Who should get a pond inspection?

We often get calls from new homeowners and they all sound similar: “We recently bought a home and we don’t know how to take care of the pond we inherited.” Buying a new home is stressful and inspecting the pond before closing is not on realtors’ checklists. Because of that, realtors often neglect to have the pond inspected. But just as you would have your roof or A/C inspected, you should have your pond inspected too. We strongly suggest prospective home buyers or new homeowners schedule a $150 pond inspection. This inspection fee includes a complimentary design consultation.

Repairs and Improvements

The reality is that up until 15 years ago most ponds and water features were built by either the homeowner or a landscaping company. For the most part, these ponds have flaws on both design and construction levels. We have seen it all—from waterfalls facing the corner of the yard, through concrete & liner disasters, to liners cut too short. As a result, roughly 50% of our design & construction work involves retrofitting old ponds to build them the right way.

This is an abbreviated list of the most common FUNCTIONAL issues we see with ponds that were built incorrectly:

  • Pond starts losing water when the pump is running
  • Waterfall is down to a trickle
  • Algae is overtaking the pond in weeks
  • Fish are being eaten by predators

On the DESIGN side, the most common mistakes we see are:

  • Pond is at an area that is not visible from the main living spaces in the house, is too far from the house, or is facing the “wrong” way
  • The pond is too small for the length of the stream flowing into it (or worse, the bottom-most pond is smaller than pond(s) upstream)
  • The shape of the pond is unnatural
  • The waterfall looks like a volcano because the grading was not done properly
  • The edge treatments were poorly done, the lighting either absent or misplaced, the plumbing and cables are visible

It also true that nothing last forever (with Twinkies being a notable exception) and even properly built ponds deteriorate over the years—soil erodes or settles down, pumps die, etc. The good news is that we can remedy most functional and design flaws. It all starts with a design consultation during which we will examine the water feature in person, listen to your needs and vision for the pond, and then present you with options to consider. There is a $150 design consultation fee that is later credited to your payment if you hire us to remodel or repair your pond.