How to build a raised pond

Updated February 21, 2017

If you don't want to dig a hole in your backyard but still love the look and sound of water in the landscape, consider building a raised pond. Suitable for the ground, deck or patio, a raised pond can introduce fountains, aquatic plants and fish to your home and garden.

Find a flat location that is free of rocks, roots and other obstacles. If the site is not smooth, use a rake or heavy roller to flatten it. A raised pond or water garden can also be built on a sturdy deck or patio. Clean the surface thoroughly and allow it to dry before building.

Construct a frame. This can be done with stones, building bricks or timbers. Wood can be attached at the corners with L-shaped brackets and along the sides with flat ones. Building blocks or bricks must be installed with appropriate mortar or supports so they do not shift or collapse. In most climates, a pond must be 18 inches deep if you plan to stock it with fish.

Pour sand in the bottom of the structure and smooth it out. This will help create a supportive bed for the pond liner. Lay the thick, flexible liner over the bed and drape the edges over the top of the stone or wooden frame. Gently push the liner into the corners, folding the edges so they are as flat as possible. The liner should lay directly on the floor and frame.

Cut the excess liner from the top of the wall surrounding the pond, then use a strong adhesive to attach it to the stone or wood at the top. Cover this with another layer of wider stone, paving bricks or flat boards that can be screwed on. This will give the pond a finished appearance and also provide seating.

Install pumps, filters, fountains and lighting as desired. Follow manufacturer's directions for each piece of hardware and be sure each is rated for the volume of water in the pond. Fill the pond with water from a garden hose, then turn on the pumps and fountains.

Things You'll Need

  • Flexible pond liner
  • Building stones or timbers
  • Cement or mortar
  • Metal L-shape brackets
  • Sand
  • Pond pump
  • Pond filter
  • Garden hose
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