Fountains lend aesthetic appeal to almost any outdoor space. They can be used as centerpieces for gardens and patios and as accents for walkways and deck areas. Their quiet, constant flow of water provides a relaxing atmosphere for unwinding at the end of the day. Building a large fountain is a moderately easy project that can be completed by most people within the span of a weekend. Here is how to build a large stone fountain to add visual appeal to an outdoor area.
Building a Large Fountain
Choose a location for your fountain. Since fountain pumps typically come with 50-foot cords, your location should be less than 50 feet from an exterior electrical outlet. Using wooden stakes and twine, mark the outline of your fountain's basin.
Dig an 18-inch-deep hole, using the outline as a guide. Make sure the bottom is level and the walls are vertical. Fill the hole with 4 inches of pea gravel. Use a tamper to compact the gravel to prevent shifting or cracks in your fountain basin.
Dig a 2-inch-deep trench from the basin pit to the electrical outlet. Measure the trench, and cut PVC pipe to fit. Insert the PVC pipe into the trench, making sure one end extends 2 inches beyond the edge of the basin wall. This will serve as the conduit for the pump's electrical cord.
Measure and cut plywood to form the inner mold of the basin. The outer dimensions of the mold should be 2 inches smaller than the outer dimensions of the basin. Assemble the mold with wood screws and coat the outside with release oil to permit easy removal of the mold.
Pour a 2-inch layer of concrete over the pea gravel and smooth with a trowel. Center the mold in the basin and pour concrete around all sides, using a tamper to compact the concrete. Allow concrete to cure for 24 hours and remove the inner mold.
Center the pump in the basin. Cut a hole in the center of the mesh screen large enough to accommodate the outlet pipe assembly, and fit the screen over the pump. Cover the screen with small flat stones to keep it in place. Small stones can also be placed around the base of the pump to prevent it from shifting.
Thread the electrical cord through the PVC pipe and plug it in. Fill the trench with dirt to cover the PVC pipe. Adjust the pump's pressure to achieve the desired effect.