The Pond is Done! (6/2/13)

Well, after a true labor of love, the pond construction is nearly complete! All that is left to do is plant around the outside edge for a more natural look. This was one of those projects that seemed easier on paper than with shovel in hand. Do you know what I mean?

But, the vision of the finished project kept our spirits high, even if our bodies were tired. In the end, the pond is 11′ L x 8′ W x 1.5′ D. In my Dragonfly 010research, I kept hearing “Make it as big as you can because you will only want to dig it once.” So, as you can see our plan grew a little bit.

I knew what the end product would look like in my mind. I knew where and how we wanted to enjoy the pond from inside and outside of the house. Luckily, my family could visualize it, too.

The secret to the success of this project was the support of my family both emotionally and physically. They each took a turn digging and excavating. None more than my loving hubby. I couldn’t have done it without him.

So, you read about the plan in Creating a Backyard Pond & you read the updates along the way. Now it’s time to give you the “dirt,” literally!

I think it is always wise to begin with an estimated cost for the project. Here is our materials list. It may serve as a guide if you are planning a similar project.

Item Size/Quantity Cost*
Cement Blocks 10 $13.70
1/2 Cement Blocks 4 $4.24
Line Level 2 pack $2.98
String for level 1 $3.18
1″ Corrugated Tubing 25′ $24.00
Loose Wall Pavers (rocks) various $154.00
Pea Gravel 1-80lb bag $4.50
Pond Liner 15′ x 20′ $289.00  How to est. the liner size
Submersible Pump $124.00  # of gallons of water in pond?
Goldfish 11 $23.78  # of fish I can stock?
Aquatic Plants various $14.34  What do I need?
Plant containers 2 $18.00
Pump Protector $11.00
Total $686.72 *Pre-tax

Keep in mind that the cost to hire a pond company to do this work would have been thousands of dollars. I stopped listening when I heard the estimate reach $8-10k. I figured I could dig for free. I knew I would have to buy some items, but in general, there was a lot my family and I could do on our own. Plus, I had opportunities to re-use and recycle things that we already had such as: I could split plants from my other water features, I could reuse the waterfall that was on our original small pond and we happened to have old carpeting in the attic that I could use as underlayment on the sides of the pond.

It’s also good to have an idea of how long the project will take to complete. We planned a “dig” day when my husband was home. We thought we would surely be able to dig this hole to the correct depth in one day if we worked together. Wrong! It took a week. One full day on either end, and a little progress each day in between.

Collecting the other materials was fairly easy with the exception of the large stones. This took more than one trip. The employees at the stone quarry were very kind. Maybe it’s uncommon for them to see a women come in ready to load her mini van with big rocks.

I made more significant progress when I was able to bring my husband on the second trip. He was able to move more and larger stones than I could do on my own. We made quick progress with his help.

I was also blessed to receive some large rocks from the property of a dear friend in Virginia. They went a long way in creating the waterfall affect. Thank you, Pat and Joe Franklin!

Here is how we finished the job, step by stepPond Installation 5-2013 Step 03.JPG



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