How To Build A Pond: An Expert Guide

In this article, we will be discussing how to build a pond in your back garden.

Ponds are great for adding some natural beauty and tranquillity to your home or business property. 

So we have consulted with experts who share their knowledge on the topic of ponds.

We will show you how to choose the right location for a pond, what type of materials you need, and more! 

With these tips from our experts, anyone can construct their own beautiful back garden water feature.

Before you reach for the shovel there are a few housekeeping tasks that need to be done. 

It will involve some planning and research to find the right location, but it’s worth taking a little time upfront.

How To Build A Pond

Table of Contents

How to build a pond: Steps to take before you start

The first thing you need to do is to make a couple of phone calls. It’s important to find out if there are any local restrictions on what you can do with your land. You will also need to speak with an environmental agency about the types of plants and trees that would be best for your region, as well as how much sunlight they require.

  • How large of an area is required?
  • Is it permissible to place a pond in your garden near the house?
  • Will you need to place a fence around your pond?

Step 1: What type of pond do you want?

One of the most enjoyable tasks of the whole project is thinking about what you want your garden pond to look like. There are a lot of details related to where you might put it and what its purpose will be, so here are some points to consider:

  • Natural, semi-natural, or formal?
  • How big to make your pond?
  • Do you want fish in it?
  • What shape do you want it to be?

The options you have are endless, however, while a pond in the back garden is wonderful and alluring, it brings with it its own set of challenges…the money part.

Step 2: Work out a budget

In order to make a decision about how much money you can spend on your pond, it’s important that you have the right information. This includes both what the cost of fitting and landscaping a new pond could be, as well as any other costs such as moving house or changing jobs which might affect your finances in general. Here are the following items you’ll need to buy in order to complete your pond

It is sometimes helpful to do price checking or research on the different products before committing to buy them. Try not to skimp on products like gravel, get the amount you need and don’t try to stretch out a bag to save money.

Tools that will be needed:

  • Shovel or spade
  • Level
  • Hose
  • Wheelbarrow
backyard pond

Step 3: Decide on a spot for the pond

There are several criteria to take into consideration when learning how to build a shallow pond in your garden. It’s important to consider what the best size for your pond will be, and where it should be situated in order to maximize its aesthetic appeal. If you have a small garden or are looking for an outdoor feature that won’t take up too much space, then there’s no need to think about this too much – just go ahead with whatever design takes your fancy!

However, if you’re lucky enough to have plenty of room at your disposal, make sure that any trees which might block sunlight don’t cast their shade on the front side of the water surface. The location is also important because you’ll want good access around all sides so that it can easily be filled by heavy machineries like cement trucks or excavators. It may help if you already know the location of your septic tank, which can be a source of unpleasant odors if it isn’t situated in an optimal spot.

Step 4: Sketch out a design

Make a drawing of the pond as it will look once finished. You need to think about what shape you want, or if you’re going to build something like an island in the middle. It’s best to have a plan for where everything is at first before doing anything with your garden – this way, any necessary adjustments can be made then and there instead of when it’s too late!

Also, the pond should be designed to look natural and inviting. You can do this by adding shelves at different levels that are shallow for aquatic plants who prefer it, as well as rounded edges instead of straight ones so the space looks more like a real creek or river than an artificial one.

pond 2

Step 5: Let the digging begin

The next step is to clear the area for the pond. This will involve removing any tree roots and bushes, as well as digging out a much larger hole than you may have thought necessary (but trust me on this one). You need to go down at least two feet so that all of your dirt stays in place when it’s time to add water to the site.

You should also clear away any grass in an area about 6-12 inches around it and make sure that there’s some kind of barrier between the water and the rest of your garden – preferably with a lip on one side so runoff doesn’t go inside. Until then you can use rocks or other materials as placeholders if necessary!

pond 3

Step 6: Put down some sand

Once you’ve cleared the area, it’s time to put down some sand – about two inches deep or so. This will help keep dirt from seeping up into your formal pond and also give pond plants a good place to grow!

pond 4

Step 7: Lay the underlayment

Next, lay down some plastic underlayment to protect your dirt from getting wet. This is a cheap and relatively easy way to make sure that you don’t end up with water everywhere – it’s also reusable if needed.

Step 8: Install The Liner

Now you need to install the pond liner that will become your own garden pond. You can purchase these at any DIY shop or on Amazon – they’re usually made of heavy-duty waterproof vinyl and come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, colours, and thicknesses.

Once it’s purchased we recommend cutting it down so that it matches the size of your pre-dug hole (or as close as you can get with scissors). Make sure to leave about an inch extra just in case! The next step is for the outside edge, where all those holes are going to be cut out:

Using a sharp utility knife blade carefully poke small slits into both sides; this makes folding over easier later. Now use gardening shears or regular kitchen scissors to cut an opening on the opposite edge where you poked slits.

Step 9: Add The Pump And Filter

Your garden pond is almost complete, you just need to add the pump and filter. This will help your fish stay alive by providing oxygenated water – basically, they’ll have a nicer place to live! Once installed correctly, your filter should break down any algae that develop in the water. If you’re interested in installing a backyard pond for birds or other reasons, this step might not be necessary. 

Step 10: Fill Your Pond

Top up your garden pond with tap water from a garden hose. Use the bucket to scoop some dirt and dump it into the new pond so that all of those sharp edges are ground down nicely if you didn’t do that in one step already.

Fill up the pump or fountain with fresh water and turn them on to make sure they work properly. – If there are any leaks, tighten them until they don’t leak anymore.

Step 11: Plant Some Plants And Trees Around Your Pond!

Your beautiful backyard oasis is now complete but don’t forget about planting trees around your fish garden pond for shade and aesthetics! You can also plant other kinds of plants like flowering shrubs or tropical plants near formal ponds as well.

Step 12: Add The Fish (Optional)

It’s best to wait for at least four to six weeks before you add your fish to the pond. Once you’ve waited, introduce them by adding a small amount of water from the pond into the fish tank. You should do this with any new aquarium as well to minimize shock.

Step 13: Maintenance And Tips

Keep your garden pond well stocked with fish so that they don’t die and decay. Once water levels start to get low, refill them using a garden hose or bucket.

Don’t forget about the pump filter! Make sure you clean it once per week by removing any debris buildup around the intake screen as this will help keep your water clear of algae growth. You may need to replace parts after a while too if anything breaks but cleaning is usually enough for most people.

Step 14: Enjoy Your New Pond!

Your back garden oasis is complete and all you have left to do now is sit back and enjoy it! If possible, create one part of the yard that can be enjoyed year-round like an outdoor living room with windows looking out onto the garden pond.

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Oliver Wright

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