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Oldstyle244
10-16-2007, 12:24 AM
I have a small pond (2,000 gallons) and about to buy another house, this time, I was thinking 7,500 gallons and let a professional do the work. I spoke to one builder who with too many bells and whistles showed me a pond for $40,000??????? But said I could do the same size, same filtration, without all the extras and still look nice for $15,000-$20,000; am I out of my mind for considering this?

Just Jessie
10-16-2007, 12:26 AM
I think so, but we do-it-ourselves with everything.

JoesPonds.com
10-16-2007, 12:28 AM
I know other will disagree with me, but I think you'd be insane pay $20K+ for a pond. All our ponds were DIY and were extremely inexpensive to complete. The hardest part is digging the hole...everything else is relatively simple as far as labor goes. I'd recommend anyone to go the DIY route, unless of course, you have the $$$ and wanna' spend it...

Oldstyle244
10-16-2007, 12:34 AM
I dont have money to burn and I can dig a hole, but I am not a plumber and "afraid" of cutting into the liner to put in the bottom drain/etc so not to cause leaks. The pond I have now is basic, a box mostly above ground with a salvio waterfall and skimmer (I did cut in the liner for that), but no bottom drains, no mid returns, no fancy plumbing.

I guess I could get started and then ask for help with the plumbing and liner, maybe that is the cheaper route?

Just Jessie
10-16-2007, 12:36 AM
:yes:

JoesPonds.com
10-16-2007, 12:41 AM
You definitely want a bottom drain, but you don't necessary have to make a hole in the liner to accomplish this. Building a pipe boot is a cheaper solution than using bulkhead fittings when doing plumbing through a liner. Personally, I still resist making holes in a liner if at all possible. Retrofit bottom drains work just as well and are relatively easy to setup. Just my two cents...

richdeer3
10-16-2007, 01:45 AM
You can now get pond kits on layaway for spring on our site. 20 k seems high and if you do most of the work it should be much more reasonable. I would look into using a software designing program and read up on constructing a pond before you decide if you are ready to DIY. Are you a member of your local pond club? They maybe able to give you a referral or discount. Let me know what area you are in and I'll try to find your local club. Good luck and dream big, Gail

FishOCD
10-16-2007, 08:44 AM
Are you crazy to think about paying someone to build your pond? No -- and think through this well before going DIY.

Building a pond is as similar to "just digging a hole" as an appendectomy is to "just cutting a steak". The labor and plumbing knowledge needed to create a 7k gallon pond best for the size and poop output of koi while keeping your maintenance tasks manageable is tremendous.

Skill:
There are people here who have prior experience in construction or plumbing but I have utterly none so the learning curve is long. Yes very kind and generous people here will go above and beyond to help you, but you will receive twenty different opinions on each minute component of the pond build. Many will work (there is more than one way to build a pond), but some won't work at all. How will you evaluate which will work best for you if you don't know anything to begin with? And when you are in the middle of things, with PVC glue drying and the feeling of panic rising, who is going to help you that very second?

Strength:
The sheer physical demands are extensive. For something the size of yours, a backhoe is needed for excavation and the dirt has to go somewhere. Then there is pipe trenching, buying and toting PVC pipes and connectors (much more than I ever imagined), concrete collar pouring, concrete/block/screenings under base of filters (some heavy themselves). It is not a job for the weak.

Stress Level:
This pond redo that was supposed to take a month, has taken SIX months now and turned out to be one of the most stressful events of recent memory. When you hire someone to put in the pond it is DONE in short order.

Cost:
And here's the shocker: I did not find it all that less expensive to do it DIY. Since I had never built anything before (and never will again) I had to buy all the necessary tools and special tool attachments: mitre saw, sawzall, hole saw (I've lost count of all the 'new' tools I needed). PVC pipes, fittings, clamps glue adds up. (I've spent more than $3000 at Home Depot.) Backhoe, trencher, buggy cart (to remove dirt from backyard) plus the workers to operate the above: $3100. Pumps, liner, underlayment, skimmer, waterfall, 55 gallon drum, static basket, bottom drain, TPRs, knife/ball/check valves, media like K1: $4300. My unknowns now are labor charges for the landscaper wannna-be pond builder who stops out a few hours a week alone or with others (and cuts apart most of the PVC work I do b/c I've done it wrong), his team's concrete framing and concrete pour, and assisting with the huge liner placement. I'm guessing another $4000. (I haven't even bought lights yet.) Oh and b/c the pond is STILL not done I am at risk of losing many thousands of dollars in shrubs that are dug up and have been struggling to live in plastic bags around their roots all summer -- they must get replanted before frost or die. And I have no economical way of keeping my fish alive through the winter if they can;t get out of the small QT in an unheated garage and in to the pond. OOps forgot the price of the stone and rock border: another $1200.

IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW, I WOULD HAVE HIRED SOMEONE TO DO THIS BACK IN APRIL AND BEEN ENJOYING IT ALL SUMMER.

birdman
10-16-2007, 08:55 AM
There's no easy answer to this. Depends on what kind of pond you want, gunite, concrete, block, polyurea, or liner. Depends on style of pond, and your time and DIY skills.
Then there's always compermises. The last two jobs I did the owners had the hole dug, I did the piping, filtration, and liner. Then they finished all the coping , waterfall, and cosmetics.

John
10-16-2007, 11:16 AM
I am planing my Dad's pond for his new house and we are looking in the 10K to 12K range depending on the filters. That will be Block Walls coated in bonding cement, some sort of Pond Armor or Spray Liner, Top of the line easy to maintain professional filters and really nice rock work all around the 9k to 10k gallon mark.

Yen
10-16-2007, 11:17 AM
For me, I had never done anything concerning plumbing, mortar, concrete, blocks, etc. before, and I'm not strong:D: I was hesitating for a few days after I got my hole dug in the middle of my backyard. I was afraid I would not be able to do the footing, building the pond walls, etc. But then like you, I got some crazy quotes, one quote $4000 and another $8000 just to build the walls so I decided to do it myself and I'm almost finished only the cosmetics left.

