How Much Does It Cost To Install A Backyard Pond?


(8’x11’ plastic pond)
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Backyard Pond Costs

Outdoor Cost Guides      Water Features      Backyard Pond Costs

Whether you want to attract wildlife, enjoy the natural beauty, or raise livestock with a body or source of water nearby, it pays to consider the cost of installing a backyard pond. Clearly, the prospect of doing so would mean that you have the land on which this is possible, but it will also require more than just a spacious lot on which to excavate.

Such costs often surprise property owners who believe that a pond is little more than a large hole with a liner and a few other materials. This, for the most part, is true, and a backyard pond’s different costs are determined by the location, soil, and the kind of liner used—this might be something like concrete, but can also be plastic or even stone and gravel.

There is also the issue of size, with a backyard pond ranging from a small koi pond to a manmade lake or enormous farm pond. The intended use of a pond is also going to influence its final costs with fishing ponds being far more expensive than a manmade lake. A natural swimming pond is often one of the most expensive and priced by the square foot rather than the traditional “per job” cost.

Budget for a Backyard Pond: 8’x11’ plastic pond.

Item Cost Quantity Line Cost
Filter: internal. $150 each 1 $150
Liner $100-$1,000 each 1 $100-$1,000
Surround: a pond has to be edged and the options include stone, concrete, brick or basic landscaping. $2-$20 per sq.ft. 88 $176-$1,760
Material Cost $4.84-$33.07 per sq.ft. 88 $426-$2,910
Labor Cost (landscaper) $50-$200 per hour 8 $400-$1,600
Labor Cost (excavation) $2.75-$7 per sq.ft. 88 $242-$616
Total Cost $12.14-$58.25 per sq.ft. 88 $1,068-$5,126


Other considerations and costs

  • Water features are popular and many ponds get properly aerated by the use of water features like a fountain or a waterfall, with costs ranging from just under $500 to well over $1,000.
  • The future costs of upkeep can and should be considered during the planning stages, and the installation of filters will help to keep upkeep less challenging over the years. However, this is costly and can come in at around $2,000.
  • Landscaping is beneficial to any pond and adding it at the time of installation can keep costs low and averages around $350 to upwards of $10,000, depending on size and plants chosen.
  • Stocking with fish is another cost and averages around $4.00 per fish, at the most.

Check out our guide if you need a loan for your home improvement project.

DIY considerations

  • The process of excavating and installing a pond is not a DIY activity. It is essential to work with experts who understand the engineering, the permits needed, and the ways to provide you with exactly as you want.


  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.
How much does it cost to install a backyard pond in your city?
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Cost by city

(8’x11’ plastic pond)
  • New York, NY$4,819
  • Bronx, NY$3,960
  • Brooklyn, NY$3,300
  • Philadelphia, PA$4,117
  • Washington, DC$3,573
  • Atlanta, GA$3,233
  • Miami, FL$2,940
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL$3,080
  • Minneapolis, MN$3,613
  • Chicago, IL$4,209
  • Houston, TX$4,342
  • San Antonio, TX$2,914
  • Austin, TX$3,300
  • Denver, CO$2,788
  • Phoenix, AZ$2,942
  • Las Vegas, NV$3,229
  • Los Angeles, CA$3,638
  • San Diego, CA$3,301
  • San Jose, CA$3,988
  • Seattle, WA$2,919

Local costs have been calculated by accounting for labor and material cost differences across different cities. To get accurate cost estimates, indicate yours: