Ask Angie’s List: How much does it cost to install a pond?


Few home luxuries beat the tranquility and beauty of a man-made pond in your yard. The cost to build an artificial pond averages $3,100. Most jobs range between $1,200 and $9,000.

The cost of homemade ponds varies by the type. For example, koi ponds and swimming lakes require different materials to function correctly. The least expensive style is the small garden pond for $50 and up, while bodies of water with practical functions like fishing cost much more.

Garden ponds are the cheapest and easiest type to install yourself. Most cost only $50 to $500. Homeowners can purchase a small plastic liner from a hardware or garden store, or they can dig a hole and line it themselves. Some factors affecting price are size, depth and whether there are fish.

The cost to build a pond is usually $2.50 to $7.15 per square foot. For a larger-scale project, like a lake, expect to pay $3,000 to $8,200 per acre or more. The overall price varies based on a variety of factors. Some people want to include a liner, which could be a plastic shell or even a sheet that goes along the bottom and sides of the pond. Plastic is the cheapest option, while stronger materials such as concrete and fiberglass will raise the price. Other important factors include pond location and property soil type.

Koi ponds are special bodies of water designed to house koi. The fish need to live in an area that is at least 3 feet deep. Koi pond installation cost runs between $450 and $5,500. Depending on the weather in your area, the pond might also need a heating system to keep the fish alive during the winter.

Man-made lakes don’t have a standard size or shape, and therefore cost anywhere between $100 and $5,000 for smaller projects. The main cost factors include the type of liner used, how much labor is needed and the overall size of the lake. A DIY job costs less than hiring a professional but comes with risks. Failure to install a liner correctly or to excavate the ground properly could destroy the lake.

Farm ponds or lakes have many uses and cost roughly $2,000 to $10,000. Lots of homeowners install one because it provides water for irrigation, livestock and fish. They need to be well-maintained and cared for and large enough to provide enough liquid for the farm. Their most significant factors for cost include the lake’s size, type of liner and how much labor goes into making one.

Fishing ponds have some of the most variety since different types of fish require different environments. A standard pond costs between $1,500 and $9,000. The factors that affect the overall expense the most are the pond’s size, shape, depth and what kind of fish the owner wants to have. Fish have different needs and water types they need to live, so there is the added expense of choosing the right liner, potentially a heating system and chemicals to maintain the pond.

Lisa Gauthier Mitchison is a reporter for Angie’s List, a trusted provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers. Visit

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