I say don't worry, go for it. You will get many opinions, read them all, choose the ones that suits your situation best. It won't take you that long, one to two months the most. You'll find it to be not that hard:yes: As far as the cost is concerned, I think the avarage is about 2000 to 5000 DIY. For me it's about $3000. You will have to buy the tools, but then you got to keep them or even you can sell them back on Ebay, Craiglists, etc after you've done:D:

Yen

carrie
10-16-2007, 11:25 AM
I`m with OCD....We started off doing it ourselves. I did buy my filters from Gene, but they less expensive then the two Nexxus we thought we would need. Still I was well over 5K for filters,pumps,skimmer,UV,bottom drains,liner,air pumps and such.
I ended up hiring someone. I won`t qoute the exact price.With all the rockwork and our pergola, is was quite a bit more than we planned. I don`t regret a bit hiring someone.
So I guess I`m one of "those insane" people.:rolleyes: Because even without block walls on three sides of the pond.(we do have a collar all the way around) it was WELL over 20K.I don`t see how we could have done it for less or ever finished it ourselves for less.:no:

Yen
10-16-2007, 11:27 AM
And this is my pond, I didn't think I could do it 3 months ago:D:

217271
Yen


For me, I had never done anything concerning plumbing, mortar, concrete, blocks, etc. before, and I'm not strong:D: I was hesitating for a few days after I got my hole dug in the middle of my backyard. I was afraid I would not be able to do the footing, building the pond walls, etc. But then like you, I got some crazy quotes, one quote $4000 and another $8000 just to build the walls so I decided to do it myself and I'm almost finished only the cosmetics left.

I say don't worry, go for it. You will get many opinions, read them all, choose the ones that suits your situation best. It won't take you that long, one to two months the most. You'll find it to be not that hard:yes: As far as the cost is concerned, I think the avarage is about 2000 to 5000 DIY. For me it's about $3000. You will have to buy the tools, but then you got to keep them or even you can sell them back on Ebay, Craiglists, etc after you've done:D:

Yen

mike pfeffer
10-16-2007, 11:34 AM
I don't think $20K is unreasonable. What I would be afraid of is after spending $20K- do you have a koi pond or a water garden? Most of the builders are creating water features which they claim will support koi. But koi produce tons of waste. You better understand the concepts of waste removal and bio-filtration as a two part system. What I see constructed is trap the crap bogs and skimmers used as filters.

Oldstyle244
10-16-2007, 11:48 AM
I don't think $20K is unreasonable. What I would be afraid of is after spending $20K- do you have a koi pond or a water garden? Most of the builders are creating water features which they claim will support koi. But koi produce tons of waste. You better understand the concepts of waste removal and bio-filtration as a two part system. What I see constructed is trap the crap bogs and skimmers used as filters.

No, they are koi pond builders. In the initial plans we went over, he had suggested vortex, bead filter, UV, TPR (may have the initials wrong, but you know what I mean), two bottom drains, etc to ensure proper filtration.

FishOCD
10-16-2007, 12:06 PM
Write the check, get the pond.

Dwight
10-16-2007, 01:00 PM
Liner or concrete ? $20K is quite resonable for a concrete pond with all that filtration ( which is absolutely necessary )

vipldy
10-16-2007, 01:11 PM
We did most of the work ourselfs and we are totaly insane I guess...We spent way to much but have alot to show for it. I would have been real happy at $20,000:rolleyes:

Marie

Oldstyle244
10-16-2007, 01:25 PM
Liner or concrete ? $20K is quite resonable for a concrete pond with all that filtration ( which is absolutely necessary )

That is with a liner (digging hole, putting in a footer, blocks, etc), he may come off the price a little, but who knows, I think at $10,000-$15,000 I wouldnt even bat an eye, but when it was $15,000-$20,000; then I started thinking of all the other stuff we will need in a new house and how that other $5,000 could be put to better use, that is why I posed the question to see if I was just being cheap or if that seemed reasonable.

Yen
10-16-2007, 01:34 PM
For me, it's worth to be realistic. For anything above $10,000 I would put that toward the house, i.e. finish the basement and increase the house value at least two folds of that money.

Yen



That is with a liner (digging hole, putting in a footer, blocks, etc), he may come off the price a little, but who knows, I think at $10,000-$15,000 I wouldnt even bat an eye, but when it was $15,000-$20,000; then I started thinking of all the other stuff we will need in a new house and how that other $5,000 could be put to better use, that is why I posed the question to see if I was just being cheap or if that seemed reasonable.

RBE17
10-16-2007, 01:37 PM
When was the last time you moved? I ask this because DW and I bought our first house in 2000. We sold in 2005 to buy a new home. I forgot how much work we did in that last house to make it so nice. All the landscaping, painting, bathroom remodel, light fixtures, dimmers, window treatments... All that stuff adds up real fast in dollars and time. I think that you need to ask yourself what is the priority. Having the pond, having the time or having the money?

I personally would have a difficult time spending that type of money for a pond, but I like to DIY everything. I get great pride out of saying, "Yeah, I built that" and sometimes it clouds my judgement. I also recognize the time committment it takes to build a pond of that size. Now w/ a toddler I can't dedicate the weekends and five nights per week build something of that magnitude.

Good luck w/ your decision.



Steve.

Oldstyle244
10-16-2007, 01:41 PM
When was the last time you moved? I ask this because DW and I bought our first house in 2000. We sold in 2005 to buy a new home. I forgot how much work we did in that last house to make it so nice. All the landscaping, painting, bathroom remodel, light fixtures, dimmers, window treatments... All that stuff adds up real fast in dollars and time. I think that you need to ask yourself what is the priority. Having the pond, having the time or having the money?

I personally would have a difficult time spending that type of money for a pond, but I like to DIY everything. I get great pride out of saying, "Yeah, I built that" and sometimes it clouds my judgement. I also recognize the time committment it takes to build a pond of that size. Now w/ a toddler I can't dedicate the weekends and five nights per week build something of that magnitude.

Good luck w/ your decision.



Steve.

