How to Build a Backyard Pond


Add ambiance and a focal point in your outdoor space with a backyard pond

Backyard Pond

Building a customized backyard pond isn't as hard as you think. This guide will walk you through the process.

Tip: Make sure to choose an area that gets a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day, especially if you plan to include plants that require moderate to heavy sunlight. Double-check with your local pet store if you plan to add fish to your pond.


Mark location and shape of pond
Mark location shape pond - Build Backyard Pond

• Mark your chosen location with rope and create the shape you want for your pond.
• For a 200-gallon pond, the dimensions should be approximately 3 x 6-feet to a depth of 1 ½ feet.

Dig out the turf
Dig out the turf - Build Backyard Pond

• Start digging out the grass and dirt to a depth of 1 foot.
• Haul away excess dirt in a wheelbarrow, but save some for leveling.

Dig out the second tier
Dig out second tier - Build Backyard Pond

• Dig out a deeper second tier of your pond with approximate dimensions of 2 x 4-feet to a depth of approximately 6 inches.
• This second tier will create a deeper middle portion for fish and create a shelf for plants and accessories around the edges.

Install the pond liner and underlayment
Install the pond liner - Build Backyard Pond

• Clear any debris from the pond hole that could potentially puncture the liner.
• Press the liner into all gaps to ensure a proper fit.
• Leave at least a 10-inch overhang.
• Remove the liner and create the underlayment to provide additional protection for the liner. Two layers of underlayment are recommended.
• Once the underlayment is complete, reinstall the liner and construct a ledge using decorative rocks to sit inside and hide the liner overhang. The ledge should be a few inches deep.

Fill the pond
Fill the pond - Build Backyard Pond

• Begin filling the pond with clean water.
• Adjust the liner edges as needed as the pond fills.
• Stop filling at the halfway point.

Assemble the pond kit and pump
Assemble pond kit pump - Build Backyard Pond

Follow the manufacturer’s directions and begin assembling the pond kit and pump with the nozzle head of your choice.

Connect any accessories
Connect any accessories - Build Backyard Pond

In this picture, we connected a ceramic frog splitter to the diverter valve on the filter kit and pump using ½-inch tubing (tubing and splitter not included in the kit).

Position the pump
Position the pump - Build Backyard Pond

• Place the pump assembly in the middle of the pond.
• Continue filling in the pond with clean water.

Hide the liner
Hide the liner - Build Backyard Pond

• Trim down the liner edges or hide the liner by folding it under the decorative rocks.
• Landscape the pond by adding plants and mulch to disguise the liner edges.
• Add floating lily pads for a decorative final touch.