If your home comes with a nice-size backyard, you may be toying with the idea of adding a pond. Ponds are a lovely aesthetic feature that can enhance your outdoor space in a very meaningful way. But before you dive in, here are a few things you need to know.
1. You need decent sun exposure -- but not too much
You need the right setup for a backyard pond to thrive, and that means an area of your yard that gets a decent amount of sun -- ideally, somewhere in the ballpark of six hours a day. At the same time, you don't want too much sun exposure, as cooler water can help with algae control.
2. You'll want to steer clear of trees
Generally speaking, trees and backyard ponds don't mix well. If your pond is placed in an area with tree cover, there's a good chance it will fill with leaves or debris that can cause clogs and unsightly buildup. Aim to put your pond in a spot set away from any trees.
3. You don't need to hire a landscaper to create one
Though there's nothing wrong with hiring a landscaper to put in a pond for you, you don't necessarily need to go that route if you're on a budget. You can buy a DIY pond kit for several hundred dollars and create your own water feature. That said, if you're looking for a larger, more elaborate pond with exotic plantings and fish, you may want to enlist the help of a professional.
4. You'll need to maintain it
Your pond isn't something you can simply drop in and neglect. Prepare to spend some time every week cleaning out debris -- especially during the fall, when leaves can really accumulate.
5. You may need a permit
Depending on where you live, there's a good chance you'll need a permit to install a pond on your property. Contact your town's zoning or building department to find out what regulations you need to follow in the course of putting in your pond.
6. Your pond could impact your homeowners insurance
Any time you put something on your property that increases the chance of injury, you risk having your homeowners insurance premiums raised, and unfortunately, a pond is no exception. Even if your pond isn't particularly deep, it can still be considered an attractive nuisance -- something that might draw in an outsider and open you up to added liability. Be sure to contact your homeowners insurance company before putting in a pond to understand how your premiums will be impacted.
A backyard pond is a feature you may wind up very happy with. Just make sure you understand exactly what you're signing up for. At the same time, be sure to map out a budget for your pond ahead of time so you wind up spending an amount you’re comfortable with. The cost of a pond can range dramatically based on its size and features, so as is the case with any home improvement project, running some numbers beforehand is a good idea.