Backyard Ponds: DIY vs. Contractor

Today we are going to outline the advantages and disadvantages of putting in backyard ponds DIY vs. hiring a contractor.

At Clearwater Creations, we have been helping homeowners install and maintain ponds, fountains, and other water features since 2011 – and we’d love to share our experience and expertise with you!

We’ll take a closer look at all the pros and cons of both options and give you some recommendations to help you make your decision. So, let’s get started!




Backyard Ponds DIY vs. Contractor: Cost

The biggest advantage of installing your backyard pond yourself is the cost savings on the labour involved. You will however, still need to pay for the materials needed to put in your backyard pond such as a liner, filter and pump, various sized rocks, sand, plants, and fish. To learn more about what is involved in backyard ponds diy, check out our article entitled “How To Build A Small Backyard Pond.

Recommendations: It might be a good idea to price out the materials that you will need and then get a quote from a reputable pond company to see how much it would cost them to install your pond so that you can better judge if the cost savings on the labour is worth your time and effort.


Backyard Ponds DIY vs. Contractor: Time

There is a lot of work involved in creating your own backyard pond. Depending on the size of pond that you are planning and the complexity of they design you would like, you could spend most of your weekends during the summer to finish your project.

Recommendations: If you are busy and already have commitments on your weekends, then taking on this type of a do-it-yourself job may not be the best idea. However, if you really enjoy the doing this type of work, and you don’t mind investing the time, then backyard ponds diy may be just the thing for you.



Backyard ponds diy can take a lot of time to complete


Backyard Ponds DIY vs. Contractor: Labour

Installing your own pond is a physically demanding job. Pond design and construction is not a simple task. It requires a lot of hard work and physical labour.

For example, you will probably need to dig out an area of ground that is at least 16 inches deep and at least 20 square feet in size. You will also need to line that area with sand and stones. If you are not used to digging for a living then you may find this a much more difficult chore than you thought.

In addition, you will have a lot of heavy lifting of rocks which is physically demanding as well. Often professional pond contractors are called in to finish ponds that have been started by homeowners who have found the task to be a bit daunting.

Recommendations: If you are not a fan of all of that heavy work or if you are just not physically able to do it, then it is probably best to hire a professional contractor to do the work for you. On the other hand, if you are physically capable and you find heavy labour relaxing, then go for it.



Backyard ponds diy requires a lot of heavy, physical work


Backyard Ponds DIY vs. Contractor: Expertise

There actually is a lot of expertise required when installing a backyard pond. If you are new to ponds, then you will want to do your research before you start digging. Here are some of the things that you will need to find out about before you start:

Permits: Some municipalities will require you to get a permit to put in your pond.
Utilities: You will need to find out the location of underground wires and pipes from your utility company before you start to dig.
Location: You need to choose the best location with the right balance of sunlight and not on a low spot on your property where water collects.
Design: You need to design your pond with shallow and deeper areas appropriate for your plants and fish. If you want special water features such as a waterfall, then you will need to know how to design it properly.
Filtering System: You will need to know how to install a filtering system and have the right combination of algae and plants to keep your pond healthy.

Recommendations: If you have the expertise or if you are prepared to do your research ahead of time, then installing your pond yourself may be an appealing option. If, however, you don’t want to or if you don’t want to take the risk of making a mistake and then have to try to solve it later, then hiring a professional would be your better choice.


Image Source: Aquascape

Image Source: Aquascape

Designing a pond can be complicated. You want to make sure you know how to do it properly


Backyard Ponds DIY vs. Contractor: Tools

Backyard ponds DIY requires the proper tools to get the job done. Some of the tools that you will need include:

  • Square spade

  • Rounded shovel

  • Wheelbarrow

  • Measuring tape

  • Level

  • A straight board long enough to span the width and length of your pond

  • Rake

Recommendations: If you have the tools or if you are okay with purchasing or renting them, then this shouldn’t stop you from installing your own pond. If however, you don’t want to make this kind of investment, then a professional will have all the tools needed to complete the job for you.


Hire the Professionals from Clearwater Creations to Install Your Backyard Pond for You


If you don’t want to install your own backyard pond, then the specialists at Clearwater Creations can do it for you. Contact them today for an estimate and then sit back and enjoy your beautiful pond.

Our services include:



“Amazing work and amazing people to deal with. Highly recommend for your pond needs.”
– Cherise Kimberlee