Looking for a fun outdoor project? Why not consider building a water feature. We’ve got advice and supplies to get you started!
If you are considering installing a water feature yourself, you’ll need a plan of action to ensure your experience is enjoyable and you stay on budget. In essence, you become the contractor. Here are the 10 steps you should take to help save you aggravation, time and money.
1. Create a plan
Most people make a decision that they want a water feature of their own after they have seen the work of others. However, in most cases that initial “idea” needs to be reworked to make the whole concept work in your own landscape. Water garden design concepts are not universally appropriate. For example, an 8 foot high waterfall does NOT work if you live in a Saskatchewan-flat neighbourhood. It just will not look natural. You want the water feature to appear as if it belongs in your garden – like your home was built around your water feature.
If you need help in this area, drop by our retail store . We have a plethora of books, videos, seminars and workshops available to stimulate the imagination and hone your ideas. And if you require one-on-one advice, one of our staff can help you with the design specifics. Don’t forget to bring plenty photos.
2. Check your design technical requirements
This is where you should always get a professional opinion. Our retail store staff can do the calculations for the engineering portion of your water garden, and provide you with a written list of all the materials you will require to complete the job, including rock, gravel, plants, fish and other landscape products.
3. Purchase your technical products
Once you have decided to proceed with your project, drop by our retail store to purchase all the components required to install your water garden. You can buy the components in a pond kit so you won’t forget anything and have to come back to get missing parts. If you like we can even arrange to have your order delivered right to you.
4. Purchase your rock and river stone
There are several great sources for rock and river stone in the Greater Ottawa region. We can arrange to have bulk stone, gravel, topsoil and mulch delivered right to you, so you can focus on building your pond or water feature.
5. Be certain you have all the right tools & equipment
There are certain tools you will need to get the job done. The list will vary depending on the size of the project and whether you are a homeowner or a contractor. Here is a partial list of tools our crew uses everyday:
- Wheelbarrow (We recommend a Cariola. They are indestructible)
- Marking Spray Paint
- Garden Spade
- Pick Axe
- Garden Rake
- Leaf Rake
- Garden Hose
- Cleanout Pump & Hose
- Grounded Extension Cord
- Laser Level
- 4′ Framing Level
- Caulking Gun
- Utility Knife
- Nitrile Gloves
- Large Channel Lock Pliers
- Multi-Bit Screwdriver
- PVC/Poly Pipe cutter
- Tape Measure
- Expanding Foam Gun
- Foam Gun Cleaner
- Chest Waders
- Arm Waders
- Fish Net
6. Plan your labour
We know how long it takes our professional crew to install a water garden before we even start. You should too- especially if you intend to have someone help you. If you think it’s going to take you and your brother-in-law two days to build your pond, but it ends up taking a whole week, he’s going to get a little ticked off. Our retail store staff can give you some ballpark numbers to guide you. Hauling several tonnes of rock is not easy, so be prepared for some hard labour.
7. Install your water feature
Aw, come on now! This is the easy part, right? By now you’ve done your reading, attended seminars and watched all the videos. Now it’s time to get down and just do it.
8. Purchase your ornamental products and plant material
A good time to go pick out your plants and ornamental products is when the water garden is up and running, or sooner if you need a well deserved break from hauling rock. This would be the right time to drop by our retail store . We carry a beautiful line of aquatic plants including water lilies, submerged oxygenators, floaters, hardy marginals, tropicals, and perennials & shrubs suited for a water garden environment. We also stock a lovely line of stone and brass spitters and fountains to add that final touch to your creation.
9. Purchase your fish
Once your pond is up and running, you will want to wait a few days before you introduce your fish. This way you’re not scrambling to get them out and into temporary facilities in the event you experience a technical problem and you have to drain the pond. We’ve had this happen to our crew and we can assure you that it is quite a stressful experience watching $1,000 worth of fish die in overheating holding tanks.
After running for 2-3 days the ecosystem should start to balance out and it’s time to drop by our retail store and pick up your new finned friends and some fish food.
10. Relax & enjoy
Insert cool celebratory beverage of choice here.
Pond Showcase Gallery
Pond Fun Gallery