I hear you. I havent moved in 5 years, but this home in theory is big enough we shouldnt have to move again for a long while (knock on wood) and I also have a 3 month old, so any spare time is usually trying to hang out with her and watch her grow and develop; so spending every free moment on a project, like I used to love doing is going to be out of the question

davecais
10-16-2007, 01:42 PM
My pond is going to be around $8K and I figure by the time I'm done it will have cost me about $10,000 for stuff. I haven't had to buy any tools really, just a cement mixer, a couple of hole saws and and maybe a thing-a-majig here and there and consumables like reciprocating saw blades, grinding disks, etc. Materials alone to build the frame for my collar cost me $200 and all that got ripped out and mostly thrown away.

I figure If I had to pay someone to do it for me it easily would have been $30K. I did get quotes from some people for parts of the work but ended up doing it all myself as they just wanted too much money. For example I had to build a retaining wall and quotes for this were around $2500. I did it for about $500, it took me 3 weeks vs 1 day but I needed the other $2000 to buy pumps, pipe fittings, valves, etc. I got lucky and got a bunch of 3" Hayward full union ball valves for $47 ea, but normally these things cost $80 to $90 each. So $40K for 7500 gallons, you are probably not getting ripped off, but $15K may leave you wanting more, depends on what corners they are cutting.

Oldstyle244
10-16-2007, 02:27 PM
Main differences were cosmetic, I would have a ground level pond with boulder edges, as the $40K one was 2 feet above the ground with flagstone all around it, it had an enormous waterfall, whereas I would have a normal sized waterfall. They was some sort of a setup where the system backwashed into a tank and it was pressurized so that you could hook a hose to it and water your lawn once that tank started to fill up (wouldnt have that on mine), it had a couple kill switches on the front of the pond that would cut off the air lines on the bottom drains so that you could walk up to the pond and switch off the air if you wanted still water to look in, a lot of bells and whistles that would be nice to have, but really dont need and can cut corners on

vipldy
10-16-2007, 02:33 PM
A slight view of the new pond:bow:

Marie

Yen
10-16-2007, 02:45 PM
Very beautilful, Marie. I wish I had a filter pit like yours. My back still aches after working in my filter area the hole day Sunday:no:

Didn't your local building department say anything about the elec. outlet mounted on the pond wall? My township wanted it to be 5 feet away from the pond:no:

Yen

vipldy
10-16-2007, 02:48 PM
Very beautilful, Marie. I wish I had a filter pit like yours. My back still aches after working in my filter area the hole day Sunday:no:

Didn't your local building department say anything about the elec. outlet mounted on the pond wall? My township wanted it to be 5 feet away from the pond:no:

Yen

They don't know:rolleyes: But we did have an electrian look and see Jerrys work:yes: We are within code:yes:

Marie

Nightstorm
10-16-2007, 03:02 PM
We did most of the work ourselfs and we are totaly insane I guess...We spent way to much but have alot to show for it. I would have been real happy at $20,000:rolleyes:

Marie

Wait, Marie, are you saying you would have gladly paid $20,000 if someone else would have done it all for you? Or are you saying it cost you more than that even though you did all the work? :confused:

gOOse
10-16-2007, 03:06 PM
If you have to ask your not ready for the answer. When your ready money will not matter. :rolleyes:

gOOse..

Yen
10-16-2007, 03:16 PM
Ah, I see. Our township's electrical code must be different from yours, it says 5 feet from the pond.

I didn't even understand why I needed a permit for a pond:no:

Yen


They don't know:rolleyes: But we did have an electrian look and see Jerrys work:yes: We are within code:yes:

Marie

birdman
10-16-2007, 03:22 PM
Look at my 6700 gal indoor pond. I did every once of work my self, except for the excavator, and I scounged every piece and part for free or discounted. So far I have $9,121 in my pond and probably another $2,000 to go. I doubt if it's humanly possible to do a pond like this type for less. So $20,000 would probably be cheap, and $30,000 might not be out of line depending on type of construction and filtration.

wputnam
10-16-2007, 03:56 PM
Our average customer spends from 3700 to 8000 for basic components....
Bead Filter 1800
Pump 600
UV 700
Skimmer 200
Bottom Drns 160
Liner 1040
S&H (Varies up to 500)

Total 5000.00

The above would be basic and doesn't get into aeration bottom drains, Jets, returns, valves, other more expensive or additional filters... Or guniting, coatings, etc..

So it sounds like 20K is reasonable if you be sure to get a detailed list of equipment or YOU GIVE HIM the EQUIPMENT DETAILS...

You could run the list past everyone here for ideas or input...

Oldstyle244
10-16-2007, 04:09 PM
Our average customer spends from 3700 to 8000 for basic components....
Bead Filter 1800
Pump 600
UV 700
Skimmer 200
Bottom Drns 160
Liner 1040
S&H (Varies up to 500)

Total 5000.00

The above would be basic and doesn't get into aeration bottom drains, Jets, returns, valves, other more expensive or additional filters... Or guniting, coatings, etc..

So it sounds like 20K is reasonable if you be sure to get a detailed list of equipment or YOU GIVE HIM the EQUIPMENT DETAILS...

You could run the list past everyone here for ideas or input...

That is a good idea, I will probably go back this weekend and then I can get a list detailed list of equipment and run it by everyone to see if they think he is cutting corners on the filtration or lines. Cosmetics I can skimp on and maybe dress up later, but I dont want to cut corners on the plumbing or equipment, that would be a nightmare

moikoi
10-16-2007, 09:47 PM
$30K is an ex price for a 10,000 gal gunite pond with filter.

dweav44
10-16-2007, 10:13 PM
I might be wrong, but I don't think anyone has mentioned this company's experience in building ponds - and KOI ponds to be exact. Ask them how many KOI PONDS they have built - ask to see pictures - ask to go view the ponds - ask for the prices for the ponds that you get to see so you can know EXACTLY what you are paying for. So many contractors will sell you on the best, but when they get your go ahead it's "let's see how much we can make off this". You need to be comfortable with the contractor before signing the doted line.

HAVE EVERYTHING IN WRITING! To save yourself if need be.

RBE17
10-17-2007, 07:51 AM
...I didn't even understand why I needed a permit for a pond:no:

Yen

Because they can charge you for the permit and now they can raise your taxes since you've increased the value of your property. That's pretty neat how they do that, huh?

