Should You Use a Pond Kit or Create a Custom-Built Pond?

Ponds are growing in popularity in Southern California, and it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since there are many benefits of backyard ponds. Imagine coming home every day, walking into your backyard and relaxing by a trickling waterfall leading to a pond filled with koi fish. It’s a great way to unwind without having to leave your home!

If you’ve been thinking about adding a pond to your property, you can either do it yourself  with a pond kit or hire a professional contractor to do the work for you. Pond kits are popular among homeowners who choose to do it themselves, but they’re also widely used by contractors as a starting point for a custom-built pond.

Pond Kits vs. Custom-Built Pond

Pond kits are pre-built and include all of the materials necessary to create a pond in your backyard. Pond kits vary from company to company, but many of the kits include items such as:

  • Skimmer
  • Filter
  • Pump
  • Hose
  • Liner
  • Underlayment
  • Fittings and Sealants
  • Maintenance treatments
  • Instructions

The idea of a backyard pond kit is to take the guesswork out of trying to gather the right materials and assemble a pond. The kits come in a variety of sizes, however some common sizes include:

  • 8’ x 11’
  • 11’ x 16’
  • 21’ x 26’

Professional Contractors utilize pond kits as well. In many cases, custom-built ponds start out by using the materials provided in a pond kit, but professionals take it one step further by bringing the aesthetics of a natural looking pond. After installing hundreds of ponds, the pros have discovered that the secret of the natural look of ponds is the creation of plant pockets and the placement of rocks and boulders in just the right way.

Large Pond Kits: Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?

Do a quick online search, and you’ll find an abundance of backyard pond kits available for purchase. For do-it-yourself homeowner, you can buy a pond kit and install it yourself with the help of the provided instructions. However, there are challenges involved, including elevation, choosing the right location, filling the pond and adding hardscape elements such as large stones which could easily weigh up to 100-150 pounds each.

Contractors have experience building ponds – both from pond kits and from scratch. They understand that building a pond is both an art and a science. Plus, a contractor can help you come up with a design that’s unique to your style and property while making sure everything is operating properly.

Here are some examples of homeowner built ponds that just don’t look quite right:

pond kits

Whereas ponds built by pros look more natural and coexist with the surrounding context:

custom built pond kits

Reasons to Consider Hiring a Professional

If you want more than just a simple backyard pond, it’s often beneficial to hire a professional. A professional pond contractor can help you choose the right water feature for your property and customize it to your exact specifications.

Here are some other reasons to consider hiring a professional:

1. They Have Experience with Design and Installation

You can install a backyard pond kit on your own, and some people have done it with very few problems. However, if something doesn’t work right or you make a mistake, you may be stuck tearing up sections, spending more money, or worse, starting over. This leads to more work (and frustration) on your end.

Professional contractors have many years of experience both designing and installing water features. They can help you determine the right location on your property, choose decorative materials, or add safety features if you have children. This experience leads to a better product for you.

2. They Can Customize a Pond for Your Property

While professionals often start out by using a pond kit, they can mix and match items to choose the best materials for your project. Plus, they’ll be able to provide you with a more customized water feature by adding in additional landscaping and hardscaping elements. This allows you to create a pond or water feature that best matches your style and is unique to your home.

3. It Takes Less Time

If you’re installing a pond without the help of a contractor, it can take several weekends to get the job done, and you’ll likely need to enlist the help of a few friends. On the other hand, a professional contractor can typically put together a pond in one day, and they may only need to come back a second day for additional landscaping work.

Getting Started With a Custom-Built Pond or Pond Kits

There are many factors to consider when adding a pond to your Southern California property including sizing, placement, material selection, pond depth, planting, landscaping, fish and more. If you want a customized and unique pond or waterfall, it’s important that you work with an experienced company.

A water feature installation company, such as California Waterscapes, can help you choose the right type of water feature for your home and guide you through the entire process from design to installation. In addition, they’ll be able to oversee all aspects of your project, answer any questions you may have and ensure you’re satisfied with the end result.

At California Waterscapes, we offer design and installation services for ponds, other water features, and pondless waterfalls. To learn more about how we can help you with your next pond project, check out our gallery and contact us today for a free quote.