How to Build Outdoor Waterfalls Inexpensively: A Complete Guide

How to build outdoor waterfalls

Do you have a yard that is quite drab? Then you need to update that with a waterfall.

There are so many advantages to having a waterfall. If you’re afraid of the expense, then you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to find out how to build outdoor waterfalls inexpensively


First, let’s tackle why you should have a waterfall at home. You’d be surprised by the many benefits of a garden waterfall. 

But let’s start with the first thing you definitely thought about. 


This is definitely the first reason you think of as to why you should have a waterfall at home. 

No matter how basic the waterfall is, it’s going to be quite beautiful. 

Not only that

While the structure itself is beautiful, the entire area will be upgraded. 

So, if you have a yard and you don’t know what to do with it, just add a waterfall. 

Not everybody has a green thumb

When it comes to upgrading a yard, the first thing people will think about is a garden. 

However, not everybody has the time and patience to take care of plants. 


In a way, you still need to take care of the waterfall. But at least the maintenance isn’t as regular as having a garden, which basically needs to be tended to at least every day. 

Just like a garden

The waterfall will add color to your yard especially if you have fishes in the basin or the pond. 

Besides, you can also have aquatic plants in the pond. In fact, you should have aquatic plants to keep the balance in that small ecosystem. 

Health and wellness

You know how nature will always make us feel better? Well, by having an outdoor waterfall, you are basically putting a piece of nature at home. 

Life is busy and really stressful. Having a waterfall nearby will definitely help you relax. 


When you want to relax at a spa, you usually hear nature sounds like that of flowing water. Some people listen to animal sounds in order to fall asleep. 

When you have a waterfall, you have the real sound of flowing water. It could easily help you relax. The sound of water as well as the sight of nature will definitely reenergize you after a long day at work. 


When you have an outdoor waterfall, you need a basin to catch the water. If not, you will be wasting a lot of water and that’s not good for the environment. 

The basin can be a pond, or if you have a lot of money, the basin could be a pool. 

Luxury Villa with waterfall feature and palm trees

We’re talking about inexpensive here

So, let’s take pool out of the equation. 

Now, if you have a pond for the waterfall, you could also have animals like fishes. Not only that, toads and frogs would be attracted to the water in the pond.

For open areas

Ducks and geese might also be attracted to your pond especially if it’s big enough to accommodate them. 

Then you have the birds. 

You see

Birds are attracted to moving water. A waterfall, of course, is constantly moving. So, there’s a great chance you will be attracting them with your DIY waterfall. 

That’s a complete natural setting right outside your house. 

Value of property

Adding a waterfall in your yard actually increases the value of your home. Just in case you plan on selling the property one day, it would definitely catch a hefty price. 

A waterfall makes the entire property more attractive. 

Family bonding

As earlier mentioned, a waterfall is attractive and relaxing. It’s a great way to take the family outside. 

Perhaps, you could put out an outdoor dining set or sofa near the waterfall. This way, the entire family can hang out and enjoy the sight and sound of the water. 

Garden pond with waterfall

Build Outdoor Waterfalls Inexpensively

It’s time to learn the hard part: How to build outdoor waterfalls inexpensively.

It’s always tempting to just commission someone to build it for you, right?

But you have to remember

The keyword here is inexpensive. If you want to save money on the creation of a waterfall, then you have to do it yourself. 

A large chunk of the expense in the construction of a waterfall is the labor. 


There is a different kind of satisfaction when you create something for your home. 

Before you start the construction, you need to plan your work. 

Important details:

There are two main components of an outdoor waterfall: the cascading water and the basin or pool, which is where the water falls.

You will also need a pump so that you won’t waste water and it will be recirculated. 

There are many different kinds available in the hardware store. A submersible one, for example, is very easy to install. 

Here’s the deal

A waterfall comes in many forms and sizes. Since you are making it yourself, you have the distinct control over the size and feature of the waterfall. 

The size, of course, will depend on the size of your backyard. How it looks will also be up to you.  

Let’s get started

Here are a few simple steps in building your own outdoor waterfall:

1. Plan your waterfall

What you need:

  • Pen and paper
  • Measuring tape

Even if you are not an architect, you can make a simple drawing of your waterfall. The drawing is necessary so that you won’t forget the important things to do. 

As for the size

You should at least measure the size of the basin or biofall filter. You need to measure so that you know the size of the pond liner that you need to buy. 

2. Mark & clear the pond area

What you need:

  • Spray paint

Mark the area where you want the pond. Use the spray paint. 

Follow the shape of the biofall filter. 

Why not rocks or sticks?

Because you are going to have to excavate a hole. The rocks or sticks will just be on the way. 

Now that it is marked, it’s time to clear away unwanted matters or things that would make it more difficult for you to work. 

3. Dig the catch basin

Shovel in dirt

What you need:

  • Shovel
  • Biofall filter
  • Liner

Excavate a hole for the pond. The biofall filter will set the shape and size of your pond. 

Once you have the hole, put the liner in it. After that, you can insert the biofall filter in the hole. 

If there is a gap

Cover them with sand. 

4. Creating the waterfall

  • Waterfall spillway
  • Submersible pump
  • Cascading structure
  • Water

For a more natural look, you can acquire large rocks from where the water will supposedly cascade down. 

Or you can use a brick wall. As the name suggests, it is a wall made of bricks. 

Brick wall waterfall

Let’s talk about the differences

When you use the large rocks, there is a more natural look to the waterfall. 

When you use the brick wall, it has a more sophisticated feel to it. Of course, that would also depend on the kind of bricks you use. 


Install the submersible pump and waterfall spillway. 

Now you are ready to add the water. If the tubing matters are too complicated for you, you can always ask a plumber to do this part. 

At least

You will only be paying one person for a single day’s work. 

The installation of the pump and spillway is really quite complicated since in most cases, you won’t be able to achieve the appropriate flow the first time around. 

Lucky for you if you do!

Here’s an important note:

You want the water to fall in the middle of the pond so that you would prevent water loss through splashes. 

5. Finishing touches

In order for the submersible pump not to be obvious, put some aquatics. Floating plants are always the most obvious choice. 

So that the lining of your biofall filter will not be obvious, you can cover them with rocks. Another option would be potted plants and flowers. 

You know what else?

These accessories could also hide the tubing that will be responsible for allowing the water to flow from the pond to the waterfall spillway. 


You can add fishes for a more dynamic and colorful waterfall. 

Pond koi waterfall


A waterfall can really make a lot of difference at home. It will uplift the look of your yard. Not only that, it’s actually good for your mental health. The sound and sight of flowing water could do a lot of good for your psyche.

Are you afraid that having a waterfall will hurt your pockets? That’s not entirely accurate since you can build outdoor waterfalls inexpensively. It’s going to be quite a task but when it’s done, the benefits will greatly outweigh the effort 

By the way, it’s not that difficult to make a waterfall. There are only five easy steps but you’re going to really sweat it out during the process of building it.

You Might Also Like

Remember I said that birds are attracted to moving water? Well, there should be other things to consider when you want to attract birds. Check out these five simple steps in attracting birds with water

There was also a mention of the importance of aquatic plants if you have a fish pond as a basin for your waterfall. Here are seven delightful aquatics for your pond.

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