Price of Grotto

luvh20October 14, 2010

Does $6000 for a 8x6 grotto-waterfall sound too expensive?

It will be handmade out of cement.

And while on the subject, does anyone have a grotto that they wished they didn't do?

Are there any negatives(besides price) about having a grotto?

Any advice about placement of it, our plan shows it

to be near the spa , in the deep end of pool.

Any advice is welcomed, negative or positive.


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Here is one that I just completed for $18,500. The interior is Faux but the boulders are natural.

I would go and see one that your PB has done so you fully understand what he is planning on building you. Some of the grottos I have seen on the internet look like something out of the Flinstone movie and can barely fit 1-2 adults. This one was a must have for my client and his landscaper did a pretty good job of not making it look out of place eventhough his whole yard sloped away from the structure.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 6:45PM
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I agree with sceadu. You need to ask to see something from your builder that is similiar to what you are getting. Make sure the size works for you. The size you are giving seems very small. Here is a pic of one that I did. $12,500 Mostly natural stone. Not quite as deep but has alot of room inside.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 7:34PM
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they are both beautiful! around here (Boston area) you couldn't even do a waterfall for $6K so I'd be really sure to ask lots of questions. Sceadu, do you by any chance know what interior finish was used for the pool in your photo? I love the color of the water. thanks!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 10:33AM
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Our itemized list calls ours a 4 foot moss rock waterfall with grotto stone. Cost, $2,200.
4/3 HP booster pump for waterfall $600
20 feet of boulders 1ft high $1000
total $3,800 for the grotto

Ours has a bench and a light on its own switch, separate from the 2 pool lights.

The best thing we did was on the suggestion of the concrete guys, was to put a step up to the grotto bench. You can see where the grotto will go on the left and the step up to the bench.

We love our grotto, wheather it be the kids in the pool, the family in the pool, or just the waterfall sounds.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 3:50PM
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Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts and great pictures. I have alot to think about with this project.
I have a new house with nothing but dirt in the backyard to work with. We are thinking the pool will be around
35x24 at the widest points, with a kidney shaped spa that will be around 7x9.
Thanks again for your input.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 12:29PM
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Sceadu... I am hoping you see this thread... I know it has been a couple years since you posted to it. I like the grotto in your pics! Very nice work!

I see the original poster asked if you recalled what the pool finish was in that pool. I'd like to know also. The water goes very nicely with the rock work. I would actually love to know what the finish, tile and coping is on that pool.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 12:32AM
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Thank you for the kind words. The tile is from NPT and is called Boticus in the Verona collection. I use this tile a good bit due to the fact that it goes well with my natural themes. I can't recall exactly which color they went with for the interior but as I look at the pictures I believe that it was Ocean Blue Pebble Sheen.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:49PM
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Thanks, sceadu.

On the waterfall you built at the top of this thread... does the water source start behind the cave rear wall up on the dirt area? If so, what do you use up on the dirt to keep the water from leaking out? I assume on the cave roof the rocks are cemented into place to form a barrier on the sides... right? How far back is the water source from the front lip of the waterfall?

My cave was just shot with gunite... and it is about 6' from the front lip to the rear wall edge... I am trying to visualize if that is enough space for the waterfall (it is 9' wide)... or if I need to go further back on the dirt, which will be piled up about 2 ft higher than the cave roof for a slide behind it about 8ft further back. I could use a few feet of dirt for more waterfall.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 10:54AM
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nice grottos!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Hoping you are still looking here... do you know if the flat rock that is the roof of the cave (and those that are stepped further up) are natural or fake? I like that look... but not sure where to even look for that locally. My PB is starting the waterfall on top of mine, but is building it will tons of little rocks... not the look we are going for. I'd also love to know where the water source is on the pic above... does the pipe feed the top area or is there a basin behind the top rocks that then flows into the waterfall area?

If anyone else reading this knows if those flat rocks are natural or man made I would appreciate it... I see them on many waterfall pictures on here.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 6:54PM
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The only Rock on My Grotto above is the interior finish of the Grotto. Everything else is Real rock. Here is anohter one I am building in Nashville that is 100% Real stone. This pool is not finished yet. We were using the rain water in the pool to make sure that the water would travel evenly down the rock and to wash any mud off the rocks before Pebble Tec was applied.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Thanks for the reply... so the inside of the grotto above is carved/colored gunite, right? And all the rest is real rock. Do you get those flat slabs from a regular stone supply yard? Can you give me an idea of what a slab like that costs and how big you can get them? Looks to be about 8" thick?

I have a gunite grotto that my PB shot, and the waterfall is being done with all small rocks... and is not the look we were going for. I'd like to put a slab like that on top of the gunite shell, and then let it overhang the front, then veneer some sort of stone under the lip to hide the front edge of the gunite roof... and then step another flat slab a few feet higher up.

And what is used to color the inside? Is it permanent or does it require maintenance?

Thanks for your help. Your waterfalls look incredible!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 10:34PM
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sceadu, if you have a second to give me feedback on questions above, I'd greatly appreciate it... I am meeting with another vendor to finish my waterfall and would love to have the details in my pocket...

You said the cave/waterfall above was $18,500... I assume that was landscaping, dirt, cave and all stonework... if the cave were already there, and the price did not include the landscaping or dirt, can you give me a ballpark of how much just the stonework on top and up the hill would have cost for that?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 3:02PM
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The $18,500 was for the Hardscape, structure and mechanicals of the Grotto. The interior was not carved from gunite. It was stamped in by a "Concrete artist" if you will. He specialized in making faux rock formations and has done so on several of my projects as well as some museums around Atlanta. I beieve he has since retired due to health reasons. He would use colored concrete, acid staining, and even an airbrush to get the effects desired.

To get some of the larger rocks you sometimes have to travel to a rock quarry. In the video I posted above, I spent the day with my mason in a quarry to find a rock the size we needed and just the main rock for the grotto cost around $1,000 with the secondary anchor rock costing around $750. The other rocks are per tonage.

I hope that helps.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 6:04PM
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