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How Much Does it Cost to Build a Pond?

Many people want to build a pond on their property. In fact, home ponds are becoming more and more popular each year. Still, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Ponds come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and types. And, if you have never researched ponds before, there is a lot to know about costs and equipment. With an experienced landscaper, you can make a pond that is perfect for your home and your fish!

Ponds look beautiful and create a unique atmosphere in whatever location they are placed.

Still, there is a common concern among homeowners who want to invest in ponds. Homeowners wonder, how much does it cost to build a pond that will fit in with their backyard landscape?

The cost of a pond varies, but we will go into more detail. This way you can learn about the potential costs for your pond. We will talk about the equipment and labor needed for your pond project as well.

The Benefits of Ponds

Ponds require money, but they are well worth the price you pay for them. These man-made bodies of water are an ideal addition to gardens and other areas of your backyard. Water has a way of calming us. With the right landscaper, you can create a beautiful getaway in your backyard.

Ponds create a natural and atmospheric vibe. If you have a bench or chair, you can sit by your pond and watch the water to relax. It’s important to take time to yourself and get in touch with nature. A pond can help with this.

A Place for Fish

Ponds are also the perfect place for your fish. You need to get a big enough pond. And you want to make sure installation is done correctly for your pets. But when your pond is complete, this is a perfect place for your fish. Plants and other decorations can be put around your pond.

In fact, plants in your pond are recommended to give your fish coverage. Otherwise, birds might go after your fish. Plants also look great in your pond with your fish.

There are also plenty of fish you can add to your pond. Koi are a popular choice, as are goldfish.

Increase in Value

Along with being a great habitat for your fish, ponds also raise the value of your home. If you invest in a pond and decide to sell your home, you might even make the money back!

Think about this if you plan on building a pond. Also, if you are environmentally conscious, know that ponds reduce your ecological footprint. You have less grass in your backyard, and you don’t use as much water because your pond collects water from rain.

Overall, ponds built on your own property will give you value for years and years. It may seem expensive at first but they have a lot of great benefits!

The Cost of Your Pond

So exactly how much does it cost to build a pond full of fish in your backyard? The answer will vary depending on the type of pond you choose to build. To give you a rough estimate though, the cost can be between a thousand dollars and five thousand dollars.

This is if you want your pond installed professionally. On average though, most homeowners will pay around three thousand dollars for their pond.

If you dig a small pond yourself and stick to the basic materials, it can cost you five-hundred dollars to build a pond. If you have a small pond, it might be okay to build the pond on your own. If you plan on building a bigger pond though, you will need a landscaper.

Really, we recommend getting your pond built by an expert. The planning, labor, and research can be stressful. It’s better to have someone with experience installing your pond.

The Different Costs

The labor required for digging out a pond will be one of the highest costs. But the professional equipment to maintain a pond should also be factored in. All of these requirements play a role in the price. Materials used for the pond can increase or decrease the cost.

For instance, if you want a pond liner to protect your investment this will cost extra. Plastic liners aren’t super expensive, but other materials like fiberglass could cost you. The location of your pond, as well as, the size of your pond will also play a role in costs.

Some people think that the expense for this backyard fixture is too much. But a home pond can bring something different to the landscape of your home. Ask yourself how much you are willing to spend on your home’s landscape.

Better yet, get an estimate from a professional.

You can ask them yourself, how much does it cost to build a pond to your specific specifications?

Again, not all ponds are going to look the same and cost the same. So it’s good to have an idea of what you want. Then you can get an opinion from a landscaper with experience.

In the next few sections, we’ll break down more of the cost of building a pond. Afterward, we will get into specific pond types and their cost. This way you have some research done before you start your home pond project.

The Cost of Digging a Pond

As we mentioned, digging out an area for your pond will cost you a substantial amount of money. It’s where a lot of the cost comes from in fact. The labor required for this task is time-consuming, so this is to be expected. Sometimes landscapers dig it themselves by hand. Other times, if the pond is bigger, a machine will be used.

The equipment used will also affect the price of the excavation. Some areas of your home are harder to dig than others. This will also factor into the cost. And of course, the size of the hole you have dug will be considered.

The cost of this labor is estimated by square feet. For every square foot of land dug, you will pay anywhere from five bucks to twelve bucks. This sounds cheap, but square footage adds up fast.