Yen
10-17-2007, 09:14 AM
Because they can charge you for the permit and now they can raise your taxes since you've increased the value of your property. That's pretty neat how they do that, huh?

I know, there's an old saying in Vietnamese, "The thieves rob you at night, but the officials rob you in daylight!", that has been the truth since day 1 in human history, what can you do:D:

I'd rather deal with them before than having them come later and tell me to scrap my project!

They came this morning and approved it:cool:

Yen

CBRS2K
10-17-2007, 12:00 PM
$30K is an ex price for a 10,000 gal gunite pond with filter.

I was thinking that $30K for a 10K gallon pond sounded a little steep. :eek1:

That was before I got my initial quote for the 10K pond that I am looking to build. First quote is coming in at just over $50K. I'll be looking at other bids as well, but right now $30K is sounding more and more reasonable. :Groaner:

wputnam
10-17-2007, 01:07 PM
Another idea for your equipment.... You could purchase your own equipment....
I have had customers do this, then the bid is for building and installing with no mark up on the equipment and you get what you want...

Small catch: This can lead to the contractor later saying "I can't be responsible for your equipment not operating right since you purchased it"

Shouldn't be a reason though to not buy your own equipment... Your research and knowledge of equipment could be far better then his since he may sell products that he can get from only one supplier which may limit him...

Dwight
10-17-2007, 01:42 PM
From post 15 it sounds as if the builder actually knows his stuff. When they start talking vortex and TPRs , thats a GOOD sign. The price still sounds good even with a liner. Make sure the liner is a heavy duty type and not a cheep box store type. You might ask him/her/it about the equipment and see if there is a mark-up there as the dealers on Koiphen almost all offer discounts that could save you a grand or two. With a baby in the house , don't even think about doing it wourself ! You'll miss toooo much.

BTW , where in Texas are you ?

mike pfeffer
10-17-2007, 02:27 PM
Have the builder break out the price for the equipment, specifically, the bead filter(s). How many cu ft of bead filtration? I'm not a fan of bead filters so you may be able to save money with a moving bead with kaldnes media. I have a 2 cu ft bead filter(off line) in my garage. No one has offered to buy it. It's been sitting there for two years.

farne230
10-17-2007, 02:36 PM
Great advise, take your time. Figure out exactly what you want before entering into a contract. Do not leave it up to the contractor, it is not fair for them or you.

Decide where, size, depth, the greater the surface area the more pleasure you will have, also decide if you want a koi pond or garden pond (how much do you want to spend on koi).

Once you know the size then begin figuring what combination of filter types, do not stick to just one type for best results. The internet will give you lots to consider. Note: Decide if your filtration can be gravity or presure filtration.

Decide if you can budget for drop liner, concrete block, gunite structure for your pond (each has its advantages and cost).

Consider cover for your pond if you want a low maintenance pond, less algae and clear water.

Note: Purchase as much filtration as you can afford. If the water is not idea all the efforts placed on fish, size and all else will not matter much if you wish later it is too much trouble.

Most Pool Contractors have no idea what plumbing goes into a koi pond, talk to your local club members.

Rule of thumb, one bottom drain per 5,000 gallons, turn over rate for koi 1 per hour, one or more skimmers, run separate filter lines if possible (i.e. one skimmer line, one biological filter line to bottom drain, ect...).

Read the construction forums as you are, read through a set of USA koi, and other books on the market.

Lighting I would use outside lighting rather then under water if this is a koi pond.

This will get you started.
Bob

PS in my area, gunite, rebar, engineering runs a total of 7,000 plus for a 8,000 gallon pond. Polyurea liner extra 2,000 or 3,000. I would figure 1/3 of total cost for filtration, at least and depth at least 5 foot for koi.

Oldstyle244
10-17-2007, 04:07 PM
From post 15 it sounds as if the builder actually knows his stuff. When they start talking vortex and TPRs , thats a GOOD sign. The price still sounds good even with a liner. Make sure the liner is a heavy duty type and not a cheep box store type. You might ask him/her/it about the equipment and see if there is a mark-up there as the dealers on Koiphen almost all offer discounts that could save you a grand or two. With a baby in the house , don't even think about doing it wourself ! You'll miss toooo much.

BTW , where in Texas are you ?

New house will be in North Richlandhills area

JMorris271
10-17-2007, 05:18 PM
Bet theirs is too.

davecais
10-17-2007, 07:37 PM
With a baby in the house , don't even think about doing it wourself ! You'll miss toooo much.

I started my pond when our new baby was one, there was no way I could have done anything when she was younger. She is now 2 and I'm still working on it, an hour or two here and there, the little one loves working on the pond with me. It slows me down a lot and she probably costs me $10 a day in lost tools and materials, sometimes I find where she puts 'em sometimes I don't. She had quite a collection of acorns in a skimmer once. But as Dwight says, you risk missing quite a bit with a new one and if you do it when they get older be prepared to take a loooong time to get it done.

I should finish next spring/summer just in time for her to really enjoy it. Or at least this was my original plan. I should be able to get it done by then.

hemle
10-18-2007, 12:00 AM
if you were to do it urself, it would cost around 5g

boggen
10-18-2007, 12:25 AM
what ever way ya go, DIY, or paid, or combination in between.

will still strongly encourge you to read through DIY stuff and ask questions etc... many times varying issues are raised, that would most likely not be raised.

otherwords do your research become a informed buyer / builder / owner.

and if anything. treat the pond as complete DIY. and come up with a plan, figure out filters, etc... and when you think you got a good plan and confident with plan. then make choice of go ahead and DIY, or paying someone.

making choice now, were you are still in the dark about many things. can leave ya open for some brusing.

moikoi
10-18-2007, 12:26 AM
Bob

PS in my area, gunite, rebar, engineering runs a total of 7,000 plus for a 8,000 gallon pond. Polyurea liner extra 2,000 or 3,000. I would figure 1/3 of total cost for filtration, at least and depth at least 5 foot for koi.

