentally conscious or looking to save on energy bills, solar-powered water features are a fantastic choice. They harness the power of the sun to operate, making them both eco-friendly and cost-effective in the long run.

Additionally, practical additions like an auto-refill system can save you time by automatically topping up the water when levels drop.

While these enhancements might increase the initial investment, they significantly boost the fountain’s functionality and aesthetic appeal, making your water feature a standout piece in your Reno space.

Labor Costs

Remember, the fountain itself isn’t the only cost.

Installation, plumbing, and electrical work can add to the overall expense.

Labor costs will vary widely, depending on the factors cited above and the specific outdoor living contractor you hire.

Transform Your Space with Grand Design Landscape

A water fountain in a backyard with a stone wall.

You’ve journeyed through the world of water features and now understand the ins and outs of adding one to your space.

While water features are a fantastic way to transform the ambiance of your backyard, here at Grand Design Landscape, we believe a water feature is just one potential element of a complete outdoor living space.

Other outdoor living space features to consider include:

  • Pergola or gazebo
  • Patio
  • Fire pit
  • Seating walls
  • Landscaping (perennials, trees, shrubs, etc.)
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • In-ground trampoline
  • Putting green

We specialize in creating custom outdoor living spaces perfectly tailored to your northern Nevada lifestyle.

With our expertise and passion, we can handle all your outdoor living space installation needs.

Ready to take the plunge? At Grand Design Landscape, we’re here to turn your dream into reality.

Fill out our contact form today, or give us a call. Let’s make your space truly grand!

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