Building a Backyard Pond: Is It Worth It?

There’s a lot more to backyard pond installation than simply digging a big hole and filling it with water. Backyard ponds require liners, pumps, filters and regular maintenance to keep algae and bacteria growth at bay.

If you decide to sell, it could also affect your home’s resale value. Not everyone might want their own pond, but a small backyard oasis could be the showstopper your home needs. This article will cover:

— The pros and cons of a backyard pond.

— Essential elements of a backyard pond.

— How much does it cost?

— Does a backyard pond increase or decrease the resale value of a home?

— How does maintenance work?

— DIY or hire a professional?

The Pros and Cons of a Backyard Pond


— The aesthetic.

— Relatively affordable to install.

— Energy-efficient and water-conscious.

— It gives your home a relaxing space to unwind.

— Waterfall sounds can help drown out traffic noise.

— A water garden can help provide a home to koi fish, turtles and frogs.

— A backyard pond creates a sub-climate, which cools down the nearby surrounding area and provides the perfect habitat for aquatic plants and other tropical terrestrials that need higher humidity and cooler temperatures.

— Creates negative ions, which increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin.


— Requires regular maintenance to keep it clean and fresh.

— The price to keep and maintain can add up.

— It creates a possible food source for predators.

— It creates a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

— Can be hazardous for young children.

[See: 10 Home Renovations Under $5,000.]

Essential Elements of a Backyard Pond

“The anatomy of any thriving backyard pond consists of a body of water to hold all types of aquatic life and a waterfall,” says Dominique Snyder, general manager at California Waterscapes, a custom pond installer in Los Angeles and Southern California. “Every element within the pond not only is aesthetic but plays a key role in keeping this ecosystem crystal clear.”

Natural bodies of water clean themselves by constantly moving and flowing and some may even naturally filter out pollutants. Manmade backyard ponds recirculate the same water. “By recirculating the same pond water through a skimming system and then into a biological filter, we can clean that water using beneficial bacteria and aquatic plants,” explains Snyder.

Biological filters can be sized to fit the pond. All filtration systems are completely hidden beneath rocks, which are used to hide the liner of the pond, or within the waterfalls.

“Our waterfalls provide ample filtration and oxygen to the body of water,” she adds.

How Much Does It Cost?

The overall price of your backyard pond varies depending on the liner material, pond location and the type of soil on the property.

“In 2022, a professionally installed pond starts off at about $8,500, with the average small-medium pond being around $15,000,” says Snyder. “Large-scale ponds and natural pools can be upward of $100,000.” However, she notes that a beautiful pond can be easily installed for around $10,000.

[Read: How Do Real Estate Commissions Work?]

Does a Backyard Pond Increase or Decrease the Resale Value of a Home?

If done properly, a pond adds both a visual and an auditory value to the home. While a backyard pond might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it could certainly attract the right buyer. “Your home value will increase if the pond is installed professionally and adds to the aesthetic of your outdoor space,” states Snyder.

During the height of the pandemic, Snyder and California Waterscapes saw a surge of new construction of waterfalls and ponds. “People want to spend more time home and really enjoy their outdoor space. If you regularly maintain your pond for 15 minutes a week, your pond will thrive and give a ‘vacation at home’ vibe that is hard to resist.”

How Does Maintenance Work?

Roughly 15 to 30 minutes of maintenance on your pond every one or two weeks can keep it fresh and clean, says Snyder. “This includes thinning out plants, emptying the skimmer basket of leaves and replacing a beneficial bacteria treatment refill every 30 days. Beneficial bacteria refill pouches cost around $30.”

However, you can also hire a pond technician to maintain your water garden, but this comes at a price. These prices vary depending on the size of the pond, company and location.

Because plants and bacteria begin to grow and reproduce as the weather starts to warm, some homeowners opt for an annual spring cleaning. Regular maintenance can help prevent issues, such as excessive algae and bacteria growth. This can cost between $900 and $1,000. A monthly visit costs $75 to $100.

[READ: The Best Free Interior Design Apps.]

DIY or Hire a Professional?

“Hiring a pro means doing it right the first time,” Snyder claims. “Though you can absolutely accomplish installing a successful pond DIY, you may want to at least consult a professional on design to ensure you are adding value to your home and setting the pond up for success with easy maintenance.”

Professionals can also help with all of the digging and heavy lifting, as well as any plumbing and electrical work. The pros can also advise you on the best location for your backyard pond.

Snyder recommends placing the pond nearest to the home in a place you will be able to easily come out and enjoy it. “Preferably somewhere you can also see the waterfall through a window from inside the home.”

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