Bob
$10,000 for a 8k gal pond with polyurea spray? i want to move to Texas :yes:

davecais
10-18-2007, 12:46 AM
what ever way ya go, DIY, or paid, or combination in between.

will still strongly encourge you to read through DIY stuff and ask questions etc... many times varying issues are raised, that would most likely not be raised.

otherwords do your research become a informed buyer / builder / owner.

and if anything. treat the pond as complete DIY. and come up with a plan, figure out filters, etc... and when you think you got a good plan and confident with plan. then make choice of go ahead and DIY, or paying someone.

making choice now, were you are still in the dark about many things. can leave ya open for some brusing.

:yes: Ryan is very correct, do your own design then decide, even if you pay someone later you will know a lot more about your system so when something goes wrong you will be better prepared on how to deal with it.

boggen
10-18-2007, 01:46 AM
just thinking about it. there is a very old thread floating around here some place.

were it came down to, like 2.5 bucks per gallon of pond water for DIY.
and 5 to 10 and on up bucks per gallon of pond water for paying someone.

granted the above figures are very generalized. for there has been ponds build for only a fraction of total gallons. due to owner haveing extra stuff laying around from previous doings or something. and there has been pond builds that have cost $,$$$,$$$ for size of pond water.

and because everyone pond is different. there is no sure way of comparing. based on price alone. again due your research and learn your stuff. so that you can make an educated judement. and not some uuuuhhh, ya sure, i think judgement.

farne230
10-18-2007, 07:54 AM
MoiKoi: I agree 10,000 for all that, no the gunite was about 6,000 to 7,000 from what they told me and I assumed the polyurea was an extra 3,000.

The total cost turn-key was about $40,000 for 8,300 gallons (three DIY bakki towers, 200 kg bh media, 9.0 bead filter, largest uv light of Gctech, roof and outside drains, four tpr's, two bottom drains, one aerated, 80-liter air pump,1 skimmer, three Artesian 1/2 hp A75 pumps, two vortex prefilters, of course plumbing, rock work, water fall, engineering plans and permits) crystal clear water. Estimated electric cost, between 29 and 65 kwh per day (very rough estimate looking at electric bills). You can view the full construction in this forum under SA koi pond; http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40101.
Bob

fishwhiz
06-25-2010, 08:03 PM
This is one of the most thorough discussions of koi / ornametal fish pond costs that I have found. Most people have no clue how involved things can get once you get past the watergarden stage and want something beyond a handful of goldfish. The ~ 30 - 60 Kwh/day power consumption figure was very eye opening! In most places that is going to range maybe $ 60 - 120 per month in expense.

It's too bad that hindsight is so clear for Do-it-yourselfers. I swear after reading too many internet postings, someone is going to attempt do-it-yourself cardiac surgery one day. I have seen so many do-it-yourself pond-bomb-craters online that it's almost enough to turn the average person off!

Thanks again for the discussion!

boggen
06-25-2010, 09:24 PM
the shell of a pond is just like an inground pool shell.

liner materials are for most part about the same for pools / ponds.

inlets / outlets on pools and ponds, are slightly different, pools can go with a little cheaper drain setups, skimmers are for most part the same.

filteration is different!

pools companies tend to use smaller size pipe, and bigger size pumps vs ponds.

MaBird
06-25-2010, 09:30 PM
One word of advice, never let a pool contractor think he can build a Koi Pond. Pa Bird has just rescued a Koi pond built by a pool contractor, I'm not very savvy when it comes to pond building, but even I could see the pond was a total and utter disaster.

jeff reiter
06-25-2010, 10:47 PM
if you build it yourself AND you know how to work with concrete block AND you know how to connect pipe AND you are willing to dig it yourself, etc... you can build one (without considering the landscaping and plants involved) for $2800 to $4500. the biggest costs will be the liner, filter media, air pumps, water pump, skimmer and bottom drains (unless you buy a pressure filter system and up the cost). there are a lot of great people on this website who can guide you and even review your plans, but the second big investment is your personal time. it could take you months to see a result. then again the result is incredibly rewarding, and these great folks will cheer you on.

Otter
06-26-2010, 03:17 AM
One word of advice, never let a pool contractor think he can build a Koi Pond. Pa Bird has just rescued a Koi pond built by a pool contractor, I'm not very savvy when it comes to pond building, but even I could see the pond was a total and utter disaster.
:yes: That's good advice. The same goes in spades for landscapers and Aquascape contractors (even if, or perhaps especially if, they are certified by Aquascape). Anybody who hasn't kept large koi in pond himself for several years is unlikely to understand what's needed and what can go wrong.

boggen
06-26-2010, 06:57 AM
if you build it yourself AND you know how to work with concrete block AND you know how to connect pipe AND you are willing to dig it yourself, etc... you can build one (without considering the landscaping and plants involved) for $2800 to $4500. the biggest costs will be the liner, filter media, air pumps, water pump, skimmer and bottom drains (unless you buy a pressure filter system and up the cost). there are a lot of great people on this website who can guide you and even review your plans, but the second big investment is your personal time. it could take you months to see a result. then again the result is incredibly rewarding, and these great folks will cheer you on.

plumbing more so valves is what catch folks off guard. fittings, valves, pipe it all quickly adds up. and quickly over budget.


:yes: That's good advice. The same goes in spades for landscapers and Aquascape contractors (even if, or perhaps especially if, they are certified by Aquascape). Anybody who hasn't kept large koi in pond himself for several years is unlikely to understand what's needed and what can go wrong.

plumbers, landscapers, pool builders, aquascape contractors, watergarden places, you need to watch out for. they don't understand filteration nor setting up a koi pond in many situations. and what folks normally end up getting is a watergarden and not a koi pond. or running very expensive pumps and nightmare filtration setups.

WGC
06-26-2010, 08:13 PM
I've found most DIYers don't keep a precise record of costs but have a general figure in mind. I kept a precise record of money spent on my last DIY pond and it came in around double of what I expected. As boggen says it quickly adds up.

Pond,James_Pond
06-28-2010, 01:10 PM
if you build it yourself AND you know how to work with concrete block AND you know how to connect pipe AND you are willing to dig it yourself, etc... you can build one (without considering the landscaping and plants involved) for $2800 to $4500. the biggest costs will be the liner, filter media, air pumps, water pump, skimmer and bottom drains (unless you buy a pressure filter system and up the cost). there are a lot of great people on this website who can guide you and even review your plans, but the second big investment is your personal time. it could take you months to see a result. then again the result is incredibly rewarding, and these great folks will cheer you on.

