There are three established methods for building a backyard pond or body of water which are:

1) Building a concrete basin
2) Building a basin with a vinyl liner
3) Using a preformed plastic pond

Concrete Basins:
Using concrete to build a backyard pond is the most expensive method as well as requiring the highest degree of skill overall to successful achieve. Concrete working requires experience, and waterproof concrete working is a vastly more complex subject that simply mixing and placing cement. For the average DIY pond builder concrete seems to be a poor choice in many respects.

Liner Basins:
Building a basin with a vinyl liner is less costly than concrete basic construction, and on par with preformed plastic basins in terms of overall project costs. The skill level required to build a pond with a liner as your primary source of waterproofing is much higher than using a preformed plastic pond as the basis of your backyard pond project, however fantastic and realistic pond and waterfall landscapes can be created using this method.

Of primary concern to building a pond with a vinyl liner is creating a supporting layer that will protect the liner from puncture or damage once the weight of the water is on top of the liner. Additionally the possibility for damage due to mice, rats, raccoons, dogs, birds and other animals as well as overhead trees and wind swept debris being thrown into the pond is a concern.

The liner itself is expensive and the installation process is somewhat difficult and labour intensive so this might be a poor choice for a water retention material if you are looking for a durable and long lasting pond solution. You could potentially install buffer layers such as foam or even a second layer or thicker liner, but the cost of doing this is somewhat prohibitive to DIY enthusiasts trying to get the most out of their landscaping budget.

Preformed Plastic Basins:
The most cost effective and DIY friendly backyard pond is a solution that uses a preformed plastic or resin shells as the basis for the pond and waterfall. By recessing the pond below grade, or by landscaping with artificial rocks you can actually build a huge pond and waterfall feature that is the central focus of your backyard for a few hundred dollars. You can even use second hand items for building materials and work your costs down much further.

The pond shell itself is easy enough to find and install, and building your own artificial rock waterfall and landscaping rocks is incredibly inexpensive since concrete and sand are the two most readily available and inexpensive construction materials on the planet. The options for the different methods of building ponds can also be noted by looking at swimming pools. As with ponds the three most common and proven methods for creating waterproof bodies of water are concrete basin, vinyl liner basin and fibreglass resin pools.

Choosing the correct DIY project to match your skill and budget is critical when deciding how to build your own pond landscape. If you are looking to build a long lasting, cost effective and easy to complete backyard waterfall then a preformed plastic pond with an artificial rock waterfall and landscape is the way to go.

Learn more about artificial rock, ponds, waterfalls and swimming pools by reading the tutorial series written by Canadian author and second generation swimming pool expert Steve Goodale. – Tutorials on artificial rocks, ponds, waterfalls and statues. – Concrete vs. Vinyl vs. Fibreglass swimming pool buying guide.

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Photo by sugarsunset

Originally posted 2015-09-22 08:56:01.