Exterior Worlds
Water Fountains
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Water Fountains

The Murmur of Water

Outdoor water fountains can transform you and your environment

The mesmerizing sound. The transparent movement. The cool, fresh sensation. Outdoor water feature are a treat for the senses—auditory, visual and tactile. For millennia, we had placed moving water around our homes because water works some kind of magic on us, soothing us to our very essence.

Outdoor fountains make a graceful statement about a home by creating a pleasing and welcoming ambiance. They can be used to enhance the architectural style of a house. Outdoor fountains are especially beneficial in these technological times, serving as camouflage for traffic noise, humming air-conditioning units and thrashing lawn mowers. They can be designed to be played in, thus providing cool relief on a hot day—perfect for Houston.


Types of Outdoor Water Fountains

Outdoor fountains come in a multitude of shapes, sizes and styles. They can invoke Roman classicism, a Hill Country natural pool, modern garden or a Charleston garden. Fountains can be placed in a quiet corner of the yard or serve as the centerpiece along a curving front drive. Additional features can be added, such as a cascading waterfall or a contemporary wall fountain.

Whatever style you prefer, the main thing to remember is that your overall landscape will be improved if you use a water feature that coordinates with your home and garden.


Water Features Made to Order While custom-built outdoor water feature sare more expensive than prefabricated ones, they do have specific and long-lasting benefits:

  • Custom-built outdoor fountains can be constructed to a much larger scale than prefabricated ones. This feature can be important when working with the scale of homes and buildings.
  • One of the most common problems of ready-mades is “over-spray” or water coming out of the fountain. This malfunction leads to many problems, such as the fountain running out of water, the area near the fountain becoming slippery or moldy, and discoloration of the surrounding material due to chlorination. A custom-built outdoor water fountain addresses these problems upfront.
  • A great aspect of custom-built fountains is that they can be constructed with special features: overflow release valves to drain excess water, skimmers, auto-fill lines to maintain the water level, lights, filters, auto-chlorinators and backwash lines for easy cleaning. Almost none of these enhancements are available on prefabricated fountains.

Hard Choices when it comes to Water Fountains

Choosing the right outdoor water fountain begins by looking for materials that work in our climate. These materials need to handle Houston’s intense sunlight, rain and other natural elements. Many outdoor water feature are constructed with masonry products such as brick, sandstone, limestone, concrete blocks and ledgestone. Other popular choices include rock, natural stone, tile, marble and polished stone. The basins that act as a reservoir are typically made with gunite and rebar, and then plastered—much like a swimming pool. These interior surfaces are sometimes tiled or clad with stone, pebbles or mosaics.


Fountain Design Talk

“Building a custom outdoor water fountain appears to be like building a swimming pool, but is actually far more difficult. Typically, each fountain is different and therefore each is an original. It is more like building a working piece of art,” explains Jeff Halper with Exterior Worlds. “It takes a lot of practical, real-world experience and knowledge to avoid common pitfalls when designing or constructing one.”

There is no one way to design or build a fountain, and many different approaches can achieve the same result. During the design process, the scope of the work is defined and a budget will be developed. Cost factors include material choices, decisions about illumination and long-term maintenance. The best professionals work with their clients to provide as much information as possible to make the outdoor water fountain a success.

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time. —Sir John Lubbock

Call Exterior Worlds at 713-827-2255 with questions about adding a fountain to your landscape.

For more the 20 years Exterior Worlds has specialized in servicing many of Houston’s fine neighborhoods.

Modern Water Fountains

When developing a modern landscaping design to support a contemporary-style home, Exterior Worlds relies heavily on geometry to develop abstract themes in our design work. Our intention is to represent a world of that consists of basic shapes that have been combined and morphed into new patterns and forms. The water fountains we construct in these landscapes must support the intention of contemporary design, whose sharp separation from nature demands

Water Wall Fountain

Exterior Worlds frequently builds wall fountains to expand hardscapes into new dimensions, add decorative flair, and establish a serene sensibility. People hosting special events in their yards often find that the wall fountain becomes the instant favorite of the majority of the guests. For private moments, homeowners equally love the sense of peace and contemplation these fountains add to special areas of the landscape that we have designed as set

Disappearing Water Fountain

True to its name, a disappearing fountain bubbles up from a form, does its dance within the landscape, then quietly disappears back into an underground world of mystery. These special custom fountains are highly individuated forms whose designs are always very unique and positioned in secluded parts of the yard that represent retreat and quite repose. The uniqueness of this particular type of landscaping element makes it a favorite centerpiece

Soul-Soothing Sounds of Tranquil Fountains

Outdoor water fountains are wonderful additions to any home landscape design. Water enchants the eye and ear. In particular, a tranquil fountain, which Exterior Worlds designs specifically to drown out the unwanted and annoying noises of modern life without overwhelming the space, works a special magic. Simply and poetically put, a tranquil fountain soothes the soul. Tranquil water fountains work in any setting. If you are landscaping for entertainment, a

Outdoor Water Features Enliven Your Landscape Design

Luxury in landscaping can be communicated in many ways. The sense of luxury is conveyed with softscapes, hardscapes, material choices and simple details. And one of the most impressive landscaping elements is an outdoor water feature. Water is magic. It is soothing, energizing, delightful, playful, peaceful, inspired and inspiring. At Exterior Worlds, we put all our years of experience into each landscape design, especially water elements. Following is a discussion

Outdoor Water Features

Outdoor water features are decorative landscape features that use water as their main element. They are vital to the attraction factor of residential landscape design. No everyone likes the same trees, flowers, stones, or bricks; and certainly not everyone likes the same geometric designs. However, the universality of water as a symbol of spirit and life is well documented throughout human history. Its use as a landscape decoration goes back

Classic Fountains

A classic fountain is a fountain designed to evoke memories of an idealized era in the past. Most look back to the actual Classical era of ancient Greece and Rome. In these civilizations, fountains were more than decorations. They were iconic representations of a multi-dimensional universe where Spirit, symbolized by water, descended from the higher planes to the lower physical plane. This is why all fountains built during this time

Reflecting Pond

Reflecting ponds are shallow bodies of water characterized by proportional geometry and a smooth surface that acts like a natural mirror. With few exceptions, they should be built with basins made from very dark material. Water will reflect light more easily under these conditions. Any light that fails to be reflected will be absorbed by the bottom of the pool. This works to effectively hide the bottom of the pool

Natural Pond

A natural pond is a body of water that appears to be formed by natural forces, but in reality has been carefully planned and constructed by man. The bottom of the pond will be artificial, similar to that of a swimming pool, but it will be covered with soil so aquatic plants, fish, and animals can have structure. Such a water feature can be stocked with fish, if you like,

Garden Water Features

Garden water features are part of many garden designs, both formal and informal. Sometimes they act as central focal points within a garden. At other times, they establish movement and special interest. Fountains rank among the most popular garden water features because they add movement, vertical impact, and light to the scene. Fountains can be any size. They range in style from the strictly classical to the ultra contemporary. The