And remember that this price can vary depending on which landscaping company your hire. You could dig yourself, but we don’t recommend this.

Pond Liners Cost

Another cost you’ll need to consider when building is pond liner. Pond liner is made out of all sorts of material. This item keeps your pond water from leaking into the surrounding area. It also helps you pond hold it’s shape. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this product. Plastic is a good option for a pond liner and it is reasonably priced. But you’ll want a plastic liner that is flexible and durable.

If you want a more expensive liner you can choose from a range of materials. Fiberglass and concrete last much longer than other materials. So this could be something to think about.

Overall, quality matters when you are choosing a pond liner. If you get a poor quality liner you’ll spend more money trying to repair your pond. Pond liners typically cost anywhere from one-hundred bucks to even one-thousand bucks. Again this depends on the type of liner you choose.

Pump Costs for Ponds

Fish need oxygen and water flow to survive, so a pump system will need to be put into your pond. A pump also keeps pond water moving so bugs and algae don’t accumulate in the water. For the best results, you’ll want to have this system put in by a professional.

This is an essential item for your pond so don’t get a cheap pump. Pumps are varied and can be submerged in the water, or left on the outside of the tank. Tubes will also need to be used to get the air moving through the pond.

Smaller pumps for ponds can be pretty cheap. You might be able to get them for under a hundred dollars. If you have a large pond though, you will spend at least two-hundred dollars. This is a necessary cost if you want a successful pond setup.

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Filter Cost for Ponds

Not only do fish need oxygen in a pond, they need clean water. A pond filter will help keep your pond looking good. It will also keep pond water in the right conditions for your fish.

Some filters can be bought for a low cost. But we recommend going for something at a mid-range price. This way you know you are getting a quality pond filter.

Also, make sure that your pond filter will work with your pump system. In total, pond filters can cost anywhere from twenty dollars to two-hundred dollars.

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Different Types of Ponds and Cost

There are many types of ponds you can build in your backyard. We’ll briefly go over these ponds and their cost in this part of the article. The price range can vary quite dramatically between the different types of ponds.

Koi Ponds

Koi ponds are one of the most popular pond options. If you dig them out yourself you can build one for under one-thousand dollars. But usually, they will be between two-thousand and five-thousand dollars.

You can put all kinds of koi in here. Just make sure the pond is at least three feet deep and big enough for your fish. Your pond might require a heater as well. But this depends on what the climate is in your region.

You could put a pond liner in this type of pond but it’s not a requirement. Koi ponds use different materials than other ponds so make sure to look into the requirements of koi ponds.

Small Garden Ponds

Small garden ponds are a cheap option. You won’t want to put big fish in this, but you can build these for a low cost. Small garden ponds are usually under a thousand dollars.

These are one type of pond that you could build on your own. They are not difficult to construct, but they take time and effort to complete. Whether you choose to hire a landscaper for this project is up to you.

Man-Made Lakes

Another larger body of water to put in your backyard is a man-made lake. These are bigger ponds that can fit more fish. You can put more fish in these structures and create a more appealing landscape.

Make sure you get a professional to help you through the process. Bigger ponds are harder to build than smaller ones. These usually cost thousands of dollars, usually around three-thousand dollars.

Fishing Ponds

The last kind of pond we will introduce you to is a fishing pond. You can put all kinds of fish in this larger pond. You will need a liner for this type of pond and you will need to consider what kind of environment your fishes need to thrive. Filters, heater, and other devices will need to be bought to keep your fish healthy.

This kind of pond can be made for a few thousand dollars. But even more, money can be spent on this. Especially if you want an elaborate pond with an aesthetically pleasing shape and design. Some people spend tens of thousands of dollars. This isn’t the norm, but some people pay big money for ponds with extra features.

For any pond, waterfalls, planting, and other design inputs can be a rewarding investment. But they do cost money. Think about this when you are pondering cost. This will help you answer your own question of how much does it cost to build a pond.


Many homeowners wonder, how much does it cost to build a pond in their own backyard?

In this post, we broke down the costs of ponds for you. This way you have an idea of how much your home project will cost. You can plan accordingly knowing what to expect.

Ponds are an ideal place to relax and keep your fish. What kind of pond you plan on building is important. This will dictate the material needed for your pond, as well as, the expenses that go along with it.

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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