The Edge - Q1, 2014 - (Page 41)
Add Profits to the Job with
Artificial Rock Waterfalls
by Kathryn Varden
WHEN A BACKYARD has a swimming pool, the pool is usually the focal point. But what happens when it
is a "Plain Jane" pool? What should a homeowner do to spice up the environment? It's easy - add an artificial rock
waterfall to create a new backyard oasis.
he use of artificial rock waterfall features, also
called faux rock, is not a huge market because
many pool dealers don't understand the concept
of the product, how to install it or how to sell it.
However, those who do understand it realize that
it can separate them from their competitors and
help them to make thousands of extra dollars on each pool
sale while only adding minimal time or labor to the project.
Artificial rock waterfalls can be used with new or existing
pools. They can be added to fiberglass, vinyl liner or shotcrete
pools, and sometimes even to an above ground pool.
FAUX ROCK MATERIALS
Faux rock waterfalls are made in a variety of materials. Some
of the industry options include fiberglass, concrete, concrete
GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) or a polyurea/foam.
The waterfalls come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit any
budget or backyard. Many waterfalls can tie into other kit
accessories completing the entire pool.
ADVANTAGES OVER REAL ROCKS
Faux rock features are easy to install because they are modular,
durable and generally lightweight designs. Just take them out of
the box, plumb them and put in place. This gives installers the
peace of mind that they can be easily duplicated on every job.
The customer will also know what they look like before they
purchase them (except if they chose a different color). They
are compatible for vinyl liner pools and affordable for most
homeowners. Faux rock can be easily blended with real rock.
For most artificial rock waterfalls, no extra deck support is
required, which makes them easy to use on a remodeling project.
HOW ARE THE WATERFALLS MADE?
Most artificial rock waterfalls are shot into molds made
from impressions of real rocks. The molds are carefully
handcrafted to achieve a certain look and designed to ensure
that the water flows in the right spot. Some waterfalls are
designed for straight edges, while others fit a certain pool
radius. After each waterfall is built, it can be tested to ensure
there are no leaks.
For a new construction, the waterfall area can act as another
"return" to the pool. Most pool builders will use the same size
pipe to the waterfall as the rest of the pool. The pipe generally
used is 1.5-inch to 2-inch rigid schedule 40 PVC. If the plumbing provided by the waterfall manufacturer is smaller in size, a
reducer bushing can be used. Most manufacturers suggest using
flexible spa hose to connect to the waterfall fitting. A ball valve
or three-way valve is recommended to turn the water feature on
and off. The valve will also help control the flow and sound of
the water. Often, pool owners want the waterfall to mask nearby
traffic noise or they prefer the sound of heavier water flow, while
others want a softer sound. The valve offers that flexibility.
Tip: When winterizing a pool or using a winter cover, place
a union at the stub-up location to the flex hose to the waterfall.
This will allow for the waterfall to be winterized or removed
for placement of the winter cover. Use extra flexible spa hose
so that the waterfall can be easily lifted for removal.
The typical waterfall is an on-deck mount application. Pour
concrete footings or position it onto an existing deck space,
THE EDGE 41
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Edge - Q1, 2014
The President’s Message
Taking Your Business to the Next Level
Don’t Hire ‘Deadbeats’ – Use Talent-Based Interviews
Three Routes to Increased Profitability
The Latest and Greatest Online Marketing Tools
The Outdoor Room Boom
Successful Collaboration Between Landscape Architect and Pool Builder
Project Focus: Cipriano Custom Swimming Pools and Landscaping
Add Profits to the Job with Artificial Rock Waterfalls
Safely Operating the Service Truck
Selling Energy Savings
Service Award Winner Honored
Moving Beyond the Basics of Water Chemistry
Index of Advertisers
The Edge - Q1, 2014