Yup. This has been my experience too. Pond came in at about $4500, not including the deck. I've never actually plumbed with PVC, but I've built and assembled many projects with various glues and epoxies so it was easy to learn. I have worked with concrete before so that wasn't stressful.

These forums are the absolute best learning ground for us DIY'ers. Pictures, advice, phone calls, etc... If DIY isn't your fortay, then your next bet is to hire a super-duper handyman like Birdman and have him mentor during the planning stage, then guide the build and finish the plumbing.

If turnkey is your desire, then hire a pro, one of the Kent Wallace's here.

steve

Aussies5
06-28-2010, 02:44 PM
Write the check, get the pond.

I totally agree. That is what I did and I am so happy with my pond. It was done in a month by a professional KOI POND builder. That said, being a woman, I could not have DIY, but if I could have, I would have still written the check. I see too many DIY ponds on KP that go on forever and I always wonder when do you get to enjoy the pond.

Marie, your pond is beautiful and I have told you that many times but I remember during the build you posting pictures of Jerry working on the pond in the rain, with a tarp cover, working by lights at night, etc. You were very lucky that you have a great husband who built you the pond you wanted and the finish work he did was great. Would you rather have written the check and spent the time doing other things with Jerry, then having him out there working on the pond.

vipldy
06-28-2010, 10:49 PM
I totally agree. That is what I did and I am so happy with my pond. It was done in a month by a professional KOI POND builder. That said, being a woman, I could not have DIY, but if I could have, I would have still written the check. I see too many DIY ponds on KP that go on forever and I always wonder when do you get to enjoy the pond.

Marie, your pond is beautiful and I have told you that many times but I remember during the build you posting pictures of Jerry working on the pond in the rain, with a tarp cover, working by lights at night, etc. You were very lucky that you have a great husband who built you the pond you wanted and the finish work he did was great. Would you rather have written the check and spent the time doing other things with Jerry, then having him out there working on the pond.

Thank you for the kind words..It was a lot of work,time and $$ but in the end the pride we have for what we(Jerry) built is priceless.. If $$ were no issue then hire someone but make sure they know what they are doing..Here in Milwaukee I can't think of a Co. that has built a pond like ours..Just not the demand here for what we have..

Jerry did a wonderful job and has told me "Never Again":D:

The results..

http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39637&highlight=jadigger&page=94

KoiValley
06-29-2010, 09:35 AM
Interesting thread! I I tore out my water garden pond three years ago and began building a new koi pond. I finished it last July. I contracted the tear out and the digging as it had to be hand dug. My vision of the pond was to use the same footprint but to go from 2000 gallons to 6000 gallons. I directed the dig as well as participating in the dig myself.

I hired an experienced concrete worker to pour the footings as I directed and hired two experienced concrete block layers to set the block and all the rerod. I mixed the concrete. I set the skimmers and bottom drains. I cut and set the rerod. I moved pallets of brick and morter by hand. Once the walls were in place, I insulated them with sheets of pink foam. Then with the help of several friends set the liner in place and began the slow filling and folding of the rubber. I had set both bottom drains while the walls were going up, and finished them just before starting to fill and fold.

My original filtration system was dismantled and I began a new better filtration system.....only to change it several times as I went. I went DIY for the most part and then added an oversized UV9Zappure) and a foam fractionator(Clarity).

The cost for all this was well over 10K. And that was doing much of the work myself. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!

Ethan25
06-29-2010, 09:41 AM
Interesting thread! I I tore out my water garden pond three years ago and began building a new koi pond. I finished it last July. I contracted the tear out and the digging as it had to be hand dug. My vision of the pond was to use the same footprint but to go from 2000 gallons to 6000 gallons. I directed the dig as well as participating in the dig myself.

I hired an experienced concrete worker to pour the footings as I directed and hired two experienced concrete block layers to set the block and all the rerod. I mixed the concrete. I set the skimmers and bottom drains. I cut and set the rerod. I moved pallets of brick and morter by hand. Once the walls were in place, I insulated them with sheets of pink foam. Then with the help of several friends set the liner in place and began the slow filling and folding of the rubber. I had set both bottom drains while the walls were going up, and finished them just before starting to fill and fold.

My original filtration system was dismantled and I began a new better filtration system.....only to change it several times as I went. I went DIY for the most part and then added an oversized UV9Zappure) and a foam fractionator(Clarity).

The cost for all this was well over 10K. And that was doing much of the work myself. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!


interesting...

:wink:

I figure on the next pond, which will be in the neighborhood of 8-9000 gallons, I will be in the $5500 neighborhood. I will be making use of pumps from my old pond and media, but most will be new.

koiman1950
06-29-2010, 09:26 PM
This is a very interesting thread. There's lots of "free" advice here so I guess I'll throw my two cents worth in the pot as well.

I am a licensed (landscape) contractor as that is what the State of California requires me to be to build koi ponds. That is ALL we do. As far as costs, well, a couple of you are in the ballpark, and the rest of you, well, I guess "maybe" it matters where you live and the labor rates in those locations. But, here in California, the TOTAL cost for a gunite pond with Xypex sealer coat, permits, engineering fees (if necessary) plumbing and all filtration 9based on customer's fish loading plans) will run around $10/gal. For a liner, it's about $7-8/gal.

So, if you provide us with some details about the overall size (length/width/depth) of the pond, and some particulars about the pumps/filters this contractor plans on providing, I would be more than glad to check them out and see how his price compares to his promises. He sounds okay from what you've said so far, but I've heard a lot of people talk about bottom drains, vortexes and the like. Doesn't mean they know exactly what each one does and how they interact with each other.

Mike

PrettyBoy
06-29-2010, 09:36 PM
This is a very interesting thread. There's lots of "free" advice here so I guess I'll throw my two cents worth in the pot as well.

I am a licensed (landscape) contractor as that is what the State of California requires me to be to build koi ponds. That is ALL we do. As far as costs, well, a couple of you are in the ballpark, and the rest of you, well, I guess "maybe" it matters where you live and the labor rates in those locations. But, here in California, the TOTAL cost for a gunite pond with Xypex sealer coat, permits, engineering fees (if necessary) plumbing and all filtration 9based on customer's fish loading plans) will run around $10/gal. For a liner, it's about $7-8/gal.

