Is A Backyard Pond Worth It?


Whether you’re in the process of building a backyard pond or just thinking about it, it’s possible you’re re-thinking the whole thing. Is a backyard or garden pond a good idea in the first place?

If you can manage to build one, a backyard pond is definitely worth it. A pond is a cost-effective and relatively easy to maintain way to make your backyard or garden beautiful and full of nature. Additionally, in rural areas a well-planned pond can increase your home’s property’s value up to 15 percent according to a report by FarmProgress.

But you may still be left with some lingering concerns. Here are a few of the most common questions people ask when considering whether to build their own backyard pond. Hopefully this will help you to decide whether or not a backyard or garden pond is a good idea for you.

A Backyard Pond Is Cost Effective

The potential cost of your backyard pond is a major determining factor of whether it’s a good idea or not for many people.

The cost of a backyard pond largely comes down to inspection fees combined with the price of energy, water and pond supplies. How much you actually pay for these things will be determined by local building codes in your area as well as the size of your pond and price you pay for the supplies.

A backyard pond can be built in many different ways, however there a few supplies that will almost always need to be used.

backyard pond
Are backyard ponds a good idea?

Pond Lining

An underlay, or lining, will be spread across the bottom of the pond and is required to keep your pond’s water from draining back into the soil. You may not need pond lining if your pond is small and the soil underneath it is sufficiently compacted. However, most people are still going to need some form of pond lining.

After all, you don’t want to go through all the trouble of building the perfect backyard pond only to have all the water drain away into the soil. Or worse, having an entire pond worth of water drain into your basement!

Your cost for pond liner will vary depending on how much pond liner you need and where you buy it. According to HomeAdvisor.com, the average cost of a 12×12 foot pond is $1,000. This average price includes the cost of labor and supplies, with the lower end of the estimate coming in at an average of $250.

Pond Stones

Stones for your pond are not strictly required but are incredibly common. They help to hold down the pond liner and prevent water from spilling out into the rest of your backyard. Pond stones also help make your pond look like a natural part of the landscape.

You may also wish to layer the bottom of your pond with smaller stones as well. This will not only hide the potentially ugly pond liner but will make your pond look beautiful and natural under direct sunlight.

The cost of pond stones can vary considerably from free to several hundred dollars. Many people choose to source stones for free from a natural location. However, if you want to use bricks or stones with a uniform appearance or of a particular type, you’ll need to purchase them from a local supply store.

The average cost of landscaping stones for your pond will vary depending on the stone type and quantity. For examples, river stones cost around $100 per ton while granite for the pond edge will run about $9 per square foot, according to Improvenet.

Inspection Fees & Misc. Costs

Depending on where you live and what kind of property you have, you may need to pay for building permits as well as for inspections to be carried out.

These inspections will help you to determine what’s underneath your pond area before you start digging any holes in the ground. This is essential in order to avoid hitting any underground utilities like water or power. The last thing you want is to cause a neighborhood power outage or break any water mains in the process.

There may also be special safety considerations that will need to be factored in to the constructions of your pond depending on its location. Make sure to get in touch with your local government before you get started if you believe any of this might apply to you.

A Backyard Pond Requires Minimal Maintenance

Maintaining your pond is something you need to consider before you build your pond. A pond is only a good idea if you plan on taking care of it. Otherwise it will turn into a sludgy, dirty mess full of leaves and debris very quickly. You will also need to factor in regular cleaning of the filters and pumps, especially if your pond includes fish or waterfalls. In other words, a backyard pond requires significantly more upkeep than a simple lawn with grass.

So while there is some work required to keep your pond running smoothly, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker either. If your pond is well constructed and planned, merely keeping the pond free of leaves and debris will solve most of your problems with minimal hassle.

If you’re a reasonably pro-active person with even a little bit of free time, you should have no problem maintaining your backyard pond. So if this is the case for you, a backyard pond is still probably a good idea.

A Backyard Pond Will Beautify Your Home’s Landscape

Let’s face it, one of the main reasons most people think about building a backyard pond is because they look amazing. And this is probably the number one reason why building a backyard pond is a good idea.

Not only will your pond make your backyard beautiful, it will also attract nature to your home’s landscape.

Backyard ponds are a major attraction to local wildlife. You will likely find birds, squirrels, even deer coming to your backyard pond for a drink of water. And if you’ve added fish to your pond, neighborhood cats will love coming by to watch them.

A backyard pond is also an opportunity to create a small refuge area right in your own backyard. You can sit back in relaxation as you and your family watch creatures congregate and mingle around the pond. This can be an incredibly relaxing experience and will no doubt create a great environment for you and your family to spend time together.

You can even use your backyard pond to hydrate nearby plants and fauna. This is especially true if you pond has fish. Your vegetable garden will thrive in the nutrient enriched soil.

A literal oasis in your own backyard, a backyard pond for your lawn or garden is almost certainly a good idea for anyone considering it.

A very simple garden pond.

A Pond Can Add Value To Your Home’s Property

While backyard ponds require an initial investment of time and energy, they can often recoup their costs. There is usually a strong demand for homes with water features such as ponds.

According to a report by FarmProgress, a well planned and maintained backyard pond can add up to 15 percent to your home’s property value in rural areas. How much it increases in value will depend on the extent of your pond and the overall size of your property. Data shows that smaller properties increase more in value with a pond than larger properties.

Tract Size
(Acres)
Bare Land Value
without Pond
Bare Land Value
with Pond
Percent
Change
50$3,675.56$3,957.917.7%
100$3,082.21$3,264.225.9%
150$2,780.57$2,916.264.9%
200$2,584.64$2,692.114.2%
250$2,442.22$2,530.183.6%
300$2,331.70$2,405.133.1%
350$2,242.17$2,304.242.8%
400$2,167.40$2,220.272.4%
450$2,103.52$2,148.752.2%
500$2,047.97$2,086.731.9%
Data courtesy of American Forest Management.

People simply enjoy living near to or next to water, in fact it’s probably the reason you’re reading this article right now. Ponds provide relaxational and recreational opportunities that few other backyard or garden features can.

However, how much of these benefits you’ll reap will depend on how well maintained your pond is. For this reason you’ll want to make sure you’re pond is meticulously planned, or at least professionally installed.

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that with my love and affinity for backyard ponds, I’m more than a bit biased. However I still believe that for most people, a backyard pond is a good idea.

Backyard ponds are cost effective. There are some initial costs to consider but they are not prohibitive, especially if you’re only planning for a small one. There are lots of things you might need for your pond but pond liner and stones are probably among the most important. Neither of these things are incredibly expensive.

And perhaps most importantly, a backyard ponds brings beauty and nature to your local landscape. You can sit back and relax as you and your family spend time together watching fish and local creatures

But of course, everyone’s situation is different. You might not have enough space, or even enough time to build one. And while the costs are not prohibitive, it might still be too much for some people’s budgets for the time being.

So in the end, whether or not building a backyard pond is a good idea is up to you. Hopefully the information I’ve given you here will help you make the best decision.

Nick

I’ve been a backyard pond enthusiast for many years and I love giving back by sharing my knowledge. It’s my goal to inform and inspire those in the process of planning and building a backyard pond.

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