Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Big Pond Build (Part 2)

This is the second catch up post on the pond build. For those that missed part one, you can catch up here.

Since Christmas we have been able to push on with the project, benefitting from the mild winter weather (there were a couple of cold snaps but nothing that lasted very long), and have finished off a lot more of the pond build and surrounding landscaping.

The filter house roof was finished late December/early January, which was a great relief as that meant the building was basically watertight. We added guttering to take the water away to a soakaway, and will add water butts to collect water later on, with the drought conditions and hose pipe ban in the UK we should save all the water we can!

Fortunately the roof was finished before the snow came

With the roof finished we were also able to get the insulation inside the building, using a recycled glass based insulation that has been added to the roof space and walls, with the internal walls being clad to give a neat finish. This has been started although as the weather has mostly been kind to us we kept finding outside jobs to do. There is no great rush on that part of the project as its not holding anything up just yet. The front of the filter house will have an outdoor light added between the door and the window. Then eventually when the pergola is constructed over the top of the pond spot lights will be included to illuminate the pond and fish. We did consider adding underwater pond lights but decided against this as to incorporate them in a way that looks good may prevent easy maintenance in the future.

Externally the filter house cladding was finished off and the windows fitted into the frames. Fitting the double glazed units back in was a lot more fiddly than expected, and involved plenty of cursing from me!! Minor adjustments had to be made to the beading to get them all back in, but they are all in place now and again bring the filter house one step closer to being finished.
Outside the filter house we have completed the small water feature (more on that on a separate post later) and raised bed three. This one was taller than the others, and we had to bring in some top soil to fill it up - which is a shame as we still have some of the chalk and sub soil to get rid off. However as we are intending this to be a lush, rather than arid bed, we need good quality soil for the plants to thrive. As with the other beds this was topped off with a blue/silver sandstone coping, the walls rough rendered and painted white.

Imediately next to the Filter house will be a small gravelled area, this has been terraced using more of the clay/chalk we dug out from the pond and will be covered in blue slate chippings in the near future.

The biggest change though is the pond itself, this is now mostly at the final height, with nearly all the remaining blocks laid. The return pipes and surface skimmer were fitted in as we built the walls. The remaining opening in the wall will house a window that will be an inch thick, the remaining blocks will be laid to fit the window frame which, weather permitting will be fitted in the next week or so.

Getting the block work finished killed our old dependable angle grinder, and the timing wasn't great when it did fail - mid way though a Sunday afternoon, so with time limited we had to think quickly. Fortunately Argos came to our rescue and with a quick trip to a nearby superstore we were back in action.

Close up of the surface Skimmer
So that brings the pond project up to date, there are still plenty of jobs left to do, but we are now on the home straight.



  1. Boys - i cant believe how much work you have put into this! Its going to look brilliant- and how cool is that window going to be?!!!

    Well done! I cant wait to see the end result and hope you get a chance to relax for a bit before your off on your next project!

  2. Thanks Owen, we are quite looking forward to having some more free time once its done!

  3. It's fantastic what you guys have accomplished and all on your own. The rest will follow along quickly now.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  4. Thanks Cher, we just need the weather to improve. After having such a good dry period over winter, its been very wet the last few weeks.

  5. do you have to wait for dry weather before you finish the pond?

  6. Hi Libby,

    Yes we have a little more block work to do, so need it to be dry for that.

    The eventual waterproofing will also need dry weather. Its frustrating to have all this rain as its stopped the main part of the work. But theres still plenty more to finish off. We may get stuck into the inside of the Filter House this weekend if the rain continues.

  7. Wow, what a huge job. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished pond. Good luck with the weather.

  8. Capital Gardens4 May 2012 at 19:23

    Pond or swimming pool? That's massive! You're doing such a great job though, thinking of building one of those myself (not for koi, just a big pond) but not sure I have the skills

  9. Wow, you really have made amazing progress. I am really looking forward to seeing it finished and filled and the spaces around it planted.

  10. Wow! Looking forward to seeing the finished product. I wish you many more sunny days in the near future so you can finish the block work and whatever else needs to be done. How exciting!

  11. Funny how we were all praying for rain (least I was)and now I'm heartily sick of it. Shame it can't be filling up your pond for you. Can't wait to see it finished, boys - though I'm disappointed in you for resorting to bad language. Dave

  12. I was waiting for this post, knowing you must have been busy with your pond project! You have come a long way. I can't wait to see the final results! By the way, I thought of you the other day when I found a Fatsia japonica at a local nursery. It is now in my woodland garden!

  13. Nellie, I hope the weather gets a bit better, would love to have this finished soon!

    Capital Gardens - give it a try, we have no professional skills, have learnt what we needed to do along the way.

    College Gardener - Thanks, cant wait to share it all planted and filled!

    Bom - lets hope for lots more warm sunny days, and we will get it finished!

    David - sorry for the bad language!! but the windows were very tricky! Mark left me to it whilst I got it done.

    Debs - Thanks for that, and glad we inspired you to buy a Fatsia, they are such wonderful and versatile plants :)

  14. What an impressive project. You two could do this for a living. Looking forward to seeing the project completed...

  15. Hi Janet, thanks for the encouragement, we cant wait for it to be completed too. Not sure about doing it for a living, its taken us 2 years so far!

  16. Really looking forward to seeing how you do your filtration system. I've seen a few pond builds besides my own, and this is a good one. You guys are doing great work.


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