So, if you provide us with some details about the overall size (length/width/depth) of the pond, and some particulars about the pumps/filters this contractor plans on providing, I would be more than glad to check them out and see how his price compares to his promises. He sounds okay from what you've said so far, but I've heard a lot of people talk about bottom drains, vortexes and the like. Doesn't mean they know exactly what each one does and how they interact with each other.

Mike

+1

The ponds we do are in that same range just a few bux more. Majority of the ponds I have done in NJ are $8-10 for liner and $12+ for concrete ponds. Obviously a lot has to do with what kind of filters are going in and what kind of sealer. As mike said so far your guys sounds like he has somewhat of a clue. Though bottom drains, vortexs and such are becoming more common I hear those words being thrown around a lot of trade shows now, but I am still not seeing many contractors building state of the art koi ponds. Very little people outside of the koi kichi know about nexus units and sieves.

rfiller10
06-29-2010, 10:02 PM
I finished my 6000 gallon pond for barely under 2k. It's liner, about 2/3 inground 1/3 above. It has two skimmers, two bottom drains, some pretty huge DIY filtration. Water is moved with airlifts powered by Medo pumps.

It's not the prettiest thing in the world, but it's certainly not ugly.

I could understand a pond costing 20k+ easily though if it was all highly professional. Gunite, polyurea, bead filters, etc. ain't cheap.

prestongohlke
06-29-2010, 10:45 PM
Mine is around 5000g +- ..... Total spend on stone and all, the stone being more than i would have thought, is probably about 3-4K

vipertom1970
06-30-2010, 12:45 AM
here is the actual cost on my current 12,000 gallon pond in So California.
12'x23'x6.5'
engineering $400
permit $900
gunite, rebar, shotcrete $9,000
2 filters, Uv,2 ceitus
2 skimmers, 1 wf weir
12+valves, 2BD, 1 air pump $12,000
pipe & fittings(material only) $3,000
plumbing labor $4,000
2 LED lights $400
Jandy control & electrical $4,500
skim coat $2,500
precast & stone veneer $4,000
Polyurea I am guessing around $8,000 I will be getting 2 quotes soon
total $48,700 or $4/gal

vipertom1970
06-30-2010, 12:57 AM
This is a very interesting thread. There's lots of "free" advice here so I guess I'll throw my two cents worth in the pot as well.

I am a licensed (landscape) contractor as that is what the State of California requires me to be to build koi ponds. That is ALL we do. As far as costs, well, a couple of you are in the ballpark, and the rest of you, well, I guess "maybe" it matters where you live and the labor rates in those locations. But, here in California, the TOTAL cost for a gunite pond with Xypex sealer coat, permits, engineering fees (if necessary) plumbing and all filtration 9based on customer's fish loading plans) will run around $10/gal. For a liner, it's about $7-8/gal.

So, if you provide us with some details about the overall size (length/width/depth) of the pond, and some particulars about the pumps/filters this contractor plans on providing, I would be more than glad to check them out and see how his price compares to his promises. He sounds okay from what you've said so far, but I've heard a lot of people talk about bottom drains, vortexes and the like. Doesn't mean they know exactly what each one does and how they interact with each other.

Mike

Mike, I will end up with a high end pond with the Jandy control and Poly for less then $4/gal but I subcontract out everything my self. Let say you put 30% markup including your insurance, fees and workercomp..that would put you at $5.2/ gal............how the hell do you end up with $10/gal.

at your cost at $10/gallon my 12,000 would be around $120,000.......that's just seems way too high.

koiman1950
06-30-2010, 01:38 PM
Mike, I will end up with a high end pond with the Jandy control and Poly for less then $4/gal but I subcontract out everything my self. Let say you put 30% markup including your insurance, fees and workercomp..that would put you at $5.2/ gal............how the hell do you end up with $10/gal.

at your cost at $10/gallon my 12,000 would be around $120,000.......that's just seems way too high.

Well, I see your engineering and permit costs were well below the current job we're doing. Also, you really don't have a waterfall/stream coursing down a hillside included either. And, you've done quite a bit of the work yourself. So, your situation is not entirely done "turnkey" by professionals. You "parted out" some of the work only! You also got a very good price for your job. That's not the normal going rate for a pond that size. Evidently Calif. and New Jersey prices are fairly close, but other areas can vary quite a bit, that's why it's hard to compare. Hell, I wish my HMO costs/month were the same as they are where you live too! You folks pay about 25% of what I pay here for the same coverage from the same HMO. So, maybe there's something to your costs comparison for your pond as well!?

Mike

Pond,James_Pond
06-30-2010, 01:59 PM
Well, I see your engineering and permit costs were well below the current job we're doing. Also, you really don't have a waterfall/stream coursing down a hillside included either. And, you've done quite a bit of the work yourself. So, your situation is not entirely done "turnkey" by professionals. You "parted out" some of the work only! You also got a very good price for your job. That's not the normal going rate for a pond that size. Evidently Calif. and New Jersey prices are fairly close, but other areas can vary quite a bit, that's why it's hard to compare. Hell, I wish my HMO costs/month were the same as they are where you live too! You folks pay about 25% of what I pay here for the same coverage from the same HMO. So, maybe there's something to your costs comparison for your pond as well!?

Mike


Also, isn't there sort of a sliding scale when pricing these type of projects? Some of the costs are going to be the same whether it's a 500 gallon or 5000 gallon pond. Permit, architect, etc... Then some prices are calculated on square feet. But others there is an initial fee, say a truck trip and fuel costs, not matter how much dirt or concrete it's carrying.

So it's probably more accurate to say a pond of 3000-5000 would be $10 per gallon, but it's less than that for a 10,000 gallon pond.

WAC
06-30-2010, 03:29 PM
In addition to the numerous facets that's already been mentioned, the waterproofing, the guts, etc.,

there's always the artwork of rock placement (primarily if we're talking waterfall & stream) that takes time & experience that's not just general labor.

I've seen some "professional" installs that looks like a dump truck dumped a pile rounded boulders into a volcanic heap whereas I've seen some "professionals" place boulders as if it had been done by mother nature herself. Both may have been a 3' or 4' waterfall, but one I would of PAID to remove it out of the homeowners yard. :)

There's the price of experience in not just aesthetics but having it done right the 1st time might/will decrease labor time & costs as well.

avorancher
06-30-2010, 03:55 PM
Just too many variables to compare pond to pond costs. Two cars may be about the same size and carry the same number of people effectively, but can cost considerably different depending on their components, design and quality.

One would have to have detailed plans and expectations spelled out, then get estimates from several builders. Even after getting bids, you need to look at previous jobs to see if the quality and "vision" of the builder is suitable for your project. And of course, will that builder come back and take care of any problems after he has his check.

I just hate to see builders, dealers, or breeders begin the "race to the bottom" like is happening in so many businesses nowadays. Everyone wants a bargain, but the focus should be on value. Like WAC in the post above, I've seen professional ponds that I would have to fill in and start over.

mtsklar
07-22-2010, 09:50 AM
WAC makes a very good point here. I know a pond owner that brought in an excavator that doesn't dig ponds regularly. The excavator gave the customer a bid. During the work the excavator made a some mistakes, and had to re-dig some dirt. He later added the extra time into the final bill as "change orders" and hid some additional costs in line items like "bobcat maintains elevations". The home owner refused the extra charges and the excavator sued the homeowner. Adding $4000 in legal fees to the home owner's expense.

The additional piece to this was the excavator was caught on site talking on his cell phone to someone about "how much koi cost, what! really" and "how many koi can you put in a 10,000 gallon pond?" followed by "this dig is going to cost twice as much, look at this place, they can afford it". (But this is just hear say and not admissible in court.)

Moral of the story: Hire people that make a living building ponds. Get references. They know how much things should cost. They have a passion for making beautiful ponds the way you want it. Building ponds requires an understanding of construction, water dynamics, filtration, fish health, and aesthetics.

Otherwise a pond will cost you :materials, time, and legal fees! If you end up in court, the delays can be 2 years to get the project finished.

If you DIY, you can't sue yourself, the judge will throw the case out. ;-)

Matt


In addition to the numerous facets that's already been mentioned, the waterproofing, the guts, etc.,

there's always the artwork of rock placement (primarily if we're talking waterfall & stream) that takes time & experience that's not just general labor.

I've seen some "professional" installs that looks like a dump truck dumped a pile rounded boulders into a volcanic heap whereas I've seen some "professionals" place boulders as if it had been done by mother nature herself. Both may have been a 3' or 4' waterfall, but one I would of PAID to remove it out of the homeowners yard. :)

There's the price of experience in not just aesthetics but having it done right the 1st time might/will decrease labor time & costs as well.

GloriaL
07-22-2010, 11:54 AM
Conservative estimate $2/gallon!

vipertom1970
07-22-2010, 05:58 PM
with poly and gunite I am at $3.1/ gallon and equipment $1/gallon

GloriaL
07-22-2010, 06:47 PM
Yea, I am a liner kinda girl!

cori93437
07-22-2010, 08:14 PM
By going 100% DIY I'm at well under $1 per gallon at this point.... heck, I'm not even at 50cents/gal.... and hoping to keep it that way since I have the vast majority of the pond components bought. :cool3:

Of course if I add in the costs all of the new decking that will be done surrounding the pond it'll probably go up. But, If I keep it to <$1 per gal total for pond decking and landscape stuff I'll be a happy camper. :D:

It's a challenge, but I relish solving the problems to meet a budget. Also... my DH doesn't particularly like the whole pond thing so my spending can't hit the radar too hard. :rolleyes:

rainblood
07-23-2010, 01:28 PM
http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showthread.php?67210-How-much-does-a-pond-build-cost&p=1108917#post1108917

This looks amazingly like Stacey's pond...or Stacey's pond looks amazingly like this one :scratch:

montwila
07-26-2010, 02:28 AM
My 3800 gallon last year was a total DIY. I have my own (small) tractor with back hoe and lost all the dirt on the property. It is a cinder block wall with liner. I have some nice componets and everybody who has seen it ranges from "cool to outstanding job". So I will ball park it at .65 cents per gallon , about 100 hrs labor by myself and well over fourteen tons of material moved. Not a project for a novice. Now my fish have grown and I need more volumn. This years dig is not started yet as I am leary and will probably bring in some wiser people than myself as I am learning what I do not Know. The previous posts hold alot of advice. I agree that more volumn lowers the price per gallon, but puts you in a higher price bracket when you move up to a larger pond. So I think anyone should be willing to commit to $2.00 per gallon as a DIYer and not be surprised if it comes in higher if you need help, new tools or equipment rental. You can always put the left over into that patio or deck. A local pond builder in my area would have charged about $18,000 for my pond based on the prices of their display ponds I saw.

Best of luck with all your projects.

Monte

WAC
07-26-2010, 03:25 AM
Everyone has a curve to balance out the value of their time (due to their career, family & friends) in comparison to the amount of labor for a DIY project. Picking up products, shipping, driving around town, forgetting that one PVC elbow, wear & tear on the vehicle & fuel roaming around technically should add into the equation. In addition, the availability of equipment (if needed) like, bobcat, Dingo, back-hoe, dumpsters, etc. plays a factor into the cost if renting. Then there's vacation time for those who want to do it all at once.

I'll admit being in the business & having access to virtually any products accessible, the last thing I want to when I get home is work on my project(s). I wind up taking my dog to the dog park & relaxing w/friends to keep my sanity.

My friends locally are water gardening installers have even offered to assist but I'm a bit stubborn on that part. :)

WGC
07-26-2010, 07:07 AM
In addition to the numerous facets that's already been mentioned, the waterproofing, the guts, etc.,

I've seen some "professional" installs that looks like a dump truck dumped a pile rounded boulders into a volcanic heap whereas I've seen some "professionals" place boulders as if it had been done by mother nature herself. Both may have been a 3' or 4' waterfall, but one I would of PAID to remove it out of the homeowners yard. :)


:rofl2: